What Smoking Wood Do You Use, and Have You Ever Tried Something A Bit Different?

Discussion in 'UK Smokers' started by smokewood, Nov 2, 2014.

  1. smokewood

    smokewood Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    A lot of people in the UK seem to use Oak & Apple, with the odd exception [​IMG]   I was wondering if anyone has tried anything a bit more unusual?

     I have tried Blackberry stalks once.  You need the stalks when they are brown, and then let them dry out.  Ideally you need to use them in a "bundle" as they are very thin, and tend to burn quickly.  The trick was to place them near to the heat so they slowly scorch and don't ignite straight away.  They are no good for a long smoke, but was kinda OK on a short smoke.

    If you have used anything a bit more unusual, or weird and wonderful let us hear about it. 
  2. markuk

    markuk Smoking Fanatic

    Am using Oak as after the St Judes storm a huge oak blew down so I salvaged lots and lots of it....... !!!!

    The most interesting stuff I saw being used was grape wood in South West Germany at a Wine Festival

  3. [​IMG]   Hello Mark.  So you did "requisition/acquire " that oak wood!  Good for you!  My "go to" is pecan, cherry and now and then some oak thrown in.  Nothing special.  Of course I use mesquite quite often so long as it's just for me and the Missus.  I have been curious about citrus wood.  Keep Smokin!

    Last edited: Nov 2, 2014
  4. smokewood

    smokewood Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    That Oak looks nice, do you use the chippings/dust in the bucket for cold smoking, or is it a bit too course ? 
  5. I scored a big chunk of cherry from some tree surgeons in a park near my work, and there were some oak logs mixed in with the firewood I got last year so that should last me a couple more years.

    I also keep an eye out for rosemary bushes - dunno if the twigs add a lot but they certainly smell nice when it is smoking.
  6. markuk

    markuk Smoking Fanatic

    I use the saw dust to give a bit of instant smoke .....
  7. Hi guys, I'm using bay (nobilus laurus) and gorse at the moment (amongst the usual oak, Chesnut etc.). Except for the leaves as they are too oily and give off the dreaded black smoke. Should have perhaps saved the leaves as they're an amazing fire lighter but the tree had to come down and everywhere is full of oak chestnut etc, and being a mature tree the leaves were huge. May swap some for lump hickory or mesquite:grilling_smilie:

    Waiting on an ad hoc delivery of olive (kalamatan) but not sure if customs will allow it through due to all the tree deseases flying around.
  8. Thought about sawdust myself til I realised how much oil a chainsaw uses....obviously ok if hand cut....Do you have problems with moisture with your dust?
  9. smokewood

    smokewood Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    I use vegetable oil in my chainsaws, and they run fine, as for damp dust, you could either microwave it for 30 seconds or so, put it in the oven on a low temperature, or even put it in the airing cupboard to dry it out a bit.

    As long as you have all the correct customs clearances etc you should not have a problem, if you haven't, they might not release it, where did you import it from, and what quantity?
  10. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I need more chain oil. I didn't realise you could use vegetable oil instead. Which one do you use?
  11. smokewood

    smokewood Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    Any vegetable or sunflower oil, it doesn't matter
  12. Hello.  I did hear you could use veg oil in a chainsaw.  I have never tried it.  I just had a thought for some of you folks that enjoy surfing the net and doing research:  what about the viscosity of veg oil versus chain oil and at what temp does each oil start to break down?  Maybe just a case of using more veg oil to cut a large piece of wood versus chain oil.  Would just be a shame to ruin a blade for lack of knowledge.  I DON'T KNOW!  Just asking a curious question.  Have fun with that!  Keep Smokin!

  13. markuk

    markuk Smoking Fanatic

    Wade suggested microwaving the sawdust and if it smelled oily don't use it - mine didn't so i used it but Microwave smelt like a smoker for 2 weeks - fortunately the lady of the house doesn't use it very often so I got away with it :)
  14. The olive is being bought over by a friend in his motor home , it does say where from ....a swap for something smoked. It's not a huge quantity (
  15. That's a great idea, as is the veg oil, though Danny does make a sounds point about viscosity...
  16. smokewood

    smokewood Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

     Vegetable oil is certainly cheaper than chainsaw oil, and the first thing that is noticeable is the viscosity, as vegetable oil is a lot thinner than chainsaw oil.

     I have only been running my chainsaws on vegetable oil for about 18 months, so theoretically it is still early days, and  have not noticed any chain or bar wear or build up of "gunk" (sawdust & oil). 

    However I have read mixed reports from professional Arborists, who use their chainsaws for lengthy periods of time day in and day out, and really put their equipment through their paces. 

    Some  Arborists mention wear not to the chain, but to the bar, and also the resinous build up of oil and sawdust which occurs round the clutch drum, oil pump, chain brake etc.  However, there are also reports from Arborists who have been using vegetable oil in their chainsaws for years without any issues, so it is really a mixed bag.

    Another issue which could be carried over into a further topic would be:

    " would you really know the difference if vegetable oil or conventional chainsaw oil was used to cut up your smoking wood?"

    I have an old chainsaw that has not been used for a few years which still has conventional chainsaw oil in the tank, I am quite happy to provide a mixture of wood that has been cut using both saws to see if you can tell the difference. 
  17. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    From my experience the problem with the oil contamination is not with the wood blocks that are cut with the chain saw but the sawdust that it produces. After I have used my chain saw and collected up the resulting sawdust into a heap, you can smell a slight oil residue. I have also tried getting sawdust from a local saw mill (whole trees into planks) and that has a similar problem too as they are continually lubricating the blade on their massive band saw as it is cutting. It probably varies between types of chainsaw too as they all seem to use oil as different rates.

    The best place I have found to get uncontaminated sawdust or chips is from local timber fabricators who use planes and circular/band saws that do not require lubrication.
  18. smokewood

    smokewood Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    That's true with the amount of oil that a chainsaw releases, but you can adjust the settings to either allow more or less lubrication onto the chain for lubrication.

    Unfortunately most timber fabricators & joinery companies use a mixture of different woods depending on the job they undertake, therefore there will be a cross contamination of the different types of sawdust in their scavenging systems.  The only way around this this is to find a joiner or cabinet maker who uses only one type of wood in their manufacturing process.  
  19. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    We are lucky as we have several oak frame timber building fabricators not too far from us. Their waste is almost pure green oak.
  20. HEY! HEY! HEY!  Arborist?  ARBORIST??  Can you say that on a family friendly forum???  Ok.  I Googled it.  You mean lumberjack - tree surgeon.  That's ok then.  [​IMG]

    Back in Tx. I had 11 acres full of mesquite trees.  I used chain oil in my chain saw.  I used the mesquite wood for heat and smoke in the smoker.  Now I had a separate fire pit where I burned the mesquite logs and just added hot coals to the horizontal offset as needed.  What chain oil that was on the logs had burned off by the time the coals reached the smoker.  I do have to agree with Wade's statement, the sawdust always had an oily smell.  Would that transfer to the taste of the meat??  As I stated above I have never used veg oil but was curious as to others experiences  Keep Smokin!


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