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Why not Cedar ? - Page 2

post #21 of 30

Hello

Originally smoking was just a way to preserve food and peoples were using what was available nearby.

In the mountains and in the Nordic European countries, only Pine was available, .

Now, despite that they can get easily any kind of wood they still using it (some places in France, Switzerland, Germany and Scandinavia).

As far as cedar are concerned, to me there are only 2 genuine kind of cedar.

The most know is from Lebanon, and the other on in growing in the Atlas mountains in North Africa, and is called  Marrocan cedar

I have used the Marrocan cedar quite often, I have one in my garden (growing quite fast)

I use quite dry wood, no resin, nice light smoke giving a delicate taste to the food.

 

I have organized a blind tasting

on my side very cheap small Norvegian salmon (less than 4 US$/kilog) smoked with cherry tree wood and cedar

On the other side most expensive Scottish salmon, made by a Scottish smoking company (more than 120 US$/kg)

 

All the taster dislike the Scottish one, and claim it was not Salmon.

 

Claude

post #22 of 30

I do live in the beautiful Northwest and have cooked many salmon on cedar planks. The flavor is terrific in fish. So I decided to do some BB today. I soaked the cedar in apple juice first. You don't want it to just blacken up too fast.

 

 

I'll keep you posted. Hey can someone remove this large growth off my back.LOL.

post #23 of 30

 

 

Well they turned out great. My daughter doesn't like them wet so she she had the dry ones. The pic on the cedar was after the first 2 hours.They all got wrapped with apple juice and Tiger Sauce, Sorry about the blurry pics.We all tried the cedar and non cedar. The cedar tasted delicious. You should give it a try. Oh the others were fantastic also.
Quote:

Originally Posted by Tsunami View Post
 

I do live in the beautiful Northwest and have cooked many salmon on cedar planks. The flavor is terrific in fish. So I decided to do some BB today. I soaked the cedar in apple juice first. You don't want it to just blacken up too fast.

 

 

I'll keep you posted. Hey can someone remove this large growth off my back.LOL.

post #24 of 30

The reason Sassafras was banned by the FDA, was due to DDT (a powerful persistent treatment for insect pests, now banned in the USA), was absorbed by the sassafras tree in high concentrations.  Now that DDT has been banned for decades, and the concentration of DDT has declined in the wood, it is quite safe to use.  Like many of my generation, I have drank many cups of sassafras tea, produced from the boiled root of the tree.  I also have some of Todd's pellets, made from the same tree.  The pellets have the unique aromatic character of the wood, burn a few, and you can figure out which smokes will be enhanced by these pellets.

post #25 of 30

Just to add to this, do not under any circumstance use Eastern redcedar (a.k.a. Virginia juniper or also just called 'cedar' around where I live).  I did this once, years ago, and boy was it a mistake.  Why?  Because I was smoking spare ribs and ran out of hickory chips and had forgotten to check my chip supplies before I started the smoke.

 

Instead of just running out and buying more, I decided to be lazy and chunk up some cedar I had in my woodpile... I have a mostly wooded lot and tons of cedar on it.

 

The ribs came out with the most awful turpentine smell and taste ever.  Worst thing I've ever cooked in my life!  Wife took one bite and spit it out and so the poor ribs went into the trash.

post #26 of 30

Cedar Planks are best for placing salmon or other type fish on top of.

Don't get the plank or shavings to burning as then they would release

the "creosote or similar oil" that will foul the flavor. Regular Cedar 

Shingle planks work well, but you can use the special marketed ones.

 

Be sure to soak the cedar before you cook with it so it will only smoke

a little and give the flavor.

post #27 of 30

Northern white cedar is not a true cedar. It is a member of the cypress family, as is western red cedar and eastern red cedar, although eastern red cedar is a junipera, not a thuja. I've had fish cooked on white cedar planks and they were great. But the smoke from white cedar is particularly irritating to eyes, noses and lungs and that tells me that something in it is probably not good in high doses, so I checked wikipedia where I found "Due to the presence of the neurotoxic compound thujone, internal use can be harmful if used for prolonged periods or while pregnant." So I would only smoke with it if I didn't have something else, but I doubt it would cause any more noticeable harm than adult beverages.

post #28 of 30

This weekend I smoked a 11 lb Boston Butt for 2 hours using eastern red cedar.  Before moving it into the oven for another 8 hours, we of course sliced off a taste.  If you've ever had a hoppy ale and enjoyed the bitter after taste, that's what we got.  It was very nice, but we wondered if the bitterness would mellow while in the oven... and so it did.  I have to say it was the best tasting Butt of the bunch (5) we smoked (using apple, hickory, cherry and mesquite). 

post #29 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by NCSmoker007 View Post
 

This weekend I smoked a 11 lb Boston Butt for 2 hours using eastern red cedar.  Before moving it into the oven for another 8 hours, we of course sliced off a taste.  If you've ever had a hoppy ale and enjoyed the bitter after taste, that's what we got.  It was very nice, but we wondered if the bitterness would mellow while in the oven... and so it did.  I have to say it was the best tasting Butt of the bunch (5) we smoked (using apple, hickory, cherry and mesquite). 

Eastern Red Cedar is a juniper, and there are many recipes that include juniper berries, so I would imagine that the smoke can't be all that bad. Western Red Cedar and Northern White Cedar are thujas, and I haven't heard of any food use for them, other than planks for fish.

post #30 of 30

Recently I smoked a large salmon with very well seasoned (dried) Eastern Redcedar (Juniperus virginiana).  The smoke was blue, sweet and there was no tar.  It was my first time to go beyond the cedar planks and was the best smoked salmon I've ever made (I've been smoking salmon for about  25 years).

 

I saw a reference to the pulmonary complications from inhaling cedar and pine smoke.  No doubt.  This exposure is inhalation and causes lung damage.  Not ingestion.  Inhalation of our favorite wood smoke can also cause lung damage.  Tar and poor smoke management from any wood can make food undesirable.

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