I was out of aluminum foil so I put the pine cones (I have lots) in plastic zip-lock bags and stuck them in the freezer to kill off all bugs until I could go buy some aluminum foil.
After approximately three days in the freezer, I left them out in a room (at room temperature), but never opened the bag, which apparently re-opened the pine cones that closed while in the freezer.
Today I have the foil and followed the above instructions and it didn't work! (Let me explain.)
I put batch "A" in the oven on 200 degrees F for 30 minutes and nothing happened (keep in mind they were already opened, but still no sap ran out and I didn't see any bugs or anything). I decided to leave it in the oven an additional 10 or so minutes. Batch "A" was in the oven at 200 degrees then for approximately 40-45 minutes and nothing happened!
I put batch "B" in the oven at 300 degrees F for 30 minutes. The "only" difference is for batch "B" I started to smell the pine cone scent, but that is it.
Now, keeping in mind that I want to use the oven approach (rather than bleach or whatnot) and that my pine cones are all already opened. My questions is what should I do to the oven setting/time to heat the cones so that they release the sap and kill off any remaining bugs?
By Mourning_Star from IL
This answer has been rated the best for this question.
By Vicky 10/03/2012
Maybe it was a dry year and the pine cones didn't have much sap to start with - were they very 'sticky' when you picked them up? Maybe there weren't any/many bugs on/in them to start with - did you see any when you picked them up? If the cones were completely dried out when you removed them from the oven and weren't sticky with sap, I would think they'd be fine at this point for decorating! I have dried pine cones before on alum. foil in a low temp. oven and they turned out great. Blessings.
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