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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Old 07-09-2011, 07:18 AM   #1
Wampus
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Default CHERRY: Is cherry wood cherry or just cherry??

A couple comments in another cherry wood thread got me thinking.....


I've always used what most refer to as wild cherry for smokewood. I live on a nearly 2 acre lot, of which most is wooded. I've got a LOT of wild cherry trees on the property, most of which are 40, 50, 60 foot tall and then some. I cut them down, log, split, stack, season and smoke with them. Admittedly, I started using them (along with the oak and beech and other hardwoods) as firewood for the fireplace.

Someone commented that you should ONLY use fruit bearing trees for smokewood, but my cherry does not bear fruit. It still smells farkin good and my BBQ tastes great. Not that I'm likely to STOP using what I've got a TON of, but I thought it worth posting a thread.

Similarly, I suppose, is this issue also true with other fruitwoods? I've not seen or heard of pear, apple, peach, plum or other fruitwoods that do NOT bear fruit, but......?



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Old 07-09-2011, 07:40 AM   #2
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One thing I've learned from this site and something that really should not have required so long to realize, "Dance with the girl that brung ya."
In other words, it's been working for you. Stick with it. I have found that we all are knowledgable enough to have figured out how to make what we have work. I think this principle is what makes this site so interesting. Sure, there are standards (temps, times) but most things are up for grabs.
For example: I read on this site a thread about crabapple wood. The general idea was "Is it the same as real apple wood?" I tried crabapple wood and thought it was just fine. Honestly, I don't know of a difference between the two.
Oaks don't bear fruit, nor do Maples. As long as the wood is "sweet" and not bitter or has a "bite" or "sting" to it I would use it. Maybe a fruit bearing tree would have more sugar running through its fibers, but I'm not an arborist.
It'd be interesting if we had a tree dude able to add to the conversation. Interesting question. I think I'm going to look into this a bit more.
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Old 07-09-2011, 07:58 AM   #3
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Oh, I get you. As I said, I'm not changing a thing. I've got so many ricks of wood stacked and most of it is wild cherry, beech and oak. It works for me and that's all I need to know.

I suppose you're right that a fruit bearig tree may yield sweeter wood. In fact, a friend of mine has some branches from an actual fruit bearing cherry tree that he told me I could have (along with some peach). I'll make a comparison and see.

Either way, I'd say wild cherry works. The logs do have a distinct "cherry smell". Someone just posted in anothe thread that you should ONLY use fruit bearing woods. I don't agree with many absolutes in general, certainly not with BBQ. Like you said, it's all relative.


Just thought I'd put it to discussion.
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Old 07-09-2011, 08:09 AM   #4
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I use wild "choke" cherry wood in my drum all the time and get great results, despite threads I've seen that warn it makes food bitter. I even use more of it than the traditional "3-4 fist sized chunks". When I load up my charcoal basket, it ends up being about 1/4 small chunks and 3/4 Royal Oak briquettes. Haven't had a bitter batch yet!
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Old 07-09-2011, 08:36 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wampus View Post
Someone commented that you should ONLY use fruit bearing trees for smokewood, but my cherry does not bear fruit.
Don't know who said that, wild cherry is used all the time for smoking. I've used it a bunch and love the results.
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Old 07-09-2011, 08:49 AM   #6
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Im almost offended by hearing the Cherry folklore thats popping up. Doesnt matter whether its bing cherries or choke cherries, its great wood and anyone that got a bitter taste or bad results either used a farkload way too much wood (which will happen with any wood) or had mislabeled or rotten wood.
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Old 07-09-2011, 08:54 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saiko View Post
Don't know who said that, wild cherry is used all the time for smoking. I've used it a bunch and love the results.
As have I. I have wild cherry smoking 4 butts right now in fact. I love the flavor.

Quote:
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Im almost offended by hearing the Cherry folklore thats popping up. Doesnt matter whether its bing cherries or choke cherries, its great wood and anyone that got a bitter taste or bad results either used a farkload way too much wood (which will happen with any wood) or had mislabeled or rotten wood.
No need to be offended man! I don't buy into any idea that wild cherry is BAD wood. I'm just wondering if anyone's done a real comparison. I do agree that to get a bitter taste from most any wood, there's something else going on and it's not about the wood.
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Last edited by Wampus; 07-09-2011 at 09:20 AM..
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Old 07-09-2011, 09:20 AM   #8
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Not actually offended. slightly outraged. BBQ is such a unique thing that you can take any wood and create your own flavor.

going to cut down some worthless pine trees and plant some apple and cherry in place. someone 20 years from now will think to themselves "this is almost as if it were planned..........."
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Old 07-09-2011, 09:21 AM   #9
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Quote:
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going to cut down some worthless pine trees and plant some apple and cherry in place. someone 20 years from now will think to themselves "this is almost as if it were planned..........."


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Old 07-09-2011, 09:39 AM   #10
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Which wood to use? I live in alder and maple country so I have an abundance of them available. They do not produce fruit. I did a cook with cherry wood I got at home depot and honestly could not taste the difference. So I guess my taste is not as refined as others. I love the sweet smell of the smoker after burning some alder wood in it. I will never run out of smoker wood for sure. Lucky me!!
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Old 07-09-2011, 10:20 AM   #11
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I also disagree that wild cherry is not good for smoking because it doesn't produce a fruit. I use it also with great results. Like some one said, maple doesn't produce a fruit, but it is great for smoking. But then there are trees that have fruit names in them that I would never use for smoking like a Bradford Pear tree.
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Old 07-09-2011, 10:23 AM   #12
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The commercial cherry used in wood working is black cherry. Sounds like that is what's growing on your lot. The butt cut log on those can bring some good money if you have a sawmill near you especially if they are not yard trees. We have them and what's called choke cherry on our farm. I've used both for smoking wood and can't tell much difference between them. I've got a fruit orchard on our place and use the trimmings and culls of sweet cherry trees on occasion. Like the smoke from them also but it seems they are a little less strong than the woods varieties but I wonder if that's just my perception now.
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Old 07-09-2011, 10:40 AM   #13
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Yeah, I know a guy that has a portable saw mill. He didn't offer me much money to come over and cut the logs I had stacked once. I had whole tree logs about 10-12' long about 10-14" around and he was gonna leave me with all the mess and take only the heartwood. Something like $50 a log? NAAAA.....worth more than that to me as smoke and firewood!

I think you may be right, though.....it's likely black cherry. TALL, STRAIGHT growing trees. Beautiful red wood in the center with a lighter color just beneath the bark.

Smells farkin GREAT on the smoker too! FREE TO ME!!!!
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Old 07-09-2011, 11:05 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Untraceable View Post
Im almost offended by hearing the Cherry folklore thats popping up. Doesnt matter whether its bing cherries or choke cherries, its great wood and anyone that got a bitter taste or bad results either used a farkload way too much wood (which will happen with any wood) or had mislabeled or rotten wood.
Tru Dat.
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Old 07-09-2011, 01:01 PM   #15
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Furniture cherry is what we call wild cherry and fruit tree cherry( light color wood) is another thing. Both are great, just different. Wild cherry is the ones that taint the color to more darker, pretty color. Great for looks also along with good taste. We mix it with hickory. Steve.
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