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Unread 04-22-2011, 02:26 PM   #1
catkins
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Default Settle a bet: Certain woods used for kindling/starting fire

Just got my first smoker this month and want to protect it's already seasoned interior. My know it all father () thinks that using walnut twigs to start the fire along with charcoal would be ok as long as once you got the fire going you stick with good smoking wood (I used a blend of apple, oak & hickory) to keep it going during the smoking process.

I'm not saying he's wrong, I'm saying he & I are both novices and should ask the brethren before we use walnut as a fire starter. My main concern would be if the wrong type of wood used could potentialy stain the interior of my smoker with a sour smell or something less that good bbq smell.

What do you all think?
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Unread 04-22-2011, 02:28 PM   #2
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I always thought any tree that bears fruits or nuts is okay to use, look here.
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Unread 04-22-2011, 02:31 PM   #3
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+1 I thought any hardwood could be used. Why not get a chimney starter or a weed burner, hence no need for kindling.
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Unread 04-22-2011, 02:36 PM   #4
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If the smoker is already seasoned then I don't know why it would matter. Just use whatever wood you would normally smoke with. Make sure the wood is seasoned, don't use anything green and you'll be fine.
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Unread 04-22-2011, 02:46 PM   #5
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As far as I know all nut bearing trees and fruit bearing trees are good to use for
cooking and smoking.
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Unread 04-22-2011, 02:48 PM   #6
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Walnut is said to be fine in small increments. So using it for kindling should be no problem. I am not sure, I would try a long low and smoke cook with just walnut.
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Unread 04-22-2011, 02:55 PM   #7
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Walnut certainly won't hurt you smoker or your seasoning on it. It is much easier to use either a chimney or a weed burner to start it though. I like the chimney, filled with briquettes then under them I wad a couple of paper towels with cooking oil on them. Light them and wait until the briquettes turn white to dump in your smoker,toss in a couple of chunks of the wood your gonna use. Then wait until you got the temps settled down to where you want them and got a thin blue smoke. Put in your meat and you're cooking. Have fun!
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Unread 04-22-2011, 05:35 PM   #8
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Black walnut has juglone compounds that are harmful to some animals, particularly horses. Sawdust from our sawmill cannot have it if it's to be used for bedding. Dogs also should not be allowed to have their feet exposed to it for any amount of time.

I don't use it myself for these reasons. Plenty of other hardwoods better suited.
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Unread 04-22-2011, 05:49 PM   #9
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I wouldnt burn walnut in my smoker either.
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Unread 04-22-2011, 09:08 PM   #10
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When I smoke with a pure stick burner, the kindling is long gone before the meat goes on. I split cedar into small splits, maybe 3/4" on a side. I crunch up paper and make a little pile and then stack kindling over that in a tepee shape, and then stack 3 dry logs over that, also in a tepee shape. I usually only have to light it once as long as the wood is good and dry. I let it burn down to get a good bed of hot coals, then add some wood, and once that's going good on goes the meat.

Guys smoke salmon all the time with cedar anyway even though it isn't a hardwood. Cedar-smoked salmon is a Northwest traditional dish and if you've never had it, do yourself a favor and try it.

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Unread 04-22-2011, 10:17 PM   #11
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I think it's a fine idea to start a coal bed.
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Unread 04-22-2011, 10:33 PM   #12
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Kindling? Really?

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Unread 04-22-2011, 10:51 PM   #13
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I smoke with black walnut all the time, very strong smoke and taste great with apple or cherry. 1 fist size walnut and two or three of the other has made the best brisket I have ever cooked.

BTW might want to check this link out:

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/sh...77&postcount=2

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Unread 04-22-2011, 11:22 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NorthwestBBQ View Post
Kindling? Really?

Been using that Kettle much lately?
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Unread 04-22-2011, 11:32 PM   #15
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I loathe the way walnut smells when cut, am slightly allergic to the meats, and hated helping my uncle prune and harvest his orchard. That being said, no reason I can think of to use it for kindling.

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