contaminated apple wood?

Discussion in 'Woods for Smoking' started by northwest bbq, May 8, 2012.

  1. I just scored on two apple trees from a friends place. I chopped them up and brought them home to stack. What's weird to me is it smells a little fishy or odd. Come to find out the trees were growing in a drain field. I don't know what fresh cut apple wood smells like anyway but a trailer of this stuff is kinda strong. Is it safe to cook with in a stick burner once it's seasoned? Does the wood smell this way because of where it was groing? Any help is greatly appreciated. It was a lot of work but I don't want to cook with bad wood.
  2. nwdave

    nwdave Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    The wood is very suspect.    Certainly the wood would absorb it's liquid through the root system as well as through the leaf system.  Personally, I'd be looking for a way to get rid of it.  It's just not worth the possibilities.... but then that's just my personal opinion.
  3. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Whoa,  can you imagine what the apples tasted like if the wood stinks??
  4. Thanks guys, I have been considering taking it to a friend who could use it in her wood stove next winter. I did talk to the owner of an apple orchard here in washington today and he said drain fields are no problem at all especially if cookin with the tree. My nose is what's keepin me from unloading it.

  5. Hey NWDave, I think I work about a stone's throw from your place. I'm an electrician at BP refinery, I live in Sedro-Woolley.

  6. nwdave

    nwdave Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Uh, this is getting freaky.  I use to work for an Electrical Contractor out at the BP Refinery, PowerTek.  I retired from the working scene a couple years ago, and haven't looked back.  Certainly don't miss climbing the towers.

    Your stone's throw would have to be a real toss, since you'd have to get the stone over Chuckanut Mountain.  No fair throwing it while you're on I-5, passing through Bellingham.

    Back on topic:  I still wouldn't trust the wood, no matter what the Orchard owner said.  Your nose is your best weapon in telling you, this wood ain't right.  Drain fields by definition are varied in their source: Residential, Farm or Commercial/Industrial.  They're counting on the soil and amendments to purify the liquid being discharged through the system into a "safe" product.  That is a risk I'm not willing to take.  I don't know about Skagit County but up here in Whatcom County, they don't like you planting your vegetable gardens in a residential drain field.

    Remember the joke we like to use out at the BP Refinery, we don't eat the berries or the deer that populate the Refinery.  There's a good reason for it.

    I have a friend who owns and builds septic systems here in Whatcom County.  I'll bounce your concerns off of him and see what he thinks.  He'll want to know what type of drain field it is though:  Residential, agricultural (thinking something like a dairy farm or the like) or what......

  7. If you smoke with foul smelling wood or a dogs turd, the meat will pick up that foul smell.

  8. Yes Boyd, simple and true, thanks.

    NWDave, the drain field is residential and I've decided to take the wood to a friend to heat her place. BTW I've been reading in these forums here and there in the past year and only saw one post from WA until I joined yesterday. A little freaky. I work for Mills Electric and we are building the 2 new units at BP.
  9. Good choice!
  10. nwdave

    nwdave Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    I hear BP is getting ready to return to normal ops REAL quick.  Glad to hear the work picture is picking up again.  It's been a long dry spell for many heavy industrial electricians.  I'm glad I don't have to play the 5 year work cycle game anymore.

  11. You made the right choice!

    But, did you know that there's an Icelandic smoked meat (lamb or mutton) that's called Hangikjöt that's smoked with sheep's dung! YUCK! LOL

  12. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Just for info purposes.... Dried Cow Patties are the number one cheap cooking fuel in India, 1.2 Billion people can't be wrong...JJ
    Last edited: May 10, 2012
  13. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Just how many fat people do they have in India and Iceland? The new Alblancher diet   cook everything with cow or sheep dung and drop pounds fast! 

  14. LOL! :biggrin:

  15. mneeley490

    mneeley490 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Reading this thread has gotten me all paranoid.

    I smoked some babybacks yesterday with some Weber brand cherry chunks. The wood itself didn't smell bad, but when it burned, it put out an odd smell. I really was not happy with the way the ribs turned out. No smoke ring at all (first time!), and even though I did my usual routine with mustard, regular rub, apple juice & cider vinegar spritz, 2-2-1, the ribs just tasted flat. Good thing I had my zingy bbq sauce on hand, or they might have been inedible.

    So the only thing I did differently was use this particular cherry wood. Bought it a while back from Amazon & it isn't worth shipping back, so I tossed it today. I'll use more reliable wood next time.
    Last edited: May 11, 2012

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