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Unread 11-28-2012, 08:09 PM   #1
Flying_Spaghetti_Monster
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Default Burning green wood.

On pit masters Myron Mixon uses green peach wood. I picked up some green cherry. What woods if any can be burned green.
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Unread 11-28-2012, 08:24 PM   #2
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A couple of things in my opinion:

1) You need a very hot fire to burn green wood.

2) Fruit woods do better green than other woods.

3) Cherry is pretty acrid in my opinion if it isn't seasoned long enough. You may want to use it as an "accent" wood with dryer, hotter burning wood.

4) Myron is really in a parallel universe when he cooks. There are many specifics that he does that get's him to his end product that most people have a hard time attaining unless they duplicate his process completely.

5) Find what works for you and enjoy the journey...it's different for all of us from one degree to another.
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Unread 11-28-2012, 08:52 PM   #3
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Thought I would ask. Overall I hate Myron Mixon :) Would love to cook with peach wood.
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Unread 11-28-2012, 09:01 PM   #4
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I have never had the cajones to use green wood, but I know people do it all the time, with good results.

I have to agree that if I did try it, I would want to add my green wood to a very well established, hot bed of coals, and add it in moderation.

But, since I haven't actually tried it, I hope you gat lots of posts from brethren who have done it successfully. I like to play with my food.

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Unread 11-28-2012, 09:20 PM   #5
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Do not be afraid of green wood.

With that said, green wood is very different than seasoned wood. Also it matters how green.

I much prefer to use (when I can find it):

Hickory - >6 months (amount of time after it was a living tree)

Fruit woods - >3 months

When burning green wood you do want a hot fire, but more than that you need something to temper the acrid smoke that can out-gas from green wood.

I use a large water pan in my smoker (I believe Myron uses a water smoker for this reason).

Properly drafted smokers with plenty of water between firebox and meats will turn out great Q with green wood.
I've been using green (hickory) for 20 + years.
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Unread 11-28-2012, 09:46 PM   #6
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On the subject of water in your pit. I smoked two shoulders, no water, and it turned out great. I have heard that water is cheating. Thoughts.
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Unread 11-28-2012, 09:51 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flying_Spaghetti_Monster View Post
On the subject of water in your pit. I smoked two shoulders, no water, and it turned out great. I have heard that water is cheating. Thoughts.
Define cheating?
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Unread 11-28-2012, 10:09 PM   #8
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Interesting. I have heard multiple times that only "experienced cooks" can cook with green wood. My question is why? What is it that makes green wood special or hard to cook with?

I mostly use hickory, oak, and pecan purchased from Academy Sports. This wood has been kiln-dried. After Hurricane Issac passed through, I cut quite a bit of oak and pecan. It has been drying for the past three months. I am curious about how long I should let it dry. Any thoughts?
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Unread 11-28-2012, 10:24 PM   #9
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The big challenge with green wood is that it has a lot of moisture or sap still in the wood. This causes it to burn at a lower temp, usually resulting in a thicker, heavier smoke...unless you have a really good bed of coals to burn it on which usually means that you're cooking in the 350* range to have it burning clean enough. It's not the only way to do it with green wood, that's just the way I understand it.
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Unread 11-30-2012, 01:44 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolinaQue View Post
The big challenge with green wood is that it has a lot of moisture or sap still in the wood. This causes it to burn at a lower temp, usually resulting in a thicker, heavier smoke...unless you have a really good bed of coals to burn it on which usually means that you're cooking in the 350* range to have it burning clean enough. It's not the only way to do it with green wood, that's just the way I understand it.
Depends on the cooker.

I use green wood on my offset, and with a HOT fire in the firebox (well in excess of 350F above the fire), I get a nice stream of 250F smoke across the meat.

This past Thanksgiving I made the best Turkey ever (according to the rave reviews), using a 1/2 bag of charcoal as a base fire, I cooked the bird for 5.5 hours on nothing but partially seasoned (cut this past spring) peach wood.

The smoke flavor was delicate & consistent throughout the bird and rivaled some of the best smoked turkeys I've ever eaten.

Don't be afraid of green wood. Experiment with it until you get it right.
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Unread 11-30-2012, 01:47 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flying_Spaghetti_Monster View Post
On the subject of water in your pit. I smoked two shoulders, no water, and it turned out great. I have heard that water is cheating. Thoughts.
I only use a water pan when I cook with green wood, for reasons mentioned above.

With pork shoulders I don't use any type of liquid, but they can take a whole lot more smoke than some other meats.
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Unread 11-30-2012, 01:54 PM   #12
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Man, my experience with green wood (oak in this case) was not good! I had a good bed of coals going (using DRY wood), and then added some not-quite-dry splits. They smoked and smoked and smoked and took forever to catch fire. I try to avoid any wood that is not completely dry. My two cents... YMMV (to mix a metaphor.)
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Unread 11-30-2012, 01:55 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flying_Spaghetti_Monster View Post
On the subject of water in your pit. I smoked two shoulders, no water, and it turned out great. I have heard that water is cheating. Thoughts.
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Unread 11-30-2012, 02:21 PM   #14
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The last load of wood I got had seasoned oak and un-seasoned hickory. The un-seasoned hickory is hard to start, even with a high BTU weed burner. The smoke is more heavy, and you can hear the moisture hissing out of the log as it burns. The seasoned oak burns hot and clean. I'm looking forward to when the hickory dries out.
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Unread 11-30-2012, 05:19 PM   #15
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I've cooked with Myron and we've discussed the charcoal and wood issues:
1. Peach is thin barked and has a light sap. Burning green is easy
2. Cherry is more "hardwood" and has a heavier sap. If you burned limbs you'd probably be OK with green wood, but splits could use a bit of aging. But, I'd still use it since I usually have a real hot fire.
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