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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 04-08-2014, 02:00 PM   #1
mattdean1003
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Join Date: 02-27-12
Location: Bogart, GA
Default Firewood question

Hello all. Dad got a pretty good deal on a Husky 440 saw and we've been clearing out some trees here at the house, just cleaning up a bit. Anything half-dollar sized or more goes into my firewood pile to sell; people seem to like the tiny stuff just as much as the split and non split larger stuff. So, we decided to cut down a pretty big tree down at our creek and I've been limbing it, keeping all of the branches in a pile (smaller than half dollar sized) to use for starting my smoker. However...upon doing a bit of cutting, we discovered one small little problem. Not a problem for firewood, but a problem for smoking.

It's poplar.

We thought it was water oak but it doesn't have that awful smell that fresh, wet oak has. None of the wood I've cut up, except for one tree that I absolutely knew was oak, is going to be suitable for smoking. It's sweetgum, poplar, etc. So here is my question, behind the long, drawn out paragraph.

Is poplar OK to at least start the smoker and get a bed of coals made? Or...should I just toss the tiny stuff into the creek and let nature do it's thing?
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Old 04-08-2014, 02:10 PM   #2
Okie Sawbones
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Poplar burns up fast. If you wrap your meat, cook over hickory or apple or whatever your favorite wood is for smoking. After you wrap, feed in the poplar to keep the heat up... but you'll be doing a lot of feeding.
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Old 04-08-2014, 03:43 PM   #3
Yellowhair42
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I've always heard sweetgum(the one with round spike ball fruit)is not good cooking wood.
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Old 04-08-2014, 04:05 PM   #4
Okie Sawbones
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Sweetgum, American (Liquidambar styraciflua)

Poplar (Populus genus) The Cottonwood is also in this genus.

Two different trees.
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Old 04-08-2014, 04:26 PM   #5
ButtBurner
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build yourself a retort and make charcoal out of it
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Old 04-08-2014, 10:19 PM   #6
mattdean1003
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I could TOTALLY turn those limbs into charcoal. Would it taste like poplar or would it taste like...lump charcoal? I've seen people take empty paint cans, put them in a fire and make charcoal.
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Old 04-09-2014, 06:06 AM   #7
ButtBurner
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattdean1003 View Post
I could TOTALLY turn those limbs into charcoal. Would it taste like poplar or would it taste like...lump charcoal? I've seen people take empty paint cans, put them in a fire and make charcoal.
as long as it was done properly it should not taste like anything

I would make a proper retort.

using the paint can method would take forever to do any quantity and it might not get burned properly
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Old 04-09-2014, 07:45 AM   #8
dwfisk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ButtBurner View Post
as long as it was done properly it should not taste like anything

I would make a proper retort.

using the paint can method would take forever to do any quantity and it might not get burned properly
^Yep! http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/sh...d.php?t=165388
I'll add another link in a minute on edit.

Edit: check out the link at the very top of this (V) thread, has some retort build info.
http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/sh...d.php?t=171187
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