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Old 04-09-2007, 07:24 PM   #1
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Ash for smoking...

I know this sounds very unusual, but I've got two ash tree's I've taken down in the last year due to the lovely emerald ash borer we have here in Meechigan.

I had no plans on using the wood in my smoker but instead was using it in my fire pit and the stuff just smells wonderful.

I know that Ash is somewhat related to oak but lacks the tannins in oak. I was googling around and noticed that oak is a pretty common wood for smoking in europe, but I've never heard of anyone using it out here.

Any reason I shouldn't use the ash in my smoker? Anyone with experience? I've got a lot of it!

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Old 04-09-2007, 09:36 PM   #2
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I did a quick google search and found nothing for Ash wood. But as it is a hard wood, without a lot of flamable resins, I don't see why you couldn't use it to smake meat.

When people use oak for smoking, they use white oak versus the very bitter red oak. It's the red oak that has the most tannins.

A list of truly great woods are:
Fruit woods, i.e. cherry, apple, pear, etc.
Citrus woods, i.e. orange, grapefruit
Grape vines
Maple
Walnut
Hickory
Mesquite
Cedar (absolutely wonderful with fresh trout)
and the ubiquitous and mostly unknown Alder.

I've alo used White Birch, and Black Birch with success, but usually together with Maple.

Hope that helps.

Seeeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
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Old 04-10-2007, 08:37 AM   #3
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When you say Cedar, I am sure you mean Western Red Cedar. I don't think you want to smoke anything with our eastern red cedars, unless you want it to taste like turpentine.
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Old 04-10-2007, 08:55 AM   #4
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I pull small oak pieces from my firewood pile. Works great. We had a bad ice storm in February, a tree company gave me 4 huge Apple wood trunk pieces. Waiting for those to season a little.
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Old 04-10-2007, 09:24 AM   #5
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Ash is an acceptable wood for smoking. As with all woods do not use to much. Only as much as to give you a hint of smoke. Just barely visible. I would try it on chicken to see if you really like the flavor it imparts.

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Old 04-10-2007, 10:05 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Bob
Ash is an acceptable wood for smoking. As with all woods do not use to much. Only as much as to give you a hint of smoke. Just barely visible. I would try it on chicken to see if you really like the flavor it imparts.

Enjoy
Thanks, I was thinking I should try it out on something cheap and easy before I bbq a butt or something like that with it.
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Old 04-10-2007, 06:07 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sparrowgrass
When you say Cedar, I am sure you mean Western Red Cedar. I don't think you want to smoke anything with our eastern red cedars, unless you want it to taste like turpentine.
Alas, I must plead ignorance on this one. I purchased cedar planks from Wal Mart, where the BBQ stuff is sold. Although I know of a lady in Canada who uses native cedar to smoke fish.

The Cedar I used gave a sweet flavor to the fish, and to pork, along with a bit of smoky bite. I think the fish and pork absorbed some of the cedar flavor directly from sitting on the wood, while the burning underside of the planks ballanced that sweetness with the more pungent smoke.

Seeeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
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Old 04-11-2007, 08:05 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goodweed of the North
Alas, I must plead ignorance on this one. I purchased cedar planks from Wal Mart, where the BBQ stuff is sold. Although I know of a lady in Canada who uses native cedar to smoke fish.

The Cedar I used gave a sweet flavor to the fish, and to pork, along with a bit of smoky bite. I think the fish and pork absorbed some of the cedar flavor directly from sitting on the wood, while the burning underside of the planks ballanced that sweetness with the more pungent smoke.

Seeeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
Hi Goodweed ( my Michigan neighbor) - I would suggest that Cedar in plank form can do good things to meat. I would not however use it as a primary chip or chunk form in the grill or smoker. As a previous poster mentioned, if the smoke is rather visible, then you are using the wood in not the best manor for flavoring. I have personally ruined a number of things while experimenting, and as the poster mentioned, it is *best* to use a cheap piece of meat like a whole chicken on sale while practicing the real BBQ skills. I have a brand new smoker I will sometime this summer put to use when I can spare the assembly time, and I will use a number of woods, and plan to use real chunk and not charcoal as the primary fuel source. In Michigan you can get it at "some" hardware stores (personal local research required), but you can get chunk wood for BBQ at Whole Foods Store if you have one near by. The chunk wood vs. charcoal makes a real difference if you are doing real BBQ. As to the Ash, I don't think I would even try it on a cheap meat unless I knew it has dried for a *very* long time to dry the oil, and then would only use it a little. Casper
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Old 04-11-2007, 10:39 PM   #9
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Red Oak is to bitter to smoke with? I was using Red Oak when I lived in Michigan. I had to leave a couple year's worth of the stuff up there when I moved down here to OK. I never noticed a bitter flavor from using it.
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Old 04-12-2007, 10:37 AM   #10
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Whenever I hear people describing the the different nuances of different woods I can only smile at the smoke blowing. With the exception of a few wood species like hickory and mesquite, probalbly less than 5% of people can discern what kind of wood was used to cook with. Remember these truths as you fire up your grills. Regardless of the species of wood, excessive smoke is offensive. Over smoked meat does not tast good. Less is better!

Enjoy!
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