Is firewood suitable for smoking??

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by ryanmn, Mar 20, 2017.

  1. ryanmn

    ryanmn Fire Starter

    Most the gas stations/grocery stores sell bundles of wood for fireplaces/bonfires? Is this wood suitable for my smoker, or should I worry about whether it has been treated with chemicals? Thanks!
  2. bbqwillie

    bbqwillie Smoking Fanatic

    I don't know where you live but the State I live in regulates  that firewood. It cannot have any chemicals in it. With that said, most of that bundled wood is Hickory, Birch or Oak. Any of those woods are OK for smoking. The Birch is easy to identify (hint: it has white bark the rest don't). So if you want to separate it out that's fine. Cooking with a Hickory/Oak mix produces a nice flavor. So go for it.

    ETA: Duh! you're from Minnesota. See what your State laws are with respect to selling wood with chemical treatment.
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2017
  3. smokeymose

    smokeymose Master of the Pit

    I use that bundled wood to get a coal bed going sometimes before adding better stuff. I didn't know some had chemicals added....
  4. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Our firewood here is not suitable for smoking. It's pine and juniper. Not tasty, not tasty at all.
  5. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Same here.  Bought fire wood that is in bundles at the local store is pine.

    Now if you buy from someone selling fire wood that they cut to heat homes its usually oak. 
  6. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Mostly Pine in NJ. Fortunately my property in PA is covered with hardwood. The adjoining land is a couple thousand acres of mountain. Think I'm going to be ok...JJ
  7. b-one

    b-one Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Start selling it on eBay,what a retirement you could have!:biggrin:
  8. jake0531

    jake0531 Smoke Blower

    I use general firewood most the time to bring the smoker to temp and to get a coal bed going. Mostly use Maple as it is readily available in my yard, and oak that I use for firewood then when I got a nice bed and am about ready for meat I put my wood for smoking on.
  9. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Down here they sell the bundled firewood everywhere.

    It always says on the bag what it is.

    Here it's usually a mix of red oak & hickory.

    Although Walmart has started selling bags of split hickory & it's really nice quality.

  10. 416bigbore

    416bigbore Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    My guess would be the chemical is a Pesticide and or Fungicide for the purpose to help prevent the spreading of any bad bugs and or diseases to other parts of the county, because of campers hauling that bundled camp wood across the country with them. 

    On one of my trips to Alaska traveling through Canada, I seen a small pile of split firewood stacked up beside the shack at the Border Crossing, so I inquired about it and the Canadian Border Guard told me they don't allow people to transport firewood across the border for that same reason.

    I to also like to use misc. scraps of trash wood to get my fires going first before I add on the good stuff.[​IMG]
  11. smokeymose

    smokeymose Master of the Pit

    It's not just national borders. Some of the folks I work with are big into "camping" with trailers, etc. They aren't allowed to bring in firewood, period, even within the state because of the Elm Borer thing.
  12. 100% accurate, SM.  Bringing firewood in the county (note:  county) where we are is a no-no because of exactly what you spoke.  Emerald ash borer is the unwanted critter here.
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2017
  13. 416bigbore

    416bigbore Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Thank goodness for the good old stand by,  Kingsford Original Briquettes! [​IMG]   
  14. smokeymose

    smokeymose Master of the Pit

    Probably the same critter. I just had the name wrong...
  15. The young guy I buy firewood from cuts it all off his own property. Its all red and white oak with the occasional hickory tree. Its as good or better than anything you cab buy in a store. Seriously. 

    I buy 2 or 3 pickup loads from him every fall. Its all been seasoned for a year+. 
  16. Pine for firewood? Good grief, what an excellent way to get a flue fire. [​IMG]
  17. mowin

    mowin Master of the Pit

    Here in NY, you cant transport firewood over 50 miles, and you better be able to prove where it was purchased, cut from. Pre package bundles that have been treated are the exception. Ash cannot be moved from county to county, IIRC.

    Last yr for the first couple weekends, there was DOT and Encon set up by the campground we seasonal in checking rigs for firewood and proof of purchase.
    c45br likes this.
  18. myownidaho

    myownidaho Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member


    Not much hardwood here. However, Ponderosa pine is a superb firewood because of it's low sap content. I've cooked over it quite a bit but it's not a smoking wood.
  19. mowin

    mowin Master of the Pit

    Were lucky, tons of hardwoods here. Maple, oak, hickory, cherry, apple. Just can't transport it. Lol.
  20. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Fireplace/stove folks buy pickup load or hardwood by the cord. The bundles are for guys like my brother that burn in his patio pit a couple times a year...JJ

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