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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 09-09-2011, 10:56 PM   #1
snyper77
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Default Newbie here - Questions about wood

I'm in northeast Alabama. There are LOTS of trees down due to recent tornadoes and tropical storms. I have people offering me oak and hickory. I've already accumulated 2 chevy truck loads of hickory.

  1. Should I get some oak also?
  2. Should I always mix oak (70%) with hickory (30%) or would the hickory be overbearing if I use it 100%?
I'm definitely going to get pecan and fruit wood if it's offered.
Any advice is greatly appreciated.
Thanks.
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Old 09-09-2011, 11:09 PM   #2
JMSetzler
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I'd say get whatever you can if it's free and create yourself a nice stockpile of dried woods to use.
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Old 09-09-2011, 11:09 PM   #3
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Depends on what you like to cook. I like oak and pecan for brisket. I use hickory for pork and sometimes for chicken. Hickory is definitely a strong wood, a little goes a long way for me. Never hurts to get some while you can though. If you end up not liking the taste of a certain wood you can always give it away free on craigslist.
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Old 09-09-2011, 11:13 PM   #4
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I like to mix oak and hickory at about 80% oak and 20% hickory. Works really well. Don't pass up oak. It's also good by itself. So, yes, go for it!

Use oak for heat and hickory for smoke. But, oak for heat and smoke works good too.
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Old 09-10-2011, 01:53 AM   #5
HeSmellsLikeSmoke
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Oak is especially good for beef.
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Old 09-10-2011, 02:03 AM   #6
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I wish I had a situation like that! Oak is great. Hickory is my go-to, but I love 'em all. As mentioned already, I tend to go for the oak when doing beef. If I'm worrying about hitting the grub too hard with smoke, I'll start using apple or just even some lump. I've been loving pecan with chicken lately.
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Old 09-10-2011, 02:24 AM   #7
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Oak is one of the best woods for bbq. It burns hot and long, has a nice mild smoke to it mixed with the hickory would be excellent
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Old 09-10-2011, 06:54 AM   #8
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Yes.......yes........and yes!

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Old 09-10-2011, 07:04 AM   #9
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I would get as many varieties as you can and stockpile them- or participate in the brethren exchange.
I have a 10' long row of split wood beside my smoker and I chunk it as I need. I have cherry, oak,apple, hickory, maple and pear. My hickory is local(rare) and not near as strong a smoke flavor as your southern hickory. I really enjoy the taste and smell of southern hickory and the power of your mesquite wood. and pecan.... ummm!

My point is that its good to have a nice variety on hand so you can cook to your groceries or to your guests. When its just us guys, they all love the heavy smoke. For the girls I will use the lighter smoking fruit woods.
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Old 09-10-2011, 08:14 AM   #10
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Sounds like you hit the jackpot. You can use either 100% oak or 100% hickory, and it won't be overpowering. Mix them if you like, it's purely a matter of taste. For most people hickory works well on everything. Oak is usually associated with beef, I think mainly because of a texas connection, and it's pretty pungent. No rules though. Have fun.

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Old 09-10-2011, 08:23 AM   #11
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I'm originally from North central Alabama and hickory is my favorite smoking wood, just by itself for pork. I hadn't used oak until a few years ago but MAN what it does to beef! Grab both while you can!
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Old 09-10-2011, 10:19 AM   #12
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I use pecan all the time & love it.
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Old 09-10-2011, 10:33 AM   #13
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Grab some hickory, cut it up, and send me some chunks of Alabaman hickory
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Old 09-10-2011, 10:59 AM   #14
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Both are just fine if your smoke is burning sweet, but I'd prefer the straight hickory for only pork butts. We smoked a bunch of leg quarters last weekend with nothing but oak and the flavor was incredible, so it does great by itself with yardbird, just like beef. Also I'll second or third the hickory/oak combo that works on anything.

Be sure to use bricks to keep the wood off the ground and it'll be good for quite a while.
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Old 09-10-2011, 01:38 PM   #15
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Pecan is unusable, and dangerous to handle. Send it to me and I'll get rid of it for you. PM me and I'll give you my address.
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