Green Hickory

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Meat Mopper
Original poster
Jul 16, 2006
NW Arkansas
Hi all. I guess we must sometimes experience the bad and the good. The pork butt I smoked yesterday did not work out. The one I did last weekend was awesome. I am now thinking it was because I used green hickory with the lump charcoal. I could never get the fire as hot as I wanted. I don't think it ever got over 240 degrees. The roast was between 7 and 8 lbs. After 13 hours in the smoker, the internal temp was at 170 degrees. So naturally you could forget trying to pull it. I also must of used too much wood. The taste was a little bitter. Nothing like the other one I smoked...even with the finishing sauce.
I also think after six hours in the smoker, I will not add anymore wood. Just the lump charcoal. I think if all you have is green wood, run to town and buy yourself some seasoned...

Trying a meatloaf today for the first time.......wish me luck....
I think Tulsa Jeff's standard reply would be that you had some creosote build-up on your meat from an incomplete combustion process. :)
Woody said it. Also, don't be too proud to finish that bad boy in the oven or the crock pot to get it to 200 degrees. That's the key for easy pulling!
I'm going to be trimming an apple tree in my yard. This post is a good indicator that I must wait long enough for the wood to be fully dried before I use it to smoke. Hang in there!


Sorry to hear of your mishap with the green hickory :( some woods are o.k. if there a little green, but for the most part not a good idea. I'd say if it was green mesquite, you'd be in trouble. Green mesquite will impart bitter flavors for years :shock:
Hi Steve,

I had a similar experience last weekend with some pecan wood. I was out of seasoned pecan and had some green that I had split into small splits about 3 weeks earlier. I decided to use some with a pork loin. Luckily, I was sitting outside by the smoker when I heard the steam escaping and saw a cloud of white smoke come out of my fire box. :shock: :x I grabbed some tongs and pulled the chunk out and dropped it in a bucket of water I had sitting there. I got mine out before it ruined the meat, but only because I was there at that moment. I certainly learned my lesson on dry wood versus wet wood though!
Hi Cajunsmoker.
I certainly learned my lesson. It had to be the Worst tasting butt roast this forum has ever seen. I am not kidding. It had a terrible taste to it. And when Jeff's finishing sauce won't help, you know you are in trouble..
I have plenty of hickory for next year now......hehe!! I won't use any green wood again...
So far I am really liking the gas conversion I did...
Talk at ya later, Steve
good informaton on green wood, I am in the process of cutting down some apple trees, I was going to use them this weekend, no better now
thanks guys
There is a lot of myths being spread around that you can't use green wood... Hog wash I say... All you have to do is burn it to coals first in a burn pit or similar and then shovel into the firebox on your cooker... Heck even works for green mesquite! :lol: :lol: :lol:

I had do to this once upon a time when I ran out of seasoned pecan...

I got a hold of some hickory wood that was green here a few months
back also. It was before I found out about this web site. I built this huge
fire in my firebox, which I have since learned is not necessary, and I had this thick dark looking smoke coming out of the stack. Needless to say
the meat did not turn out well at all. I have learned a lot from SMF ,now I
make sure the wood is seasoned,build a smaller fire , and try to keep
that thin blue smoke.
This might sound dumb, how can you tell if its "green". I buy my wood in like 20 # bags (except for my maple, bad storm last year, tree went boom) how wood I know that it was green.
Most commercially bought wood is seasoned. If you are getting it from an individual just ask how long it's been cut.
My wife said it was the best meatloaf she had ever get this...this was my very first one. A smoked meatloaf can not be beat...I have to thank meowey for this one. I have never ever liked baked hamburger with catsup baked on top of it...But this smoked version with the heinz 57 glaze is real meatloaf...I am looking forward to doing another one. The stuffed bell peppers were excellent too.
Hi CS, This particular hickory was cut the day before I got it...and maybe some that very morning. Way too Green...For me, I will never try to use green wood again...When I ruined and I mean ruined that chunk of meat, that is all it will take for me. When the finishing sauce won't help it either, you know you messed up. I can get seasoned just as easy...Live and learn they say.
Well James, I wish you could of stopped by and had a big ole slice of the pork butt I smoked with the green hickory. The look on yer face might of made me 10,000 dollars.......hehe!!
It was flat out terrible...and I ain't all that picky...
When it comes to my smokin wood, I am learnin to be a little picky....Keep on Smok'in my friend...
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