Is Fig a good Wood to Use for Smoking?

Discussion in 'Woods for Smoking' started by portlandroger, Dec 31, 2012.

  1. I have a Fig tree that I just trimmed.  Does anybody here use this wood?

    Is it worth saving?

    Do you use this wood green or must it be seasoned?  

    When I buy wood from a wood "bagger", it is always really dry - like 1 - 2

    years old.  Is this necessary, or can you use it green?

    I've got a lot of Alder & Red Maple on my property, and I always have numerous

    cords that are 1- 2 years aged (dry).  They work like a charm.

    But what about fig?  What about the Fig bark?

    If it's worth using, I'll save the pieces.

  2. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Not sure about fig for smoke wood...checked the list found below, and no mention of it on the safe list or unsafe list....some good tips on the bottom of this first post, also:

    Whatever you use for smoke wood needs to be cured well (seasoned). Green wood will smoke white for extended periods and the smoke could contain a lot of volatiles which may cause a bitter taste and/or smell in your food. It may even numb your lips and tongue if you eat it it, similar to creosote from stale smoke due to poor smoke chamber ventilation.

  3. Thanks.

    I've seen fig on a safe list, but never spoken to anybody to find out if it actually has a nice flavor.

    I kind of thought that green wood might tend to give off bitter flavors, but wanted to ask - just in case.

    With all the "work"  & expense to smoke a nice piece of meat, I hate to have it taste bad - that's for sure!
  4. dutch

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

    PortlandRoger, Fig sap is latex based and some people develope a rash when the sap comes in contact with the skin. It is advisable to wear long pants and a long sleeved shirt when cutting fresh fig wood. Once the wood is seasoned, the sap is not as great as a concern. Seasoned Fig wood has a spicy aroma when burned and some say that it smells like cinnamon.
  5. [font=Helvetica, Arial, FreeSans, sans-serif]I know fig wood has been used for smoking, but some people, myself included, are very sensitive to the latex base sap when in contact to the skin. It produces a rash similar to poison oak. No other sap from any other trees does that to me except fig.[/font]
  6. Dutch is spot on...EMPHASIZE that it must be quite dry/seasoned.  Try it on chicken, or other "mild" food, before you use it to impress ...that way, you will get a true "taste" of the smoke.  I season salt with fig wood...makes a nice finishing salt.
  7. Bubba-

    A little off topic, but you mentioned 'chicken'.  I never BBQ chicken, because in the past whenever I did it

    it, the skin always turned out gummy.  What's the trick to smoking a chicken (parts or whole) so the skin

    is edible?
  8. Try leaving the chicken unwrapped in the fridge for at least a couple of hours. This will, along with a good pat down, dry out the skin. Also adding a little extra salt to the skin will pull the moister out.
    Last edited: May 16, 2014
  9. ak1

    ak1 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    First question. What kind of fig?  I would say the fruit bearing varieties are ok, but I would be wary about some of the ornamental ones. They may be OK, or they may not be. I just don't know for a fact.
  10. Are you giving it away or selling
  11. Ocracoke Island NC (Outer Banks) grow a lot of fig trees. They have fig everything there. And there was a small vendor there selling BBQ that was cooked using fig wood. I didnt think much of the BBQ but I dont think it had anything to do with the fig wood.
  12. I did some research on smoking with fig wood because my Mom has a humongous tree that needed cut WAY back so the pine tree climbers could take down a dangerous, leaning pine tree.I have lots of wood to wait for it to dry and season. My research tells me that fig is an awesome wood to smoke with, highly desirable and hard to come by. Can't wait to try it maybe next Thanksgiving.

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