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need a wood source


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So with a new place and room to smoke stuff, I've entered the wonderful world of BBQ. But before I can embark on the "Noah's Ark Project" (barbecuing two of every animal, naturally), I need to find a better source of wood than those bags of hickory chunks they sell at Lowe's.

Any recommendations? Ideally I'd like to find enough to last me a while, but not so much that it'll take up my entire matchbox-sized garden.

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Your best bet is to contact the tree services and firewood suppliers in your area. I have a double-barrel 55-gallon drum smoker that I built myself a few years ago, and that's the route I went after spending way too much time trying to search out a source in other ways.

Speaking of which, we're having our annual bbq party this year on June 21. Should be about 75 people; the menu will include 15 racks of St. Louis-style ribs, 3 12-15 lb. pork butts and about five chickens. Oh, and a keg. Can't forget the keg...

ETA: If you want to do wood through the mail, you can try these guys. It may get expensive though; wood's heavy stuff: Barbecue Wood

Edited by JohnnyH (log)

"All humans are out of their f*cking minds -- every single one of them."

-- Albert Ellis

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I don't have a hook up in your area but I suggest seeing if you can locate an orchard . I have a garage full of apple and cherry wood trimmings I get at a local orchard and it is my prime source for wood.

Another possible source for cheap wood is golf courses. They are always doing tree trimmings and if you go get it they may let you have it. Furinture or cabinet making shops can also be a source of smoking wood, but you need to make sure the wood scraps they have were not treated with any chemicals.

Some municipal parks can also be a good wood source as they often have trimmings as well.

As the previous poster suggested there are a bunch of internet places that will sell you wood. And if you really want alder or mesquite or another more obscure kind of wood they are a good thing.

Welcome to the smoking world Andrew. Lots of good smoking tips in the various smoking topics on EG

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Hi Andrew,

I've been going through the same thing on quest for fire. I was doing a signing and a sitting in on a jam session at Freds Music and BBQ Supply and I had asked Fred Bolardo about going on a skid of mixed woods. The issue I'm hearing from him and a lot of BBQ teams is that the fuel itself (for the smoker) is not expensive, but what's driving the pricing is the fuel to get it there. I have about 1/4 cord of oak that I've been seasoning since last year that I got from a landscraper.

At one point, Sweet Lucy's had a source for hickory logs that was available for sharing a cord. I'm definitly in with that if anyone want's to go in dibs on that.

Other than that, the stuff is getting as pricy as the food.

Jim

Edited by marinade (log)

Jim Tarantino

Marinades, Rubs, Brines, Cures, & Glazes

Ten Speed Press

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I confess, I knew that there were some serious smokers on the PA board, and I was hoping that y'all would reply. I wasn't disappointed; those are some great suggestions! I'm not totally sure yet how much I'll need; a cord, or even a quarter of a cord, sounds intimidatingly large. But these are some good places to start.

And JohnnyH: I'll be waiting for my invitation to your BBQ... :wink:

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At one point, Sweet Lucy's had a source for hickory logs that was available for sharing a cord. I'm definitly in with that if anyone want's to go in dibs on that.

Other than that, the stuff is getting as pricy as the food.

Jim

I'm game if you want to split a cord Jim or perhaps others here might want in too.

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Another thought, for hickory, is to find a manufacturer of axe handles in your area. They've got lots of shavings and scrap. My dad had a friend who was an axe handle manufacturer - he's been retired for years, and my dad has enough hickory scraps to last well past his lifetime.

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At one point, Sweet Lucy's had a source for hickory logs that was available for sharing a cord. I'm definitly in with that if anyone want's to go in dibs on that.

Other than that, the stuff is getting as pricy as the food.

Jim

I'm game if you want to split a cord Jim or perhaps others here might want in too.

Count me in, too!

I ordered wood chunks through the internet but I have a hard time paying for shipping something that should be available locally. A year ago I called Styer's Orchard nearby in Bucks County but could never get through to the right person. I'll try again tomorrow.

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

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Andrew, I don't know how close you live to the Newtown/Yardley area but there is a Kansas City Barbeque Society Sanctioned Competition taking place this weekend at Shady Brook Farm http://www.shadybrookfarm.com/bbq.php

I just got off the phone with Tom Christine, owner of Smokin' Dudes (one of the contestants) and he has boxes of various wood available. I made arrangements to purchase a 30 lb box of Hickory for $18. He can bring other woods as well, Cherry, Oak, etc. PM me if you want his cell #

He uses them exclusively at his place and sources the wood from New Holland, PA. They are apparently cut to fit backyard smokers as opposed to whole logs.

Edited by Jeff L (log)
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So by purchasing a little bag of Weber hickory wood chips for like 8 bucks, I could accurately be described as... I believe the term is "sucker", correct?

Edited by Tim Dolan (log)

I would kill everyone in this room for a drop of sweet beer...

Homer Simpson

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So by purchasing a little bag of Weber hickory woods chips for like 8 bucks, I could accurately be described as... I believe the term is "sucker", correct?

This wood is not in the same league as the crap you get from Weber or other mass market sources I am told. I tried that stuff way back when I fist bought my smoker and it really wasn't much better than good hardwood charcoal alone.

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I've been toying with the idea of a purchase from char-wood.com, recommended on the Virtual Weber Bullet site.  Soon.

Looks interesting but why pay $25.60 for a 20 lb bag (including shipping) when you can go to Shady Brook Farm and get 30 lbs for $18 bucks?

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Looks interesting but why pay $25.60 for a 20 lb bag (including shipping) when you can go to Shady Brook Farm and get 30 lbs for $18 bucks?

Hmm, and it's only 13 miles away from me. I'd have to get there on Sunday. Not sure I'd bother, especially during a festival. Thanks for the suggestion, though.

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I have had great results with the 10lb. bags of hickory and mesquite chunks found at Lowe's or Home Depot. I have never heard of using oak for smoke flavor. I would like to try some fruitwoods this season, and will reach out to some of the local orchards after reading this thread. .

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  I have never heard of using oak for smoke flavor. 

From the virtual weber bullet, scroll down to see each wood type. This isn't the last word on smoking wood but I've used it with great success. That said, I still prefer Hickory and that is just my personal preference. Oak imparts a more subtle smokiness.

http://www.virtualweberbullet.com/woods.html

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oak burns a little hot for me but the smoke is nice. It does not penetrate as well as hickory though. Apple,hickory and pear wood are my favorite.

I would love to try pecan wood and see what it is like.

**************************************************

Ah, it's been way too long since I did a butt. - Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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One summers evening drunk to hell, I sat there nearly lifeless…Warren

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oak burns a little hot for me but the smoke is nice. It does not penetrate as well as hickory though. Apple,hickory and pear wood are my favorite.

I would love to try pecan wood and see what it is like.

Oak is used for drying chipolte, according to Diane Kennedy.

Jim Tarantino

Marinades, Rubs, Brines, Cures, & Glazes

Ten Speed Press

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oak burns a little hot for me but the smoke is nice. It does not penetrate as well as hickory though. Apple,hickory and pear wood are my favorite.

I would love to try pecan wood and see what it is like.

Pecan is a wonderful smoking wood. Very similar to hickory, must nut woods work well. Oak is great for pork, prefer the fruit woods, apple and cherry for poultry

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dude!  lockhart, tx!  brisket dry rubbed over post oak.  man oh man.  that's the jawn right there.

hm. I stand corrected. I won't argue with mrbigjas.

wait don't get the wrong impression -- i should clarify: i don't know much about the specifics of various bbq. i only know that at kreuz's in lockhart, they smoke brisket over oak and it's like, the best thing ev-AR.

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dude!  lockhart, tx!  brisket dry rubbed over post oak.  man oh man.  that's the jawn right there.

hm. I stand corrected. I won't argue with mrbigjas.

wait don't get the wrong impression -- i should clarify: i don't know much about the specifics of various bbq. i only know that at kreuz's in lockhart, they smoke brisket over oak and it's like, the best thing ev-AR.

I respect your opinion (and that of the many other knowledgeable folks that post on these boards). I don't think I have eaten anything smoked over oak - hickory and mesquite, as well as fruitwoods, but no oak. I thought of oak as good for fire, but not in the low and slow category. Now I need to find a source of oak chunks.

With regard to a communal wood purchase - a cord is a lot of wood - when we buy a cord of firewood, it is delivered in a dumptruck, and I stack it in (2) 8 foot long x 4 foot high racks, in the best sun exposure available for seasoning. Those 10# bags of hickory or mesquite available at Lowe's may be relatively pricey, but they make up for it in convenience.

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