Different species of hickory trees?

Discussion in 'Woods for Smoking' started by rab, Jun 8, 2009.

  1. I have several different species of hickory in my area and scattered across some of my land. Are certain types better to smoke with than others. I'm told scaly bark, water hickory (aka bitterpecan), bitternut, nutmeg, and mockernut (red hickory) are the common species around here but I'm still learning how to tell most of them apart. Right now I've got a little over a cord of two different types of hickory that came from one of my neighbors place. I know its definitely hickory but all I've got is the bark to look at so I'm going to go back to his place and check out the other standing trees so I can see the leaves as well. My tree ID book should get me pointed in the right direction if I can compare the leaves. I'm just wondering if there are any species I should definitely stay away from or some that I should hunt for.
  2. rivet

    rivet Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    As far as my wife and I know, there's no reason not to smoke with any of the hickories. You're good to go.
  3. desertlites

    desertlites Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    yup hickory is hickory as far as I see.
  4. hog warden

    hog warden Smoking Fanatic

    The best way to find out is to try them, but my guess is you won't notice much difference in any of them. In Missouri, the two majors are shagbark and shellbark, but like you, we have 4 or 5 lessor known hickories.

    Then in the pecan world, are the southern varieties, which are larger, paper shell types and in the upper midwest, smaller natives. And a lot of grafted variations of both.

    And last, but not least, the hican. A hybrid of the two:


    My guess is selling hican chips is a smoking fad waiting for the right guy to come along to promote it.

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