• Some of the links on this forum allow SMF, at no cost to you, to earn a small commission when you click through and make a purchase. Let me know if you have any questions about this.

Any woods besides conifers not to use...

hoyoguy

Newbie
20
10
Joined Aug 10, 2010
Just wondering if there was any wood not to smoke with besides conifers, cedars etc?  Thanks in advance.  Tim
 

mballi3011

Epic Pitmaster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
14,478
55
Joined Mar 12, 2009


I wouldn't use woods like pine, of course any treated lumber, and then make sure that the woiod is dry wet or green wood will build up on the inside of your smoker and thats not good. Now there's a section here on woods that you can use in your smoker. Use the wiki option.
 

ak1

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
2,374
70
Joined Feb 23, 2010
Pine, Spruce, Fir, Hemlock, Cedar...

Pretty well any evergreen is not recommended, simply because most of those woods have a lot of sap and will give off weird flavours when smoked
 

walterwhite

Smoke Blower
119
10
Joined Aug 16, 2009
I've heard elm is not good, though I've never actually tried it. My neighbor has Chinese elms growing like weeds and there is a large (American?) elm I need to take down so maybe I will.
 

dick foster

Smoking Fanatic
402
16
Joined Apr 24, 2010
All are conifers which he has already excluded. Conifers are basically all evergreen trees. Not necessarily always but as a rule of thumb.

I would say keep it to mostly fruit and nut trees like hickory, oak, pecan, cherry, apple, peach, apricot, pear,  etc. with maple and alder being exceptions. I don't think either of those are included as a fruit or nut tree.
 

stircrazy

Meat Mopper
295
12
Joined Dec 31, 2009
not that I would use it personaly, but why not Ceder?  the natives up here have used ceder for hundreds of years to dry meat and fish.

Steve
 

shooterrick

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Group Lead
2,035
18
Joined Jan 13, 2008
not that I would use it personaly, but why not Ceder?  the natives up here have used ceder for hundreds of years to dry meat and fish.

Steve
Planking and open air use of Cedar is a different animal than the closed concentrated method inside a smoker.  I have seen personally individuals who did not understand this end up in the emergency room from concentrated wood antigens in unsuitable species for smoking.  Even though you see green mesquite used in open air grills by chefs the use of not dry green mesquite can cause problems for sensitive individuals.  Stick to hardwoods and fruit woods.  They are safe and lets face it, why take a chance.
 
Last edited:

alblancher

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
Group Lead
4,166
62
Joined Mar 6, 2009
WalterWhite,

If your Chinese elm is the same thing we call Chinese elm,  groups of hard green seed pods that have a milky astringent sap I would definetly stay away from it. 
 

cliffcarter

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
Group Lead
2,244
234
Joined Feb 28, 2010

stircrazy

Meat Mopper
295
12
Joined Dec 31, 2009
Planking and open air use of Cedar is a different animal than the closed concentrated method inside a smoker.  

Stick to hardwoods and fruit woods.  They are safe and lets face it, why take a chance.
well this is why I am asking, they make a smoke house and use ceder in it..  so untill joining here I have always thought ceder was fine.  now is there a difference in the different ceder types?

I do use only fruit and a couple hardwoods so I am not taking a chance, just trying to learn more about why some woods are no good.

Steve
 

ak1

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
2,374
70
Joined Feb 23, 2010
Cedar is fine/ and it isn't!


Basically, in an open air smoke, or a short (time) grill, like planking, it's OK to use. In the enclosed atmosphere of a smoker you'll have problems on a long smoke.
 
well this is why I am asking, they make a smoke house and use ceder in it..  so untill joining here I have always thought ceder was fine.  now is there a difference in the different ceder types?

I do use only fruit and a couple hardwoods so I am not taking a chance, just trying to learn more about why some woods are no good.

Steve
 

pokey

Meat Mopper
268
16
Joined Jul 15, 2010
As a boater, I'm always running into teak and mahogany (well, not running into, but you know what I mean). Anyway, I believe these are both referred to as hard woods, but I'm assuming not suitable for smoking. Teak sawdust is considered toxic in the workplace.
 

walterwhite

Smoke Blower
119
10
Joined Aug 16, 2009
If your Chinese elm is the same thing we call Chinese elm,  groups of hard green seed pods that have a milky astringent sap I would definetly stay away from it. 
I don't think it is the same. The one here (near Chicago) has seeds about 1/2" across that have the seed in the middle like a bulls-eye with a fin around it. They're mostly like flat little disks.

-walt
 

stircrazy

Meat Mopper
295
12
Joined Dec 31, 2009
Cedar is fine/ and it isn't!


Basically, in an open air smoke, or a short (time) grill, like planking, it's OK to use. In the enclosed atmosphere of a smoker you'll have problems on a long smoke.
 

 
makes sence, I am going to have to ask my buddy.  his parent still smoke salmon in the traditional way, and from what I remember it is 3 days in the smoke house.  but the smoke house is a log frame with cedar brances all over it to make the walls and roof, then they just start a cedar fire in the middle and let it go....  maybe they are doing something different also?

Steve
 

shooterrick

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Group Lead
2,035
18
Joined Jan 13, 2008
As a boater, I'm always running into teak and mahogany (well, not running into, but you know what I mean). Anyway, I believe these are both referred to as hard woods, but I'm assuming not suitable for smoking. Teak sawdust is considered toxic in the workplace.
I would not use them for smoking.  Funny thing about mahogany.  It seems to be referenced both as a hardwood and also in Wikipedia as a relative to some Cedar species under softwoods.  I should have been more specific when mentioning hardwoods.   Most American hardwoods are fine if edible fruit nut bearing.  That said I would not select walnut for myself.  I just dont care for walnut.  It is a personal taste thing.

While I am not familiar with every species I understand many have used Alder, Hackberry, Elderberry, and even Mulberry.  I have used apple, cherry, crab apple, pecan, red and white oak, Hickory, and peach and pear.     
 
Last edited:

tucsonsmoker

Newbie
1
10
Joined Jan 28, 2011
 I just got done pruning my pomegranate tree/bush. Any information on on using that wood after it dries? 
 

tommerr

Fire Starter
61
10
Joined Nov 21, 2010
Now here is a flyer for you. I have walnut trees in my area. How about using the nuts for smoking??
 

Latest posts

Hot Threads

Top Bottom
AdBlock Detected

We get it, advertisements are annoying! (But that's how we keep the lights on.)

We noticed that you're using an ad-blocker, which could block some critical website features. For the best possible site experience please take a moment to disable your AdBlocker.

I've Disabled AdBlock
No Thanks