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"Green" Wood smoking


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13 replies to this topic

#1 billyhill

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Posted 10 March 2006 - 02:36 PM

Can unseasoned/unaged wood be used to smoke or will it taint the flavor of the meat? I've come into a large supply of cherry but the tree was only cut about two weeks ago. Splitting a piece and smelling it, I don't get the sweet aroma near as strong as I associate with dried cherry wood.
If its a problem, I've also got a small quantity of pear wood that is dry I could use though, I've never tried to smoke with it before.
Later I will try a neighbor's plum tree they want dropped and another has an old grape arbor they want cut out. Anyone tried grape wood?

#2 Smithy

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Posted 10 March 2006 - 03:49 PM

I don't have a smoker, but I've had wood barbecued with a touch of grape wood, and I've enjoyed many a fire seasoned with grape wood. It's wonderful. I don't know about how dry any of the wood has to be for smoking purposes, though.

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
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"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown


#3 woodburner

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Posted 10 March 2006 - 04:04 PM

Split and stack then let it dry for 5 months or so. Right now it's too green and may produce unfavorable results depending upon your skills.


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#4 lancastermike

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Posted 10 March 2006 - 06:02 PM

Any of the woods you mention ae great for smoking, however do not use the green cherry. I love smoking with cherry, but not till it is ready

#5 billyhill

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Posted 10 March 2006 - 06:04 PM

Smithy,
I'm really looking forward to the grapewood, actually muscadine and scupanon (sp?) vines that are quite old. These are as big around as my forearm. The old home place has been abandoned and the trees have overgrown the arbor. The vines dissapear into the trees and do not appear to be producing fruit (none on the ground, in season). The pear, I don't know how it will work. I know where an old cherry tree is down near my wifes famlily's property. I will try to get some there.

#6 HKDave

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Posted 12 March 2006 - 12:42 AM

Green wood can be used for hot-smoking, as long as you're not counting on the green wood alone to be the heat source.

Once when I was cooking for friend's party with all the wrong equipment, I hot-smoked a turkey in a covered gas bbq using very low/indirect heat, with thin applewood suckers (cut from a tree just seconds before use) thrown right on the lava rock. Because they were so green, the suckers didn't flare up, just slowly charred and gave off a lot of smoke in the process.

The resulting applewood smoked turkey was glorious.

I've never tried green wood for cold-smoking, and I think it would be too unpredictable for that application.
Hong Kong Dave

O que nao mata engorda.

#7 BarbaraY

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Posted 12 March 2006 - 07:28 AM

For hot smoking my preferred wood is apple lopped of the apple tree near the patio. No need to soak in water to keep from flaring since it's green.

#8 ray goud

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Posted 12 March 2006 - 06:50 PM

Drying or "seasoning" the wood is NOT necessary. HKDave is correct. To smoke properly one soaks the dry wood first in water anyway, so that it doesn't burn right away and smokes instead. Of course, something else provides the heat. I use cherry a lot, since I have a lot of scraps, being a furniture maker. DON'T USE WALNUT! It is poisonous.
I read a book/memoir about France in which grape vines are commonly used both as fuel and a smoke source.
Let us know how the plum wood works out.
Ray

#9 woodburner

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Posted 12 March 2006 - 08:17 PM

Drying or "seasoning" the wood is NOT necessary. HKDave is correct. To smoke properly one soaks the dry wood first in water anyway, so that it doesn't burn right away and smokes instead. Ray

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nope.

Soaking wood in water??

By doing that provides nothing to the end product.

Your smokin rope.

woodburner

#10 Taboni

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Posted 12 March 2006 - 11:32 PM

I never understood the "soaking in water" thing since seasoned wood (chunks not chips) will only absorb the tiniest bit of water, if any at all.
Get your bitch ass back in the kitchen and make me some pie!!!

#11 ray goud

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Posted 13 March 2006 - 08:29 AM

Well, if anyone doubts the effect of soaking in water, try this test:
Parcel out a small quantity (4 oz. to 8 oz. by weight) of small "chunks" (1/2" x 1" or less) or chips of a dry hardwood. Weigh the lot, accurately (the new electronic kitchen scales are good).
Submerge the wood in hot (140+ degrees) water, and weigh it down with something to keep it under the water level. Leave it there for two hours.
Remove the wood from the water, and blot dry.
Reweigh the wood.
The increase in weight is the water the wood absorbed.
Each gram of that water requires 340 calories of heat to turn it into steam. The water vapor is slowing down the wood's eventual reaching of its ignition point. If there was no moisture in the wood it would almost immediately burst into flame, at least at the surface. When wood vaporizes at a temperature less than its ignition or flame temp, it is emitting smoke, which goes to your food.
Don't use large pieces of wood. Smaller pieces have more surface area per unit volume and absorb more water through the end pores. Conversely, don't use sawdust unless you can carefully control the heat; the dust, even if moistened, dries too quickly.
Commercially available "seasoned" wood measures between 4 and 16 per cent (by weight) moisture.
Ray

#12 Lan4Dawg

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Posted 03 May 2006 - 04:24 PM

and a question along the same lines. I was wondering about smoking w/ orange wood. Not that I have any nor have I ever tried it but just thought about it the other day when using orange juice as a marinade and wondered how wood fr/ an orange tree would be for smoking.
in loving memory of Mr. Squirt (1998-2004)--
the best cat ever.

#13 Smithy

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Posted 04 May 2006 - 08:57 AM

and a question along the same lines.  I was wondering about smoking w/ orange wood.  Not that I have any nor have I ever tried it but just thought about it the other day when using orange juice as a marinade and wondered how wood fr/ an orange tree would be for smoking.

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Without having smoked food with it I can't be sure, but I can attest that the aroma from an orangewood fire is a wonderful thing. Go for it. It *gutted* me to have to leave a pile of such wood in the back yard of our old place, in central California where there are burn restrictions, with no economical way to get it up here to northern Minnesota where we could use the fuel. :sad:

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
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"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown


#14 Briarhill

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Posted 08 May 2006 - 10:40 AM

If you're using an electric smoker, e.g., a Cookshack, soaking the wood is not recommended by the manufacturer. You'll get plenty of smoke using the pre-split 2 oz chunks the company sells.