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Post Tue Jun 29, 2004 8:10 am
Grand Scale BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 4272
Location: York, PA
Ok now I know forever our mantra has been to remove the bark. But I just want to ask this again, is it really necessary?
The reason I'masking is two fold.
First and foremost, I've been watching all the BBQ that Food Network has to offer and ALMOST EVERY time they show pitmasters, and not the backyard variety mind you but the pro restaurant types, they show them using whole logs with the bark STILL ON.
What is everyones opinion?
Second is that I found out that I have access to enough Hickory to last me a lifetime but its all still standing with the bark on it.
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Post Tue Jun 29, 2004 8:57 am
Bob-BQN User avatar
well done
well done

Posts: 12904
Location: Texas
Funny you should ask this Grand. While in K.C. I saw a Bobby Flay show (of all things) on the Food Network. BTW he didn't get under my skin the way everyone was talking, guess I was too interested in the BBQ. :lol: His show covered K.C. Barbecue. He reviewed a few restaurants and interviewed several pitmasters at a cook-off. I noticed that these pitmasters were using split wood, bark and all and no one asked the "bark" question on the show. It's had me wondering all week??? I went to the hardwood place that all the pitmasters we bragging about, Fairlane's, but they were closed because they all went to a cook-off in Kansas. So I didn't get the cherry wood that I wanted. :cry:

We learned that some woods, like apple, can still be used green, maybe through research or experience we'll find if some barks are bitter and some aren't.
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Post Tue Jun 29, 2004 9:03 am
hawgpimp rare
rare

Posts: 35
Location: Stanford, KY
Never had a minute's trouble with bark on my wood when smoking. I've used hickory ,white oak, sugar maple, Bradford pear, apple, wild cherry, and flowering cherry, all with the bark on and with no off- taste. The only thing that I'll advise is check for excess mold. A little is no big deal, a spot the size of your palm is, at least to me. JMHO
"Listen, I didn't get to where I am today, worrying what I was gonna feel like tomorrow" Ron White

Post Tue Jun 29, 2004 9:52 am
pderico rare
rare

Posts: 14
Location: Gibsonton, FL
My father use to do some of the best BBQ I've ever had. (God rest his soul.) He built his own large brick BBQ pit and used logs with bark. His BBQ was perfect 100% of the time.
- Phil
Chillin' and a grillin'!
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Post Tue Jun 29, 2004 9:58 am
Grand Scale BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 4272
Location: York, PA
Bob you and I are on the same wavelength as usual. That show was exactly the one that really got me thinking as well. And you know I feel the same way about good ol' mister Flay. He seems to have settled a bit. He's not as arrogant as he used to be on his other shows. Maybe he was lurking around this board as part of his homework for the show and realized the errors of his ways. Then again maybe not. At least the BBQ show he has now is enjoyable. I just watched on from Texas and thought of you. Why he didn't visit your back yard I'll never know!

Thanks hawgpimp for the info. I'm curious now to see what the people who swear that there can be no bark have to say as to their reasons.
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Post Tue Jun 29, 2004 10:18 am
Bob-BQN User avatar
well done
well done

Posts: 12904
Location: Texas
This is the one and only time I've ever seen the Food Network. I really enjoyed it...tempted to get a dish.

I've been in the back yard the last few weeks, before vacation, stripping bark off of apple, pecan, mullberry, and maple. We had a storm recently and I was able to pick up some wood while helping others :wink: . Let me tell you, de-barking the wood is more work and time consuming than cutting, hauling and splitting combined.

Now, I've been practicing what I preach, but after seeing the pitmasters using "whole grain" wood...I'm thinking about trying some with bark "on" to see if I can tell the difference.
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Post Tue Jun 29, 2004 10:34 am
irishfolker medium
medium

Posts: 137
Location: Columbia, MD
For what it's worth, I buy bags of wood chuncks for smoking and they all contain some pieces with bark on them. I've used them repeatedly without any noticeable bad flavors. Of course, I'm just a novice compared to some of you guys, but I'll look forward to hearing what Bob thinks after he conducts his test.

irishfolker
Thig Crioch air an t-saoghal ach mairidh gaol is ceol

Post Tue Jun 29, 2004 10:47 am
Grillzilla rare
rare

Posts: 37
Location: Virgina
I agree with the hawgpimp. I stay away from any rotted or moldy looking wood. I haven't had the first bit of problem from leaving the bark on.
"The more you learn to grill the less I have to cook" My Wife

Post Tue Jun 29, 2004 11:30 am
Airfoils well done
well done

Posts: 1063
I think excess bark introduces a bitter flavor but as I've said on this topic many times, to me it's a matter of content and I'm not so preoccupied with it that I'll sit down and carve bark off of my chunks. Usually it's minimal enough to require little to no attention on my part.

Post Tue Jun 29, 2004 12:48 pm
JDasmokin rare
rare

Posts: 24
Location: Sothern Indiana
Hi guys good thread.
Give us something to think about.
I always use wood for my fire with the help of charcoal to keep it smookin'
I have a nearly unlimited supply of oak timbers, used for cribbing steel on semi trailors, that we get off our construction sites. I supplement this with hickory from my dads farm, sometimes more sometimes less.
The hickory always has bark I never notices a bitter taste.
When I don't use the hickory just the oak timbers it seems to have a milder taste I thought this was just the difference in the wood, maybe not.
I'll try taking the bark off see if I can tell the difference.
Thanks for the thread
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Post Tue Jun 29, 2004 1:09 pm
hawgpimp rare
rare

Posts: 35
Location: Stanford, KY
Be careful with the cribbing lumber, some of it can be treated as it comes from pallet excess. I have a drywall/metal framing supply business that I run and see the same crib material come in. Just makes me uneasy sometimes, but if it's working for you go for it.
"Listen, I didn't get to where I am today, worrying what I was gonna feel like tomorrow" Ron White

Post Tue Jun 29, 2004 4:13 pm
DarkRubiTJ medium-well
medium-well

Posts: 221
Location: Livingston, TX.
Cribbing Lumber, I've never heard it called that. We call them kickers at HD. If it's hardwood, usually oak, you can be 99% positive it hasn't been treated. Most lumber is treated after it's cut and bundled. Kickers are pretty much the trash that they can't make anything out of. Cut offs, odd sizes, and the like. Hardwood is almost never treated because it's too valuable to add the extra expense of treatment. There's a waiting list at the store when we get hardwood scarp in, it's going to end up being burned in something.

I've never heard of taking the bark off. I've always burned it just as it came off the tree. To me it seems like it would be a waste of time, to remove the bark. I've never seen anyone do it, or even heard about anyone even interested in doing it.
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