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What woods are good for smoking? - Page 2

post #31 of 46

I just came upon this thread and would like to add a couple of things. I would suggest that tropical hardwoods be avoided because some of them contain compounds that can be very irritating, at least when working with them in a woodshop. I don't know if the same thing can happen with their smoke, but I wouldn't take the chance. Also, bark doesn't seem to burn cleanly and can leave a soot deposit, so it is best to remove it if you are using branches or chunks of a log.

post #32 of 46

Hi!!

Smoke is the third leg of barbecue, with the other two being heat and time.

If you're feeling experimental, some interesting woods you can use in your BBQ smoker include apricot, peach, pear, orange, and grapefruit.  Each of these types of wood will give your barbecue a different taste.  For instance, apricot wood provides a mild, fruity sweetness that goes great with meats like chicken, turkey, pork and fish.  Orange wood provides a medium smoke flavor with just a small hit of fruit flavor.

post #33 of 46

This is an old thread, but something came up that's worth mentioning because it didn't get much of a response: smoking with tea, rice, and so forth. This is an old Chinese technique, and it works very well. Barbara Tropp's The Modern Art of Chinese Cooking has several recipes that are reliable.

 

The big trick is that this kind of smoking does NOT function the way hardwood smoking does. Specifically, you do NOT want to cook the food with the smoke, only flavor it lightly. The cooking part is a separate step. A really strong tea-and-spice smoke would indeed probably be unpleasant-tasting; a light smoking, however, just 15 minutes or so, will impart an elegant whiff of flavor.

 

These smoke mixtures commonly consist of rice, sugar, tea, and spices. You line a big lidded wok, top and bottom, with foil. Put the mix in the bottom, and put in an oiled rack. Crank the heat until it starts putting up a fair bit of smoke, put the food on the rack, and put the lid on, then crimp the foil. After perhaps a minute, the inside of the wok is dense with smoke. Shut off the heat and wait. After 15 minutes or so, the smoke is pretty much done, and you take the whole shebang outside and open it up. If the flavor isn't strong enough, just repeat the process. When you think it's done, you remove the meat and take it inside, then you wrap up all the foil and throw it away in one go, or it'll stink up the kitchen.

 

Again, Tropp has good explanations of how to do this. Tea-smoked duck, for example, is lovely.

post #34 of 46

The best woods for smoking are the driver and 2 wood.

 

BDL


Edited by boar_d_laze - 9/3/10 at 4:32pm
post #35 of 46

"We do have some alder trees in our area, but I don't have any immediate access to them. "

 

Gee, Dan, I had no idea there are Alder trees around here. I've run into them (well, not literally) in southwest  Florida and the Pacific Northwest - where it's a weed - but didn't realize they grew here in NE Illinois.

 

Sounds like it's time for some midnight harvesting... probably not with your chainsaw.

 

Mike 

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post #36 of 46

Alder's magic with fish, shellfish and amphibian.  It's okay with chicken and mild poultry.  It's too subtle for anything else.

 

BDL

post #37 of 46

I noticed you mentioned larch as an acceptable wood to smoke with even though it's a conifer...it is a very hard wood and seams like it would work well. Does anyone have experience using larch?

post #38 of 46
Quote:
I noticed you mentioned larch as an acceptable wood to smoke with even though it's a conifer...it is a very hard wood and seams like it would work well. Does anyone have experience using larch?

When you say "you," I think you're referring to KY Heirloomer; and you might want to shoot him a PM. In my experience, larch is not a good choice as a smokewood and shouldn't be used for the purpose. Although it's hard (but not very hard), it's a hard softwood and not a hardwood.

Hope this helps,
BDL
post #39 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by winternacht View Post

I noticed you mentioned larch as an acceptable wood to smoke with even though it's a conifer...it is a very hard wood and seams like it would work well.

 

Larch is a softwood. I'm not sure I'd want to smoke with any conifer wood because of the resin/gum content even in dried wood but IIR Bavarian sausage makers historically used evergreens. Some  flavor profiles are very regional acquired tastes.

Juniper branches/berries can be used for a finish smoke as well.

Not all wood needs to be hard wood for smoking. Birch and pear are used fairly often in some northern regions of the US.

 

Dave

I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
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I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
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post #40 of 46

Typically if the tree bears fruits or nuts it is okay for smoking. There are exceptions but nothing that grows in the US.

post #41 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaryB View Post

 There are exceptions but nothing that grows in the US.

 

Birch does not grow nuts or fruit and grows in the US. Very similar to Maple in flavor profile. IIR Alder is a sub-species of birch as well. Even Poplar, a sort of Aspen has been used to make some very good charcoal like the stuff that BBQ Chef Billy Bones used to make.

Like most others I prefer hard wood and fruit wood but there are always exceptions.

Oak wine barrels can make great wood for smoking as well.

 

 

Dave

I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
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I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
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post #42 of 46

Forgot about those but maple and birch both produce syrup that is edible so it goes along with being able to eat something from the tree. If you have never had birch syrup it is good stuff!

post #43 of 46

I have to admit I never knew Birch could produce syrup! Always some thing new to learn. smile.gif

Beech often gets over looked but it's a nice hard wood and if you have the patience to clean them (and can get them faster than the squirrels) Beech nuts are very good.

 

Dave

I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
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I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
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post #44 of 46

MARJUANA  IN THE WOODS.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #45 of 46

*roflmao*

post #46 of 46

I've had some delicious results when smoking meat with cracked nuts in the shell-almond, hazelnuts and pecans. It works especially well in imparting a warm, nutty flavor to poultry and pork. 

Recently smoked a whole chicken with almonds in the shell that I had cracked and soaked for about 20 minutes or so. 

Did the same treatment to a whole pork loin only using hazelnuts. 

Both were really yummy.

 

Don't forget cedar planks for salmon and other oily fish. I guess to every rule there's and exception.

Hickory is also my favorite for traditional barbecued chicken.

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