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GaryC from Illinois says hello!

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Hello everyone! My name is Gary and I love to BBQ! I use only charcoal and have a Chargriller Pro. I have been smoking meats for about 3 years now. My favorite wood for smoking is hickory but I joined this forum to explore other woods. My wife is from the Philippines and in a few years I plan to move there for my retirement. My greatest question about the whole thing is this, what kind of wood could I get there to smoke with? Any ideas?
post #2 of 17
Welcome to SMF. Glad you joined us.
post #3 of 17
Found this:

Most Filipino barbecue involves grilling, not smoking, with the exception of lechon, a whole young pig. There's not much data on the woods used. Do not use mango wood, as it contains irritants and some people are allergic to the resins from mango, which is related to poison ivy. Your best bet is to use coconut shells. I used them to smoke-grill freshly caught snapper on Ambergris Caye in Belize, and the result was delicious.

post #4 of 17


Welcome to smf, my fellow Illinoisian
post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 
I have been to PI many times and Lechon is wonderfull! I never tried coconut shells before, I wonder what it would taste like with pork. What I am wanting to do is to build myself (or have it built) a brick smoker when I move there. I love Philippino food very much but I cannot imagine the rest of my life without pulled pork and ribs. If Mango is out what other kinds of fuit or nut trees in PI might be used?
post #6 of 17

Welcome to SMF, Glad to have you with us. This is the place to learn, lots of good info and helpful friendly Members.

For those of you new to Smoking, be sure to check out Jeff's 5 Day Smoking Basics eCourse.
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I Would Highly Suggest Reading these posts on Food Safety by bbally.

This thread will tell you basically everything you need to know and the man explaining it is
both a ServSafe Instructor and a HACCP Instructor.

Here you can get the 2009 USDA Food Safety Guide from his site.

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post #7 of 17
Welcome to the SMF Gary, We are glad to have you onboard
post #8 of 17
Maybe some nut trees, but I don't think any fruit trees, like apple & pear----Too hot a climate.

post #9 of 17
welcome to the forum from another Illinoisan
you will be glad you came biggrin.gif
post #10 of 17
Hi Gary,

Welcome to SMF, as you can see I live in the "tropics" only down under, I use mango wood all the time without any ill effects (I'm sooo allergic to poison ivy or oak all I have to do is see it and I get a rash), also the majority of our locally produced lump charcoal is mango, after I learned that I now use guava, Med almond, rambuton, and cunette to smoke with along with the lump mango. I have breadfruit, passion fruit, dragon's eye, logan and some other tropical fruit woods that I don't know the names of in English split and drying, I'm also looking to score some citrus.

As you can see your move to the Philippines will be a new adventure in your smoking experience with plenty of 'exotic' woods to try, just check out the local's fruit stands and ask them for any dead branches they have off of the trees that produce their fruit or check out the dump or a tree trimming service.

I hope that helps,

Thanks Bearcarver for the tip on coconut, never thought of that, I'll be trying that soon.

post #11 of 17
Welcome GaryC and you are one lucky guy to be able to retire in the Phillipines. I wish I would have done something like that. I have been there a few times. Good Luck..
post #12 of 17
Thread Starter 
Right on! I was hoping that Mango would work and I see the forum is about split on the idea. So I will give it a try. If it works and I like it, great! If it doesn't then I will try something else.
Thank you all for your suggestions and your welcomes. It seems I have found a good place to hang out.
post #13 of 17
Yeah, I don't want to say anyone is wrong, but when I got into smoking my first smoker was a WSM, after I bought it and read I needed to use smoke woods I found a dead mango tree on my in-laws property and cut it down. It was already dry, I cut it up on my chop saw and split it, in so doing I was covered with saw dust and no reaction, now when I lived in California the neighbors would burn their poison ivy and oak and I would get a rash from the smoke drifting over on me, it was still green when they burned it, my mango was dry, very dry, I used it for a year until my other varieties of smoke wood were ready and my WSM smells so good when I walk by it, even if it isn't lit.

I think you will like it, not having any American wood to compare with I'll say it is a medium flavor, we really like it with chicken, the almond being the strongest with the others being mild.

Our Aussie friends say we shouldn't use mango because it has white sap, but so does fig and it is an 'approved' smoke wood, we say don't use eucalyptus, but they say it's great, ...I have some breadfruit wood drying and it has white sap, can't wait to try it, maybe it will work, maybe not, like you said if I don't like it, well at least I have tried it.

Another benefit to living in the tropics is banana and ti leaves, they both have flavors, ti being the strongest, but the real benefit is fish wrapped in them is so moist.

post #14 of 17
Take what I posted with a grain of salt. I only posted what I found on the web, and we all know how reliable that can sometimes be. I just figured it had to do with the question, so I posted it.icon_redface.gif

post #15 of 17

No worries mate, can't wait to try the coconut shells, thanks.

I build custom cabinets, but man I can appreciate your skill at carving those bears, makes me look like an apprentice.

post #16 of 17
Welcome to the SMF forum, You came to the right place. Good people and good info.
post #17 of 17
Thank You,
Maybe that's your next step. I made custom cabinets for 18 years, immediately preceding the chainsaw carving. Up until then I never owned a chainsaw, because I always said, "Nobody would buy cabinets from a guy who had a chainsaw in his toolbox!"

Thanks again,
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