Smoking Wood

Rob Keeble

GTA Ontario Canada
Is there any reason one cannot say Cherry wood we have from our stash or rather offcuts of stash for smoking?

I know its a stupid question...wood is wood but over thinking it i wondered if any special had been done to chips we buy in packets.

I have loads of cherry scraps after my fiasco with buying a poorly cut and air dried cherry tree. Have in mind to churn up some of it into smoking wood.

Thought i would check since we have the Cook Shack forum. :)

What about a wood like walnut is it ever used for smoking? Never seen any around in stores so just wondering.
The cherry would be fine. I had some apricot firewood I used in my smoker for quite a while.

Not sure I would go with walnut :huh:

I think a lot of the smoking pellets you can get are oak (supposed to be mild) mixed with whatever 'flavor' wood.

So, cherry, pecan, maple, etc..
Yes to both question. Cherry is a Great wood for smoking and is used alot around here for Chicken and Pork it makes a nice dark red smoke ring. The stuff you get in the small bags are nothing more than chopped up Cherry trees nothing special is done to it.
We can buy Walnut chunks or pellets for smoking around here. I haven't used Walnut so not sure what it works on the best. I use a lot of smoke Pellets in the Big Green Egg they are cheep and easy to store. What I use most is Oak fallowed by Pecan, Maple, Apple, Cherry. I use a blend of Pecan & Maple alot on Pork and Salmon.
If the wood you have has been dried just soak it for 30 min or so in some water and throw some on the fire.
I thought I might mention too after reading your post on jointing some cherry. I had a friend of mine that went to a lot of BIG BBQ competitions. He would come to the shop to see what I had around and I had just planed up a load of Maple and he grabbed the Planer shavings and put them in a plastic bag and soaked them down with water. Then used them in the competition he did. Ended up getting 2 firsts and one 2nd and won the comp. No one could figure out how he made so much smoke. He also did it with Cherry clippings too.
On my last trip back to LA I threw away about 10 gallons worth of mesquite chainsaw shavings. I'd been saving it for smoking, but just can't justify the space right now. (Plus, I still have a nice pile of mesquite cutoffs in the driveway that I can use for smoking.) Still broke my heart to see all the good potential smoke go into the trash.
Cherry is considered a great smoking wood Rob! I have 5lbs on the way Thursday. The oak is good...not I guess not what most look for in smoke.
Before I started generating a lot of my own wood blocks and chips in my shop, I used packaged hickory and mesquite. When I started building more stuff at home, I used a lot of cherry and kept everything of any size. I also used a fair amount of maple, so I saved it as well. I've used a lot of cherry for smoking Boston butt and chicken - gives a great flavor and nice smoke ring. Recently, I've been doing a large project with red oak and have used it for ribs, turkey and butts. I got a nice haul of pecan from a neighbor recently and used it for some ribs, turkey and tilapia fillets. Out of all the different woods I've used, I'd use cherry for everything, if I had an endless supply of it!
FYI make sure your cherry is bark free, the flavor from that is less than fantastic IMHO. Also a big fan of apple and pear of you can get it, a bit milder than cherry which is nice for some stuff. I really like willow for grilling, it's a bit on the strong side for smoking though but makes a great steak, ditto on the no bark.
I can get all of the Mesquite I want by just taking a walk a short distance from my drive way it is like a weed around here. I actually took a load to he local landfill a while back. There are still a few pecan,, lemon, orange and grapfruit groves around and there is a peach farm and an olive mill where I can get all of the trimming I want. anything else I pretty much got to buy.
The mesquite reminds me of when we lived in HI they had "kiave" wood and we saw someone selling it as a special "Hawaiian" smoking wood at the farmers market for some ridiculous amount for this tiny jar ($10 for 1lb of splinters if memory serves). Having moved there from AZ we recognized it as (locally grown) mesquite, and yes it's just as much or more of a weed there.
Just ordered more pellets; Apple, Cherry and Mesquite. Full report results if I ever get out of class! Going to do some brined pork chops (apple juice, H2O and salt) on apple this weekend.