some wood questions

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Muskoka Smoker

Original poster
Oct 16, 2023
Hey all, its possible im over thinking things. I have a wood lot, answers may be the difference of buying wood vs free wood.

specifically what "cherry" bbq smoke wood is preferred -

I have access to (human eating) cherry fruit wood, limited for some $
Also, Black cherry (furniture, large tree) economically bought/split/dried. or limited free on my wood lot.
lastly, Pin Cherry, (scrub tree, bird berries) this is abundant and free. It grows first very abundantly on cleared areas of wood lot.

Also, I have a tone of large free beech wood, I don't hear many bbq using beech. Thoughts ?

I have a custom smoker with large burn box. I can very easily with room left over fit four plus 15''x8'' woods onto of huge coal bed.
Is splitting wood/ logs necessary if dry ?
Is bark an issue ?
should soaking the wood ever be considered

Thx all for your thoughts in advance !

- Greg
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I'm no expert on wood species, but I think the fruitwood would be preferred over the others. I think think bark is an issue if the wood is split/dry, the bark should be dry as well. I don't think soaking would be the way to go.

Have you tried procuring some of each and just burning it, and smelling how it burns? I've found I've enjoyed more foods I have smoked or cooked directly over a fire if the medium used smells pleasant to me. Sounds simple, maybe it is this simple?
Any version of cherry should work. Not sure which one you will prefer.
If the stick/log is big enough you will have to split it. I would split your example at least once. Maybe twice.
Split it first thing if you want it to dry quicker.
The bark will be a non-issue. It will dry with the wood.
Never soak wood.
I've never used any beech but have heard it works.
Beech works very well, no shrubs only trees for me.
Just get enough of each species to do a cook with it... Keep notes for comparison... I don't see any species mentioned that are a real no-no...
Thx all for your thoughts !

Ton of great points that has caused me to consider the amount of impact one smoke can vary from another. After all, its smoke.

I will experiment

As an Ontario/Canadian I guess I take sugar maple and beach for granted, so plentiful. Have only been using it for primary burn. Once I have my coals and meat goes on I was thinking I needed something "special".

Yesterday I did a short cook of a pork loin with Mulberry and cherry logs. It turned out great, but did I really feel the smoke was that different . . . not really.

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