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Original poster
Jan 2, 2011
Cold As Hell NY
Hi guys, just a quick question, my aunt does alot of wood working and i was wondering if i can use any of the wood that she uses for my smoker, i have read the other threads and its rec. only fruit/hardwood but she has things like ebony/ box elder/ red oak and other imported stuff, just looking for different flavors w/o the resin taste, has anyone used that b4?

thanks ryan

Now there's a list of woods here somewhere but I can't find it right this minute but someone will come along right quickly I bet the have it for you. Now the only wood out of the ones you mentioned is the red oak I know you can use. The main thing is that it can't have anything on it or in it either like finish or glue or anything like that.
I would say NO to most wood-turning exotics like Ebony, Bubinga, Padouk, etc.

That stuff will kill ya just breathing the dust in!

Red Oak is fine but it isn't an exotic wood.

There are lists of good smoking woods all over the place.

Just do a search "smoking woods".

If you happen to live in the tropics, none of the woods on that list, save acacia, are available.  If you find yourself over here, you can use mango as a replacement for apple on that list.  It has a mild, fruity flavor and works well on chicken and lighter meats.  Avocado also works very well.  It has a medium flavor.  Kinda' like a milder hickory.  It's a good "one smoke for everything" wood.  I'm also told that guava is good, but I haven't actually tried any yet (gotta find me a guava tree).

Box elder is really a maple. (AKA cut leaf maple.) It also shares one undesirable trait with some maples: the branches break easily. That's why I took one out last year before it took out my neighbors house. I did save some of the wood for smoking and use it regularly.
Box elder & red oak are fine. Some of the other stuff, I would say no. There just isn't enough info to say whether it's safe or not as far as smoking is concerned. 

As Bearcarver says some of that wood dust can kill you. Now, that doesn't necessarily mean that the smoke is bad as well. But when you consider how many different woods are OK to smoke with it isn't worth taking a chance with any unknowns. Now, these woods are probably OK to grill with, but not to do a long smoke. Think planking salmon. It's OK to to use cedar to do a planked salmon, but you wouldn't want to do a smoke with cedar.
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