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Good African woods

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

I am a new smoker in Zambia - Southern Africa - I am looking for a good hardwood locally to use - Acacia has been recommended - what about mahogany?

post #2 of 12

welcome1.gif There are a couple of members from africa here. I'm sure they will chime in with some info for you. Any fruit or nut tree will yield good smoking wood. Here is a chart one of our fine members put together to give you a little idea.

post #3 of 12


post #4 of 12


Originally Posted by drumhill View Post

I am a new smoker in Zambia - Southern Africa - I am looking for a good hardwood locally to use - Acacia has been recommended - what about mahogany?

Good day my African friend  i fond that mahogany is too oily any fruit or oak 


post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 

Maybe some citrus but it would be helleva green - or what about thorn ? Def no oak in our area - unless i took out the antique dining table.

We have quite a lot of a type of iron wood called Mubanga its used a lot in fencing etc.


Most of the local saw mills use mahogany and teak and of course pine which is no good.


Cashew nut? We have about 10 acres of that.


We do have acacia but I believe that is pretty pungent. 


Thinking of smoking a ham - I have a great brine recipe by Heston Blumenthal. Was also going to do Kansas ribs and some pulled Pork - the bro has a pig farm.



post #6 of 12

Do the Cashew Nut wood.Should be good and you said you have 10acres? Go for itdrool.gif

post #7 of 12

I would research that unless you know for sure cashew is OK. It's not actually a nut and if you don't roast a cashew it is poisonous. So I don't know about the wood. But I would check to be sure.

post #8 of 12

I don't know what woods are available near you, I'd be wary of the really dense and/or resinous woods, like rosewood, ebony, teak, or ironwood (lots of different species are called ironwood though).  I'd start with woods that are similar to US smoking woods, like acacia, hardwood nuts, Rose family (cherry, apple, pear, etc . . . ), citrus, there's probably something similar to oak, maple, mesquite, etc . . .  You have to get to know your local ecology, and hardwood lumber shops.  You might be able to get an untreated piece of oak or birch or something like that at a store.

post #9 of 12

welcome1.gif   Glad to have you with us!

post #10 of 12

From what I have searched on the web cashew wood is used as firewood and charcoal. So I imagine it is OK for smoking. The raw seed(nut) is toxic.

post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 

I am going to ask some of the locals what wood they use to make charcoal and on there cooking  fires - I imagine they will have an idea what will make the meat taste bitter or toxic - will ask about the Cashew wood - kinda intrigued what  might turn out  with it. 


How long should I dry out cut wood for - in a dry California type temp and humidity? Say Citrus ? We have a similar climate to inland So Cal temp and humidity wise. Winter is dry and cool - its middle of winter now.







post #12 of 12

I'm from Joburg.

You can use just about any of our local (indigenous) species for smoking EXCEPT ONE. Tambotie is extremely poisonous and will put you in hospital with severe stomach cramps and gastro.   

All the acacia species smoke well as well as Rhodesian teak, just don't use wood from old railway sleepers. They were treated with chemicals. The acacias do have a fairly strong flavour but you can dilute this by mixing with mullberry which is found all over and has a milder flavour. Your other option is to use the prunnings from fruit trees like peach, apricot, apple, plum, pear, guava or grape. Basically all fruit trees are safe for smoking and they all give good flavour.

Happy smoking.

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