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Old 05-13-2007, 11:24 PM   #1
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I have a question for you other pitmasters out there.....

I have an opportunity to harvest literally, a ton of wood, from a tree that came down recently. It's either a Hickory, or a Black Walnut. I'm not sure which. I tried looking around on the ground for nuts, but due to the high grass, couldn't see anything.

If this is a Black Walnut, has anyone ever smoked with it? Does it give good smoke? I know that a Black Walnut will change the chemical composition of the soil around it, from the shells and pith covering the shells.

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Old 05-14-2007, 09:13 AM   #2
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Allen,

I checked into using black walnut for smoking, since out neighbors have a HUGE black walnut tree in their yard.

What I have found is that walnut wood is useable, but considered a very strong, "heavy" smoke that can overpower things if you use to much.

I've stayed away from it, especially since I have an ample supply of cherry wood. If you're looking for something along the lines of mesquite on steriods, it might work out.

John
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Old 05-14-2007, 09:30 AM   #3
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AllenOK

I have never used black walnut so I can't give a definative answer to your question. Obviously the easy solution is to correctly identify the species of the tree. If there are leaves still present that would help. Also the make up of the bark.

Now hickory's and pecan's are a part of the larger Walnut family so I would say if it is either hickory or a black walnut. Go for it!! If the wood is still green I would let it season for a while. 12 to 18 months is optimal! You might try some of the smaller branches sooner using something inexpensive like leg quarters etc, and not to much of it as hickory is a powerful flavoring wood!
I hope this helps out somewhat. let me know what you find out!

Enjoy!
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Old 05-17-2007, 05:38 PM   #4
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i have tried black walnut ... dont know if it wasnt
cured enough .. but it was bad .. foul smoke ..
but i only tried it once ..
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Old 05-17-2007, 05:48 PM   #5
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Is the heartwood dark or light?

Black walnut will be quite dark, hickory will be light.

Here in Kentucky hickory is the wood of choice for our famous "low and slow" barbecue.

Black walnut makes wonderful furniture.
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Old 05-17-2007, 07:39 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by love2"Q"
i have tried black walnut ... dont know if it wasnt
cured enough .. but it was bad .. foul smoke ..
but i only tried it once ..
I've never used walnut, but it could be that you just don't like it. I know I can't stand mesquite smoke. In the summer if the wind is out of the west I have to run inside to avoid the smell! I'm with Buck. Hickory is my go to wood of choice 99% of the time. Ya can't go wrong with it.
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Old 05-17-2007, 07:47 PM   #7
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uncle bob .. it may have to do with taste .. i cant stand mesquite
myself .. for the most part all i use is hickory ..
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Old 05-17-2007, 09:14 PM   #8
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wow Bob! the lack of mesquite smoke is most definitely one of the things i miss about moving out of the deep south!

Allen, maybe if you snap a couple of pics of the heartwood (i.e., cut the tree straight through) and the leaves, our resident smokemasters will be able to help you definitively identify your tree?
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Old 05-17-2007, 09:31 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fireweaver
wow Bob! the lack of mesquite smoke is most definitely one of the things i miss about moving out of the deep south!

Allen, maybe if you snap a couple of pics of the heartwood (i.e., cut the tree straight through) and the leaves, our resident smokemasters will be able to help you definitively identify your tree?
..And what part of the Deep South would that have been??
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Old 05-18-2007, 12:06 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fireweaver
Allen, maybe if you snap a couple of pics of the heartwood (i.e., cut the tree straight through) the leaves, our resident smokemasters will be able to help you definitively identify your tree?
I'm pretty sure it's a Hickory. I'll have to go back with my camera, hopefully tomorrow. My work schedule, and home schedule just haven't been jiving very well, and I haven't been able to do much of anything productive at home.

From what I remember, there isn't any heartwood in the main trunk. It's rotted out.
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