Can I smoke with this ?

Discussion in 'Woods for Smoking' started by vic c, May 27, 2011.

  1. G'day All

    I'm about to get into my first smoke, and I was wandering if I could use any or all of the following

    1) I have a huge stump of a pear tree cut down about 10 years ago - could I chip some off and use it

    2) can I use green prunings off an apple tree

    3) I have a few dried lengths of Quandong, or Australian Native Peach

    4) Fresh grape prunings

    5) some old dried Silky Oak  (Grevillea Robusta)

    Thanks and regards


    (down under)
  2. 1) I have a huge stump of a pear tree cut down about 10 years ago - could I chip some off and use it 

    Maybe, but I'd do a test burn and see what it does and quality of smoke it produces.  I may steer clear of this one, but others may have more experience with it.

    2) can I use green prunings off an apple tree

    Don't ever use green wood for smoking.

    3) I have a few dried lengths of Quandong, or Australian Native Peach

    This might be very nice.

    4) Fresh grape prunings

    See #2.

    5) some old dried Silky Oak (Grevillea Robusta)

    If it's not too old, it may be good to use.  I find when I use wood that's been around too many years, it doesn't produce a very high-quality smoke.

    My two cents; hope this helps.
  3. adiochiro3

    adiochiro3 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Generally, you don't use green or unseasoned wood (creosote taste & white smoke production), and you don't use wood that has seasoned more than about 3 years because the smoke quality seems to fall off. It won't hurt ya, but it may not produce the best product. Other than that, any fruit or nut wood is safe to use, as are other tried and true hardwoods (mesquite, mountain mahogany, etc.).
  4. By "Quality" of smoke, are you referring to Volume?  or should I be able to detect an Aroma?
  5. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Vic C, Good morning. There is a definite advantage to quality smoke. The flavor in the food.

    Now that is easy to say and hard to define.

    Say you start a campfire and the first hour or so the smoke will drive you out. As the wood burns and the coals become more prevalent the white voluminous smoke dissappears and a thin blueish smoke appears. The water is gone from the wood and the volitile oils that were present are burned. At that point the smoke has a better aroma doesn't burn your eyes etc.

    Dry, aged wood will give those results. Dry sawdust and chips will give those results. Use a small amount of fuel on a small fire to start with and you are on your way. Not knowing what your smoker is, makes this an awkward question to answer for sure.

    Here is an example from the forum that will help----


    In the bottom of this picture you can see the thin wisp of smoke being generated from my homemade smoke generator. That amount of smoke is all I need to produce really good smoked food. It is a "poor copy" of the "A-maze-N" Smoker Todd makes and sells. He is a member of this site. 


    The smoke generator shown below is the perfect product for hot or cold smoking if you are not using wood sticks.   It produces the quality smoke from the discussion above. This is Todd's smoke generator.


    Dry wood---Small fire====Good food.  Hope this helps and questions are always welcome here.

    PS--Welcome to the friendliest Forum on the web. Dave
  6. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I agree the AMNS is the way to go.
  7. Good Morning Gentlemen ( It is "Good evening" here right now 8:15 pm Sat)

    I appreciate the great response to my needs, and assure you I am learning.

    Not having a dedicated smoker YET, I am going to use my old 4 burner BBQ with a hood ( about 20" x 30" base)

    I can concentrate the heat to one end, and am thinking I will put a foil parcel of chips over the heat as a smoke supply

    This pack will sit on top of a tray of ceramic heat tiles, which sits over the top of 1 or 2 of the burners. As the hood has a built in thermometer, I am sure I can maintain the required temps and will keep a close watch on the smoke.

    I also have an old weber kettle, but i must study up on heat control for this.

    As a matter of interest,I am sure I read in one of the forums, suggesting NOT using Eucalypts for cooking. I have an old fireplace out in my yard tha I light an open fire in - throw on an old piece of mesh, and cook up a great BBQ. I use pine kindling ( offcuts from a carpenter) and redgum chips and other eucalypt branches

    regards to all

  8. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    One thing I should mention to all:

    Be careful to not breath in dust from anything that is rotted, particularly anything from near or under the ground, like roots.

    Spalted wood has spores that can move into your lungs, and live and multiply there.

    I know of a woodturner who died from this.

    Just a note,

  9. Great information, Bear.  Certainly worth mentioning.  I've never thought of using wood from a stump just because of the moisture from the ground and possible rotten wood.  I didn't think about spores being present.

    Thank You!
  10. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    You are very welcome!

    When I know something like this, I don't feel right if I don't mention it.

    It doesn't have to be wet or falling apart to be spalted. You could inhale spores when chainsawing spalted wood.

    Here is what spalted wood looks like:


  11. G'day again guys

    I note your comments well about rotting etc wood

    My "stump" as I referred to in my original post is actually the next section up from the in ground stump. (my poor terminology) The tree was over 80 years old, and was only cut down due to being choked with mistletoe and as it was so tall ( and I mean tall) it presented a bit of a hazard. The actual stump is still in the ground (cut off 18" above ground level), and rotting down considerably showing a perfect example of what you are saying. If it was not 10 pm here and very dark, i'd slip out and take a photo of it

    Best regards to all

  12. king8834

    king8834 Newbie

    I have old apple trees that I pulled down with a truck because the bottom was rotted it's been down about 4 months anyone think it's still good to use any help
  13. cliffcarter

    cliffcarter Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    I just answered this in your other thread, but yes you can use the part that is free from rot.

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