Cooking with Alder, Maple, or Birch?

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sinfony78
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Cooking with Alder, Maple, or Birch?

Postby sinfony78 » Sat Aug 12, 2017 9:13 pm

has anyone cooked with these yet? got a friend in the PNW (pacific northwest) where only these woods are readily available, and trying to figure out what these woods are similar to in texas? i only cook with pecan, but i understand these are much more mild.

anyone with experiences?
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CliffCarter
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Re: Cooking with Alder, Maple, or Birch?

Postby CliffCarter » Sat Aug 12, 2017 11:00 pm

I cook with red maple, sticks for the COS and chunks for the Weber kettle. A lot of smoked fish is done with alder in PNW.
What species of birch? The bark of white birch gives of a black oily smoke when burning.
I have used pecan it gives meat a mild smoke flavor similar to red maple. The do smell very different from each other when smoking.
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Re: Cooking with Alder, Maple, or Birch?

Postby Chasdev » Sun Aug 13, 2017 8:51 am

I'm watching "Man Fire Food" on TV in which the host travels all over America to see how different areas/cultures cook meat over fire/coals/wood.
I think I remember some guys up north smoking meat with all of those types of wood..
The host can be a little off-putting but the show features some fantastic BBQ joints and VERY different styles of cooking meat.
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Re: Cooking with Alder, Maple, or Birch?

Postby bsooner75 » Sun Aug 13, 2017 9:10 am

I've tried maple on a pork butt and wasn't a fan of the smoke it put out. Could've been just my taste buds though.


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Papa Tom
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Re: Cooking with Alder, Maple, or Birch?

Postby Papa Tom » Sun Aug 13, 2017 10:18 am

I have used both maple an alder and liked both. Both are mild so they won't overwhelm things like chicken or fish.
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Re: Cooking with Alder, Maple, or Birch?

Postby bondobill » Sun Aug 13, 2017 11:31 am

Smoked with both Alder and Maple up here in the PNW. Both excellent for slow smoking Salmon. Birch "NOT". A buddy of mine somehow got some Birch mixed up in his wood pile of Alder. How he did that I have no idea. :dont: Thinking maybe he got into the brew a little bit early cause theres a big difference in appearance of Alder and Birch. Anyways he told me he wont make that mistake again.
Alder has a very thick bark which must be removed. I don't use Alder much anymore more cause the bark is such a PITA to remove. The bark if not removed will give the meat a foul bitter taste.
Maple like Alder gives off a very mild smoke and the bark peels right off.
I use Cherry mostly now. A buddy of mine was clearing some land years ago and dropped off a dump truck load in my driveway. Still got about 2 cords of Cherry left.

Ive never used Pecan so I wouldn't be able to make a comparison there


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woodenvisions
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Re: Cooking with Alder, Maple, or Birch?

Postby woodenvisions » Sun Aug 13, 2017 11:39 am

If I may add, leave the Birch for 2 things...
Making the ABSOLUTE Best Birch Beer ( Frozen Run ) from the P.A mountains and Furniture, ecpecially nicknack stuff that you would find from someone like the Amish.

For food prep, I'd personally stay clear of it imho

As a side note, I've used White Birch plenty of times to make Ring Cases.
They look incredible, but try telling that to someone that kept them on a white lace cloth only to find it was ruined because of the constant bleeding ( oozing ) from the sap/oil....

Lesson learned on my end..
sinfony78
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Re: Cooking with Alder, Maple, or Birch?

Postby sinfony78 » Mon Aug 14, 2017 11:54 am

not sure what kind of birch, but i've been scouring sites for places that sell wood out in BC
looks like he'll just have to try it himself and see what he likes best. the birch looks like all the bark is removed
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Re: Cooking with Alder, Maple, or Birch?

Postby Txdragon » Tue Aug 15, 2017 6:20 am

Papa Tom wrote:I have used both maple an alder and liked both. Both are mild so they won't overwhelm things like chicken or fish.


^^^These are perfect woods for those. I prefer alder for Turkey and fish specifically. Difficult find in my parts, unless I buy pellets. Even those are very few and really far between though. I run across maple from time to time in the form of chips or chunks pretty regularly.
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