In loving memory of Kenis D. Keathley 6/4/81 - 3/27/22 Loving father, husband, brother, friend and firewood hoarder Rest in peace, Dexterday

A discussion on smoker woods

Discussion in 'The Smokehouse' started by Sandhillbilly, Nov 23, 2022.

  1. Sandhillbilly


    Mar 8, 2019
    Likes Received:
    North central Nebraska
    There might already be a in depth discussion about smoker woods but I haven’t seen it, so bear with me if some of this has been gone over at length before.
    Mulberry…. Great for smoking with, correct?this summer I bid a cleanup job that I thought was a rotted off and fell over standing dead elm. After the first cut with yellow chips, I thought mulberry and the membership confirmed it in a different thread. Supposedly excellent firewood and also good for smoking. Is it best for fish, fowl, red meat ( beef, deer, elk ), pork, or all of those? I’ve been toying with the idea of getting a small chipper and chipping and bagging it for sale. ( not sure if there’s much of a market for such things around here, but you never know if you don’t try). so over the weekend I split down a bunch of it to around 3 inches so hopefully it will go through a small chipper. (Could be I just processed a bunch of really high B.T.U. kindling.)

    Apricot…. Probably five years ago I took down two trees in my backyard that were in the way, didn’t know what they were but I thought they were some kind of fruit tree, but had never seen any blossoms or fruit. After I got it on the ground, I found maybe a half a dozen little tiny apricots on it, so I ended up saving the majority of it because I had heard it was good for smoking. Turns out that is correct and it has become my favorite for both flavor and smell, I use it on virtually everything I smoke. again I would like to maybe chip, bag, and sell some of it also. Last summer, a friend of mine was by for a visit and we got to looking at my stacks and talking about firewood. I pointed out the apricot and he said after a couple years when it gets really dry, it will be bitter. ( he is also one of those guys that likes to talk like he knows a lot about everything so I don’t know whether to believe him on that.)
    Chokecherry….. it seems like I have heard that it is a suitable wood for smoking, but I have never tried it. There’s lots of it around here in the wild. Most of it is rather small, it’s rare to see anything 3 inches in diameter so it should go through a chipper easily, but what about the bark? would that impart an off flavor? Does it need to be barkless?

    So I guess my main questions are can it be to dry or seasoned too long and turn bitter?

    I don’t have any hickory, cherry, or mesquite available in my area. And I’m not interested in trying to compete with anything That’s readily available commercially anyway.

    any insight or suggestions are greatly appreciated. Sorry for the long winded post.
    Sean, thistle, Screwloose and 3 others like this.
  2. Chvymn99

    Chvymn99 Moderator

    Oct 4, 2013
    Likes Received:
    KC Metro
    Mulberry, A longtime member thistle turned me on to it a longtime ago. He called it the "poor mans apple tree" I believe. Its a "light" smoke, I've used it from cheese, summer sausage, chicken, to steaks... But I usually have access to it. Not so much with other smoking wood. So usually all my mulberry goes into its own little pile for smoking, never was impressed with it in the woodstove.
  3. Screwloose


    Jan 15, 2017
    Likes Received:
    SE Wisconsin
    Not sure i buy into the to dry bitter thing. I don't see bags of chips in the store holding much moisture. Also some people prefer chunks over chips which can be harder to find.
    Sandhillbilly and Chvymn99 like this.
  4. The Wood Wolverine

    The Wood Wolverine

    Aug 23, 2015
    Likes Received:
    Gettysburg, PA
    I do not buy in either to the too dry/bitterness thing. Bark can definitely cause it though.
    Mulberry is pretty good smoking wood, I tried it for the first time this past summer. It is excellent firewood. It snap, crackle and pops a lot.
    For beef, I like oak. All others I've used my staple woods, apple and cherry. Haven't used mulberry on enough meats to give an opinion but when I burn it in my basement, I get a very aromatic smell, almost like burning incense. Initial thoughts were no way I'd like that flavor in food but it didn't transition like that into the meat. It was mellow. I'd love to try it on cheese.
    thistle, Sandhillbilly and Chvymn99 like this.
  5. Eckie


    Dec 14, 2019
    Likes Received:
    Someone on here said something about mulberry smelling/tasting like cotton candy.... At least I'm pretty sure I didn't dream that... :tears:
    Sandhillbilly likes this.