What woods have you tried and DON'T like

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by plume-o-smoke, Jan 2, 2015.

  1. plume-o-smoke

    plume-o-smoke Fire Starter

    I see a lot of threads about what woods people prefer for various smokes. But I suspect there is a lot of confirmation bias. If you use hickory, you will probably like it, but that's not to say a bunch of other woods wouldn't work as well or better.

    So I'm curious, what have you tried and NOT liked? [Let's forgo the usual chatter about what woods you should never use, just what have you used and not liked.]
  2. I have never used a wood that I didn't like. I have used wood that I should have not used on that smoke. Like hickory on fish.

    Happy smoken.

  3. susieqz

    susieqz Smoking Fanatic

    i can't stand mesquite for anything. i think you have to be born in texas to like this stuff.
  4. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    I second that suze. No mesquite for this old boy. I have 2 bags of the stuff though. Maybe I will give it another shot sometime. On second thought, nope.
  5. Do you know why Texas is famous for their mesquite BBQ??? The other choice is cactus.

    Happy smoken.

  6. bluewhisper

    bluewhisper Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I'm OK with the mesquite, depending on what I'm smoking. I wasn't crazy about oak because it's intense, but I suppose in light doses it would be all right.
  7. susieqz

    susieqz Smoking Fanatic

    i wish i liked mesquite. i'm now in new mexico. it's considered a trash tree. a destroyer of pastures. you could get as much as you want for free.

    if you are willing to take out the roots too , ranchers will pay you good money.

    i just bought some quality cherry pellets. i'm getting very little smoke taste. is this just cherry, or is my smoker being stupid again?
  8. Cherry is pretty lite and hard to keep going. A lot of people mix cherry and say oak or something.

    Happy smoken.

  9. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    I have never used pellets but I have used cherry and found it to be pretty strong. It adds a very nice red color to things. I just don't think those pellet grills give much good smoke. I'm trying to remember if you got an amnps or not. I hear they are what you need to get real smoke in those.
  10. susieqz

    susieqz Smoking Fanatic

    hmm, 2 opposite opinions. thanks, guys.

    yeah, this traeger gives little smoke in general. i just got the amns. i'll try it n see what happens.

    so far, i do get pretty good smoke taste from mixed hard woods tho, mesquite i tossed in the garbage.

     been smoking for just 6 months, so, lots to learn.
  11. crankybuzzard

    crankybuzzard Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Never, ever, use the wood from an outhouse door that came off a shrimp boat! :biggrin:

    Actually, I'm from Texas, been here all my life, and I ONLY use mesquite if I'm grilling a steak. Then, it's only a small chunk for a bit of flavor.

    Hickory, pecan, and oak are my go to woods for beef, pork, and chicken when cooking as whole muscle.

    Depending on the sausages I am smoking, I may use apple, cherry, or alder.
  12. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    There are different kinds of cherry as well. I don't know what I had though as I get my wood from scavenging quite a bit. Could have been choke cherry for all I know.
  13. susieqz

    susieqz Smoking Fanatic

    thanks, cranky. like i said, you're from texas, therefore strange. 

    thanks mostly for listing those you do like. i know there must be dozens of threads here about fav woods, but they are hard to find.

    gonna try hickory pecan n oak.
  14. crankybuzzard

    crankybuzzard Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    That's a good point! I buy my cherry wood as chunks from a guy that sells wood here in the DFW area, I've never asked what kind. Pellets are from the hardware store.
  15. I've used Hickory, Cherry, Apple, Pear, Hard Maple, Mesquite, Pecan, and Black Walnut. I've yet to try Oak but may at some point. While I'm not big on Mesquite by itself, I've used it mixed with other hardwoods and that's OK. I was brought into the wonderful world of smoking fish and game by a good friend many years ago and the rule of thumb he taught me was "Nutwoods and hardwoods for red meat or pork, fruitwoods for fish and fowl". While I don't strictly adhere to that, I use it as a baseline. The one wood I've mentioned that I absolutely did not like was Black Walnut. American Black Walnut is very prevalent where I live and I have a number of these trees on my property. Having cut up a wind damaged tree for firewood one year, I decided to save some and let it season out to try for smoking wood...BIG MISTAKE! Made for some of the most bitter tasting meat I ever had. I initially thought because they're in the nutwood group that it would be good, but found out otherwise the hard way. Might be alright to mix small amounts in with other hard or nutwoods, just too darn strong by itself. My Sister in Law has a place in southern Alabama and she has Pecan trees on her property. She had a tree taken down a few years ago and brought me several boxes of chunked up limbs for smoke wood. She also brought me a huge bag of the shells as she collects plenty of the nuts each year. I mix some shells in with Hickory chips on occasion and it makes for good smoke.

    Here's a list of woods some of you may find helpful....


    I have personally never tried it but when my son lived in Maine, a State Biologist he was working on a project with told me that he used Lilac wood for smoking fish quite often as it was one of his favorites.

    Last edited: Jan 5, 2015
  16. bluewhisper

    bluewhisper Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Has anyone used bush honeysuckle? It's a major invasive species here, growing to about 15 feet and choking out everything else. I organize removal events in parks, where volunteers remove tons of it - literally, one truckload of chips is 4 tons.
  17. susieqz

    susieqz Smoking Fanatic

    thanks. burt. great reference. i saved it.
  18. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    On steak and shrimp.... Mesquite is very good as long as you only smoke the food for 10 minutes...

    Elm sucks.... has a nasty flavor....
  19. Oh God... Hope you didn't try smoking with Elm, that's nasty wood! I burned some in an open campfire one time and thought it smelled like PEE!!

  20. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Yep... cut down a BIG elm.... save the wood and smoked a turkey on my big spit..... That was a terrible tasting turkey..... I think we threw it out.....

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