Sweet Magnolia

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Smoking Fanatic
Original poster
OTBS Member
May 13, 2006
North East
I have a Magnolia tree in the front yard and as luck would have it a truck backed into it knocking down a large branch. Has anyone ever used magnolia in smoking and if ya did.. how was it?

Never used it but I say go for it, let us know. It's funny that your excited about having a tree knocked down by a truck in your front yard.
Some mushrooms are good to eat, some are poisonous.

Some trees are good to smoke with, some are poisonous like the Bittersweet.

Do some research before throwing caution to the wind when using unusual or ornamental trees for smoking wood on food.

As for the Magnolia tree, I don't know if it can be used or not.
Hey Riz, good thing they didn't back into the house ...

Hmm interesting, So if I do use it I'll have to get an offical taster first ........ any takers?

I surfed the net and didn't find anything about using this type of tree for smoking..

Hey, Joe, Bob, Riz check out the sticky at the top of this thread. And add that to the fact that Magnolia is not mentioned or even disallowed in all the websites I visited as well as the several authoritative books I own on the subject I would hazzard a guess that the Magnolia tree does not produce suitable smoking wood. I could be wrong but would rather be safe!
Just my $.03!

Now we gotta find out "WHY?" :mrgreen:
Hey guys,

I wondered about magnolia trees also since we have a lot of them around here. I found that the magnolia is very closely related to the yellow poplar and this is what was said about the poplar:

"Other Woods
1. Do I really have to state in print not to use construction lumber scraps in your smoker or barbecue? Well, here I go. Most of these scraps are resinous pine or fir; some are treated or contain glue, like plywood. All are useless for cooking or smoking purposes. And, under no circumstances should you grill or smoke over woods such as cottonwood, willow, pine, or poplar. Stick to the woods listed below and youâ€[emoji]8482[/emoji]ll produce great heat and fragrant smoke. And when you consider smoking foods, think of the wood as a spice to add flavor instead of just being a fuel."

This info was at this web address:


I really didn't think it would be much good since they are very nearly evergreen. Some leaves turn brown and fall off but they are really not a deciduous tree.
Monty and Rodger, I knew I could count on your guys. I didn't know if it was a hard or soft wood but according to Rodger it's in the Poplar class and that to me is soft wood. So looks like I'll have to cut it up and toss it out. Thanks Guys for your input, I knew someone here would have an answer.

Here is what I found about magnolia trees. Probably not a good idea to smoke with.
Toxicity: The bark and leaves can be irritating (64), while the wood has been reported to cause bronchial asthma and rhinitis (40). Its also in the popular family, which doesâ€[emoji]8482[/emoji]nt smoke well Cest la vie!
Hey Up in Smoke, Thanks for the info.. I couldn't find anything about it .. you did well.. Thanks again

I know its very late haha, this was posted 10 years ago. But i have a magnolia tree in my back yard. Its very nice to smoke, smooth. I smoke both the leaves and the flowers, both have different tastes. When its all dry and ground up, it has a herbal kind of smell. Its best when its mixed with other things but theres no harm in trying it on its own
I know this thread is over a decade old but in case others come across it doing research as I did, cajunsmoker's comment "And, under no circumstances should you grill or smoke over woods such as cottonwood, willow, pine, or poplar." is not relevant to magnolias.

Please note that Sweet Magnolia and it's cousin Tulip Poplar (aka Yellow Poplar or Tuliptree) are NOT part of the cottonwood, willow, and poplar family.  Poplar/Aspen/Cottonwood (which are mostly all names for closely related trees of the Populus  genus, as well as willow, are in the Salicaceae family. Sweet Magnolia (Magnolia virginiana) and Tulip Poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera) are in the unrelated Magnoliaceae family of trees, so information on cottonwood, willow, or poplar (and pine) is irrelevant, which isn't to say that Magnolias are necessarily any better for smoking.

Also, for reference, the updated link that the quote comes from is:


It does not mention magnolias.

Tuliptree wood burns to a white ash not a coal, so it may not work well for smoking but should be fine for some kinds of cooking and I use it frequently because they tend to fall in my yard :-\ .  Some sources I've seen suggest that its smoke adds a somewhat sharp spicy flavor, I've noticed a somewhat sharp smell when cooking.
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