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Old 10-24-2007, 11:08 AM   #1
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Green or seasoned wood

I have been paying close attention to the Q places in my area and taking notes on what I see. One thing that I am finding more of are the pit masters that are using green wood.

Buz in Neds in Richmond (Featured on Bobby Flave's show on the food network) say they use fresh cut hickory. Sure enough, I peaked around back and there was a huge stack of very green hickory that looks like it had just been split.

Mike Mills who I met in NY at the Big Apple BBQ also was interviewed on the food network and he swears by small pieces of fresh cut apple wood.

My last cooking I used seasoned hickory and the bark was overly bitter. So I'm rethinking how I mix up my wood.

So here's my question... How many of you use green wood? What do you use to get the fire going with to begin with?


-Chiles
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Old 10-24-2007, 11:38 AM   #2
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Dry wood here...ONLY dry wood....can't convince me otherwise.
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Old 10-24-2007, 11:53 AM   #3
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I hate green wood. You're right, it's bitter. at least mesquite is. Dry wood for me too. Or soaked dry wood.. I guess that's wet wood, but not green...WT?
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Old 10-24-2007, 01:25 PM   #4
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Green wood burns longer/hotter IRRC.. but theres all kinds of 'stuff' in green wood that gets released when its burned... 'stuff' that I really dont want flavoring my food.

I'll stick to seasoned wood....with the bark removed. Yeah I know you can burn it too but.. id rather remove it, just paranoid I'm gonna get funky flavors
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Old 10-24-2007, 01:55 PM   #5
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Hey Chiles. I only use dry wood here. I buy my oak from a local place for $ .03 lb. Thats perty cheap. If you need hickory, let me know. The same place is trying to find a market for it around here.
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Old 10-24-2007, 02:11 PM   #6
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Well I said IIRC (if I recall Correctly) Doesnt mean i was right.. lol
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Old 10-24-2007, 03:06 PM   #7
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Buz and Neds are local favorites and their walls are covered by awards here in Richmond. They get 10.00 for a sandwich plate that has two small sides. Mike Mills had a line a block long at the festival with people waiting to get at his ribs and they were not cheap either. I only mentioned the Food Channel because some of you may have recogized these names. One thing is for sure, the customers really like their products.

I'm not saying they are right, but maybe.... just maybe there is something more to it. What would be in greenwood smoke that is not present in seasoned wood smoke besides steam? Could the greenwood smoke actually help "steam" the meat a little?


I'll give it a try and let you know.

Chiles
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Old 10-24-2007, 03:14 PM   #8
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Interesting reading: http://www.eaglequest.com/~bbq/faq/toc.html

Quote:
8.4 Green or seasoned?
Rodney Leist--
This seems to be like a religious debate. Many excellent barbecuers and restaurants advocate one or the other. Some say green wood tends to produce a bitter creosote taste due to saps in the wood, while others say the saps produce the best flavor.


Dave Klose--
You can use some woods green for smoking, but under no circumstances should you use green mesquite for smoking. It will produce a bitter taste in the pit for years that cannot be sandblasted out. People have used this before because they saw someone in a restaurant using it. That was grilling with it, not smoking.


Editor--
We recommend that the beginning barbecuer use only seasoned wood until he or she gets some experience in smoking with a wood-burning pit. Using green wood without knowing what you are doing is a quick way to ruin barbecue.
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Old 10-24-2007, 03:34 PM   #9
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Thats some good reading right there.
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Old 10-24-2007, 04:04 PM   #10
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I get my wood from these guys http://www.smokinlicious.com/index.php? ... od%20Chips seems to have the right moisture content...plenty of flavor no bitterness and no nasty bark on the wood (I like bark on my Q not on my Wood )
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Old 10-24-2007, 04:41 PM   #11
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I will add that I like to use a mix of seasoned and green wood. Kind of the same reason why some soak wood before throwing it in. Which, by the way, white oak soaked in a 50/50 mixture of white wine and apple juice makes a killer smoke.

The seaoned wood is to make a good bedof coals for the fire. I then add a small stick of green wood every third piecs. I usually add 3 pieces at a time total. So 2 that are seasoned and 1 that is still a little green.

I have not had a bitter taste yet on my food and I did notice a difference in the quality of meat.

But the others are correct. You really need to know what your doing for it to come out right. Or else you can ruin it real quick.

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Old 10-24-2007, 04:52 PM   #12
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I have a sausage book that talks about using green wood but it seems everyone I talk to uses dry wood soaked in water, but I am no expert. Personally I use dry wook soaked in water, once in whiskey. But I am a new guy to smoking food.
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Old 10-24-2007, 05:04 PM   #13
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Brian,

I believe that the process it's probably refering to is a type of cold smoking versus hot smoking.

A lot of old smoke houses that did hams, sausage, bacon and the such use to hang the neat from the rafters and toss fresh cut wood into a trench dug just beneath it.

They'd start the fire, close the doors and let it smolder for about 24 hours.

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Old 10-24-2007, 05:41 PM   #14
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Tim,
You just reminded me... Thats the third place I saw green wood being used. I was talking to a guy and watching him tend his fire inside his smoke house. They fill the fire pit once or twice a day with green wood inside the smoke house and keep the smoke going for months at a time.

He told me that if he used seasoned wood, he would never be able to keep the smoke going long enough. Green wood will smoke for an entire day. The inside temp of his smokehouse stays warm, but never hot enough to cook.

Lots to learn here and Bill certainly provided some good points about using seasoned wood.

Chiles
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