Is cherry wood safe

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Meat Mopper
Original poster
SMF Premier Member
Mar 30, 2010
Northern Maryland
My uncle works for a custom stair bulding company, and brought me home a whole bag of cut up cherry wood.  It has no glue or anything in it.  His boss told him that cherry wood has arsenic in it, is this true or false.  I smoked a ham with it, and it tasted good lol.  I am really curious now, i thought the only wood that had arsenic in it was pressure treated, and of course we dont smoke with that.  I have 3 hams, and a turkey to  smoke, so im curious.  Thanks everyone.
I have used cherry chunks and sawdust many times and I really like the flavor it imparts. Unless it has been altered in some way chemically I would use it - just my .02

No that cherry wood has Arsenic in and it's not good for anything but sending it to Florida and we have a special way of disposing of it here. It's legal here to burn it but only in smoker type incinerators thou. So let me know and I'll send you my address / I mean the adress to the incinerators place to get rid if it. I got your back buddy
Mike as they say if the wood hasn't been treated with anything since being cut from the woods its a great smoking wood. I use cherry a lot and actually have about a dozen cherry trees on the ground waiting to be cut and split up at the camp.


Please be advised that mballi3011 and I are the only ones who have your best interest in mind. We are also the only ones with access to the only two proper smoker disposal devices for errant pieces of cherry wood. The use of cherry wood during the process of smoking meat will impart a taste to the meat like no other wood used for the purpose of smoking meat.

I am sure the cherry wood disposal system that mball3011 has access to is adequate for proper use disposal of cherry wood, but I feel certain since you are an avid outdoorsman you would feel much better sending all that nasty cherry wood to me in Iowa for use disposal in a properly designed smoker devise   

Lol you guys are a trip!  Anyway the wood i get from the wood shop in not altered in anyway straight from the mill, they cut it down, and shape it.  I did a ham with cajun seasoning, and smoked it in cherry and it was the best ham i have done yet.  So thanks for all the quick responses.  I appologize for not posting much here lately, or being in the chat, life just got real busy.  I miss talking to you all, and have a Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year.
Cherry is a great smoking wood.It's not a native tree here in central Minnesota but I get it at one of the home stores and always have some on hand.

One of the best rib joints I have been to uses nothing but cherry for their ribs, Smoky D's in Des Moines Iowa and they do ribs right. Bill  
If its natural Cherry wood with no additives then use it....if it has be treated or your not sure its been treated, then i would be on the safe side and not use it.. Your call.

Big Lew BBQ
  Cherry wood is fine for smoking meat etc. BUT cherry pits can be toxic if enough are swallowed. I purchased a 40# bag for $5.00 locally and tried a small amount mixed with sawdust in some homemade pucks for my Bradley. Think you would have to use a lot of pits to be a problem & also think its the seeds that are toxic & not the pits themselves. Didn't notice any difference with the crushed pits mixed into the sawdust compared to the ones I made from cherry sawdust. For what its worth.

  I was told they sell the cherry pits for pellet stoves to heat buildings & they burn hotter than pellets. Any smoke goes out the chimney on such applications & does not come in contact with any food.

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