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By karstopo
#2177101
I love oak, live oak, especially that kind that is weathered with no bark and super hard. I use a lot of hickory on pork. I did a turkey with orange wood that came out great and had a nice golden color.

Anyone ever use fig wood? I read it is outstanding. Neighbor cut down an otherwise healthy fig and I birddogged it and cut it up to air dry. I'd love to hear anyone's experience using fig.
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By Mythman
#2177157
My favorite smoking wood is Pecan, then Hickory and third Mesquite ( although, I hate all the work it takes to get the bitter out of Mesquite).
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By karstopo
#2177193
Mythman wrote:My favorite smoking wood is Pecan, then Hickory and third Mesquite ( although, I hate all the work it takes to get the bitter out of Mesquite).


I just cut up some mesquite, what do you have to do to get the bitter out?
User avatar
By Yaklash
#2177604
I was told by someone who has waaaaaaay more experience than I do, that mesquite is best for direct heat cooking - steaks, fajitas, burgers, etc. The bitterness doesn't set in when you are cooking for less than a half hour, from what I was told. But for low and slow, mesquite imparts too much bitterness.

I like all of the woods you have mentioned - pecan, hickory, oak and I have used some of the fruit woods; cherry and apple - but for brisket (which I rarely smoke), I prefer oak, white oak if I can get it, and then I'll throw in some hickory or pecan near the end.

On the subject of woods, I wasn't really aware of the "smoking wood" industry. My sister had a big oak tree she wanted cut down in her front yard (for fear that the next hurricane would surely put some of it on her roof). By pure coincidence, we were at her granddaughter's birthday and the guy cooking all of the food was talking about his business. He'll cut your tree down and haul off the wood for next to nothing, if it is wood that he can dry and resell. She got a 70 year old, rather large oak tree cut down for less than $600 :shock:.

He'll cut the primary & secondary branches down to size and put it out to dry for a year before he sells it to one of his "BBQ clients." The trunks, he sometimes sells for either veneer or solid wood, "if it is of superior quality."
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By Chief Brody
#2177697
It's a good subject to kick around. I've never heard of using fig - I'd be interested in hearing how that works out.

If I could have my choice I'd use apple, but it's tough to get in quantity. If I'm doing a chunk of pork (like a butt or something thick like that), I like pecan or hickory - although you have to be careful with hickory - too much is not good. Ribs and brisket I go with mesquite, but I'll take every bit of bark off before I use it, and I work to keep a flame going on the wood so it doesn't smolder - that's where you get quite a bit of the bitterness people don't like. Oak is also fine, and plentiful and available everywhere, it's what most of the central Texas bbq joints use and when you smell their food you can tell. I'll use it interchangeably with mesquite when I don't have any of that.

An interesting fact: in Hawaii they use something called Kiawe to bbq. When I was stationed there I picked some up and used it to smoke some sausages or spam or something. Well the wood looked like mesquite, and when I put it to fire, it smelled quite a bit like it too. Turns out they are cousins.

end of lesson...
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By Yaklash
#2177857
Chief Brody wrote: An interesting fact: in Hawaii they use something called Kiawe to bbq. When I was stationed there I picked some up and used it to smoke some sausages or spam or something. Well the wood looked like mesquite, and when I put it to fire, it smelled quite a bit like it too. Turns out they are cousins.
end of lesson...

Nice!!! I commend you for admitting it. I still purchase and consume Spam and canned Corned Beef Hash for all camping trips, most deer hunting trips and the occasional cookout. My favorite with the corned beef hash is browning it in a skillet, cracking eggs over the top, add a bit of water for steam and put a lid on it. High jacking over.
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By Mythman
#2177861
karstopo wrote:
Mythman wrote:My favorite smoking wood is Pecan, then Hickory and third Mesquite ( although, I hate all the work it takes to get the bitter out of Mesquite).


I just cut up some mesquite, what do you have to do to get the bitter out?


Cut or burn the bark off.............the bark is the bitter part.

Famous BBQ places in Texas that use Mesquite usually have a pit that burns the mesquite until the bark is all burned off then they shovel the hot burning wood and coals into the cooking/smoking pit.
By Phishtech
#2177957
Got a good friend from Louisianna (coonass part of the state) and he swears he uses Chinese Tallow trees for smoking wood and BBQ'ing. I haven't tried it myself.

I get most of my meat smoking recipes from:

http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/

This guy is a meat smokin' guru.
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By Taz
#2178030
Pecan is my favorite but you have peaked my interest on this "fig" wood. Sounds feasible but looks different than most smoking woods.
I am going to have to see if I can find some.
Maybe my neighbor won't notice a missing limb (or 2) from his tree?
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By Chief Brody
#2178574
Yaklash wrote:
Chief Brody wrote: An interesting fact: in Hawaii they use something called Kiawe to bbq. When I was stationed there I picked some up and used it to smoke some sausages or spam or something. Well the wood looked like mesquite, and when I put it to fire, it smelled quite a bit like it too. Turns out they are cousins.
end of lesson...

Nice!!! I commend you for admitting it. I still purchase and consume Spam and canned Corned Beef Hash for all camping trips, most deer hunting trips and the occasional cookout. My favorite with the corned beef hash is browning it in a skillet, cracking eggs over the top, add a bit of water for steam and put a lid on it. High jacking over.


spam is the national meat of Hawaii I think, folks there just love that stuff. Typical non-tourist breakfast in Hawaii is fried spam, 2 fried eggs, sticky rice, and toast. When I was a kid we weren't quite dirt poor, but we could see it from where we lived, and I can't tell you how many times we had fried spam and mac n cheese for dinner.
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By karstopo
#2179437
I just split some 6-7 inch cylinders of the fig wood in to smaller chunks. Wow, the wood has such a great aroma of fresh figs. Tree was cut down about 2 months ago. I'm going to let it season for some more time, but it is mouthwatering prospect.
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By texan4ut
#2180917
I use peach wood, also you can use peach pits soaked in water. You can soak pecan shells too. Used to be able to get 50# sack of peach pits in Fredricksburg for about $3.00. Not anymore. Apple wood is good too. Mesquite like already been said needs to have the bark removed or burnt off. In my electric smoker I buy a bag of every kind of wood Academy has in stock. Small bags and I mix em together so I have a variety of woods being used at the same time. Store it a plastic bucket with a lid.
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By Yaklash
#2180949
badfish wrote:What about peach, plum and pear wood? Anyone tried those?

My father never smoked meat, so to speak, but he used pear wood from our Chinese sand pear tree on the charcoal grill for flavor. Tasted great to me as a kid, but I don't know that wasn't just an undeveloped palette that thought any smoke was good smoke.

My Dad also used dried corn cobs. In our family garden we grew corn and we would eat all of it from the cob. He'd store it in a bucket in the garage and use iot after a few months of drying. Again, as a kid, I thought it was great. Tried it as an adult and it was OK, definitely different.
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By karstopo
#2181048
I've read about corn cobs as an interesting thing to try. Somewhere, I read Chinese tallow is good or poisonous depending on who you ask.

I know any conifer is off limits. Sycamore, hackberry, green cottonwood all not good.
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By Pablo
#2181083
Mesquite - While I have a lot of it, I never use it for cooking because I go low and slow. Mesquite is for hot and fast. That said, mesquite gets really dry, splits well and is great for starting a sit around fire pit at Camp Pablo that ultimately is loaded with live oak. For hot and fast situations like for a thick sirloin or rib-eye steaks, I'll typically use Kingsford.

Live Oak - This is my go to wood for smoke cooking pork ribs and chicken. I take off the bark because too much of a good thing, smoke, is not a good thing over 3 or 4 or even 10 hours. Live oak allows for tending of the fire less times per hour or so while maintaining cooking temperature.

Pecan - Have a good stock of this wood. Using some primo aged and debarked pecan, I will use it for brisket cooking over the holidays which generally takes 10-12 hours. This wood seems to not flare with heat like live oak and for sure mesquite. This wood seems easier to control and maintain the proverbial magic (?) 225 degree temp range. The nice thing of Pecan in addition to not getting too hot is the nice flavor it gives the meat when compared to live oak.

Post Oak - A black tree trimmer I used once upon a time put this debarked wood forward as the preferred wood of serious grill masters. He talked a good talk. While I have hunted in the post oak woods south of my hometown of Weimar, I do not now have access to Post Oak so I never gave that wood a go; however, if I come upon some post oak wood, I'll definitely give it a try.
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By Pablo
#2181323
Just a heads up that HEB has brisket and pork spare ribs at $1.49/lb. for this Easter weekend . . . :)
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By karstopo
#2205416
I've been using the fig wood to smoke food on the BGE obtained from my neighbor's large live edible fig tree that was partially cut down. It's been seasoning in small usable chunks in my garage for about 8 months. I've used it on Pork Shoulder/Butt and pork ribs. I'm using Orange wood with it, maybe 50/50. Definitely different than hickory or oak. Not the Bacon-like aroma that Hickory wood produces. Hard to describe the aroma and flavor. Nice, slightly sweet and lightly spicy smoke, with a hint of fresh figs. The food has gotten very good reviews from the family. I might try a Turkey using the fig/orange wood combo.
By charlief1
#2207059
During the winter I'll use mesquite because of the heat, but during the summer I use elm. It's very dense and burns nice and slow. It also adds a light smoke flavor which is perfect in most cases. :wink:

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