1. 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...

Discussion in 'Woods for Smoking' started by hoyoguy, Aug 10, 2010.

  1. Just wondering if there was any wood not to smoke with besides conifers, cedars etc?  Thanks in advance.  Tim
  2. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    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.
  3. Thanks.
  4. ak1

    ak1 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    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
  5. walterwhite

    walterwhite Smoke Blower

    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.
  6. dick foster

    dick foster Smoking Fanatic

    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.
  7. 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.

  8. shooterrick

    shooterrick Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    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: Sep 14, 2010
  9. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member


    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. 
  10. cliffcarter

    cliffcarter Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

  11. 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.

  12. ak1

    ak1 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Cedar is fine/ and it isn't![​IMG]

    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.
  13. pokey

    pokey Meat Mopper

    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.
  14. walterwhite

    walterwhite Smoke Blower

    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.

  15. 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?

  16. shooterrick

    shooterrick Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    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: Dec 31, 2010
  17. tucsonsmoker

    tucsonsmoker Newbie

     I just got done pruning my pomegranate tree/bush. Any information on on using that wood after it dries? 
  18. les3176

    les3176 Master of the Pit

    I belive you can use any type of fruit tree wood.
  19. hmmmm.. Now I'm wondering if Papaya would work?  Anyone???   
  20. tommerr

    tommerr Fire Starter

    Now here is a flyer for you. I have walnut trees in my area. How about using the nuts for smoking??