Wood Selection

Discussion in 'Woods for Smoking' started by aussiepete, Dec 23, 2011.

  1. G'day all!  I'm looking to try some Australian wood for smoking, as buying wood chips from trees not native to Australia are very expensive.  I've been paying nearly $10 for 1 1/3lb of hickory/mesquite chips (and that's the cheapest price I could find) so am going to try and find a local option to throw into the mix.

    I'd like to get some opinions on what characteristics woods that are good for smoking should have, i.e hardwoods/softwoods/fruit tree wood etc.

    Any and all opinions would be much appreciated!  And Merry Christmas to everyone on SMF!!!
  2. big andy a

    big andy a Smoking Fanatic


    What are the choices in Australia?  Generally speaking, hardwood trees that produce a fruit or a nut can be used for smoking.  Softwoods should not be used.  I use apple, oak, pear, cherry and hickory in my smokes.

  3. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    You can use just about any wood that doesn't have a resin or sap in it. I don't know what kind of wood you have down there, but if your familiar with pine that would be a wood you would not want to use, too much resin. Oak or hickory, cherry or any citrus wood would be fine. What are the local woods you have available? Most tree trimmers are more than willing to give you fresh cut wood. You just have to dry it.
  4. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    There's gotta be fruit trees around that you can use for smoking

    Any hardwood like Oak or Maple?

  5. I've only done a small amount of research so far, but have found varioius types of eucalyptus and gum trees, jarrah, and brushbox.  I'll be doing some more digging over the holidays and will post what I find.

  6. cliffcarter

    cliffcarter Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Search out fruit and nut trees- this is what your smoking Aussie brothers do who don't want to pay for imported wood.
  7. shooterrick

    shooterrick Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Stay away from conifers, soft woods, and unknown varieties.  I would google native fruit, hardwoods, from Australia.  Usually if the fruit or nut is edible you would probably be ok but do the research.
  8. redheelerdog

    redheelerdog Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Hi Pete,

    Here is an Aussie BBQ site: http://www.aussiebbq.info/forum/

    There is also a blog here: http://www.aussiebbq.info/wp/blog/

    Good Luck!
  9. Thanks for the info guys.  I'm going to call some local orchards down my way when they reopen after the holidays and see if I can sort something out there.  I will also check out the Aussie bbq forum.


  10. I didn't bother calling any of my local orchards in the end, as I stumbled across a new source for my wood chips from somewhere right under my nose!

    There's a business down the road that sells supplies for landscaping, pergolas etc which I had never bothered calling as they only deal in softwoods. Purely by chance I was at the nursery next door buying some plants for the garden when I noticed a huge pile of firewood in the yard next door, so thought I would check it out.

    When I walked through the front door the first thing I saw was bags and bags of American Oak wood chips and sawdust for sale.  Turns out a local Cooper came to them and asked if they had any market for all the sawdust and offcuts he gets after refurbishing oak wine barrels.  At $5 for an 11lb bag of chips (compared to $8 for just over 1lb that I had been paying previously) I bought what they had and am now well stocked. 

    I also asked about their firewood, which turns out is Australian Red Gum.  Gum trees are typically quite resinous but they assured me that Red Gum dries/seasons really well, and their customers typically use it in their slow combustion heaters and pizza ovens.

    I'm going to try out the Red Gum too when I get the chance, and I'll fill you all in on how it rates when I do my next smoke.



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