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Author Topic: Wood for smoking, bark on or bark off?  (Read 1333 times)

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Offline Delawhere Jack

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Wood for smoking, bark on or bark off?
« on: February 12, 2013, 04:34:32 pm »
I guess it would vary by type of wood. And is there a preference for all heartwood?
Things I've sawn: black walnut, cherry, SYP, southern magnolia, poplar, hemlock, osage orange, red oak, white oak, chestnut oak, locust, english walnut, ERC, WP, hickory, ash, black birch, beech, honey locust and a "Christmas tree" full of iron.

Offline drobertson

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Re: Wood for smoking, bark on or bark off?
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2013, 04:37:24 pm »
I have done it both ways, I'm not a pro, I know a few that do it for catering parties, they use it all. buckets labeled with the different woods, 
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Offline Slab Slicer

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Re: Wood for smoking, bark on or bark off?
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2013, 04:51:18 pm »
I don't smoke foods, but if burning is any indication, I think you get more from the bark, than the wood itself. When we burn hickory, and there's bark on it, we get more "fragrance" than if we were burning without the bark. JMHO, but it makes sense.
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Offline Axe Handle Hound

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Re: Wood for smoking, bark on or bark off?
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2013, 05:01:15 pm »
I'm sure someone has or does use bark, but I believe the general recommendation is no bark.  Sapwood and heartwood are both okay. 

Offline Raider Bill

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Re: Wood for smoking, bark on or bark off?
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2013, 05:05:51 pm »
I can't think of a wood I would go out of the way to debark before using it.  I just chuck in what I have.
I believe there is more smoke in the bark on some woods.
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Offline Norm

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Re: Wood for smoking, bark on or bark off?
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2013, 06:16:42 am »
For smoking I use the bark on.

If I'm going to cook over a wood fire I'd prefer the bark to be off but don't go out of my way to do so.
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Offline Carson Goddard

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Re: Wood for smoking, bark on or bark off?
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2013, 10:48:36 am »
I am not here to be a know it all but I do have a BB_Q business and I will say just this, if using any wood for slow smoking use it green less bitterness and more flavor of the wood.. Dry wood burns hotter so one needs to think of what best cooking temps and length of cooking times.. slow smoking is low heat lots of smoke and long and slow.. jmo

Offline Weekend_Sawyer

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Re: Wood for smoking, bark on or bark off?
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2013, 07:52:02 am »

 Welcome Carson, I think you are in the right place!

I prefer green wood bark on.

I tried using hickory shell husks once because there were a bunch around the tree but they didn't make much flavor.

Jon
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Offline Axe Handle Hound

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Re: Wood for smoking, bark on or bark off?
« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2013, 09:12:59 am »
Well I'll admit I'm surprised.  I've never known anyone who kept the bark on their smoking wood, but if all you guys do it and have good results I'm going to try it myself.  Maybe my grandfather told me to debark the wood just so I was busy and wasn't bothering him as much.

Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Wood for smoking, bark on or bark off?
« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2013, 09:35:20 am »
I've known people who only used the bark of a shag bark hickory with good results .Smoking is an art I know little about but it seems a certain amount is pleasant but an over abundance is like eating charcoal .

Offline Slab Slicer

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Re: Wood for smoking, bark on or bark off?
« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2013, 09:37:49 am »
I've felled a few shagbarks in the past, and the neighbors came over, and wanted the bark for just that. This wasn't my house, so I said "sure". I know I love the smell of it when it goes into the wood stove, so why not do some smoking with it.  :)
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Offline Raider Bill

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Re: Wood for smoking, bark on or bark off?
« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2013, 10:15:17 am »

 Welcome Carson, I think you are in the right place!

I prefer green wood bark on.

I tried using hickory shell husks once because there were a bunch around the tree but they didn't make much flavor.

Jon

I am not here to be a know it all but I do have a BB_Q business and I will say just this, if using any wood for slow smoking use it green less bitterness and more flavor of the wood.. Dry wood burns hotter so one needs to think of what best cooking temps and length of cooking times.. slow smoking is low heat lots of smoke and long and slow.. jmo


Welcome Carson.

I agree, if you want sweet smoke then green wood is the way to go. If you are simply grilling then dry wood as it burns better.

In my Weber I use either lump or very dry chunks to keep the fire then put green on top for smoke.

In the cookshack smoker I always try to use green, bark on.
Kubota L-4200, Ford 8N, S-10 4WD Beater truck, Chainsaw, Bush Hog, couple ATV's and 141 acres of trees I'm not sure what to do with but I sure do have fun and enjoy being in the woods!
The First 50 years of childhood is always the hardest.

Offline Norm

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Re: Wood for smoking, bark on or bark off?
« Reply #12 on: February 14, 2013, 10:23:31 am »
Well I'll be the odd man out and say I don't care for green wood for smoking, my personal opinion is it gives an acrid flavor to the food. Now I'm not a professional and I don't mean this in any disrespect to those of you that do so.  :)
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Offline Raider Bill

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Re: Wood for smoking, bark on or bark off?
« Reply #13 on: February 14, 2013, 10:28:32 am »
Don't be odd ;D

It also depends on what kind of wood and how much you use. I normally use sticks smaller than my wrist so there's not much bark build up. Some wood I have to buy so it's been dried out. That I try to soak in water prior to use.
Kubota L-4200, Ford 8N, S-10 4WD Beater truck, Chainsaw, Bush Hog, couple ATV's and 141 acres of trees I'm not sure what to do with but I sure do have fun and enjoy being in the woods!
The First 50 years of childhood is always the hardest.

Offline Weekend_Sawyer

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Re: Wood for smoking, bark on or bark off?
« Reply #14 on: February 14, 2013, 03:50:57 pm »
Well this is also true, I have been using hickory rounds about 12". Cookies cut about 2" thick and then busted down to about half the size of a fist.

The Apple I used to smoke cheese was about an 1 1/2 inch limb and it was chunked down to about 1/2 inch pices about 2 inches long. The cheese right out of the smoker was STRONG but it mellows after a couple of days.

Mmmm I'm getting hungry!
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Offline drobertson

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Re: Wood for smoking, bark on or bark off?
« Reply #15 on: February 14, 2013, 08:13:02 pm »
Talking about hickory bark that has shelled off, I had a pile from shag bark hickory, just the bark, probably a cubic yard worth, one day I decided to burn it, it was all hickory bark, burned for at least six hours, toward dark  I raked out some coals, grabbed my handy portable cooking grate and laid some seasoned deer steaks on, and well not allot of smoke, but man, :) 8)  not too shabby, maybe shaggy, but not shabby,   
Lt-40 super Cat 51hp, smith single head resaw, 362,310 stihl, and a nice real, nice small poulan!  585D Case loader, one real good rat dog, and one that is learning,

Offline Sonofman

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Re: Wood for smoking, bark on or bark off?
« Reply #16 on: February 14, 2013, 08:19:54 pm »
Thanks for all the info guys, I am looking at getting a smoker and your experience will help me mightly.
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Offline Raider Bill

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Re: Wood for smoking, bark on or bark off?
« Reply #17 on: February 15, 2013, 08:33:20 am »
Thanks for all the info guys, I am looking at getting a smoker and your experience will help me mightly.

What kind of smoker are you looking at?
Kubota L-4200, Ford 8N, S-10 4WD Beater truck, Chainsaw, Bush Hog, couple ATV's and 141 acres of trees I'm not sure what to do with but I sure do have fun and enjoy being in the woods!
The First 50 years of childhood is always the hardest.

Offline martyinmi

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Re: Wood for smoking, bark on or bark off?
« Reply #18 on: February 15, 2013, 09:03:08 pm »
Try using soaked box elder bark on chicken or ribs.
It's all we ever use anymore 8)
People around here act like they are ready to gag after we tell them we use box elder bark for smoking. That poor species has gotten a real bad rap here. Most everyone thinks it is a foul, filthy, bug infested wood barely fit to burn :D
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