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Pignut and Shagbark Hickory

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Given the OK to cut down some Hickory trees at a friend of mines property. There are Pignut and Shagbark. Is one better than the other for a stick burner? Lang 84 to be exact or doesn't it matter?

post #2 of 10

Hogz, morning..... I don't know so I will bump this......   Dave

post #3 of 10

Hogz , it's kinda a personal choice . Although both are used, the Shag has a better (Mellower) flavor IMHO. The "Pig nut" seems to have more (sap?) in it -thus more Creosote formation .  They usually grow in a wetter setting and  could have an effect.

post #4 of 10
There are at least a couple species of hickory in PA that are colloquially called pignut hickory.

Pignut hickory (Carya glabra) and bitternut hickory (Carya cordiformis), both are also called smoothbark hickory, but Carya cordiformis has smoother bark than Carya glabra.

If what you have has bark like in the following pic, it's bitternut hickory.
Bitternut hickory has an excellent flavor superior to shagbark, IMHO.



post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thanks guys appreciate the info. In the last few weeks I cut 4 apple trees, 2 hard maple, and 2 hickory which should be seasoned good enough for next summers smokes. The Hickorys where shag bark but I have a few logger friends cutting Pignut Hickory and said they would cut up and drop off at my house. Life is good.

post #6 of 10

Bitternut hickory (Carya cordiformis), also called bitternut, swamp hickory, and pignut hickory, is a large pecan hickory with commercial stands located mostly north of the other pecan hickories.




Because bitternut hickory wood is hard and durable, it is used for furniture, paneling, dowels, too] handles, and ladders. It is a choice fuel for smoking meats. Other uses include bars, crates', pallets, and flooring.




Bitternut hickory is probably the most abundant and most uniformly distributed of all the hickories. It grows throughout the eastern United States from southwestern New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, and southern Quebec; west to southern Ontario, central Michigan, and northern Minnesota; south to eastern Texas; and east to northwestern Florida and Georgia. It is most common, however, from southern New England west to Iowa and from southern Michigan south to Kentucky. Range in Pennsylvania: the entire state.

post #7 of 10

Yesterday it rained all day so after DiggingDogFarm posted about hickorys.. I did a little research on hickory trees..I live in the river bottom of east Texas and all the time I thought my hickory was Pignut hickory now it may be Bitternut hickory..Just know i'm happy with the wood for BBQing.This morning i took pictures and tasted nuts..and they are bitter ...




the nuts are thin shelled more like a pecan than hickory

post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 

I have a ton Hickory available, most having a smooth bark and that produce a small green nut that falls to the ground in the fall. I believe them to be pignut. I have had mixed opinions on the wood, some say its bitter or sour and not a good wood for smoking, and others say it's good for smoking. I think I will just have to cut a small one down, season it, and try it in the smoker to see if I like the flavor or not.

post #9 of 10

My trees nuts are small , green , and sort of flat looking...I found this very informative...but I have to wait to spring to find out what I have for sure..

post #10 of 10

Hey folks well it's spring and what we have is Bitter nut hickory.. 

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