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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, equipment and outdoor cookin' . ** Other cooking techniques are welcomed for when your cookin' in the kitchen. Post your hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures, but stay on topic and watch for that hijacking.


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Old Yesterday, 09:25 AM   #1
Bigpappa1
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Join Date: 01-20-20
Location: Cedar Falls, IA
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Default Help with my wood

I couldn't resist...so many jokes to make...

Anyhow, I actually could use a hand with wood selection. Even after years of smoking, there are several woods I haven't tried. I have really only used hickory, apple, pecan, and mulberry. I'm in Iowa so we have an abundance of mulberry. I used to think that it didn't matter what kind of wood you used, outside of hickory and mesquite which are so potent, but I have lately started to change that opinion. I'm looking for a sweet but hearty smoke flavor. Hickory just doesn't seem to be doing it for me lately. It's almost too...sharp, if that makes sense. My mulberry seems almost non-existent to occasionally kind of off-tasting. It's good and dried, but the smell is more earthy than I would like when it's coming out of the stack. If you can call wood "gamey" that's how I would describe it.

Does anyone have any suggestions? I have been afraid to try oak just because we don't have much for post oak around here, only straight white or red oak. I had considered giving a cherry and pecan blend a try. I'm cooking poultry and pork most of the time. Beef is more rare just because it's so costly to cook these days. Any thoughts?
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Old Yesterday, 09:43 AM   #2
Viticulture
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I know you said you don't cook much beef but for the times you do both red and white oak are great w/ the nod going to red. Around where I live people use oak all the time. It works fantastic for tri tip and NY steaks. For poultry I tend to lean toward Hickory and Apple combo. For pork ribs it's apple, cherry and / or hickory for me.
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Old Yesterday, 09:48 AM   #3
Bigpappa1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Viticulture View Post
I know you said you don't cook much beef but for the times you do both red and white oak are great w/ the nod going to red. Around where I live people use oak all the time. It works fantastic for tri tip and NY steaks. For poultry I tend to lean toward Hickory and Apple combo. For pork ribs it's apple, cherry and / or hickory for me.
Thank you, sir, that is helpful! I actually just did some snooping and found that my favorite que joint uses oak. I have been avoiding it for years for some reason, even though it's the most abundant wood I think I can likely get my hands on here in Iowa. That cherry is what I think I really need to try. I used a hickory/mulberry blend on some poultry recently, trying to go light on the hickory. It just didn't quite turn out the way I wanted. Gotta get me some cherry and give that a whirl. Fortunately, I got some big hunks of oak sitting around waiting to be split. Looks like I got wood for the weekend!
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Old Yesterday, 09:59 AM   #4
SmoothBoarBBQ
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Join Date: 02-25-17
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White Oak is amazing and Post Oak is really just a specific species of White Oak. Red Oak, in my opinion, is a VERY strong wood that can be very pungent if it's not fully cured.

White Oak and Pecan are my favorite smoking woods by a large margin. White Oak gives off a mellow, sweet smoke and I think that might scratch the itch you're having. I've used White Oak on poultry, beef, and pork and it's a fantastic smoking wood. It burns for a long time at a relatively lower temperature (in my experience) compared to Hickory or Pecan.

Pecan smells like a sweeter version of Hickory (at least to me) and I absolutely love it on beef or pork. Pecan just has such an amazing smell that I love cutting it and splitting it. When I get a full cord of it my whole back yard smells so good for weeks after I do all the cutting and splitting...even the wife loves it.

When it comes to fruit woods I feel like they don't really offer much in terms of aroma. Cherry is a huge outlier though and it puts a super powerful sweet / cherry aroma on the food. It also darkens up the meat really well, but for my taste it's really overpowering on beef and tastes very out of place. Cherry goes great with poultry and pork, and if you mix it with Pecan or Oak, then you'll be doing yourself a favor.

Good luck and I'm jealous that you can readily get all of these woods. Out in my area all I can get is "mixed hardwoods" which is mostly red oak, some hickory, and if I'm lucky I'll get a bit of pecan.
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Old Yesterday, 10:11 AM   #5
Whumpa
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Not trying to highjack this thread, but I have a question for SmoothBoar, or anyone else for that matter. Does using pecan wood impart a pecan nut taste on the meat you are smoking? The reason I ask is because I cannot stand the taste of pecan nuts. Please, don’t judge, I just do not like them at all. But when SmoothBoar stared that it tastes like a sweeter version of hickory it got me thinking. Thanks all.
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Old Yesterday, 10:33 AM   #6
Smoke on Badger Mountain
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We burn red oak like crazy here in Ca. It's pronounced but mellow. If you are getting any harshness out of it then it's not fully seasoned. If it's available use it for sure. Cherry is one of the best fruit wood IMO. The only thing that might possibly beat it out of the top spot for me would be plumb. It's richer, darker sweeter. I just did a chuck on the stick burner last night with Asian Pear. I had never tried it before but was very pleased with the results. It was very mild and a little sweet, but you could tell it was there. It also burns pretty hot.


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Originally Posted by Whumpa View Post
Not trying to highjack this thread, but I have a question for SmoothBoar, or anyone else for that matter. Does using pecan wood impart a pecan nut taste on the meat you are smoking? The reason I ask is because I cannot stand the taste of pecan nuts. Please, don’t judge, I just do not like them at all. But when SmoothBoar stared that it tastes like a sweeter version of hickory it got me thinking. Thanks all.
I'm don't fell like it tastes like the nut. Hickory but smoother, sweeter and less pronounced.
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Old Yesterday, 10:38 AM   #7
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cherry cherry cherry
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Old Yesterday, 10:42 AM   #8
JAKs Q & brew
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Assuming based on your signature you are asking for you WSM. I'd recommend getting some mail order chunks and trying different words. I have had a great experience with Fruita.com. I got a 3 wood combo box a few different times so I could try lots of options.

For a stick burner you really need to source local or it becomes very expensive
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Old Yesterday, 10:53 AM   #9
gcs
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I've used most of the smoking woods including mulberry, the actual smoke smells different to me, but not the taste of the finished product, but thats me.....

I'll use cherry the most, have a lot of choke cherry here, and I use pick up sticks from a pignut hickory in my yard that has the nicest "sweet" smoke I've found. That said, not all hickory, cherry, oak is the same everywhere, you just got to find one in your area that you like.
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Old Yesterday, 10:59 AM   #10
SweetHeatBBQnSC
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Hickory and Cherry on pork and beef so far. Cherry on poultry. Only thing is I haven't really been able to taste any of the smoke on my chicken (could on turkey). I always heard people say you don't want it too strong on poultry, but I need to up my amount to taste it on chicken. Has anyone ever used peach? I heard it's really good.
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Old Yesterday, 11:19 AM   #11
Bigpappa1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JAKs Q & brew View Post
Assuming based on your signature you are asking for you WSM. I'd recommend getting some mail order chunks and trying different words. I have had a great experience with Fruita.com. I got a 3 wood combo box a few different times so I could try lots of options.

For a stick burner you really need to source local or it becomes very expensive
You are correct, sir. I'm guessing you mean fruitawood.com? I see they have all kinds of good stuff. Thanks for the tip!
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Old Yesterday, 11:24 AM   #12
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All wood is fine, as long as it’s cherry.
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Old Yesterday, 11:35 AM   #13
tom b
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I start my coal bed with oak then feed it cherry and almond
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Old Yesterday, 03:20 PM   #14
SmoothBoarBBQ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whumpa View Post
Not trying to highjack this thread, but I have a question for SmoothBoar, or anyone else for that matter. Does using pecan wood impart a pecan nut taste on the meat you are smoking? The reason I ask is because I cannot stand the taste of pecan nuts. Please, don’t judge, I just do not like them at all. But when SmoothBoar stared that it tastes like a sweeter version of hickory it got me thinking. Thanks all.
I HATE pecan nuts as well, but Pecan wood leaves an amazing aroma which is complex and maybe a bit sweet? It smells like a bit of a sweeter and lighter Hickory to me. I use Pecan wood on everything when I can get my hands on it, and my customers love the light profile it brings. I use it on chicken and chicken wings, brisket, pork ribs, and pulled pork...just amazing.

Before you use it on BBQ you can grab a bag of Pecan chunks at Walmart or Acadamy Sports (or similar type of place) and burn the wood in a barrel or firepit and see if you like the smell. If it does smell like pecan nuts to you then obviously it probably wouldn't be the best cooking wood for you.
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Old Yesterday, 04:23 PM   #15
Whumpa
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Thanks for the info bud. I have always shyed away from pecan would just for the fact of my dislike of the nuts. Going to try your suggestions.
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