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Recommendations for woods to use for live fire/direct cooking

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    Recommendations for woods to use for live fire/direct cooking

    Looking for some direction here. Going to be picking up my new Parrilla grill sometime this week and trying to get prepared with fuel. For those of you that have cooked in this style and manner, what wood do you prefer to use? I live in NC so anything exotic would not work for me. Would also like to hear suggestions from Ahumadora and Henrik as well, please.
    Thank you!

    #2
    Whats local? Not sure what tree's you have around there. You want hardwood the burns and leaves glowing coals. Mesquite works great. Oak is terrible

    Comment


    • Hulagn1971
      Hulagn1971 commented
      Editing a comment
      Ahumadora, what about maple?

    • Dan Deter
      Dan Deter commented
      Editing a comment
      In addition to oak (which is apparently not ideal for this) we have hickory, maple, black walnut, and sweetgum are all common. Depending on exactly where in the state fruitwoods are possibilities. I'm probably missing a bunch.

    • Steve R.
      Steve R. commented
      Editing a comment
      Dan Deter black walnut burns away to very fine white ashes and no real coals to speak of. So, hard pass on that one, imho.
      Great firepit wood though, in my experience.

      On the other hand, the northern red oak I cut from my property and burn makes a great bed of coals. Red oak comprises a lot of varieties, so that might account for some less than desirable ones.
      Last edited by Steve R.; June 16, 2020, 12:54 PM.

    #3
    Here at the coast in Port Elizabeth we get good "Braai" woods like Rooikrans, Wattle and my favourite Namibian Hardwood. But I guess that's not going to be much help to you.
    Sorry.

    Comment


    • Steve R.
      Steve R. commented
      Editing a comment
      I'd start by going to Namibia, Ahumadora.
      Last edited by Steve R.; June 15, 2020, 10:45 PM.

    • Ahumadora
      Ahumadora commented
      Editing a comment
      Steve R. No planes flying atm and too far to swim! I will stick with my que bracho from Northern Argentina..

    • Hulagn1971
      Hulagn1971 commented
      Editing a comment
      Nope, not exotic at all ;D

    #4
    While knowing that there are a lot of woods that would be better for long burning coals, to meet your economical and local requirements in NC you will probably be using oak for beef. I have a lot of Northern red oak in my woods so that is what I use. If you have white oak you will probably see more longer lasting coals than the red. Make sure either kind is well seasoned.
    Hickory would be another choice to throw in, I personally only use that for pork, but it does give you long lasting coals as you know if you have done or watched any whole hog cooking.

    Comment


      #5
      I'd use salt treated lumber. That way you won't have to brine your protein. OK FOLKS - I KNOW WE DON'T HAVE ANY DUMMIES HERE, (except you know who ), BUT DO NOT DO THIS AT HOME OR ANYWHERE ELSE! THIS IS A JOKE!!

      Comment


      • scottranda
        scottranda commented
        Editing a comment
        Jokester!!!!

      • Hulagn1971
        Hulagn1971 commented
        Editing a comment
        Oh lord lol.

      • Mr. Bones
        Mr. Bones commented
        Editing a comment
        Re: Dummies
        I actually can feel when I'm bein referenced, even lol!

      #6
      Hi fellow NC neighbor. You should have no problem getting oak, hickory, pecan, apple and even cherry may be available. Here is one source in the Triad https://www.bbqcookingwoodraleighnc.com/

      Comment


      • scottranda
        scottranda commented
        Editing a comment
        As an NC smoker, this is spot on. Oak and hickory will probably be predominant. But Apple is what I have found as well. Start looking at Craigslist and Facebook marketplace. Great finds there.

      • Hulagn1971
        Hulagn1971 commented
        Editing a comment
        mountainsmoker thank you my friend!

      #7
      Pine. Freshly cut.

      (DO NOT do this)

      Comment


      • mountainsmoker
        mountainsmoker commented
        Editing a comment
        Joker. LOL

      #8
      Originally posted by rickgregory View Post
      Pine. Freshly cut.

      (DO NOT do this)
      Maybe around Christmas time

      Comment


        #9
        Yes, skip the oak. If you have mesquite, good. In my neck of the woods (Lol) I have beech, birch and apple that are good to use.

        Comment


          #10
          Just an observation, but I think Meathead is on to something when he says that geographic location might have as much to do with a wood's characteristics as the species. The red oak that grows in a particular adjacent county to mine has a markedly sweeter and nuttier aroma than what I have.

          Comment


            #11
            I see that some of you pan the use of oak. Don't, if hickory is the king of smoking woods, oak is the queen. You would not have Texas brisket without Post oak, or pork butts with out white oak and hickory. Red oak is not as good as white but still a decent smoking wood. As far as post oak, it is not just native to TX. It can be found from CT to IL and down to the Gulf over to TX. It is just not preferred in the rest of the country. I have studied wood all my life, from my first botany class.

            Well use what you like. You have probably grown up on it and it is in your blood.

            Comment

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