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Wood questions

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone, I am new to all this. I am getting an electric smoker in a couple days; an Old Smokey. I have some fruit trees that need trimmed very bad and was wondering about using the wood for wood chips. The trees are apple, which I know is good, pear and plum. The plum is the kind with the dark leaves. Also, what is the best way to make the chips? Cut them up wet and then dry them, or dry them and then cut them up? I am new to all of this and very excited to get going on all of it. I am really looking forward to making some great ribs. My brother-in-law uses this smoker and has made some really great ones.
post #2 of 8
First welcome to the SMF Forum.

Fruit trees are good, cut them and let them season (Dry). Make sure the plum is the fruit baring type and not the ornamental tree...

Also be sure to stop in the Roll Call Thread and introduce yourself...
post #3 of 8
First off welcome LLMc to SMF. You'll like it here cause there are abunch of good folks here that would just love to help you out with just about anythignto do with smoking. We really like to have newbies here because they can bring in a new propective to how things are done. There's nothing like a new set of eyes to give and new way to make things that little differant to make things alittle better. So I hope you know about the Qview here.
Here's a link to photobucket it's free and easy to download pictures. Then if your really new to smoking Look up the E-course.
It's also free and it will give you the basics of smoking. So after all of that you just need to go grab something to smoke and if you have any question just post them here and we will answer it quickly so you don't have any mishaps with your smoke.
Welcome To Your New Addiction
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 


Thanks for the replies. I did find the section that has almost all the answers about wood. One of my questions were answered there. I was just in a hurry as I am doing some serious trimming now. The trees have been neglected for probably 10 years of more. We moved here about 2 years ago. I'm still curious about how to dry the wood for an electric smoker. Chip it first, then dry; or dry it before chipping? Either way I"m sure I'll be buying my stuff for a while.

Thanks again,
post #5 of 8
I had some fruit bearing plum a few years back. It wasn't quite dry (seasoned) when I got it. It was smaller branches of no larger than 2" diameter and I finished the drying with it laying out in a sunny area for a few weeks.

I figured it was dried enough to smoke with by doing a hatchet chop test. I layed a few braches on a splitting block and gave 'em a whack across the grain. They broke easily, and were easy to slinter. I then took the splinters and broke them in my gloved hands and they snapped rather sharply...very brittle stage.

To chip them I used the hatchet after they were dried out, and just busted them up into pieces the size I wanted. I also peeled the bark off before using it, as I wasn't sure if it would cause a bitter smoke or not, being a very thin bark.

BTW, I found plum to be a very good smoke wood for pork ribs...much better than mesquite.

If you are wondering about soaking your chips, I don't anymore...it seemed to cause more problems for me than good. That's a part of smoke management, which you'll learn when you get started. Takes a few runs with every smoker to find out how they really like to smoke. Just come on back and post if you need assistance with getting a nice thin blue smoke from your new rig.

Good luck and good smokes!
post #6 of 8
Well I dont debark but cant hurt abit. All fruit wood good. Just let em dry good before using. Good Luck
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks again

Thanks for the comments and advice. I think I'll let the woods dry first and then chip them up. I've heard it takes a year to actually dry wood, is that the case? I've got stuff, apple, pear and plum, about 2-4" dia and I'm cutting into pieces about a foot or so long. I'm keeping it in my garage to keep it from the rain and dreaded snow.

post #8 of 8
I like to square my wood.Fruit tree bark is much thinner then say oak-nut trees.

If wood is cut in spring,my 2x4 inch or so chunks take 6 months on average.Great thing is after its seasoned you have it for year at least-if kept dry-good airflow.

Heres my woodchunk rack at garden house-,hickory,apple,peach,red oak,cherry,pecan

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