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smoking wood

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Adamm

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When using woods to smoke do you worry where it comes from? i have unlimited supply to apple and peach wood but this wood
was in an apple orchard that sprayed who knows what over the years. so my question is the apple wood you can buy in a store pure? do you think
the wood would be ok to use?
 

99Limited

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... so my question is the apple wood you can buy in a store pure? do you think
the wood would be ok to use?
Why did you have to go and bring that up? I was in blissful ignorance buying fruit wood from the store and now you've gone and made me think about whether it's safe to use or not. :chin:

Do you eat the fruit from the orchard? If it was me, I wouldn't worry too much about it especially if the wood is seasoned.
 

Jim

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The general thinking is if the fruit was safe to eat the smoke is also- I enjoy apple wood for my pork ribs.
 

kalaeb

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I have always used hickory, I guess from an environmental standpoint they probably get doused with less pesticides than fruit bearing trees. Plus I like the flavor.
 

spinblue

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It's a little rough when I inhale, so I gave it up. :biggrin2:
 

monty

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My suspicion is that if you are like me, the meat you smoke is much worse for your health than any residual chemicals that may be imparted from burning treated wood. :cool2:
 

rahimlee54

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If you have access to the wood in your yard that would be great otherwise I wouldn't worry to much. The pesticides on any apples or other thin skin fruit are going to be more concentrated that what would adsorb into the wood.
 

Eamon Burke

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I would agree that if you will eat the fruit, it's probably OK(GENERALLY). But I don't consider non-organic apples safe to eat either, so I wouldn't. I don't eat all organic(cause I can't afford to), but I used to work with industrial pesticides and herbicides, and sometimes I can identify what lingering pesticides are on the fruit at Kroger.

Seriously, Apples are one of the WORST. They have like 16 approved pesticides.
 

mhlee

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While I have bought smoking wood from Barbecues Galore, I prefer to buy wood for smoking from Farmers Markets so I can ask if the wood has been sprayed, if they can ensure that it's the specific kind of wood I want, and how long it's been since it's been cut down so I can season it more if necessary. Most of the wood I use has been unsprayed or treated and comes from certified organic farms. Sometimes, fruit vendors have the stuff around but just don't bring it to the market because it's heavy and there's limited demand for it. I recommend asking around.

I prefer peachwood. It's the best all around smoking wood for pork and chicken IMHO.
 

wenus2

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yeah I like peach too, don't hear much about it from others though. apricot is nice as well.

I have 3 apple trees 2 cherries a peach and an apricot, so I just use the annual trimmings.

Anybody use pear? I was just thinking my sister has a pear tree over to her place, I should talk to her about getting some.
 

Jim

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I have used Pear on chicken, I found its a little stronger than you would think. But not as strong as plum.
 

Doug Seward

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The best ribs I have every cooked were with plum wood. These days, I generally cook most BBQ with a mixture of pecan and cherry. -Doug
 

wenus2

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Thanks Jim!

I was able to salvage some branches from the burn pile. I will look forward to trying it. Would you use it on chicken again, or stick to pork/beef?

thanks.
 

mhlee

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Just a thought. If you're concerned about how strong the flavor of your food will be using smoking woods, also take into consideration how large of a piece you are using and the location of where the wood is with respect to the fire. For stronger woods, I usually put small chunks (I rarely use logs), directly onto the fire right before loading the meat to get heavy smoke so as to get as deep as possible of a smoke ring as possible (there are several good explanations of the chemical process of creating a smoke ring on the web, that explain that the smoke ring is only created when initially smoking the meat when the meat is cold) and then putting small pieces throughout the charcoal to create a steady, but slow stream of smoke. For milder woods, I again start with a large piece to get heavy smoke, but use larger pieces spread throughout the charcoal to ensure a steady, greater stream of smoke.
 

Jim

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I think that what you said has a lot of merit. For real good BBQ I find that the quality of the smoke is super important. If the smoke is acrid or bitter your meat will be also. Really learning your particular cooker I think is the best way to do this. I always shoot for thin blue smoke. The worst is billowing white smoke.
 

mhlee

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I think that what you said has a lot of merit. For real good BBQ I find that the quality of the smoke is super important. If the smoke is acrid or bitter your meat will be also. Really learning your particular cooker I think is the best way to do this. I always shoot for thin blue smoke. The worst is billowing white smoke.
I agree. If the smoke is acrid, the meat will be acrid and bitter. I've noticed that pork is the most forgiving meat to oversmoke, then chicken, and last, beef. In my experience, you need to have a very light hand with smoke (or use mild, neutral woods) when it comes to beef.

I also believe in removing bark from woods, if possible, because the rate it burns is different than the actual center of the wood. I also notice that the bark smells different than the center of the wood. (Yes, I smell the wood I use.)

I also almost always leave the top vent of my cooker (actually, just a Weber 22.5 OG Performer) to let out the smoke to keep the smoke freely flowing. If the cooker is billowing white smoke, it's probably burning too much, too fast, and too hot. That's not barbecue.

I agree with you Jim. Learning to use your cooker is extremely important.
 
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