European White Birch Wood, good deal?

Discussion in 'Woods for Smoking' started by fire it up, Jun 3, 2009.

  1. fire it up

    fire it up Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I went to Pathmark today to grab a few things and pick up something that I saw there a week or so ago.
    Some white birch wood.
    I've never smoked with birch. According to the woods for smoking sticky thread birch is a medium-hard wood with a flavor similar to maple. Good with pork and poultry. Never smoked with maple either.

    Would this be (in your opinions) worth grabbing more of? They have plenty so I'm not worried about it disappearing on me, it cost $6.99.

    Going to remove the bark (I hear it can be rather bitter) and smoke with it sometime probably this weekend and see how things turn out but I was also curious as to whether any of you have used birch before and what you thought of it.
  2. meatball

    meatball Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    That looks like a pretty good haul for $6.99. I've never used birch. Wouldn't hurt to try it out before buying more if you're sure they'll have it around for a while.
  3. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Is that .75 of a Cubic foot labeled on there?
    I'd pass, but then again I got a yard full of wood. you should be able to get the local tree cutters to give ya wood for a six pack or two. Just a thought. :)
    Just for a reference that's $290 a face cord...
  4. fire it up

    fire it up Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Yeah it was .75

    My Uncle recently had a bunch of trees cut down, mostly all cherry so I grabbed a bunch of the good parts before they hauled it away. There was a birch tree they cut down but at the time I didn't realize I could smoke with birch so I didn't take any.
    One of the tree surgeons did tell me that he sells wood that they take, which is a double plus for them, not only do they get paid to cut the tree down but they charge to haul it away and then sell it, pretty smart.
    Didn't really even think to contact him about woods other than your standard store hickory and mesquite, thanks for the tip.
  5. alx

    alx Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I have never used.I think if it is something you like, it would be worth it.Please post results.I am always interested in new woods.
  6. rivet

    rivet Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I've heard it's good for smoking fish, but I've never tried it, since I can't get any. As ALX said, keep us posted!
  7. I used to burn a lot of fire wood, back in the day. We always passed up on the White birch as it is a soft wood that does not give of much B.T.U.s of energy. It also is a resinous type of wood. That doesn't mean that it is a bad smoking wood, we just don't burn that stuff around here.
  8. fire it up

    fire it up Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I'll definitely let you guys know how it turns out.
    I figure when I use it I'll do some chicken, some form of pork, probably some ribs and some beef, a chuckie perhaps that way I can judge the difference in all three compared to my normal hickory or apple.
  9. bought the same stuff in shoprite, removed the bark, and used it mainly for smoke, very nice smooth taste, for those that don't like a strong smoky flavor its great
  10. akhap

    akhap Smoke Blower

    Paper birch is one of the very few hardwoods we have available in Alaska... No one I know has ever used it twice for smoking. Even cottonwood is used extensively and it is a poor substitute for wood.

    Birch as was noted in another post on this thread has a fair bit of resin and creates all sorts of taste hot-spot issues. It is mostly very mild smoke, what little it delivers, with bad spots...
  11. Home Depot sells white birch in bundles.. I was thinking about trying some, now after reading Im not sure if its worth trying ..
  12. akhap

    akhap Smoke Blower

    It is our best firewood option and we burn quite a bit of it in the stove, but I will never burn another piece for smoke.

    Even if it did produce decent smoke and no hot spots it would still be very mediocre flavor-wise.

    Think of it as usable, but certainly not habit-forming! ;)

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