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Question about wood species

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    Question about wood species

    So, today, out of the blue, my MIL's neighbor have me about a metric ass-load of cut and split mixed hardwood. It has been garage kept and it's well seasoned. He said he thinks it's pretty much just hickory, maple and birch.
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    They are all about 9" long and pretty much perfect to go in my COS as is (maybe some need an additional split.) My question is, should I just use it and not worry about which so l split is which species?

    #2
    Do you know what kind of birch? Not super common to have it as a smoking wood. I’ve read that it can burn very quickly and impart a bitter taste but depends on the type (white etc.). It may be worth experimenting with the birch before cooking for real.
    Last edited by IFindZeroBadCooks; October 20, 2021, 05:42 PM.

    Comment


    • Henrik
      Henrik commented
      Editing a comment
      Yes, we have birch in abundance, but I never use it for smoking. The taste is NOT good. Not sure why, it's not unhealthy (like pine), but the smoke flavor is just bad.

    • Dewesq55
      Dewesq55 commented
      Editing a comment
      Ok, thanks for that, Henrik . I guess I extrapolated too much from some mentions of birch on your YouTube channel.
      Last edited by Dewesq55; October 22, 2021, 08:29 AM.

    • Henrik
      Henrik commented
      Editing a comment
      I do use it, but only for direct heat grilling, never smoking.

    #3
    It was stored for what use? If it was intended bbq/smoking. I would just use it.

    Comment


    • Dewesq55
      Dewesq55 commented
      Editing a comment
      He used it for fire wood. I'm not concerned about the wood, but was wanting advice about the fact that the species are mixed

    #4
    Unless you're really good, or someone you have over too look at it is, it's probably a useless endeavor trying to figure out if it's really hickory or birch. Probably much easier to separate the two kinds you have than to identify them accurately. My suggestion is cook something cheap when first using either, like a chicken or chicken legs. Then if it's not good, no harm. I suspect it's great though, looks really good! I'd be happy with that.

    Comment


      #5
      If its been garage kept and seasoned I don't see a problem.
      From your pic it really looks clean and dry.
      Birch is from the same family as alder and not to far from oak either so should be a good match with some meats.
      IFindZeroBadCooks hit the nail on the head with birch, its a softer hardwood and would probably burn faster than oak or maple.
      Can you keep it stored inside also, not a big deal but be a shame to lose the season on it.

      Comment


        #6
        Almost looks like the dog was driving.

        Comment


        • Dewesq55
          Dewesq55 commented
          Editing a comment
          You mean yours doesn't?

        • Murdy
          Murdy commented
          Editing a comment
          I thought that was an owl.

        #7
        Dewesq55 No, he prefers shotgun.

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        Comment


          #8
          Looks like salmon to me……but, I aged in the 60’s (didn’t say grew up!”)

          Comment


            #9
            Honestly I don't think there's a massive difference between most hardwoods, so I'd just burn it without regard to sorting,

            Comment


            • Huskee
              Huskee commented
              Editing a comment
              They all cook up mighty fine meats, don't they?

            #10
            Yup, I might take me th time to visually sort it, at first, see if any kinda diff, but, in th long run, I'd jus chuck some in my smoker, an see what happens.

            Comment


              #11
              Unless you get a stronger flavor wood like mesquite most folks would be hard pressed to tell the difference - especially given the different cooking methods used and quality of the fire.

              Comment


              • Huskee
                Huskee commented
                Editing a comment
                Agree! It's easier if you're tasting 2 woods cooked on different cookers side by side to notice differences, but much harder otherwise. I always try, since I like to taste bourbons & wines, but it's hard with smoked meat to taste one today and one tomorrow and tell much of a difference. Recently made a brisket with maple wood from a tree in my dad's yard. I asked him how he liked that maple wood smoke, he said "tastes like smoke".

              #12
              Time to purchase a Santa Maria Grill to efficiently utilize your free "metric ass-load" of wood, David. That's my inner MCS speaking to you.

              Kathryn

              Comment


              • bbqLuv
                bbqLuv commented
                Editing a comment
                What a wonderful ruse, "Now that I got all this wood, sweetheart, I need a new Santa Maria Grill!" But will SWMBO go for it?
                Last edited by bbqLuv; October 21, 2021, 11:43 AM.

              • Dewesq55
                Dewesq55 commented
                Editing a comment
                I very much like how you think, Kathryn! But perhaps a LSG 20x42 offset instead?

              #13
              As long as you know you are not burning conifers, let it rip.

              You should be able to tell which is which as far as birch, hickory and maple is concerned, but if not, it really does not matter. All of those species are just fine. I use birch quite a bit when I am up north because that is pretty much all there is besides white and red pine. It has a really light flavor, almost neutral. Maple and hickory are great smoking woods.

              Comment


              • Huskee
                Huskee commented
                Editing a comment
                Agree all around! And let's not forget ash!

              • Spinaker
                Spinaker commented
                Editing a comment
                Ash is also great! Huskee

              #14
              I'm pretty sure I'll be able to tell them difference between the birch and the others since most of the wood has bark. Birch bark being quite different from either maple or hickory.

              Comment


              • Steve R.
                Steve R. commented
                Editing a comment
                If you're familiar with the way hickory and maple smell when they burn, do what I do sometimes and rip off a small splinter and light it. You should be able to tell right away if it's not hickory or maple. I'm sure people passing by get the wrong idea when they see me doing that.

              • Dewesq55
                Dewesq55 commented
                Editing a comment
                That's a great idea, Steve R.

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