East Australian Wood for smoking?

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Original poster
Hi All,

wood used here on the east coast of Australia industrially is either eucalytus, cassia hard wood or pine soft wood.

I have no idea whether either of these is usable for smoking meats. Of course, the pine is out, but what about the other two?

Other timber used here is Sily Oak (Grevilia Robusta), White Cedar and Cyprus. The Cyprus is very aromatic, Sily Oak and White Cedar may be usable, but I have not dared to try yet.

Mind you, I just got a propane hot smoker the other day and tested it today on some salmon using very expensive Hickory chips.

The result was much better than the comercial hot smoked salmon I have tried so far.

Does any one have some information or even experience in using native Australian wood for smoking?

Cheers, Gerd
G'day mate, welcome to SMF.

Myself and others here, that live in the tropics, use mango, I know in Australia there is debate about using it, but it works fine for me, gives off a milder flavor than hickory, the general rule is if the tree produces fruit or bears nuts you can use it for smoking, that opens up the other aspect of smoking food, the adventure of looking for smoking woods, have fun, enjoy and post some Q-view.


thanks for that. Right now there is a thunderstorm on the horizon. Hope it is not too severe, just good enough that a Mango tree or two are up rooted.

I'l be on the lookout.

Our Macadamia trees are bearing nuts except for one of them. Will have a look at the chain saw in some ten to twenty years. The tree is a bit too small right now.

Once I get some results with our native wood, I'll post some pictures and may be a story too.

Cheers, Gerd

We haven't had a good thunderstorm  in 7-8 years, cyclones yes, we had a couple of medium ones this year, their always good for some downed trees, I don't know if I could wait ten years to try some macadamia, don't any need some trimmin'?

I forgot what you guys call the dump, (tip?) but that is a good source for wood if you are familiar with the leaves, also you might want to become friendly with a tree trimming service, exchange some smoked goodies for some wood.

I drive a scooter for work and carry a folding saw with me, when I see some branches alongside of the road waiting to be picked up, well, they don't call me a crazy American for nothing, see, I told you gathering wood can be an adventure.

Oh yeah, coconut shells are good too, especially with fish..., and banana leaves, wrap the fish in them, but I'm digressing.

Have a good one,


Now I have never used either of the woods that you are talking about but I know that there are some folks in here from Australia. Maybe if you do a search you can find them here.
Hi gene,

The thunderstorm did not eventuate. We here are in a valley with hills up to 2000 feet and valleys on the other side. The storm preferred thos other valleys. So, no luck here with up rooted mango trees.

With help and hints from people like you I will soon get the hang of the tricks of the trade. The dump and tree loppers are good options. I'll persue that.

And of course, I do not have to cut down the unproductive macadamia, just prune it. Shredding the pruned off parts should give me some wood to use after drying.

What do you think about also using the leaves? Might not be good as they could catch fire to soon.

The next thing I will try is to hot smoke pices of pork neck. The whole pice smoked here is sold as Gypsie Ham. I think I will start with 1 inch strips and then go up in thickness.

Coconut shells are not really easily available here, we just at the southern end of the sub-tropics. They don't really like it here. Banana leaves are a good idea. We have plenty of them in the yard.

It' just these little seemingly obvious tips I do appreciate most. Thanks.

Cheers, gerd
Hey Gerd,

I think you are right about the leaves burning up too quickly, it looks like you have a GOSM like me, I use 4-5 fist size chunks and a couple of the same sized chunks of lump charcoal (not beads) in the wood box, what we are looking for is thin blue smoke and not billowing white.

Another thing is don't trust the thermometer that comes with the smoker, they are not reliable, they can be taken off and checked in boiling water to see if it is accurate, mine is progressively worse as the temp increases, I installed a BBQ thermometer just below the original.


I think your Gypsie Ham might be what we call Country Style Ribs here, you can do a search for them and see, either way they are good.

Banana trees, yeah me too, we currently have four trees that are almost ready to cut, as for using the leaves we cut them in lengths of about 30-35cm, cut the center rib out and wash them, place them on the hot grill for about 10-15 seconds per side, they kind of curl up, but are still pliable and then tightly wrap our seasoned fish in them and hold them together with toothpicks, we cook our fish until it's 140°F (60°C), comes out real juicy and moist, try it, I think you will like it.

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