Is Yew wood charcoal safe for cooking and smoking food?

Discussion in 'Food Safety' started by shangster, Aug 5, 2014.

  1. shangster

    shangster Newbie

    I was given a whack of dry Yew wood (Pacific Yew - Taxus brevifolia) that I cut into 4" rounds ready to make charcoal, but a friend told me Yew is very toxic to humans. Internet research seems to indicate my friend is right about toxicity, but I'm hoping the charcoal making process would remove the toxins. But even if this is theoretically true, I've never made charcoal before and probably wouldn't be able to produce a 100% quality charcoal. Which might mean I'd end up with charcoal that still contains toxins - which would be very 'unwise' to use for cooking. But the truth is that when it comes to charcoal and smoking food, I don't know my ass from a hole in the ground. So I'm asking for some feedback on this issue from anyone that does have knowledge and experience around cooking with Yew wood, charcoal making and the risks involved. Thanks for any advice! My guess is that the feedback will support SCRAPPING THE IDEA OF USING YEW WOOD FOR ANYTHING AROUND FOOD. But then again, 'you never know'.
  2. java

    java Smoking Fanatic

    Afraid I dont know anything about Yew wood, but if it contains toxins I wouldnt risk it.

    It would be like using pressure treated wood.   Besides that I thought Yew was a conifer?

    I thought I read once about them using the bark for some sort of cancer treatment, but I could be wrong.


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