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Adding moisture back isn't going to help.
In the process, the noncellulosic wood chemicals are plasticized by heat, not moisture.
Steam is a very effective transfer agent for heat.
The steam heat warms the bound water in the wood which in turn warms and softens the non-fiber in the wood (lignins, pectic substances and so on). No more, no less and never reaches pyrolysis temperatures.
That's a $2 way of saying that steam won't char the wood.

For kerf bent boxes, I have seen the joints done with rags boiling in a big pot of water. One after another
dropped on the joint. Some boxes have 12" - 18" corners.
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