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For a Brisket... What woods are best?

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    For a Brisket... What woods are best?

    Hi All,

    I am planning to do my first brisket to celebrate our ability to spend time with our family face-to-face post-covid. Here in ON, Canada social circles just opened up and we are pretty amped!

    This is a three barreled topic:

    Barrel One:

    I have been reading that Post Oak is THE wood to smoke a brisket with. Unfortunately, I am not sure if I can find Post Oak wood chips cheaply. Any Canadians know where to get these without costing an arm and a leg on shipping?

    Barrel Two:

    Is there a big difference between Oak and Post Oak?

    Barrel Three:

    Assuming that Oak and Post Oak are not the same and I can't get Post Oak without sacrificing my first born, are there any other choice woods for smoking briskets?

    Thanks in advance and feel free to comment on any or/all of the barrels


    #2
    I’ve never used Post Oak but I always use Pin Oak to smoke all of my Beef and it turns out great.

    I choose pin oak because there are probably 100+ pin oak trees in my neighborhood and I just go around after every storm and get It off of the ground once I get permission.

    Comment


      #3
      Post Oak is in the White Oak family. If you can find White Oak locally then go for it. BBQ developed regionally so they used what is locally available. Some places had Post Oak, some White Oak, and others had Mesquite and a combination of the other two.

      Comment


        #4
        I only comment on one type of barrel. Its black and would hold 30 gallons. PBC!

        Sorry, any kind of oak is good. This is from something I picked up at Smoke & Bones in GA.

        Beef goes with...…...

        Light Smoke: Apple, Cherry, Grape, Merlot Wine Barrel, Orange, Peach, Rum Barrel.

        Medium Smoke: Almond, Bourbon Barrel, Mountain Mahogany, Mulberry, Pecan, Red Oak, Sassafras, Texas Post Oak, White Oak.

        Strong Smoke: Black Walnut, Hickory, Mesquite.
        Last edited by HawkerXP; June 17, 2020, 12:28 PM.

        Comment


          #5
          I've always used mesquite in moderation for beef. The PBCjr gets about a half fist-size chunk when doing chuckies. Other types of cookers may need a little more since the PBC generates smoke from drippings and I don't like to overdo it.

          Comment


            #6
            I use red oak and mesquite mixed. Any type of oak will do just fine. Barring oak and mesquite, I would go pecan.

            Comment


              #7
              I really don't think there is anything magical about post oak vs any other kind of oak, it's just what is readily available in central Texas. If I'm using wood chunks on charcoal for brisket, I like the chunks of bourbon barrel staves that I get from a neighbor who is into woodworking. It smells great when burning, but the brisket doesn't know the difference.

              Comment


              #8
              Thanks All! Very Helpful! I have no idea what is local to me here, so I will have a look. As I am using an electric smoker with chips, it is not as exciting as an offset smoker with logs but as you said, I gotta work with what I have!

              Comment


              • dancingzorba
                dancingzorba commented
                Editing a comment
                Cheers! Yeah I avoid the big box stores for that reason and love BBQ Galore. We have one about 10 mins away! Found a neat farm near Kitchener that sells their own wood which is a mix of white and red oak. But that is a hike for some wood. I am just south of Toronto on the Golden Horseshoe, to answer your question.

              • smokin fool
                smokin fool commented
                Editing a comment
                10-4 too bad BBQ World folded, I thought they had a better selection of supplies than Galore has.
                There's an ad on Kijiji, some place in London is pushing wood for smokers and dry rubs but like you say long drive for wood. My brother just cut down a cherry tree he cut a few limbs into hockey puck sized chunks for me. Letting them season for a few months and give them a try.

              • dancingzorba
                dancingzorba commented
                Editing a comment
                Nice! That's sounds like they will be great! I would love to get an offset smoker fuelled by logs one day but need to move house first! I have a postage stamp backyard... LOL!

              #9
              Mesquite is king in Texas.
              I grew up where everything is smoked with Hickory. I still prefer Hickory or Pecan for all my smoking that's probably more emotional/habit/superstition than anything else.

              My own pallet though, I can basically tell Mesquite vs Not Mesquite. I couldn't tell you whether ribs were smoked on pin oak, or live oak, or apple.

              I think any wood you use will work..... except treated pine.

              Comment


              • dancingzorba
                dancingzorba commented
                Editing a comment
                No Pine?!?! We have lots of that up here! LOL!

              • mountainsmoker
                mountainsmoker commented
                Editing a comment
                Mesquite is not king in TX except a very small area.. You won't find A. Franklin using it or most of central or SE TX. Only in SW TX is it used because that is all they have. They sure as heck don't use it in Dallas or Houston. There may be a 1/4 or maybe a 1/3 of the state that use mesquite. Basically south of San Antonio and west of San Angelo per "Texas Monthly" For a Texan get up on your facts. Do any of your joints use Mesquite.
                Last edited by mountainsmoker; June 17, 2020, 01:44 PM.

              #10
              A little lesson Post Oak is one of many sub-species of White Oak. It is native from CT down to lower GA and then in a swath over to Nebraska and TX. It grows best in poor soils which is why it is so prevelant in east TX. It cross pollinates with White Oak readily and can only be distinguished from it by its smaller size and silver hairy backside leaves.

              So since your in Canada your best bet is White Oak which is prevalent in your area of southern Canada. I saw many of them when I visited my corporate head office in Montreal.

              Texas has few White Oaks as it is to warm for them so they use Post Oak. Is there much difference, I don't know I have never tasted them side by side.

              Comment


              • dancingzorba
                dancingzorba commented
                Editing a comment
                Cheers my friend! I am always up for a lesson! You sure know a lot about what grows where! Nice one!

                I'll try to figure out what is nearby.

                Thanks again!

              #11
              At one time I swore by mesquite, but through the patient tutoring of the folks here I found other woods that I like much better. I love oak of coarse, but use a lot of apple and pecan now too. I'm about to try some peach because there's an almost unlimited supply just down the road in an orchard that lost hundreds of trees in a drought.

              Comment


              • Ahumadora
                Ahumadora commented
                Editing a comment
                Peach works great.. One of my first real BBQ experiences . An old guy used to have a tractor made into a pit out on the 290 HWY between Dripping Springs and Johnson city TX. He used peach trimmings... That's what got me hooked

              #12
              Oak, Mesquite, or Hickory. Pecan is a hickory, so I'd go with that as well.

              Comment


                #13
                Mesquite is King in Texas, however not everyone can run with royalty!

                Comment


                • dancingzorba
                  dancingzorba commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Funny that you mentioned Aaron Franklin, I watched his Master Class (free trial day) and that was where I got the idea about the wood.

                • texastweeter
                  texastweeter commented
                  Editing a comment
                  mountainsmoker actually most of the non chain BBQ joints here like Sheps, Bishops, and Stanley's in East Texas run pecan. Mesquite is still used for grilling due to its hot burn temps at many of the live fire chicken joints around too. Oak is more central Texas. It is also easier to split, in more abundance, and dries faster. You can debate the King of woods in Texas all day long, but when it comes to overall, Mesquite and oak are the top two contenders.
                  Last edited by texastweeter; June 18, 2020, 07:20 AM.

                • texastweeter
                  texastweeter commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Here is a Texas monthly article that is in direct contradiction to the one you posted. https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.tex...-mesquite/amp/
                  You can believe anything posted in a magazine, right?

                #14
                I like Post Oak for beef. I was able to get it in chunks from BBQ Guy's. They claim free shipping but I do not know if that includes Canada.


                https://www.bbqguys.com/diamondkings...ng-wood-chunks

                Comment


                • dancingzorba
                  dancingzorba commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Yeah, no go. I could have likely used one of those ship to Buffalo deals and then come and pick it up, I am only an hour from there. My brother-in-law lives in CT so that would work too. But the borders are closed lol! Thanks though, they seem pretty awesome! Will keep them on my todo list.

                #15
                I prefer oak. BUt I prefer oak to most smoking woods. I also love a good oak and cherry combo to smoke with. Honestly, it is more a bout fire management than anything else. As long as you burn clean, any hardwood will do just fine.

                Comment


                • dancingzorba
                  dancingzorba commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Thanks! My nerves are at ease given the importance of my first effort LOL!

                • Henrik
                  Henrik commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Preach 👊

                • Steve R.
                  Steve R. commented
                  Editing a comment
                  If I'm cooking with wood as the heat source, red oak is my go-to for easy fire management and steady temps. It's like the KBB of wood.

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