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Demonic69

Wood for smoking Meat

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Hi All

I've been using a manual wood smoker for a year or so and getting decent results. I'm trying to get hold of some different woods, cherry, hickory etc.

Locally I can't seem to find anyone and on-line seems to be very expensive. Local retailers sell hardwood for smoking, but rarely say what type of wood it is and it tends to be beech, ash or birch as far as I can tell - none of which are great for smoking food.

Just wondering if you guys have found a decent source or have suggestions on where to look.

 

Cheers

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Beech and birch are both good for smoking. Beech is a good for everything and birch has a slightly sweet smoke similar to maple best used for white meats. 

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19 minutes ago, stumpy69 said:

Beech and birch are both good for smoking. Beech is a good for everything and birch has a slightly sweet smoke similar to maple best used for white meats. 

I don't mind them but the Mrs says they leave a bitter taste compared to when I use Oak, especially when used in the pizza oven. Have you noticed that?

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22 minutes ago, Demonic69 said:

I don't mind them but the Mrs says they leave a bitter taste compared to when I use Oak, especially when used in the pizza oven. Have you noticed that?

Check out the various 'smoking' videos available on youtbe. There are a number fromTexas and I know for sure on one it mentioned why the bitter taste was caused.   I cut small amounts of plum, cherry, apple and oak and just small branches 2 inches maximum, split them and hang them up in the shed to dry for a couple of years.  String vegetable bags are good for this and put a date on.  I then cut the dried wood into chunks to put on top of the hot coals and I soak the wood for an hour or so before doing this, it then stops it bursting into flame.

If you see a dead tree branch which has been down for a few years then ideal to harvest a few bits from it as it will be pretty dry.     AND    it is all free.

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5 hours ago, Demonic69 said:

I don't mind them but the Mrs says they leave a bitter taste compared to when I use Oak, especially when used in the pizza oven. Have you noticed that?

Probably because the wood you are using isn't seasoned properly but the oak is, if anything beech and birch should be producing a much softer smoke than oak which can be overpowering. Airflow makes a big difference, too much smoke is bad and gives a bitter taste, it should be a light wispy almost light blue smoke not a thick smoke. 

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I have a converted 45 gallon drum which has a rack about 2ft above the heat source/smoke.  I am very careful to not put too much wood on the coals and you can add a bit more afterwards. As said above a 'gentle' amount of smoke over a long period is best.  I do a full beef brisket and set the fire at 6am put the meat on the rack about 6.45 and add a couple of chncks of wood at that time, then check again about two hours afterwrds and add a couple more if needed.  Then let it sit four about four hours and check again and maybe ad a few more bits of charcoal if the temp is falling. Keep a steady heat on until about 2pm and then wrap the brisket in foil and put it back on.  About 6pm it is ready to carve.  So far so good and very little of the brisket has been left by friends enjoying the meal.

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a bag of sterilized mixed chippings from the pet shops , use it mostly for the pigeon , but marinate the pigeon the day before , works for me.

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I'm good with the smoke control, thin light blue smoke is the norm... Mostly. I've done brisket and ribs recently and they've all been cooked great (wireless probes FTW). I do steak on a salt block too, takes a while but the results are worth it.

TBH I usually end up with shop bought "hardwood", especially for the pizza oven, so it's probably of questionable quality. The oak I get is from a local joinery firm and is usually clean and burns well.

I'll see if I can source some better quality stuff and not shy away from certain woods. I'd read they were bitter so assumed it was the species rather than the type I'd bought. If it works ok for you guys I'm happy to give it another go as it's a damn sight easier to get 😁

 

Cheers! 

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I have used pine and spruce branches and there cones , I used them green unseasoned and they were fine. You can use any wood seasoned or unseasoned all depends on the taste your after , I have done Canada goose breasts and the usual summer mackerel.

If your getting chips or sawdust make sure it's not from chainsaw and only from chipper or planer. 

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On 08/01/2020 at 09:51, Demonic69 said:

Hi All

I've been using a manual wood smoker for a year or so and getting decent results. I'm trying to get hold of some different woods, cherry, hickory etc.

Locally I can't seem to find anyone and on-line seems to be very expensive. Local retailers sell hardwood for smoking, but rarely say what type of wood it is and it tends to be beech, ash or birch as far as I can tell - none of which are great for smoking food.

Just wondering if you guys have found a decent source or have suggestions on where to look.

 

Cheers

Hi there's a bloke on  Facebook marketplace selling oak sawdust for smoking fish & meat  £2 a bag  ,in the Chesterfield area  ! I hope this is of help  ? atb DD

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