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Ever used Birch or Poplar?

peter

Fire Starter
51
10
Joined Aug 17, 2006
Has anyone experimented with using Birch or poplar for smoke?

Most of our area is softwood like pine and spruce, but we do have a fair bit of Poplar and some Birch.

Buying bagged chips is pretty expensive and if I could use local grown wood, then I could keep the cost down.

Feedback?????
 

joed617

Smoking Fanatic
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Joined May 13, 2006
Peter .. Although not as soft as pine thay are still soft wood .. not very good for smoking meats ..

Joe
 

ranger72

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Joined Jul 18, 2005
Hi There Peter!

Welcome to the Boards!

I have never used Poplar for smoking so I can't speak for that particular wood; However here where I live White Birch is a common hardwood and I have used it many times in conjunction with Hardwood lump charcoal.

I use birch that has been seasoned for a year which makes the bark easy to remove (i prefer to remove the bark) and then i split it into small sticks and add it to my firebox.In my opinion it produces a pleasant, although mild,
smoke flavor and augments the use of the hardwood charcoal which can get expensive after a while.

I also use Oak, Apple, Maple, and Cherry when I can get it!

To get a more pungent smoke I add Chunks of Hickory which I have soaked in water overnite. Try it yourself and see what you think.

Just my two cents,

ranger72 :)

OTBS # 14
 

joed617

Smoking Fanatic
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Joined May 13, 2006
Thanks Ranger for that info ... Poplar not good .. but birch is good .. so much smoking and so little time.



Joe
 

Dutch

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Don't forget about the "Woods for Smoking" sticky as a reference. If the wood is not listed, it should be a clue not to use it.
 

peter

Fire Starter
51
10
Joined Aug 17, 2006
I did not look at the list quite that way. Now that you suggested it, I will look at each wood I can find in my area.

I am pleased to see that Birch is on the list, I will try it the next smoking experment.

Thanks for the replies. I am open for more feedback.
 

harbormaster

Newbie
3
10
Joined Sep 18, 2006
My stockpile of birch is not what it once was, so I use it sparingly. I find it to have the most pleasing aroma. I used some last weekend along with some hickory in a 22 hour butt smoke. I just love the smell of it. And to be honest with you, light a fire in your smoker and toss a piece of poplar on it. Let it burn, smell the smoke, and see what you think. I have a couple of polars that will need to come down soon, and I'm going to try it, as polar is similar to birch.
FYI, birch and poplar will become punky very fast, and need to be stored under cover, or preferably indoors.
 

bladebuilder

Meat Mopper
270
71
Joined Oct 6, 2014
Saskatoon wood. Is a member of berry trees also known as Serviceberries. They look a lot like blueberries, with a soft woody pit. Flavor in my opinion, is a cross between a blueberry and prune, with a nice tart finish.

I have seen the trees 25 feet tall, 4"  to 6" bases. It would in texture and hardness be similar to alder. Never used it for smoking.
 

cedar eater

Meat Mopper
156
17
Joined Jul 1, 2015
I burn a lot of different local woods in my outdoor wood fired boiler to heat my house, so I get exposed to lots of smoke. Poplar (quaking and bigtooth aspen) stinks and balsam poplar stinks even worse. White birch bark burns my eyes. Birch with no bark doesn't burn my eyes and I've heard that it's good for smoking, although I've never tried it. I would definitely try it before poplar. If you cut green birch for seasoning and don't plan to split it green, you might want to score the bark vertically, deep enough to expose light wood. This causes the bark to slough off sooner and helps keep the hardwood from getting punky.
 

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