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Question regarding wood for smoking


Deke
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I'm new here so apologies if this is in the wrong forum.  I just bought a Big Easy SRG and I have some questions regarding wood.

I see there are some retailers online selling various types of wood that will yield different flavours.  I have a reasonable sized garden and have access to ash, apple, birch, hazel, elder, hawthorn, and live close to communal woodland where other species are available for the taking (fallen branches I mean, I'd not cut them down myself).  So my questions are:

  1. Are all these woods suitable for smoking or are there any I should steer clear of?
  2. Does the wood need to be seasoned before it is smoked (like you would for a log burner) or can I just go out, cut a branch off and run it through my garden chipper and load my smokebox with it? I ask this because wet unseasoned wood smokes like billy-o on a bonfire or log burner, so logic says it'll be OK if smoke is what you actually want.  Or am I missing something?

Many thanks in advance.

Edited by Deke
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Hardwoods (also known as deciduous trees) include fruit and nut woods. Their cell structures are compact, making them ideal for being a smoking wood. Softwoods (evergreen or coniferous trees) include pine, spruce, fir, hemlock, redwood and cypress. These are airy woods that have more sap, making them pungent and fast burning. They're not recommended for cooking.
 

Do you know the source of your wood, has it been treated, sprayed with pesticides etc? I would remove the bark to start. 
 

Chipping it? I would cut it in to 75mm chunks, so it will smolder longer.

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I say chip it for 2 reasons; 1) I can run a branch through our garden waste chipper and have a bucketful of chips in about 3 minutes, and 2) the smoker box on an SRG is pretty small (about the size on an old tobacco tin) so not really amenable to chunks.

So what would be the result if I did that with a freshly cut branch from one of our hazelnut trees?

None of the wood in our garden has been treated with anything.

Edited by Deke
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