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Silver Maple, Black Walnut and Apple

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Greetings to All!

I just came into an almost limitless supply of silver maple wood. One tree is down, it stood around 75 feet tall. The next one is still standing, but may come down in a year or two.

On my property, I have several black walnut trees that I will be taking down, if I can beat the wind...

A friend has a neighbor with apple trees that he trimmed and has a lot of branches that he was going to burn in a pile.

Today, I invested in a chain saw. Already have a maul, axe, etc.

For the most part, I will be smoking poultry and fish. Some beef and pork once in a while. I try to avoid beef and pork myself, since my doctor told me to when I got to have an unscheduled lengthy vacation with him.icon_sad.gif

This weekend is a rare exception, I couldn't resist the baby back ribs at our new grocery store. But, since my cholesterol is steady at 119, I think I can do it.

I like to mix the woods that I use. My biggest question is which combination would be best for poultry? .. Fish? I can always buy other woods, but as long as I have so much for just the labor...

Should I use the stronger walnut first then maple or apple or the other way around?

I'll have much more maple than either of the others.

Many thanx.

post #2 of 14
Nice thread. I don't know about anyone else here but I really can not tell the difference of the smoky flavor except for mesquite. I guess that is due to being a city fella. I know someone else here will be along to give you a better answer but I swear, I can not tell the difference yet. I mean, I taste smoke flavor but not the flavor of the smoke, if that makes sense. Well, good luck.
post #3 of 14
I wouldn't use to much walnut at once. It is a very strong flavored wood. For poultry I like fruit woods or a mixture of oak and fruit wood.
post #4 of 14
Those black walnut are worth alot of money in lumber if they can still be used for that. Black walnut are extremely slow growers which is why the lumber is worth so much plus it is a beautiful wood for furniture. You may want to look into that.

For poultry I use oak primarily and then some apple or cherry as a flavor wood. Cherry is a subtle flavor but makes for a very dark bark almost black if enough of it is used.
post #5 of 14
One thing I do know about is using chainsaws----BE CAREFUL !

post #6 of 14
The sugar maple will work great with poultry. The apple is also great for poultry. Walnut is very strong and should be mixed with other woods to cut the flavor. Here is a list of woods I picked up somewhere.
Woods for smoking:
Acacia is similar to mesquite but not as strong. This wood burns very hot and should be used in small amounts or for limited amounts of time.
Alder has a light flavor that works well with fish and poultry. Indigenous to the northwestern United States, it is the traditional wood for smoking Salmon.
Almond gives a nutty, sweet flavor that is good with all meats. Almond is similar to Pecan.
Apple is very mild in flavor and gives food sweetness. This is good with poultry and pork. Apple will discolor chicken skin (turns in dark brown).
Apricot is great for poultry and pork. This wood is similar to hickory but is sweeter and milder in flavor.
Ash has a light, unique flavor. This wood burns fast.
Black Walnut has a heavy flavor that should probably be mixed with other wood because of the bitter taste it can impart.
Birch has a similar flavor to maple. This wood is good with pork and poultry.
Cherry has a sweet, mild flavor that goes great with virtually everything. This is one of the most popular woods for smoking.
Chokecherry has a bitter flavor and should only be used in small amounts for short period of times.
Citrus woods like lemon or orange have a moderate smoke that gives a light fruity flavor that is more mild than apple or cherry.
Cottonwood is very mild in flavor and should be used with stronger flavored woods. Avoid green wood.
Crab apple is very similar to apple wood and can be used interchangeably.
Fruit, like apple, apricot or cherry, fruit wood gives off a sweet, mild flavor that is good with poultry or ham.
Grapefruit is a mild wood that produces a good, smoky flavor. A good wood for any meat.
Grapevines make a lot of tart smoke and give a fruity but sometimes heavy flavor. Use it sparingly with poultry or lamb.
Hickory adds a strong flavor to meats, so be careful not to use to excessively. It’s good with beef and lamb.
Lemon is a mild wood that produces a good, smoky flavor. A good wood for any meat.
Lilac produces a good supply of mild, sweet smoke. A popular wood for smoked cheese, but also good for poultry and pork.
Maple, like fruit wood gives a sweet flavor that is excellent with poultry and ham.
Mesquite has been very popular of late and is good for grilling, but since it burns hot and fast, it's not recommended for long barbecues. Mesquite is probably the strongest flavored wood; hence its popularity with restaurant grills that cook meat for a very short time.
Mulberry is sweet and very similar to apple.
Nectarine is great for poultry and pork. This wood is similar to hickory but is sweeter and milder in flavor.
Oak is strong but not overpowering and is a very good wood for beef or lamb. Oak is probably the most versatile of the hard woods.
Orange is a mild wood that produces a good, smoky flavor. A good wood for any meat.
Peach is great for poultry and pork. This wood is similar to hickory but is sweeter and milder in flavor.
Pear is similar to apple and produces a sweet, mild flavor.
Pecan burns cool and provides a delicate flavor. It’s a much subtler version of hickory.
Plum is great for poultry and pork. This wood is similar to hickory but is sweeter and milder in flavor.
Walnut has a heavy, smoky flavor and should be mixed with milder flavored woods.

Woods to AVOID would include: cedar, cypress, elm, eucalyptus, pine, fir, redwood, sassafras, spruce, and sycamore.

post #7 of 14
Nice list dave, more informative than the sticky in this sectionPDT_Armataz_01_37.gif

I would totally AVOID the walnut for smokeing, tried it once.

as said ,use the liter flavored woods for fish and bird. But I do like skeet wood for birds
post #8 of 14
Thanks, I wish I could take credit. I pulled it off the web a while ago. It has been a very good reference for me since I love experimenting with woods.icon_smile.gif
post #9 of 14
Very nice post Dave. The maple they are referring to is sugar maple I am sure. Silver maple I am not so sure about. I have tons of it here and never tried smoking with it. It's a pretty soft wood for starters. I think I remember reading here awhile back someone had tried it and advised against using silver maple.
post #10 of 14
I have only tried Sugar maple. It is great.icon_smile.gif
post #11 of 14
Why would cedar be on the list of "do not use" woods? I've planked salmon with cedar before.
post #12 of 14
I tried cedar once. That was enough. It has a very bitter taste. I have used planks for chops and fish. I suspect the small amount of smoke from the plank gives you the essence of cedar unlike using it as the smoking wood.icon_smile.gif
post #13 of 14
Oh, OK. I get it.
post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 
Good point, 3montes, on the value of the trees. Three are about 30 years old and I'm having a tough time deciding what to do with them. I'd like to keep them, but the people I bout the house from planted them right in the row of lilacs. They now shade the lilacs, so there are no blooms. Three are on the property line and my neighbors are rejoicing at the idea they will be going. The largest one, very old, half dead. It has to go since part of that could land on the house if it ever decided to. I'll have to find someone to check them out and see if they are usable for lumber.

I used some of the maple today on some baby back ribs (qview in a thread yet to be started). They turned out great.
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