Osage Orange...Hedge

Discussion in 'Woods for Smoking' started by geek with fire, Oct 4, 2007.

  1. geek with fire

    geek with fire Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I've lived in rural Missouri all of my life. You can't walk 5 minutes in any direction and not run into a hedge tree (which I just in the last 5 minutes realized that the rest of the world calls Osage Orange.......which sounds suspiciously deceiving as mountain oysters...but I digress). Anyhow, I had some bulldozing done a couple of weeks ago and I've got tons of this stuff lying around. Anyone ever smoke it. Looks like it’s in the same family as mulberry, but it's really red, which I tend to stay away from (like the other tree I have a ton of....red oak)

    I've heard that the fruit is poisonous, which doesn't fill me with a warm and fuzzy, so has anyone tried it and survived?[​IMG]
  2. flagriller

    flagriller Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

  3. flagriller

    flagriller Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Useful Common wood species

    Lundy Wilder wrote us a while back ...... Here's one quick BBQ story, when we lived in Costa Rica way out in the boonies we told our CR neighbors that if they would kill and clean our loud rooster, we'd cook it like Memphis BBQ and split it with them. They did and I gathered various dry wood from trees I could not identify around our place. I slow cooked and smoked that bird a long time and when we ate it OUR MOUTHS WENT NUMB!! Mystery wood-who knows what it was.

    Almost any hardwood makes very good embers for cooking. Normally, the denser the wood, the more lignin, and, therefore, more BTUs per cubic volume. Resinous woods such as pine, fir, juniper, cedar and yew are not normally used, with one exception. A few Scots use small amounts of green cedar boughs as a part of their final stage of cold smoking salmon.

    Most commonly used woods, in alphabetical order: Apple/pear, ash, beech, birch, cherry, hickory/pecan, maple, oak.
    Regional and miscellaneous woods: Mesquite, alder, citrus, any edible fruit, nut or berry, persimmon, sassafras, gum, pimiento, grape leaves and vines, hackberry, elm, chestnut, bay.
    Questionable: Parts are poisonous, cause physical reaction or produce bad taste: China berry/mahogany, Osage orange, teak, tung, madrone, buckeye.
    Definitely don't: Even the smoke can be poisonous!</B> Poison oak, poison sumac, oleander, pine and other resinous woods. Flavor quotient for common woods suitable
  4. smokebuzz

    smokebuzz Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    It burns HOT!!!, and sparks alot, have cut thousands of fence posts out of hedge trees and bunt alot in the woodstove, i don't think i would use it for smokeing, but you could try it.
  5. deer meat

    deer meat Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    We call those monkey ball tree's around here in Pa. I know the deer seem to love them, but I can't say if they are safe for people.
  6. deejaydebi

    deejaydebi Smoking Guru

    It looks pretty bad geek. I'd stay away from it!
  7. ghost308

    ghost308 Fire Starter

    Osage-orange trees are native to an area centered on the Arkansas and Red River valleys in southern Oklahoma and northern Texas. They derive their name from the Osage Indians. These people prized the wood from the osage-orange for its strength and elasticity. They used it primarily for making hunting bows and war clubs. The wood is strong and so dense that it will neither rot nor succumb to the attacks of termites or other insects for decades. Dried for firewood, it is the next best thing to coal.
  8. backlash

    backlash Newbie

    I use very old hedge fence posts for my main heat. It burns hot and even, and its not to bad if you don't let the smoke get too thick, if it gets too heavy it makes things bitter. The older the wood the better. Its so hard I can do a 24 hour smoke on 2 fence posts, and a couple of sticks of Apple or Mulberry.
    We use the less aged wood for open pit cooking without any problems.
  9. peculiarmike

    peculiarmike Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    If it were not for Osage orange and black locust there would not be any trees in my yard. Bad thorns! Bright yellow to orange wood.
    I burn it in the fireplace and to heat the kettle making apple butter. It burns HOT. I do not care for the smell of the smoke as a "smoking wood". It's not bad in a campfire, but I do not think it would impart any sort of good flavor to your smokin's.
    My $.02.
  10. short one

    short one Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    I'm with Backlash, I have used it when needing heat. When cooking in cold weather I have used some to help keep the heat up. I also agree with Mike on not using it for a total smoke. Can't say that I have ever noticed any off flavors from using it. Used some dry cottonwood and a couple sticks of hedge in Buela one camp out to get the temp to 400 to bake a bunch of biscuits for breakfast so there wasn't much smoke. Sorry for rambling on. My .02 worth.
  11. walking dude

    walking dude Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    is this what we up here in iowa would call hedge apples?

    bright green large ball shaped balls........GREAT for keeping mice away.....

  12. backlash

    backlash Newbie

    Yep, they get rid of crickets too.
  13. geek with fire

    geek with fire Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Thanks guys for the response. Sorry, I had forgotten about this post. I had scraped some slivers off of the green (ha, actually very orange) wood and seasoned it over a pan on hot coals to cook out the moisture. Then I burned the slivers in a rock pile. I can't really describe the smoke smell, but I decided while I was intrigued by the possible peyote effect (that was a joke, by the way), the flavour didn't strike my fancy. I've pulled a few sticks out to dry out slowly. I'll try again in a year, but I take your advice, and am pretty sure I won't use it in the smoker.

    Maybe we could use it in a hole in the ground and a closed cast iron dutch oven, like Goat posted a couple of weeks ago with a nice looking roast. I sure would hate to burn this stuff without some food being near it!
  14. So what was decided about smoking meat with Osage Orange? I've got a bunch of it but it looks questionable regarding smoking with it.From it's the best, to you can us it to start your fire, to it's going to kill you or make you sick. Any thoughts?

  15. kathrynn

    kathrynn Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I have always heard the fruit called Horse Apples. Make great ammo for kids playing. Was told never to eat the fruit.
  16. john boone

    john boone Newbie

    I have been smoking for several years and have used all the fancy woods out there. In Kansas, where I am from, there is always plenty of hedge around, so I tried it. It is not toxic and leaves a great taste in the meat. I have used nothing but hedge for the last five years, works great, and everyone loves the taste.

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