Ignoring time & space issues, focusing only on the strength & durability of the wood after the bend has set, what is going to give better results? We know from the answers at Other than speed does kiln drying have any advantage over natural aging? that natural aging has advantage in the quality of the end product. In this case though we are intentionally altering the curvature of the wood.
- Bending and storing green wood (frames, canes, keels, etc) in its final form
- Steaming naturally or kiln dried wood as above, for the short time it takes to dry.