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After the Storm .....

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

You may have heard we had a little storm in southern UK recently which brought a few trees down .....




This is/was a nice little row of oaks around 200 yards from me which were planted to celebrate the 90th birthday of the Queen mother which makes them around 20 years old.


.... enough of the waffle !


They chainsawed it up yesterday and left all the logs on the ground and thought it might be a good idea to move several logs to a place of "safe keeping" :icon_confused: behind some scrubb nearby before they get chipped.....


My questions is would the oak be okay for smoking - obviously it is untreated but hopefully if they don't spot where the logs are i'm going to have a pretty good supply of wood which I can move asap to my garage for seasoning.....


any info would be helpful



post #2 of 15

Hello Mark.  Did some reading.  If it is English oak, it is a member of the white oak family and the acorns are supposed to be edible so I would say is safe to use for smoking.  I would just try a small quantity on a small amount of meat ( say a couple burgers ) for a test.  It won't kill you but if you don't like the taste then you don't ruin a bunch of meat.  Just a thought.  Keep Smokin!


post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 

Okay thanks - I've only ever used oak for smoking - I got it from a sawmill but it was a lot older than this and the flavour was fine and especially on ribs gave a nice smoke ring.


The other thing i meant to mention was should I remove the bark - most of the lengths are around 6ft and about 3 or 4 inch diameter so decent sizes - smoking before I've used chunks about the size of half the size of an old VCR tape.....

post #4 of 15

Hello Mark.  I should think it'll be fine to dry it with bark on but if it were me I'd take to off before smoking.  Just my opinion.  Good luck.  Keep Smokin!


post #5 of 15

I have to say Danny has you covered. Just let it dry and go to smoking.

Happy smoken.


post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 

..... now got 3 lengths home and in the garage .....



If I get enough of this can I use it for my main source of heat ?  Only think is my smoaker is quite small and I wonder about hot spots if the flames get too high ?  See pic of Smoker and box


CREATOR: gd-jpeg v1.0 (using IJG JPEG v62), quality = 90


Beer shows position of where meat should be BTW !


post #7 of 15

Hello Mark.  Sure you can use it as the heat source.  Steal; uuhhh I mean ACQUIRE as much of that as you can get your hands on. :icon_biggrin:  When I lived in Texas I only ever used mesquite logs for heat.  I had 11 acres so room wasn't a problem and I had a pit dug in the ground where I would pre-burn the logs to coals and the add them to the smoker.  You could buy some cheap "grill" at ASDA, Pound Stretcher or Wilkinsons and pre-burn your logs on that and then add them as and when needed.  Being this time of year you may struggle to find one.  Maybe try that well known auction site and pick up a bargain there.  Now how many other folks would have mentioned Pound Stretcher? :icon_biggrin: U.K. Group! Thumbs Up Good luck.  Keep Smokin!


post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 

... so you're basically saying make my own charcoal ???  Perhaps you could give a little more detail as that sound a great idea - I have a BBQ which is 3 ft long by around 18 inches which I could burn them in but need to know the timings, what it should look like etc....

post #9 of 15

Hey Mark.  Not your own charcoal.  Since being here  in the U.K. I have seen a couple shows on tele about folks makin charcoal.  From what I saw that requires a whole new skill set.  You would think it would be easy but these folks burn wood all night under certain conditions and then it has to cool with NO air flow for about 24 hrs.  Not something you learn to do overnight from what I saw.  I used to keep 2-3 logs of mesquite burning in the fire pit for most of my cook.  As they burned down I'd add another log.  When the temp started to drop in my smoker I had hot coals from the fire pit  to add to the smoker.  Now I had mesquite logs running out my ears, so didn't matter how many I burned and didn't need.  You may not want to "waste" your stash.  I have another option for ya.  Start a 2-3 logs in your smoker.  When they burn down to good white hot coals, throw the meat on.  THEN, have some of your precious, hard earned, hard to get oak chopped down to say 25mm x 25mm x 300mm long and just add those from time to time as needed.  If they flare a little it should not matter.  They won't flame for long.  Hope this helps.  Keep Smokin!


post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 

Sounds good - could I use any old wood to start the burn as I still have loads left from when I had some work done on my Acer tree then add the Oak once the meat is in


Thanks for info


( 4 lengths home now - 4 to 6 ft long - will start sawing up into foot lengths for seasoning !)

post #11 of 15

Hi Mark, I would go with Danny's suggestions and save your precious wood. I had a go at making my own charcoal using an old oil drum ( You tube ) and although it was fun, the returns were quite poor especially if your wood supply is limited. Have a wander back when the guys are chipping the wood, they may let you take it away to save them some work or you could gather up some of the chip if you have space to dry it out ( spread thin on the garage floor for instance ) then you could bag it up and use that with charcoal.


post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 



Someone else has had the same idea as me and has been stealing my stash :police2:


Managed to get 5 or 6 logs home but popped out with the dod this morning and someone had been hacking at them with an axe and a couple had gone - however grabbed one more big one and hopefully get the other one tomorrow


... shouldn't have been greedy BUT :jedi:

post #13 of 15

:ROTF  Sorry Mark but I told you to "acquire" as much as you could get your hands on.  That other joker will probably just burn it in a fireplace.  THOSE WHO DARE WIN!  He who carries the biggest stick reaps the rewards!  :icon_biggrin:  You need to develop more of an American point of view:  "Kill 'em all and then let God sort 'em out"!  Sorry for your loss.  Keep Smokin!


post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 
....aquired a fair bit which should see me through next year. was picking up a bit each time I passed and there's still loads of smaller bits around so all is not lost....

...should have been quicker - I agree :-):-)
post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 

All cut up  and tucked away for the winter and a whole loads of sawdustcourtesy of my chainsaw welding Uncle....:sausage:





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