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Can you use lumber?

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    Can you use lumber?

    Can you use lumber for wood fire grilling?

    Of course you wouldn't want to use anything that was treated, but I don't know if the usual lumber (say a 2 x 4) is treated. I've tried to do some research on it but really couldn't find anything.

    Most building lumber is pine. That doesn't make for a very good cooking fire. Ya cant really tell if it was treated with someting. Even the not pressure treated stuff. For me, no way would I do it.
    Last edited by Jon Solberg; April 27, 2015, 10:20 AM.


      Most 2x4's are made from Pine which is not good for smoking food.


        BBQ wood lumber has to be treated or dried right away or stuff eats it! Problem with using it is how would you know if it's treated or dried?


          Thanks for the responses. That settles it quite nicely, and I feel completely stupid for not figuring this out.


          • Dr ROK
            Dr ROK commented
            Editing a comment
            No stupid questions here, but you may get a few stupid responses from the likes of me

          Not a bad question at all!

          Stupid is using wood when you don't know the source and treatment. Let me tell you, sometimes when you know the source, the wood may be less than stellar. It's an agricultural product -- not standard from time to time.


            So let me ask, would oak at the lumber yard work? I can't imagine that it'd be treated with anything, but maybe I'm wrong. My electric only takes an ounce or two of wood and I can get lots of scrap oak from the local high school shop teacher.


              Yes you should be able to use scrap oak, hickory, and maple. If you know any wood floor installers or construction crews, snag it up!


              • Henrik
                Henrik commented
                Editing a comment
                Hey, that's what I did. I managed to secure a good stash of alder wood from floor installers. Pure, untreated wood. Burns clean and smells good.

              I beg to differ with the above! We have a sawmill -- some lumber has to be shipped within 3 days before mold gets a start. It goes to the lumber processor where it gets dipped in some preservative solution. Where it will hold until it gets dryer time. Snag wood, sure, but if it smells funky don't cook with it!


                CandySueQ Hmm, maybe what my local floor guy uses is untreated in this manner. I've used scrap oak pieces with great results. It was bare dry wood, smelled like wood, burnt like wood. Obviously steer clear of prefinished flooring but that's probably so obvious it doesn't need saying.


                • The Burn
                  The Burn commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I got some untreated red oak planks when we had our floor redone in the Spring. It's been great cut up as chunks and it burns pretty hot and fast so I'm thinking of using it as starter when I start to burn sticks. The amazing thing is that they just throw it away or burn it anyway.

                If you live near a sawmill where they cut railroad ties or barn wood that's good wood to smoke with. They mostly cut oak, ash, and most other hardwood. Plus it's hasn't been treated with anything. But I prefer cutting mine own then I know what I have. Click image for larger version

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                • Huskee
                  Huskee commented
                  Editing a comment
                  That is definitely a nice wood pile. Congrats on that.

                All comes down to if a log smells stinky when you put it on the fire, take it out before it gives it up to your food! This goes for pellets too.



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