Can't find wood in L.A.!

Discussion in 'Woods for Smoking' started by seven10ashbury, Oct 9, 2009.

  1. Im having a hard time finding large logs/chunsks of wood in L.A. (at least where I live). Can I just throw handfuls of smaller chunks ( like from the "") on the coals in the firebox? There is a Barbecues galore near me, but they dont have much. Any ideas?

  2. You can build a charcoal fire and throw some chunks (3-4) on top. Then replenish as needed. Depending on the type of smoker you have, those chunks could last you a couple of hours or the whole cook.

    You can usually find hickory chunks at Wal-Mart, Home Depot or Lowe's if those are in your area. Or, if you have any local fruit orchards, you can check with them to see if they have any to give away or for sale.
  3. beer-b-q

    beer-b-q Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Find a BBQ Restaurant that uses wood and see if there is any way you can buy some from them or find out their source...
  4. flash

    flash Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Hmmm, no wood, but you have so many Fruits and Nuts!! [​IMG]
  5. eaglewing

    eaglewing Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    No, but you can find ways to beat the Cardinals...

    Go Dodgers!!!
  6. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    There's lots of wood in L.A. .... and a lot of it has already been charcoalized... just drive bye all them houses that caught fire! [​IMG]

    Just kidding! I wouldn't wish that on anybody - but couldn't resist an easy set up.. heh-heh.
  7. rickw

    rickw Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    You're gonna buy a Lang and have no good source for wood? I'd make sure I had a very good supply of wood before I bought a stick burner.
  8. Its not a great selection, but I found a website with some stuff I need. Not a great variety, but it'll work for me. I had to put the kibosh on the Lang. They wouldnt take my calls because my number was coming up restricted, and they never emailed me back. I'm buying a horizon. Much more professional service.

  9. rickw

    rickw Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Which Horizon? I know when I was dealing with the folks at Horizon they were great folks to deal with. Before and after the sale.
  10. alx

    alx Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    richoso1 is from california.I believe he has a source.If he does not see your post then p.m. him-he is nice guy and very helpfull...
  11. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    L.A. is what 1 to 2 hrs. from Citrus country? Cruize up there,get some fruit(and Wine) and casually ask what they do with the trims off thier trees?
    Most time the growers give them away,however you're in Cali. Try a bride,like some Ribs. Worth a try???
  12. gnubee

    gnubee Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Are there no parks in LA, no out door restaurants, no avenues with treed boulevards? Where a late night visit with a chainsaw wouldn't pay off? [​IMG]

    Actually I second the notion to travel to the wine and citrus country. I live in orchard country and the apple, cherry, apricot, pear etc is usually free for the asking during pruning time. I don't have a stick burner so I don't need very much wood. I often see huge stacks of fruit wood for sale as I travel about the farms looking for a few free chunks.

    I am a Scot and see no need to dole out any cash when free is a possibility.

    I have gleaned a large, 18 inches across and 6 feet long maple log just by asking one of the operators of a tree cutting service if I could have it. He said sure then proceded to cut it into 12 inch lengths for me. Nice guy.

    Even one of the city crews gave me a long branch from a mulberry tree when I begged for it. I could have had the whole tree but had no where to put the darn thing.

    For use on top of charcoal I use some of the thicker grape prunings, they make really nice smoke. My grapes are all about 5 years old and some of the branches are already 4 inches thick. Just perfect for making smoker chunks.

    Almost anywhere you see a tree being chopped down is a good spot to beg for the wood. Making sure of course you know what type of wood it is and checking to make sure that it is a good wood to smoke.

    PS. Way back in the hills near almost any creek there is usually a standing dead alder or Birch tree that makes the most awesome smoke for fish.

    I also have been known to persuade a green alder to come home with me. [​IMG]

    BTW you can also often look thru the scrap bin at your local lumber yard and get such goodies as Hickory and Maple already dried and ready to be sawn into chunk size. Usually quite cheaply or even free.
  13. luvdatritip

    luvdatritip Smoke Blower

  14. bmudd14474

    bmudd14474 Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

  15. Im buying a Horizon Marshall 20". Ill probably order it after Thanxgiving. Pay down my balance a bit then order it.

  16. scarbelly

    scarbelly Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    If you call some of the vineyards in Santa Barbara or Paso Robles they almost always have a bunch of fruit trees around too - you may be able to get some help from them - Also there are lots of Luciles and Famous Daves - check with them for their source
    Good luck
  17. rickw

    rickw Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    That's a real nice unit. If ya get any options I highly suggest the Sliding Convection Plate. It really works great at evening temps out through the entire cooking chamber.
  18. Im buying a Horizon Marshall. I found a site called They seem pretty cool. Also, I remembered about ebay. Lotsa stuff there. HEY! BTW, can you use whole logs to smoke or should they be split?

  19. rickw

    rickw Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    They burn a lot better when split, even smaller logs do better when split.
  20. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Have you thought about moving to a better place? LOL

    Seriously, I get a lot of wood from neighbors this time of year when they trim trees. Lots of misc. hard woods and fruit woods.

    Might consider cozying up to a local tree trimmer. Some are very helpful.

    Also, get to know the folks who take care of the parks. If you find one who is knowledgeable, they can and will sometimes tip you off to when they are trimming. (with government employees, you might have to bribe them with a little Q, it doesn't hurt with the neighbors either!)

    Yeah, you have to season it, but the price is right.

    Good luck!

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