So what are the wood types suitable for smoking?

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Re: So what are the wood types suitable for smoking?

Postby Americana Cookers » Tue Jun 05, 2012 1:27 pm

Going to get some Red Maple, is there a difference between red and regular maples?
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Re: So what are the wood types suitable for smoking?

Postby CliffCarter » Fri Jun 08, 2012 6:11 am

Americana Cookers wrote:Going to get some Red Maple, is there a difference between red and regular maples?


Depends on what you consider regular maple. Red maple, sugar maple, silver maple and black maple are the four used in maple syrup production, for the most part these are the maples used in BBQ also. Users on BBQ forums make frequent mention of using the first three I listed, black maple should be good to use also as the sugar content of its sap is equal to that of sugar maple.You may be able to find all four of them in Texas BTW. Vine maple is used for cooking in the Pacific Northwest and I have seen one report of someone using Norway maple as a cooking wood.
I have a good supply of red maple splits and chunks and use it frequently.
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Re: So what are the wood types suitable for smoking?

Postby Americana Cookers » Fri Jun 08, 2012 2:02 pm

Thanks Cliff, as you could tell I know nothing about maple trees! Thanks for the help!
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Re: So what are the wood types suitable for smoking?

Postby Sailor Kenshin » Thu Jul 12, 2012 12:48 pm

We use hickory almost exclusively. Tried mesquite, didn't care for it.

I think we had a bag of pecan once... went back to hickory. Thinking of trying apple.

MORE dumb newbie questions: we have a lot of oak and maple trees. Is it possible to use 'back yard wood,' just for kicks? How long do you have to 'age' it?
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Re: So what are the wood types suitable for smoking?

Postby Jarhead » Fri Jul 13, 2012 4:44 am

Sailor Kenshin wrote:Is it possible to use 'back yard wood,' just for kicks? How long do you have to 'age' it?

Yes you can use it. It'll be ready next summer.
Keep it off of the ground and keep it dry.
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Re: So what are the wood types suitable for smoking?

Postby Sailor Kenshin » Fri Jul 13, 2012 8:40 am

Thanks, Jarhead! That should be easy enough. Has anyone here tried it, and got some good results?
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Re: So what are the wood types suitable for smoking?

Postby CliffCarter » Fri Jul 13, 2012 12:01 pm

Maple splits will take 8 months to a year, chunks 2-3 months. If you have northern red oak the splits will take up to 3 years to season. I know that seems to be a long time but I have learned this from experience. BTW I will grill over northern red oak coals, but I will not use it for BBQ. If you have other species of oak in your area they may be good for BBQ, just tell us what you have.
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Re: So what are the wood types suitable for smoking?

Postby Sailor Kenshin » Fri Jul 13, 2012 3:28 pm

I wish I knew what kind of oaks they are... -_-

Or even how to go about ID-ing them. Maybe I'll stick to the maple.
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Re: So what are the wood types suitable for smoking?

Postby CliffCarter » Fri Jul 13, 2012 3:42 pm

The easiest way is to post a picture of a leaf. Or try to find it here-

http://dendro.cnre.vt.edu/dendrology/sy ... _frame.cfm
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Re: So what are the wood types suitable for smoking?

Postby Boots » Fri Jul 13, 2012 8:19 pm

Sailor, just my humble opinion but hickory is great for pork and birds. I get great results on brisket starting with mesquite the first hour and finishing the rest of the way w pecan. The thing about mesquite is, because it can be pretty resinous, make sure it is hard cured, not wet, and use primarily heart wood if you can get it. Mesquite is primo for fajitas given it burns like a welding torch and imparts good flavor quickly to what is a thin bodied grill meat. Stick to pecan or hickory or oak for finer cuts of beef like prime rib, etc. Just my two cents worth, others may disagree.

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Re: So what are the wood types suitable for smoking?

Postby tahoewrbs » Fri Jul 13, 2012 11:42 pm

I bought some old french wine barrels cut up and it tastes great on pork butt.
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Re: So what are the wood types suitable for smoking?

Postby Boots » Sat Jul 14, 2012 11:39 am

Did the same w some whiskey barrel wood. Turned out badly, think they were moldy oldies.
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Re: So what are the wood types suitable for smoking?

Postby Sailor Kenshin » Sat Jul 14, 2012 4:41 pm

CliffCarter wrote:The easiest way is to post a picture of a leaf. Or try to find it here-

http://dendro.cnre.vt.edu/dendrology/sy ... _frame.cfm" target="_blank" target="_blank


Ooo, thanks---good idea, let me see if I can snap a leaf.

Thanks also to everyone for the wood suggestions.

Just replenished the supply of hickory chips, and got some applewood. That's something I want to try with split chickens.
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Re: So what are the wood types suitable for smoking?

Postby Sailor Kenshin » Sat Jul 14, 2012 5:28 pm

Well. Duhhh to me.....

So happens DH has a 'leafsnap' app on his phone.

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Which narrowed it down to oh, twenty trees or so. Some of which were maple. I know this is not maple. Red, black, and scarlet oak did come up too.

It would be good if the app had habitat. I'm in southernmost NYS if that helps.

The leaf's a bit chewed. Sorry.
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Re: So what are the wood types suitable for smoking?

Postby Boots » Sat Jul 14, 2012 9:58 pm

As a quick add, the cured fruit woods (cherry, apple, etc) are good adds for pork, and I do sometimes use maple as an add for beef with good results. Also, just my opinion, maple syrup and bourbon are good flavor adds for mops for brisket and beef ribs.
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