Question About Wood

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by steven carr, Jan 26, 2014.

  1. Was just talking to my step dad. And he was telling me about all of this Hickory and Apple and some Cherry trees he has been cutting down and splitting. He said I can can take cut whatever I want. My question is. 

    1. Do you have to let the wood season before using in a smoker 

    2. Can u use the bark 

    3. If you season how long should u let it go for 

    I'm using a Smoke Hollow Propane stand up smoker. I usually buy bags of Chips and Chunks to you. So I'd be cutting and splitting the trees down pretty small. Till I get my outdoor smoker built this spring 

    Any help with be great 
  2. cliffcarter

    cliffcarter Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    1. In general, yes you must season the wood you use for smoking. However, some fruitwoods do not need to be seasoned IMHO. Apple is one of those woods, I have used unseasoned apple wood chunks many times with great success. I recommend that you cut the hickory and cherry into the size you want to use and season 8-12 weeks in a warm, dry place.

    2. Bark presents no problems, you do not need to remove it unless you prefer to use it without bark.

    3. See #1
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2014
  3. cueinco

    cueinco Smoke Blower

    One issue I've heard of is the use of insecticides on fruit trees. Supposedly it can last a long time. Smoking with wood from trees that have been sprayed was not recommended. Of course, this is something I heard a long time ago. I've just avoided any wood from trees that have EVER been sprayed. 
  4. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    I would start by using the small branches and cut in 2-3 inch pieces, chances are that some of those are already dead and dry. I do this with apple and cherry as that is what is around here. I have never tried green fruitwood but always figured it would leave a creosote coating on the meat. Yuk! I have a pile of branches behind the shop that I have been hacking chunks off of with my sawzall for two years now, it goes a long time this way. You might consider sawing up the log sizes in split lengths and season it stacked up with lots of airspace between the pieces for half a year and then split it up to sell. could finance quite a few quality smokes. Bark is not a problem unless you are using Birch or Alder so you should be ok with that. My dad is a chemical applicator and he swears that after a short period of time there are no active chemicals to be concerned with. I would think that the burning of the wood would take care of that anyway. I am pretty sure all your store bought chips and chunks come from orchard pruning and clearing and it has all been sprayed at some point.
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2014
  5. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Grab as much as you can now.  Once you have your wood burner you'll need a lot of it.  Normally the longer it has to cure the better,  keep it dry and away from the bugs.
  6. cliffcarter

    cliffcarter Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    This is a none issue, insecticides are water soluble and wash off in the rain.
  7. flash

    flash Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Some of the deep furrowed oak I pull off the bark due to lichens and such within the bark. Most wood I do not bother.

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