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Question about wood chips

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Post Fri Nov 14, 2003 1:26 pm
pdthree

Is there any particular part of the tree that wood chips for smoking come from? Or can they come from any part of the tree? Branches, roots included?

Thanks

Post Fri Nov 14, 2003 4:20 pm
Airfoils well done
well done

Posts: 1063
Wood is wood is wood provided you don't use the bark and of course soft woods are a no no. :) As a matter of preference, I like chunks better than chips.

Post Sat Nov 15, 2003 11:35 am
pdthree

Okay, I found a local orchard that let me scrounge for tree clippings, got a couple of branches ranging from 1" to 3" in diameter. I guess I'll take a hatchet and debark them before I cut them up into chunks. Any other pointers?

Thanks

Post Sun Nov 16, 2003 9:24 am
hickory pete well done
well done

Posts: 403
Since I live in a City setting, it's not easy for me to come up with wood. I have to get mine at the local stores, already bagged. Maybe, I should bring some back from up north the next time I go.

Pete

Post Mon Nov 17, 2003 8:59 am
Grand Scale BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 4272
Location: York, PA
If you're dealing with clipping make sure that the wood is sound. No rott, No soft spots, No knots. Anything that would be considered impure will distort the flavor.
I don't know of any other way to debark wood than with a wood workers draw blade or the old fashioned way, sitting on the front porch in a rocker with a case knife. Thats all a bit much work for me though, I'll stick with buying mine.

Good Luck!
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Post Mon Nov 17, 2003 7:54 pm
dkirn well done
well done

Posts: 388
Location: St. Louis, MO
Maybe it is just me, but I just purchase the wood chips that I use - I get a bag that lasts for about 5-6 cookings for $1.99 at by butcher shop

Post Tue Nov 18, 2003 9:21 am
hickory pete well done
well done

Posts: 403
I do the same thing. I just bought a bag of mesquite wood chips from Meijer. The bag cost $1.99, and is offered by Char-Broil, their website: www.charbroil.com.

Pete

Post Tue Nov 18, 2003 3:27 pm
Bob-BQN User avatar
well done
well done

Posts: 12904
Location: Texas
I have to purchase hickory chunks from the store as mentioned above. I love the aroma and taste that hickory adds to meat.

But I have 20 acres of mesquite. So I'll trim a good sized branch when ever I need wood. I'll use branches as small as 1 to 2 inches in diameter. No reason to waste it. It's a good idea to remove the bark before using it.

Post Wed Nov 19, 2003 11:30 pm
hickory pete well done
well done

Posts: 403
When I want smoke, using a gas grill, I make the foil smoke pouch. While I was reading the directions on the bag of wood chips, it says to either make the foil pouch, or throw the wood chips directly on the lava rocks. I won't do this because the pouch is simple, throw the pouch out after it has cooled. No mess, etc. Just curious, has anyone with a gas grill, put the wood chips directly on the lava rocks?

Pete

Post Wed Nov 19, 2003 11:40 pm
Bob-BQN User avatar
well done
well done

Posts: 12904
Location: Texas
I don't own a gas grill, but I've always heard to use a metal box or foil pouch as you do. I think the ash would be difficult to clean up on a grill that wasn't designed for it. Keep using the pouch.

Bob.

Post Thu Nov 20, 2003 7:28 pm
Steven Grilling Guru
Grilling Guru

Posts: 277

To add my own two cents here, I like hickory for pork and chicken, oak for beef, lamb, and veal, apple for pork and poultry, and cherry for seafood and duck.

I use chunks in my smoker and chips in my grill. Soak the chips if you want a heavy smoke flavor. When direct grilling, toss the chips on the coals to approximate the light smoke flavor of grilling with wood.

Sounds like several of you are do it yourselfers in terms of cutting your own wood. Just make sure not to use a pressure treated lumber (which contains arsenic) or trees that have been sprayed with pesticides.

Happy smoking!

Steven Raichlen

Post Sat Nov 22, 2003 9:02 am
dkirn well done
well done

Posts: 388
Location: St. Louis, MO
And the master has spoken!

Steven - thanks for all of your insights, its nice to know that you are roaming through these forums with us.

Post Mon Dec 08, 2003 5:43 pm
chagan well done
well done

Posts: 1350
Location: Central NJ by way of NY
I recently ordered some apple chunks from barbecuewood.com and I was a little taken back by the package that I received. I got a box filled with about 6 pounds of loose wood- bark included. I was expecting individual packages of 2lb x 3. I'm not saying that this isn't good, just not what was expected. As mentioned in the thread, I should probably remove the bark, but I think that I'll just wing this one and see how it turns out. I don't feel like removing the bark off of numerous pieces of wood chunk.
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No, it ain't burnt- it's barbecue

Post Mon Dec 08, 2003 6:00 pm
Grand Scale BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 4272
Location: York, PA
Good Luck Chagan, I still think I'd de-bark the stuff. I've heard that the bark tends to burn funky/foul.
At least don't try it on an expensive cut of meat as a tester.
Good Luck and let us know if you survive...I mean...like it...
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Post Tue Dec 09, 2003 11:26 am
chagan well done
well done

Posts: 1350
Location: Central NJ by way of NY
Thanks Grand Scale, I understand the recommendation but I am a bit leary as I have been known to cut myself on a spoon. I can just see me out there with the Ka-Bar flying in all directions. Maybe I'll put the chunks on the top of the chimney starter and let them burn down a bit before adding to the grill. This should get through the bark I would think.
Image

No, it ain't burnt- it's barbecue

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