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Bark or not

TulsaJeff

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I do not remove the bark unless it is loose or if it has any type of fungus, rot, etc. I will remove the bark or just not use that piece at all.

I have performed tests using mesquite, pecan, oak and hickory with bark and without bark and I could not tell a difference in taste, tenderness or aesthetics.

I decided that it is one thing that I would not worry about in my own cooking.
 

geek with fire

Master of the Pit
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Joined Aug 5, 2007
I think the only logical reason I have heard for removing bark before smoking regards any possible pestisides used on the trees. The theory is, removing the bark would remove contamination. I question the logic, but if you have concerns it's easily removed; especially if it is well seasoned.
 

hdsmoke

Smoking Fanatic
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Joined Aug 20, 2009
I know that there are claims of less ash with bark removed. Both in smoking and burning firewood as a fuel. If thats something you are concerned about you may think about it...but other than that i dont see how it could have much effect either way.

Im not even sure i buy the less ash argument either...just throwing that out there.
 

countryboy19

Smoke Blower
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Joined Jan 25, 2010
I only remove bark if it has a lot of mold on it, and then its only the bark that does have a lot on it. Normally the north side of a tree trunk will have more mold, and I'll only remove the bark that's really covered with it. A little here and there won't hurt because realistically you'll never get it all, so you have to draw the line at some point.
 

mballi3011

Epic Pitmaster
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I'm also with Jeff on this one. He should klnow what he's doing.
 

mgnorcal

Meat Mopper
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Joined Apr 7, 2009
I've had some bad smells from wood with bark on it, and I'll sometimes pre-burn the bark a bit before setting them in the smoker.
Given a choice, I'll take only bark-free heartwood.

Whether you believe bark can be bad or not, the effect will be pretty short-lived depending on your smoker. With a stick-burner it will go real fast and with charcoal too, but in an electric and at lower temps, the effects will linger.

The best answer is to test your wood - if you don't notice anything bad, then use it.
 

rickw

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I only remove bark if there is nasties on it.
 

coyote-1

Smoking Fanatic
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Joined Sep 14, 2008
If the bark's in good shape, I leave it on. And when it is in good shape, it does not come off easily....

If not in good shape, bark can easily be peeled off. And should be.
 

bagbeard

Meat Mopper
228
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Joined May 24, 2013
I live in Canada and burn wood for my main heat source.  Bark definately generates more ash than solid wood.  But it is such a small amount that i wouldnt think it would matter.
 

vince m

Newbie
26
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Joined Jan 9, 2016
had a friend take down a Apple tree and cut some up for me now I hear the wood can make you sick any truth to that?
 

pauleray

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Joined May 25, 2017
Thanks for the info. I tried smoking some grapefruit wood from a tree my neighbor had cut some limbs from and it left an odd taste on the meat. I am not sure why that would have happened, anyone with ideas? I was thinking I needed to remove the bark. Any feedback is most appreciated.
 

Weaverspitbbq

Meat Mopper
154
31
Joined Sep 7, 2019
I do not remove the bark unless it is loose or if it has any type of fungus, rot, etc. I will remove the bark or just not use that piece at all.

I have performed tests using mesquite, pecan, oak and hickory with bark and without bark and I could not tell a difference in taste, tenderness or aesthetics.

I decided that it is one thing that I would not worry about in my own cooking.
Mesquite bark has to be completely dry otherwise it gives a bitter taste
 

phathead69

Smoking Fanatic
475
290
Joined Dec 23, 2016
Mesquite bark has to be completely dry otherwise it gives a bitter taste
I wonder if this where the general idea has come from. If wood is stored exposed to the weather I have noticed that it can be really damp between the bark and hard wood if well seasoned. Maybe bark hold moisture better in most woods and creates an off taste for some people.
 

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