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sassafras wood question

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
our ups driver & i were bsing bout smoken he said he smokes alot of salmon with alder and would trade me some alder for plum. i've never tried alder so i agreed. he give a box with alder & sassfras mixed togather and i give him the plum.
now im not too sure which is which and am not sure i want to even use sassafras.
whats your thoughts.icon_question.gif
post #2 of 18
i've never used sassafras, but i have definitely heard first--hand accounts of people using it and loving it.

as for how to tell them apart, i don't have any idea how to do that, but i don't think you would have any troubles if you did them together - my suggestion would be to try the blend and see how it is or consult one of those pocket field guides, which might have some advice on how to tell them apart if the bark is still attached.
post #3 of 18
My dad told me that my granddad would mix sassafras with hickory when they smoked their hams, bacon, and anything else in the smokehouse. He said it would mellow the hickory out a bit. I've never used or eaten anything cooked with though.
post #4 of 18
Thread Starter 
very interesting
post #5 of 18
Sassafras is a wonderful smoking wood. It is great on beef and even better on pork. I love to use it on my Canadian Bacon I make. You should be able to tell the difference in the two woods just by looking at them. The sassafras will have a medium sandy color to it and if there is any bark left on any of it, there will be a redish ring between the bark and the wood. Enjoy!
post #6 of 18
I personally have never used sassafras but I have used alder on fish and it's kind of mellow and smooth not a heavy smoke flavor but good smoke flavor. If you can figure out how I'm saying it. Being a lucky guy here in FLa with a great wood store that just expanded their inventory I have the choice of about 10-15 differant woods. Hearing what pignit has to say I'm gonna get some sassafras on my next trip. I'll give you a report later.
post #7 of 18
I have used sassafrass before and it had a really unique mild sweetness....
post #8 of 18
I just happened to notice that Sassafras was on the woods that should not be used list that is on the sticky in the woods forum.

I don't know anything about it. Just wanted to throw that out there.
post #9 of 18
Sassafras contains Safrole oil, which has been shown to cause cancer in laboratory rats...

I still like me some sassafras tea though.
post #10 of 18


i have used alder and sassafras..the sassafrass is a wood that you should use use sparingly, as it is a pretty pundgent wood. it adds a good flavor especially to beef...as far as causing cancer standing around the smoker inhaling all that smoke gotta be worse than camel non filters
post #11 of 18
I agree, I mean really, I'm sure plenty of us hang by the smoker inhaling smoke, sipping beer, cooking fattys...not really all that health conscious. biggrin.gif
post #12 of 18
Hey now! Don't ya be badmouthin' beer!!! icon_eek.gifrolleyes.gifbiggrin.gif
post #13 of 18
I agree with The Dude, in that I've never used it either, and have read that you should NOT use it. I printed out Tasunkawitko's BBQFAQ file he sent me (301 pages!) and have started reading it from end to end. REal good stuff, so far I've gotten to it's the basics. BUT.....this morning I read the section on what woods not to use and besides sassafras, there was cedar, sycamore, elm, eucalyptus and liquid amber trees.

It did not state why, just said not to use them and people had reported unsuccessful smokes when they did.
post #14 of 18

By doing the math, according the studies that show that consuming safrole oil causes cancer, you would need to drink an equivalent of        24 gallons of highly concentrated sassafras tea a day for an extended period of time. The rats that got cancer were injected with large amounts of pure safrole directly into their abdomen. The conclusion, you would die of water intoxication before sassafras tea could possibly do any damage to you. Still, everything in moderation

post #15 of 18

I have drank lots of sassafras tea and like to smoke chicken with sassafras wood. Not bad on pork either. It gives a good flavor and nice mahogany color. Native wood to my area, East Texas. CF:usa: 

post #16 of 18
Good info!
post #17 of 18
Originally Posted by thestealth View Post

Sassafras contains Safrole oil, which has been shown to cause cancer in laboratory rats...

I still like me some sassafras tea though.


Remember this everyone, and make sure you don't share any meat you smoke with sassafras with your rats.

post #18 of 18

BBQ Pittmasters All Stars show revealed use of sassafras on Venison, Elk and other game meat.

It may even go well with Lamb. As for Alder wood it is best used with salmon and other type oily

fish. Will have to get some fresh saltwater species in order to try it on King Mackeral, Ling Cod,

and some other species. If you fellow smokers have used these let me know. I'm about to go

off shore out of Corpus Christi so need to know which "catch" I should concentrate on keeping.

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