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Removing bark

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Post Mon Apr 05, 2004 11:11 pm
dmcdtc rare

Posts: 27
Anyone tips on how to remove bark easily from wood. I have apple wood with bark on it and find it difficult, if not time consuming, to use a hammer and chisel. There has to be an easier method.

Post Tue Apr 06, 2004 1:27 am
YardBurner BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 5469
Location: Damascus, Maryland
Is your apple trunk wood or limb and branch trimmings?

Mostly I have access to prunings. The bark is relatively smooth and thin. No need to remove this bark. Same with cherry and other thin barked wood. Bark from hardwood trunks and larger limbs might need to be removed. I usually start burning my split wood (heavier bark layer) in an old Sunbeam square "smoker" grill as it is totally worthless for all other applications. When the wood has gotten to a certain point the bark just falls off and I transfer the wood to the smoker as needed ( mine’s an offset).

Starting a fire in your firebox using wood with bark attached is not a problem. Just wait for the bark to burn away, which it will do relatively quickly, before loading the smoker with meat.

Bags of chunks come with the bark attached and I can't see myself sitting down and trying to remove each and every piece. I really haven't had that much problem with bark unless it has molded, or in the case of sawmill slab is proportionately high to the amount of wood.

Some world famous “shrines of BBQ” use nothing but slab. This is the wood left over from trimming a log into a square shape prior to cutting it into lumber.


Post Tue Apr 06, 2004 2:31 am
Vinsect well done
well done

Posts: 576
Location: Middle Tennessee
So far my debarking experience is limited to oak but I'm getting a lot of practice lately. I've been using my old Boy Scout hatchet and a hunting knife.
I've found that once I start the blade between the wood and bark, if I pry the blade sideways (across the grain) a lot more bark comes off as I move the blade down the log (with the grain).
As you tend your fires, you'll get plenty of practice working on the next batch of wood. You kinda start figuring out what methods work.
Rick has a lot of experience with using real wood. He may have some good tips too.
If it aint broke, Break it!
Then rebuild it better.

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