• Some of the links on this forum allow SMF, at no cost to you, to earn a small commission when you click through and make a purchase. Let me know if you have any questions about this.

Free wood


Joined Nov 7, 2015
I am one of those who uses 2 Kamado Joe grills.  In no way would I ever begin to think I am a top class smoked meats expert.  But, I'm totally happy with the smoked results I get from my KJs and my friends are always ready to help eat what comes out of them.   I use chunks I buy in bags.  Apple, misquote, pecan and some left over alder from wood working projects.

So here is my question.  I live in the western mountains.  Scrub oak, mountain maple and chock cherry are all around my home.  Seems like they should work and the supply is endless and FREE.  Any opinions.

pit 4 brains

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Group Lead
Joined Dec 16, 2009
Man has been using it for our entire history. It doesn't need to come in a bag for it to be good. I get all of my mesquite, other than lump charcoal, from downed trees during the summer thunderstorms. I let it season for a while, split and smoke, grill etc..

Gather wood that is not rotting or insect infested and cut it up as needed. If it is green, let it season as long as you need to due to your climate then use as needed..
Last edited:


Joined Sep 4, 2016
Definitely, main thing is to let it dry out. i wouldn't use any maple though, its smoke is bitter. but the oak should be great after a few weeks of drying out.


Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
Group Lead
Joined Feb 28, 2010
Choke cherry is fine, I think scrub oak has been mentioned as OK by a couple of users at SMF. Rocky Mountain maple is not one of the sugar maples, so I would not recommend using it, but If you are feeling adventurous try some on a piece of chicken and let us know what you think.


SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
Staff member
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
Joined Jun 22, 2009
I use scrub oak all the time. It grows in my yard.



Smoking Fanatic
Joined Jul 25, 2014
I use scrub oak, choke cherry, and persimmon off my place all the time.

I just cut it, split it, and stack it against my shop building to season under clear plastic sheeting. I leave about a foot of space between the sheeting and the wood so that moisture evaporated out by the sun can condense on the sheeting and then drain away from the wood. Picture a lean-to of sheeting over the wood pile and you'll have the general idea. I built a wood frame out of pallets and 2x4s that I stack the wood pile on so that it's off the ground then secure the sheeting on the frames

The cherry and persimmon are generally ready to use after about 2 months here in Oklahoma and oak (as well as the pecan I get from my uncle) after about 4 months. Left uncovered it's closer to 6 months and a year respectively.

Hot Threads

Top Bottom
  AdBlock Detected

We noticed that you're using an ad-blocker, which could block some critical website features. For the best possible site experience please take a moment to disable your AdBlocker.