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Water oak?

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    Water oak?

    I live along the Gulf Coast of Texas. We have a lot of Water Oaks here, from what I have read they are a type of red oak. Anyone know if water oak is OK to use for smoking?

    #2
    I would think it'll put the fire out. sorry

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    • ofelles
      ofelles commented
      Editing a comment
      The saying is "There's always one in the crowd"
      In this forum it's more like MANY in the crowd and it's just a question as to who's quickest! 😂

    #3
    Got a neighbor who thinks he knows everything? Tell him that you heard it was newest rage and give him some to try. Ask him about it in a couple of weeks.

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    #4
    We have Northern Red Oak and Water Oak on our property. As you know, both are red oaks but the water oak grows in wetter areas and has much more water content than the standard reds. It seems to take a lot longer to dry out and one of our county’s “Tree Police,” (Yep, a feature of living on the Eastern Shore of Maryland) told me that because it is faster growing the actual wood structure is not as dense as regular red oaks. When first cut down it has a funky smell which should go away with enough time drying out. I use our Northern Red Oak for cooking and give my kids the water oak for campfires, fireplaces and such. Now all this might only apply to water oaks grown here by our saltwater bays and marshes so it could a totally different experience when grown other places.

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      #5
      I would think it would be just fine. I burn red oak in my smokers all the time. No issues, good flavor.

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        #6
        Red oak is probably my favorite. Cure it longer than normal and I bet you will be fine.

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          #7
          I invested a small fortune in Post oak (white oak) a while back. The fella had a giant trailer full of it, from north Texas. I asked, is the rest of that going to Rudy's (we have the original Rudy's)? He says, nope, Rudy's uses only red oak. I have cords of red oak, both Spanish and Live.

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            #8
            Water oak is fine for smoking. Like all oaks, it should be seasoned. My son used it exclusively for years.

            The term "Water" in its name doesn't imply that it is full of water. It implies that it can grow in moist and swampy environments.

            https://www.auburn.edu/academic/fore.../wateroak.html
            https://arboretum.ua.edu/whats-growi...quercus-nigra/

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              #9
              Thanks everyone, I figured it would be OK but would need to be seasoned longer. I get mixed opinions from the locals but I'll give it a try. If it isn't that great I'll use it in the fire pit.

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              • texastweeter
                texastweeter commented
                Editing a comment
                I usually consider locals options on BBQ right up there with arm chair commandos options on firearms.

              #10
              As you dry any wood I have found the following chart very helpful in planning:

              Click image for larger version

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              • 58limited
                58limited commented
                Editing a comment
                Interesting. According to this chart water oak has about the same moisture as red oak. Most of the smoking wood used around here is red oak with hickory. I'm guessing the percentages are calculated as a water weight verses solids weight or before and after drying weights - meaning that there may be more water than wood in some tree species. I would have to see any notes published with the chart to know how they came up with the numbers.

              • Donw
                Donw commented
                Editing a comment
                Moisture is calculated by comparing the weight wet with the dry weight expressed as a percentage so you often get values above 100%.

              • Alphonse
                Alphonse commented
                Editing a comment
                Don has it right on the percentage moisture content. BTW, here's an interesting article on seasoned firewood. https://trace.tennessee.edu/cgi/view...=utk_agexfores

              #11
              One of my friends who is a competition barbecuer told me this evening that he thinks that water oak does not give as much smokey flavor during long smokes so he uses it for shorter cooks. Other than that he thinks it is an OK wood. My business partner is about to take down two water oaks on his property so I may end u with a couple of cords of it which is why I asked about it.

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