Mill ends? Oak, Cherry and hickory, oh my!

Discussion in 'Wood Smokers' started by bman62526, Mar 25, 2009.

  1. bman62526

    bman62526 Smoking Fanatic

    Hey all,

    I posted an "items wanted" ad on Craigslist this morning and within a few hours I got a response. Now that I'm stick burning, I was hoping to find someone with good seasoned wood for sale.

    This guy has runs small saw mill about 30 miles from me, and he said he GIVES AWAY his mill ends. His email to me said that most of them are 2"-4" thick chunks 6'-10' long. Sounds perfect, doesn't it?!? He has oak, hickory, cherry, and even mulberry.

    The reason for my post, is that while messing around on the internet, I stumbled upon a "wood burning basics" website...hosted by some guy with a chimney sweeping business, who said to never use mill ends in your wood stove because it is "tremendously corrosive to metal".

    Of course, I'm not getting these to heat a wood stove, but beings that my smoker is a close relative to the wood stove, should I be concerned? I mean, we all know that the mixture of ash and moisture is corrosive, which is why you have to clean out your firebox regularly, but should I have any additional concern about the particular "cut" of the wood I'm smoking with, as long as it's a seasoned hardwood? I wouldn't think so but you all are the experts :)

    Please share your thoughts. "Free" is my favorite 4 letter word, so I'd like to use this wood if possible!


  2. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Did he mention why?. I would think a piece of wood is a piece of wood. unless he's talking green lumber.
  3. bman62526

    bman62526 Smoking Fanatic

    Nope...and he prefaced it all by saying you should only burn seasoned wood, so that takes green wood out of the question.

    I can't imagine a huge difference between burning mill ends and regular center cut splits, besides the fact that you might want to pre-burn in order to get rid of some bark on the mill ends...I'm hoping someone else can shed some light on the matter.
  4. alx

    alx Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Friend of mine has a portable band saw mill.He can mill 3x3foot wide by 30 foot trees.Usable wood for smoking is usualy similiar to good fireplace wood in species-no pine etc.-but you will find the slats-mill ends- which are created by milling the tree square will dry out VERY quick.Thus, if too dry it burns hot and quick.If high heat is corrosive then maybe a better woodstove,possibly issue with vent pipe getting super hot.I would suggest getting the mill ends green or less then fully dry-since they dry super quick with alot of the wood exposed -and then you can process to your specifications.Also, when they cut trees to length those are excellent full rounds-which i grab as well.another place people dont look is folks who clear lots and such.-I have burned mill ends for at least 20 years.My friend likes to get rid of it since it really cant be sold in cords and it piles up quickly etc.
  5. oneeye

    oneeye Fire Starter

    His statement makes no sense at all. I run a small mill and burn slabs. I sell them to customers who burn them all the time. As mentioned above, they do dry fast though.
  6. roksmith

    roksmith Meat Mopper OTBS Member

    If you want to read some more indepth reasoning behind what they are talking about, you can read it here:

    I think they are basing their opinion on past experience and a better safe than sorry attitude. If you know the mill owner personally, and they are sure the wood is not treated as in the article, I'd say you are fine burning the ends. If there is any doubt as to if there are ANY chemicals being added for any reason...I wouldn't touch it.

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