Woods For Smoking

Discussion in 'Woods for Smoking' started by dutch, May 21, 2006.

  1. big10fan

    big10fan Fire Starter

    Apple is definitely my favorite, but hard to come by.  Have had good results with Oak.  Have a few Ash trees on my property and will try them soon.  Probably with something small in case it doesn't turn out.
  2. I get great results using what we call Manitoba Maple up this way. I believe in the Dakotas it's called Box Elder...quite mellow and lends a "bacon" flavour to the finished product.
  4. cliffcarter

    cliffcarter Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Cottonwood and "poplar", which is a common name for aspen, are used successfully in BBQ. Neither are the best cooking woods but can be used.

    The origin of the BBQ wood list is found here-


    Every BBQ forum and website uses it or some version of it, some sites have even done updates and additions.

    I also take issue with a couple of statements at fiery-foods.com-

    Alder is also found in the northeast and used for smoking

    Oak may be used in Europe, but in many parts of Texas it is the wood of choice and considered by many to be synonomous with Texas BBQ.
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2012
  5. bbqmzungu

    bbqmzungu Fire Starter

    I can verify that guava, mango, avocado, and acacia are great.  Avocado is my current fave, but I think that's because I can't get my hands on acacia locally.  Another thread talked about coffee.  I'll have to try that one too as I'm surrounded by it.

  6. thsmormonsmokes

    thsmormonsmokes Smoking Fanatic

    Awesome screen name.  I climbed Kilimanjaro a few years back and I told all the porters that my name was Mzungu.  The name stuck.  They loved calling me that every time they saw me.
  7. garand555

    garand555 Smoke Blower

    Not all Poplars are Aspens ;)

    As for cottonwood, I have a whole friggin forest of the stuff behind my house, and I've not tried smoking with it yet, though I have been meaning too for over a year now. You aren't supposed to take the wood even if its dead and down, even though the dead stuff is getting to the point where it is adding to fire danger in a bad way. One thing that I've consistently read about cottonwood is that it should be very well aged if you are going to use it. I've used it to grill steaks to good effect, but grilling ain't smoking, and you can use woods for grilling that would taste bad or even make you sick if you used them in the smoker.
  8. cliffcarter

    cliffcarter Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    True enough, but I don't know if many on here would recognize a White(European)Poplar, my point being that most people call Aspens "poplar".
  9. garand555

    garand555 Smoke Blower

    Now I have to wonder if the Aspens that grow natively in high elevations around here are any good for smoking. I've used it for campfires, but never for any kind of cooking at all. I can get a decent supply of the stuff.
  10. thsmormonsmokes

    thsmormonsmokes Smoking Fanatic

    I've wondered that for a while too.  I've burned it in campfires plenty myself, and it has a bad smell to it.  I'll go for pine over quakies any day of the week because quakies stink when they burn.

    But a few years ago I was on a snow cave campout where it was -10* F once the sun went down, so I had no choice but to get right in the smoke to stay warm.  It had a very acrid smell to it, but my clothes smelled like bacon for a while after.  Really good smelling bacon, too.  

    So I've been wondering about that since then.  I just don't want to go to the effort of a smoke to find out.  

    I've also been wondering the same thing about scrub oak and scrub maple.  The lower elevations of the mountains I live in are covered in that stuff.  
  11. bbqmzungu

    bbqmzungu Fire Starter

    The problem isn't getting them to call me mzungu (basically "white foreigner" for those not traveled in East Africa).  The problem is getting them to call me anything else.

  12. garand555

    garand555 Smoke Blower

    Never tried scrub maple, but I have just under a half a cord of Gambles (i.e. scrub) oak. So far, I really like it. I normally test new stuff out on hamburgers because it's cheap and quick. When I was deciding if I was going to go back and get more, all I had was some green stuff, so I used some well cured apple for the heat and to prevent billowing white smoke and threw some of the oak in with it and it worked great. Since then, I've obviously gone back and cut more of the stuff and tried some burgers with some straight (I found some cured) scrub oak and it was still excellent. I was making dinner for myself and my disabled cousin about a week ago, so I threw on a pot of beans in the morning, found a 2lb pork loin and dumped a hambone in a pot of green chile. I smoked the pork loin up to 150, let it rest for a while and my cousin and I almost finished the entire loin without anybody else helping. I'm thinking about trying my hand at beef ribs this weekend with it.
  13. thsmormonsmokes

    thsmormonsmokes Smoking Fanatic

    Jeez, that's a lot of work to get a half cord of that stuff.  I don't think I've ever seen it thicker than 10" at the base.
  14. garand555

    garand555 Smoke Blower

    What can I say? I have a Jeep (XJ) and a chainsaw. I go up with friends and get into the tight spots looking for the stuff and we split what we find. They haul the big stuff in their trucks, but I can fit maybe 1/6 of a cord in my Jeep. Last time, we found two dead and down trees, one of which was 2' in diameter and the other was 16"-18" in diameter, not to mention several 6"-10" pieces in a slash pile that was already bucked up into 3'-6' sections. Between the three of us, we've pulled a little over 1 1/2 cords out of the mountains. Gambles oak normally doesn't get big, but it can. I've seen a few that were at least 30' tall. That big tree sucked to carry out because you couldn't pull right up to it, and a 16" long round weighed in at about 80lbs that had to be carried over terrain too rough for the Jeep.
  15. old-hippy

    old-hippy Newbie

    Hickory is good for catfish fillets.  Next time I prune my filberts, I'll give it a try; squirrels get all the nuts anyway.
  16. dutch

    dutch Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Bump for an old thread that's been around for a while. No need to start a new thread on an old topic when the original is still available.
  17. bdillard

    bdillard Newbie

    Great information All on the various wood options. I cook on EXL Big Green Egg. Have used cherry, apple, hickory, and mesquite. What I have not done and would like some feedback on is mixing various woods. What "wood recipes" do you like and why? Living in Central Florida we have to import most of our woods, I use chunks almost exclusively.

    Thanking you in advance for your input!

    Merry Christmas All!
  18. @bdillard

    Happy New Year. I too use chunks in an older green egg, along with my weber kettles. Oak and apple are great. Oak, hickory, apple, cherry can all be used with each other. Since your in Florida and Im in California, we do have some similar fruit trees. Pear/apple are great. Also, try orange and cherry wood together, with a little oak. Tastes great. Any stone fruit can be used together, such as apricot/peach, nectarine/peach, etc. If you can't find pear, I mainly use bradford pear and it works fine. Those trees always snap when the wind blows haha. I use crab apple as a substitute because I live a little too far south for the apple orchards, so I just wait until someone wants me to take a crab apple out. Mulberry/oak, or Mulberry/pear or apple is great too. 

    Anyway, hope this helps. [​IMG]
  19. bdillard

    bdillard Newbie

    Great Feedback! Never thought about orange....plenty of that still available down in S. Fla...Not so much here now. We've dug up most of the orange trees here in Central Florida and replaced then with "Tourist Trees".... The pecan/cherry was a good mix. Next I follow your recommendation and toss in some oak. Have a spectacular 2014...Thanks for the advice!

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