I am new to smoking, so I have a question about some pecan wood I received. I have an uncle who gave my a bunch of pecan wood that has been sitting for about 8 years. The wood is from pecan trees that were used on a pecan farm. One guy there told me about the chemicals used while the trees were alive to protect from disease, bugs, etc. Does this now make the wood unsafe for smoking? Is all wood like this? Should I just not use it or can I just cut the outside off and use the rest of it? Any info would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
Pecan wood from farm question
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In my opinion any orchard wood you use (apple, pecan, peach etc) will have chemicals used on them at one time or another. I think your biggest concern should be if the wood is rotten by now. Eight years is a long time for smoke wood to sit in the weather, or under an overhang for that matter. The good thing is that any chemicals are most probably wash away, degraded by now.
It will be very light and crumbly in the most extreme case. The wood should have some weight to it and you should be able to split it with an axe or wedge and sledge hammer. Wood too dry will burn very fast and make a lot of heat instead of smoke. I don't know how to give you exact instructions but I normally look at wood under cover being good for at most 5 years. Wood in the weather will not last as long.
Try burning a bit in your smoker as a seasoning instead of as the main source of fuel. If it is too old it will make a good hot camp fire.
I am assuming the wood was cut and split 8 years ago. Properly dried logs will last longer, when you split wood it exposes more tissue to the weather and dries faster.
Go to the new member forum and introduce yourself so we know where you come from. Wood in SE Louisiana cures differently then wood in the cool, damp north.
Welcome to the site, I am sure someone else will chime in with a different opinion
The wood is actually in large chunks, not split. I will check out the wood and look for harder parts, then just test it. I will burn some to see how much smoke is produced. I got the wood outside of El Paso, Tx. As far west Texas as you can get. I planned on cutting it up as small as I could and use it like wood chips or sticks, not as the main source of heat. I use natural/lump charcoal for that. Thanks for all the help.
I have had oak before that was old like that and the inside was rotten but the outside was good I just split it and used the good stuff and the rotten stuff was used for starting fires and such since it burned quickly and was easy to start.