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Other than Brewing => All Things Food => Topic started by: tschmidlin on August 27, 2011, 07:26:11 PM

Title: smoking wood
Post by: tschmidlin on August 27, 2011, 07:26:11 PM
Where do you guys usually source your wood, and what do you pay?  I went to a new butcher yesterday looking for some pink salt, and they were selling a bunch of different wood varieties.  I picked up 2 cuft of pecan wood for $25, it seemed like a reasonable price to me but I'm not sure.  The local wood (apple, cherry, etc) was a lot cheaper, $15 for 2 cuft.  It's not chunk, it's more like logs.  I'll just hack it up with a chop saw to use in the UDS.
Title: Re: smoking wood
Post by: punatic on August 27, 2011, 07:33:08 PM
I smoke with kiawe (Hawaiian mesquite), ohia (endemic) and waiwi (invasive strawberry guava).  I cut all three myself.  My cost is in gasoline for my truck and chainsaw.

When I lived in Orlando I had oak trees in my yard.  I cut oak for smoking.  Man I miss those oak trees sometimes.
Title: Re: smoking wood
Post by: jeffy on August 27, 2011, 07:58:16 PM
I just bought three bags of alder chips from the outdoor kitchen store at $5.95 per bag.  Each bag is 180 cubic inches and weighs between 1.5 and 1.7 pounds.
I found this site that has pretty much the same thing a bit less expensive, but then there's shipping:
www.northwoodssmoke.com
I have a lot of citrus in my yard which is nice and much cheaper, but it's hard to chop up.
Title: Re: smoking wood
Post by: hopfenundmalz on August 27, 2011, 08:10:28 PM
I have sourced some from here, located in PA.
http://www.chuckssmokehouse.com/SMOKIN_STIXS_s/26.htm

This is a little closer to Tom, in Yakima, WA.  Have bought from them also.
http://www.barbecuewood.com/StoreFront.bok

Title: Re: smoking wood
Post by: majorvices on August 27, 2011, 08:31:28 PM
If you want fruit wood for free go to you local orchard and ask them when they prune their trees. Then just pick up a truck load full, more than you could probably use.
Title: Re: smoking wood
Post by: euge on August 27, 2011, 08:35:55 PM
I use the pecan-wood that falls off the tree in the back-yard. Otherwise It's hickory (yum!) or oak. Mesquite isn't all that great for smoking but still works.

I pay less than $5 for 720 cubic inches of chunk at the local grocer.
Title: Re: smoking wood
Post by: hopfenundmalz on August 27, 2011, 08:38:29 PM
If you want fruit wood for free go to you local orchard and ask them when they prune their trees. Then just pick up a truck load full, more than you could probably use.

Which around here means a lot of apple.  Could get some peach over on the west side of the state.

For other fruit woods such as citrus, I have to order on line. 

Not much alder grows around here.   ;)
Title: Re: smoking wood
Post by: maxieboy on August 27, 2011, 10:22:48 PM
At work, all I can handle, free. Apple, cherry, maple, hickory, oak, etc. Currently working for a tree service company... Will have a lifetime supply soon...  ;D
Title: Re: smoking wood
Post by: tschmidlin on August 28, 2011, 08:08:35 AM
Awesome, thanks guys.

Thanks for this Jeff.  http://www.barbecuewood.com/StoreFront.bok  I'm pretty sure that is the guy that offered to make me dust for my cold smoker, I just need to send him a sample.

I love the orchard idea, that is an easy hookup on the stuff that grows around here.  That's not pecan though. :)  Apple I can get off my own tree, and a few other fruit woods as the trees get older.  If I want citrus and other non-local wood though, I'm SOL without a source.  Based on what I've seen, $25 for 2 cuft is a reasonable price.  I'll have to go back and see what else they have, I need to make more bacon anyway.
Title: Re: smoking wood
Post by: punatic on August 28, 2011, 08:49:40 AM
Jeeze, I've got more smoking hardwood than I can ever use.  I keep my bee hives in a kiawe "forest" where I  am encouraged to cut as much deadfall as I can haul away. You guys talk about buying smoking wood by the cubic inch, at obscene prices.  I'd send it to you by the cubic yard if shipping costs weren't such a bee itch.  Maybe it might be cost effective anyway?

These days when I grill I use an all wood fire most of the time.  It takes longer than charcoal, but I enjoy it a whole lot more, and I think the flavors are far superior to charcoal.

Football season is almost upon us!  Football season = grilling season!

I see the topic for a new thread...
Title: Re: smoking wood
Post by: majorvices on August 28, 2011, 12:10:56 PM
I live in a mountain forest off hickory trees so that is never a problem. I grow a couple of small citrus trees in my solarium but never used them for smoking. What types of food do they work best with? I'm thinking trout?

Anyone ever try smoking with sassafras? I burned some a couple years ago and I thought the aroma from the wood was very pleasant.
Title: Re: smoking wood
Post by: hopfenundmalz on August 28, 2011, 12:55:32 PM
I live in a mountain forest off hickory trees so that is never a problem. I grow a couple of small citrus trees in my solarium but never used them for smoking. What types of food do they work best with? I'm thinking trout?

Anyone ever try smoking with sassafras? I burned some a couple years ago and I thought the aroma from the wood was very pleasant.
Sassafras didn't have the flavor that the smoke indicated.
Persimmon on the other hand, was excellent.

Both were used on pork tenderlion.
Title: Re: smoking wood
Post by: majorvices on August 28, 2011, 01:39:39 PM
Thanks - I have a bunch of persimmon trees out there as well. Gonna give that a try!
Title: Re: smoking wood
Post by: tschmidlin on August 28, 2011, 05:50:37 PM
I've used fruit wood on cheese, that's it.

I've got all of the maple I can ever use, but the rest of the common trees around here aren't suitable for smoking food.  Douglas fir, cedar, that kind of stuff.  I might try some juniper next time I prune the trees.
Title: Re: smoking wood
Post by: bluesman on August 28, 2011, 07:03:26 PM
Try talking to some of the local BBQ or wood oven pizza joints in your area. I'm sure they have local sources that they may be willing to recommend. Also try some of the local guys selling firewood. I get all of my smoking wood from a local guy who sells firewood. He happens to also sell hickory, apple, oak and cherry. I can get a stack for $10. A stack is enough for about 5 smokes.
Title: Re: smoking wood
Post by: euge on August 28, 2011, 07:18:24 PM
I'm not sure juniper would be good as a smoking wood. Seems it would be very resinous.
Title: Re: smoking wood
Post by: tschmidlin on August 28, 2011, 08:06:35 PM
Try talking to some of the local BBQ or wood oven pizza joints in your area. I'm sure they have local sources that they may be willing to recommend. Also try some of the local guys selling firewood. I get all of my smoking wood from a local guy who sells firewood. He happens to also sell hickory, apple, oak and cherry. I can get a stack for $10. A stack is enough for about 5 smokes.
Great idea Ron, I'll have to poke around.  How much do you go through for a smoke?  With the UDS I only go through about half a log and have a nice intense smoke.  The 2 cuft of pecan I got should last me for 50 or more smokes I think, but I haven't counted the logs.

I just but on 20 lbs of pork shoulder a couple of hours ago . . .

(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-5B-eeYxEBhQ/TlqeRcztPLI/AAAAAAAAANw/8sV2g-yY73c/IMG-20110828-00106.jpg)
Title: Re: smoking wood
Post by: tschmidlin on August 28, 2011, 08:08:33 PM
I'm not sure juniper would be good as a smoking wood. Seems it would be very resinous.
You might be right, but apparently it's traditional in some cases:
http://www.wedlinydomowe.com/meat-smoking/wood
"Some sausages like German or Polish Hunter Sausages develop their characteristic flavors and aromas by adding juniper branches or berries to the fire. Juniper is the main ingredient for making gin, so we know it has to be a fine element. "
Title: Re: smoking wood
Post by: euge on August 28, 2011, 08:49:56 PM
I'd forgotten about that badass site. Thanks Tom.
Title: Re: smoking wood
Post by: tschmidlin on August 28, 2011, 09:34:22 PM
Yeah, good site. :)  I was inspired by the amount of wood Ron seems to go through, so I tossed some more on the smoker for the shoulders that are going now.  You can't see much, but enough . . .

(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-5JQfn4CDCkc/TlqymTYsm8I/AAAAAAAAAN8/dw93TU9HP1Y/IMG-20110828-00107.jpg)
Title: Re: smoking wood
Post by: punatic on August 28, 2011, 09:55:42 PM
Yeah, good site. :)  I was inspired by the amount of wood Ron seems to go through, so I tossed some more on the smoker for the shoulders that are going now.  You can't see much, but enough . . .

(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-5JQfn4CDCkc/TlqymTYsm8I/AAAAAAAAAN8/dw93TU9HP1Y/IMG-20110828-00107.jpg)


Mmmmm, I'll be there in a few minutes!  I've got the beverages covered!   ;D
Title: Re: smoking wood
Post by: tschmidlin on August 28, 2011, 10:02:23 PM
Mmmmm, I'll be there in a few minutes!  I've got the beverages covered!   ;D
Sounds good, it should be ready when you get here.  It's at 139F now :)
Title: Re: smoking wood
Post by: bluesman on August 29, 2011, 12:18:22 AM
Yeah, good site. :)  I was inspired by the amount of wood Ron seems to go through, so I tossed some more on the smoker for the shoulders that are going now.  You can't see much, but enough . . .

(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-5JQfn4CDCkc/TlqymTYsm8I/AAAAAAAAAN8/dw93TU9HP1Y/IMG-20110828-00107.jpg)

Man that's making me hungry and I just had dinner.  :)

Tom, it really depends on how hot you want it. The hotter the smoke, the more wood you'll need. The other factor is the intensity or level of smoke during the burn. There is an air/smoke ratio which is determined by the amount of air you let in and out of your smoker. You will have to adjust your dampers by trial/error to determine the right settings for different temps. It will depend on several factors like the placement of the dampers, the thermal energy source, the amount of oxygen present, etc... It's an experience factor as well.

The most important thing is to enjoy the hobby and reap the rewards of your labors.  :)

Title: Re: smoking wood
Post by: tschmidlin on August 29, 2011, 05:24:54 AM
I have no problem controlling the temp in the UDS with the damper and air inlets, it's pretty rock solid.  But I usually am burning charcoal and just throw a few chunks on top for the smoke, I was just trying to figure out how much you use for smoke.  I've only used one smallish log for this smoke, which is twice as much as I normally use, and 2 cuft is a lot more than 5 or 10 logs.  You pay $10 for a stack that lasts 5 smokes, but I don't know how big a stack is, that's what I'm trying to figure out.

I still have a ways to go with this smoke, the meat is at 177F on its way to 195F.  I had it low and slow at ~215 for about 10 hours, then got it up to around 250F to finish.  Another couple of hours I imagine.  I'll post pics, but I'm not opening it right now.  :)
Title: Re: smoking wood
Post by: 1vertical on August 29, 2011, 12:13:14 PM
Not much grows out here for that purpose. There is a small
amount of available apple/crabapple wood, some wild plum...then
you need to find some to purchase if those don't work....
OTOH you find your smoker sitting out back unused for years
like mine was, you may as well $ell it for better usage of it's value.

Cap asked in the hurricane thread about what kind of tree is down
near his yard...looked kinda like eucalyptus but I am not certain...
help a brewer out...ID cap's tree.

Seems like since I stopped cigarette smoking, that smoky flavored meat
is not real far up the desire tree.
Title: Re: smoking wood
Post by: bluesman on August 29, 2011, 01:09:45 PM
You pay $10 for a stack that lasts 5 smokes, but I don't know how big a stack is, that's what I'm trying to figure out.

This is about the size of a $10 stack. Notice there are several stacks in the photo.

(http://y6.yzimg.com/s1/media/get/key.000aqg1v416qf110/size.112x84)
Title: Re: smoking wood
Post by: tschmidlin on August 29, 2011, 05:59:37 PM
You pay $10 for a stack that lasts 5 smokes, but I don't know how big a stack is, that's what I'm trying to figure out.

This is about the size of a $10 stack. Notice there are several stacks in the photo.
Ok, so you're using about four times as much wood as I normally do.  Good to know as a point of reference.

By the way, here are the shoulders when they were done.  It was late, I took the pics but didn't bother posting them.  It took 14-15 hours to smoke them to 195.

Sorry about the bad lighting in this one.
(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-26v4g9zoYGM/Tls9cJ_qZkI/AAAAAAAAAOI/8_mdSaAZ6YU/IMG-20110829-00108.jpg)

(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-UPTPfeZIIDc/TlvSxyZOIXI/AAAAAAAAAOU/fJUPfS_ayfg/IMG-20110829-00109.jpg)
Title: Re: smoking wood
Post by: euge on August 29, 2011, 06:27:50 PM
When's dinner Tom? :D
Title: Re: smoking wood
Post by: tschmidlin on August 29, 2011, 10:01:13 PM
In a week :)  I'm going to pull it and freeze it and then throw it in the slow cooker next Sunday for sandiwches.  We're having a bbq to celebrate my completing my PhD.  I got an email an hour ago with the title "Doctoral degree approved" ;D

I had to cook it all early because we have too many things going on this week and weekend, plus I have a lot more stuff I plan to smoke for the bbq.  At least 2 fatties, a bunch of ABTs, a few chickens, sausages, etc.  And I have to keg 20 gallons of beer before then . . . assuming it finishes fermenting. ;)
Title: Re: smoking wood
Post by: bluesman on August 30, 2011, 01:17:11 AM
I got an email an hour ago with the title "Doctoral degree approved" ;D

Way to go Tom!

Conrats...time to celebrate!  8)
Title: Re: smoking wood
Post by: tschmidlin on August 30, 2011, 03:03:22 AM
Thanks Ron. :)

Ok, here's the problem - the bark tastes pretty ashy.  Although it's my first time using it, I'm assuming this is NOT because of the pecan wood, but probably more because I used twice as much wood as I usually do.  Thoughts?

Now the question is, do I cut the bark off and throw it away, or will it become more pleasant when it is shredded into little bits and mixed throughout the rest of the meat?  Because as it is now my mouth tastes a bit like I've been smoking.
Title: Re: smoking wood
Post by: euge on August 30, 2011, 04:51:27 AM
I got an email an hour ago with the title "Doctoral degree approved" ;D

Way to go Tom!

Conrats...time to celebrate!  8)

Woohoo!

Thanks Ron. :)

Ok, here's the problem - the bark tastes pretty ashy.  Although it's my first time using it, I'm assuming this is NOT because of the pecan wood, but probably more because I used twice as much wood as I usually do.  Thoughts?

Now the question is, do I cut the bark off and throw it away, or will it become more pleasant when it is shredded into little bits and mixed throughout the rest of the meat?  Because as it is now my mouth tastes a bit like I've been smoking.

The bark goes in with the rest- just chop it up real good. It's the best part then.

While I use wood on occasion, it does tend to leave some of the nastier volatile parts of the burn such as creosote. :P Unless it smolders in small amounts.
Title: Re: smoking wood
Post by: punatic on August 30, 2011, 05:09:29 AM
While I use wood on occasion, it does tend to leave some of the nastier volatile parts of the burn such as creosote. :P Unless it smolders in small amounts.

Well, silly, you're not supposed to use telephone poles for cooking!   ;)
Title: Re: smoking wood
Post by: euge on August 30, 2011, 05:10:16 AM
Yeh but they're everywhere... 8)
Title: Re: smoking wood
Post by: tschmidlin on August 30, 2011, 05:19:46 AM
The bark goes in with the rest- just chop it up real good. It's the best part then.

While I use wood on occasion, it does tend to leave some of the nastier volatile parts of the burn such as creosote. :P Unless it smolders in small amounts.
Thanks euge, I'm going to go do that right now . . .
Title: Re: smoking wood
Post by: euge on August 30, 2011, 07:02:10 AM
You're welcome Tom.

Perusing Wedliny Domowe I'm thinking the offset firebox also helps strip some of the nastier components of the wood-smoke. Thoughts?
Title: Re: smoking wood
Post by: tschmidlin on August 30, 2011, 07:11:11 AM
I don't know, but I'll tell you this - the bark on the second shoulder was way smoother and better tasting than on the first shoulder.  The better tasting one was right next to the vent and took an hour longer to cook, so it was probably in a cooler part of the UDS.  On the other hand the smoke had to pass right over it to get out.  It could have been something else, maybe some ash landed on the first one when I threw in more wood.  Hard to say.
Title: Re: smoking wood
Post by: euge on August 30, 2011, 07:33:20 AM
Or increased airflow.

I got a hot spot in my egg. Every cooker I've had has had one some where. Stands to reason there's probably the equivalent in the form of a recirculating or dead spot in the airspace of the smoker. Might lay a heavier smoke on that side of the drum.
Title: Re: smoking wood
Post by: tschmidlin on August 30, 2011, 07:53:03 AM
Yeah, I'll just have to try to avoid it in the future.  I only rubbed them with S&P, trying to decide how to sauce them.  I'll probably do some kind of Carolina vinegar sauce.
Title: Re: smoking wood
Post by: jeffy on November 24, 2011, 05:17:02 PM
I just cut down a dead orange tree and have a pretty good pile of wood that I would be happy to share with my forum friends.  Pay for shipping and I will send you some.
It makes a nice smoke.  I use citrus in my traditional rauchbier and it is close enough in flavor and aroma to beech that it fooled Ray Daniels.
Title: Re: smoking wood
Post by: corkybstewart on December 08, 2011, 02:21:26 AM
I just noticed this thread.
I have a bunch of fruit trees-we don't get much fruit most years but I do prune them and I use the wood for smoking.  We're surrounded by pecan orchards, and I have a couple of trees, so pecan wood is easy to get.  My neighbor chopped down an apple tree and an apricot tree, more wood for my smoker.  And I bought a cord of mesquite firewood, if used in moderation makes a very tasty smoked pork shoulder.  I need to get a bunch of apple wood-it does make a good rauchbier, and there are orchards within 75 miles, but I don't know anybody up there.