Journal There is smoke without fire

There is smoke without fire


Smoking oak produces no smoke. When smoking oak, tannic acid in the wood reacts with ammonia vapour. This reaction causes the tannic acid to vanish from the wood, resulting in discolouration. The speed and intensity of smoking is largely determined by the ambient temperature, relative humidity, moisture content of the surface of the oak and the strength of the ammonia composition used. The intensity of smoking will be higher with hot and humid air, and with a higher ammonia percentage in the ammonia vapour. The wood is fully smoked, so you will always keep the dark wood, even after sanding and re-oiling. After smoking, the wood should be kept dry at room temperature.


Once tannic acid comes into contact with oak, the wood turns a greyish colour. If the wood is then treated with an oil, a warm, honey-brown to deep-black colour is created. Smoking wood is a natural process, so colour di erences can easily occur. It is di cult to estimate in advance which plank will be lighter or darker as a result of the smoking process. Otherwise, you would have to measure the tannin content of each plank in advance. Not only can colour di erences arise between di erent planks, colour di erences can also occur within a plank. Knots in the wood formed by nature will also remain visible in the surface. Nature remains visible in the surface, enhancing the character of the wood.


Smoking is not possible with every type of wood, as certain types of wood do not contain tannin. Due to its tannic acid content, Oak is one of the few types of wood that can be smoked. However, a di erence also exists even among oak varieties. For example French or European oak is extremely easy to smoke, but American oak contains too little tannic acid for the process.


  • The wood grain is given extra emphasis by the smoking process
  • The structure of each individual plank is highlighted
  • There are no harmful traces of ammonia fumes left
  • Smoking always makes the wood darker