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Old 04-22-2009, 12:04 PM   #1
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Question about wood fuel

Ok so i checked out this new book from the library. WOOD FIRED COOKING. Here is my question. I thought that with smoking with wood, if it catches on fire it leaves a nasty bitter taste to the food. So why in wood fired cooking are they burning wood to cook the food. Wont that leave a nasty bitter flavor like it does when you burn the wood while smoking?

thanx

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Old 04-22-2009, 12:29 PM   #2
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Our grandmothers fired their cook stoves with wood, and fixed some mighty fine meals.
I have eaten some delicious food that was cooked over a campfire, too.
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Old 04-22-2009, 12:45 PM   #3
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... Here is my question. I thought that with smoking with wood, if it catches on fire it leaves a nasty bitter taste to the food. So why in wood fired cooking are they burning wood to cook the food. Wont that leave a nasty bitter flavor like it does when you burn the wood while smoking?
When you are smoking with wood and the wood catches fire - it just burns up and isn't "smoking". I have never noticed any bitter flavor from wood that cathes fire while smoking.

And, as for cooking over an open wood fire - never noticed any bitter falvor from that, either.

Now, the one caveat is not all wood is good for cooking/smoking everything - for example, resinous woods like pine or cedar can add a bitter resin flavor. But, sometimess you can use that resinous flavor for some things.

LOL - you never were in Boy Scouts, were you?
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Old 04-22-2009, 12:46 PM   #4
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When wood is burning merrily along with pretty flames, it's great for a fireplace on a cold winter night but not so good for cooking. Cooking on wood is best done when the logs have burned down to hot coals so there is nothing given off but heat.

If you are smoking, you adjust your cooker so the wood doesn't get as much air so it burns slower, smoking more and flaming less.
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Old 04-22-2009, 12:49 PM   #5
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Our grandmothers fired their cook stoves with wood, and fixed some mighty fine meals.
I have eaten some delicious food that was cooked over a campfire, too.
Hmm, i would have thought that the smoke from burning the wood would give it that nasty creosote flavor to the food. So why when i use my smoker do i have to soak the wood?
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Old 04-22-2009, 12:51 PM   #6
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When you are smoking with wood and the wood catches fire - it just burns up and isn't "smoking". I have never noticed any bitter flavor from wood that cathes fire while smoking.

And, as for cooking over an open wood fire - never noticed any bitter falvor from that, either.

Now, the one caveat is not all wood is good for cooking/smoking everything - for example, resinous woods like pine or cedar can add a bitter resin flavor. But, sometimess you can use that resinous flavor for some things.

LOL - you never were in Boy Scouts, were you?
Actually im an eagle with 3 palms. I cooked over open fires BUT food was wrapped in tin foil because we had no grates.
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Old 04-22-2009, 02:02 PM   #7
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Hmm, i would have thought that the smoke from burning the wood would give it that nasty creosote flavor to the food. So why when i use my smoker do i have to soak the wood?
You soak the wood in water so that it will produce more smoke and not burn up as quickly. Flaming wood doesn't produce as much smoke as wet smoldering wood.

Think about the wood fires you used in Scouts - dry wood didn't smoke as much as one made with wet or green wood.
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Old 04-22-2009, 02:11 PM   #8
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You soak the wood in water so that it will produce more smoke and not burn up as quickly. Flaming wood doesn't produce as much smoke as wet smoldering wood.

Think about the wood fires you used in Scouts - dry wood didn't smoke as much as one made with wet or green wood.
Thats true.. We made some serious fires. I wonder if using the dry pine and sprouse is what gave some of the food an interesting flavor..

WHAT.. I was under the impression that burning wood caused the nasty bitter cresote flavor. So what does cause the nasty cresote flavor when smoking because that happened to me last time and my ribs tasted NASTY. I personally think it was the coal i used.
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Old 04-22-2009, 02:55 PM   #9
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Resinous woods could be thought of as imparting a "creosote" flavor to food. Yes, your pine and spruce are resinous woods. Cedar is also a resionous wood - but it is used for some things like Planked Salmon ... and a steak marinated in peach or apricot brandy and cooked over red cedar has a very interesting flavor.

Cooking woods are non-resinous like fruit and nut trees (oak, hickory, walnut, pecan, apple, mesquite, etc.)

If you were using bagged and you used a lighter fluid on it, or if it was that matchlight stuff, that is probably where you got your funky flavor.
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Old 04-22-2009, 03:39 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by LT72884
Ok so i checked out this new book from the library. WOOD FIRED COOKING.
Is the book about cooking with wood in an old stove like this




Or over a campfire/fireplace...??????

Or is it a book on BBQ......????
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