What size/diameter of wood is best for smoking?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by checkmarc, Mar 1, 2015.

  1. checkmarc

    checkmarc Fire Starter

    My son's father is law gave me a bunch of green apple wood. The diameter range from finger width to 4". The finger and up to 1" maybe 1 1/2" are, I assume, OK as is. The larger ones are my concern especially the 3"-4". While it will take more time should I cut those into 1" thick rounds? I have a Char-Griller SFB with a charcoal basket.
  2. bandcollector

    bandcollector Master of the Pit OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I would cut them into 2" length rounds and then split them into halves or thirds.  That should serve your purposes if you use wood chunks.

    Good luck,  John
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2015
  3. checkmarc

    checkmarc Fire Starter

  4. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Split them , the more surface area you have to burn the better...
  5. The trouble with small diameter wood is that you get a lot of bark.

    Bark ain't real good for smoking. Some bark sure, but I won't even bother

    with apple branches under 3",
  6. cliffcarter

    cliffcarter Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    I am assuming that you are using the apple as chunks for smoke and you are cooking with charcoal. If this is so then the advice that Band Collector gave you is what I would do. BTW the bark on the apple wood is of no concern, leaving it on will not negatively effect the quality of the smoke.
  7. Bam!

    Well I think your wrong.... you can research it if you want.... its generally well known.
  8. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I would burn up the sticks with the charcoal, then after the smoke subsided add your food.
    The larger pieces I agree with the other guys.
    As far as the bark goes, you should be OK on the larger pieces but I wouldn't use the sticks for smoking. I get a lot of dark thick smoke when I'm burning my Bradford Pear trimmings so I only use this on my Reverse flow as starter wood.
  9. cliffcarter

    cliffcarter Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    I have used green apple chunks many times with the bark on and gotten nothing but thin blue smoke, that is my research.

    In addition I use apple splits in my CharGriller for fuel, I do not remove the bark and, again, have never had a problem.

    In fact I use maple and black cherry with the bark on as well. No problems ever.

    What I have seen through the years of cruising many forums are reports from many, many BBQers that leaving bark on cooking wood is not a problem, it has been my experience that this is true.
  10. welshrarebit

    welshrarebit Master of the Pit

    I rarely take the bark off. Some wood I purposely leave it on for more flavor...

    Kiawe? NEVER take the bark off!!!!! Guava? Nope! Coffee? No again!

    Ohia? Yes I take it off because that is already a strong smoke flavor...

    Mango and avocado I also always take the bark off of...

    That's the way I roll...
  11. huh, i've never considered the bark to be a problem

    probably has to do with types of wood,  my whole cooking with wood life has been oak, pecan, mesquite and some hickory.

    have used apple and cherry chunks bought in a bag, but dont even remember if the bark was there or not

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