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Southstar Jeff 11-03-2012 09:49 AM

New to stick burner, what kind of wood?
Most of the guys I've found selling wood around here have a mixed lot of red and white oak and hickory. Is it easy to tell apart once split and seasoned, or do I even need to worry about it?

From what I've read on here, I'd like to try the oak, but not sure if it matters between the red and white. I've been using hickory and pecan chunks mostly in my BGE.

Thanks for any advice!


NRA4Life 11-03-2012 09:52 AM

I use all 3, as far as telling the difference you should be able to tell by the bark. It won't matter unless you were trying to smoke it with just 1 wood type to experiment with flavor.

phil c 11-03-2012 09:58 AM

I prefer Oak, red or white it doesnt seem to matter as long as its well seasoned, and the splits are about as big around as a baseball.
If your used to a BGE babysitting a stickburner, is gonna be a big shift for you. Takes a little practice but its worth it!

Lake Dogs 11-03-2012 10:04 AM

I prefer oak on beef, hickory or pecan on pork.

Jeff, be warned. Most folks selling you split wood have no clue as to what is/isnt
oak, hickory, or anything else. I cannot tell you how many cords (many have no idea
what a cord is, but they'll sell it to you) of hickory I've purchased had 0 hickory in
it and was chock full of poplar, sweet gum and various oak.

No, it's nearly impossible to tell apart, even if the bark is there. Too many trees bark resembles hickory, but if you see the tree before cut-down they're very easy to identify (especially if they have leaves).

Mo-Dave 11-03-2012 11:06 AM

In general the bark of hickory is smooth and blotchy but young trees of almost any kind are also like that. There is a shaggy bark hickory, and it is just like its name shaggy looking bark. Some make a sweet syrup from the shaggy bark.

Hickory is a very dense wood and even when seasoned is usually heavier than oak. The upside is oak is also good for smoking so not a terrible thing if thats what you use.

There are many pics you can google, try googling your states Conservation Department for more info.

One last thing don't forget to season your new cooker before using it.

Paulie G. 11-03-2012 11:11 AM

I prefer oak as a general all purpose wood. Feel free to throw in some fruit woods if you like.

Pyle's BBQ 11-03-2012 04:53 PM

I would check Craigslist for free stuff. If you are really ambitious, buy or rent a chain saw. That way you can get the fallen trees after storms.

42BBQ 11-03-2012 05:19 PM

I got a chainsaw last year. So far I've scored two 40 foot cherry's, some oak, a massive mulberry, a small cherry, and a wild cherry from neighboring farms for free.

That being said, I love oak for smoking. Used exclusively in Texas on stickburners

Southstar Jeff 11-07-2012 01:26 PM

Is the difference in red and white oak just this easy to see?

Attachment 72243

chad 11-07-2012 01:33 PM

You should have access to pecan and peach (apple too) in your region. I have cooked with oak for years as its the easiest wood for me to collect around here in coastal central Florida, but you have access to some great woods to try. Oak is great for heat and you can't really overdo oak smoke...hickory is good for heat but you can overdo hickory smoke (in my opinion...your mileage may vary!). Use 'em all.

PlanB-BBQ 11-07-2012 04:59 PM

Here in Virginia,hickory is the choice. Out here in the country,I just get itfrom loggers.

1MoreFord 11-07-2012 06:29 PM


Originally Posted by Southstar Jeff (Post 2265894)
Is the difference in red and white oak just this easy to see?

Attachment 72243


I don't believe the wood on the left is White Oak. Just looked again and don't think it's Hickory either. All Oaks will have the little hollow spaces you can see in the grain of the wood on the right. Red Oak will have a pink to redish brown heart while White Oak will have a darker heart.

Rich Parker 11-07-2012 06:39 PM

I used Oak and Apple in my stick burner. Free wood is usually the best.

cholloway 11-07-2012 08:18 PM

In my offset I'll use oak mostly for the heat and hickory, pecan and cherry for the smoke.

wjwheeler 11-08-2012 07:53 AM

Peach wood is a good option for you. We compete with peach 99% of the time.
We will use pecan, if peach is scarce.

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