Urgent! -Water Smoking Question -woodbark

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Brown Dog, Dec 23, 2006.

  1. Brown Dog

    Brown Dog Writers Guild

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    Tried looking this up on the web with no success; I hope some of the experienced outdoorsmen (or outdoor chefs!) here might have an answer on this.

    Planning on Water Smoking our Christmas turkey in my Brinkmann; as I have done several times previously.

    I've always used store-bought wood chips in the past. Currently, I have none on hand...but have some felled apple wood from a neighbour...both as logs and as a bag of very very fine chips (shreds infact!).

    Here's my question:

    The shredded wood is 'bark on' (ie the shreds include bark as well as wood).....does that render it unusable for water smoking?

    (and should the bark be removed or included when I break the logs up into chunks?)

    Thanks!

    Matt
     
  2. Mountainsheep

    Mountainsheep Well-Known Member

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    Brown Dog,

    I have always used apple wood chips that have contained bark without experiencing any problems. However, it is important to be certain that the bark does not contain any parasitic moss or fungi. Many of these can be very pungent and add an unpleasant flavor to the smoked food. Good luck with your holiday meal.

    Merry Christmas,
    Dave
     

  3. Mountainsheep

    Mountainsheep Well-Known Member

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    Brown Dog,

    As a caution; the apple wood chips I have used have all come from the sweet varieties of apple that grow on dry, hilly terrain. I'm not sure of the species you have there, but the bark from trees that grow in lowland, damp or swampy terrain and/or yield a sour or bitter fruit may have strong tannins in the bark. The chips I use have a thin & light colored bark.

    Dave
     
  4. Varmint Hunter

    Varmint Hunter Well-Known Member

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    Here's some advice I've given my wife on more than one occasion:

    "Don't try new recipes on holidays", especially CHRISTMAS when we are expecting so many guests for dinner.

    If I were you I would buy the chips that have always worked for you in the past. Why take the chance? Try the neighbors old tree some other time when you can just go out and get a pizza if you ruin the turkey. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif

    Just my 2 cents. Good luck
     
  5. Brown Dog

    Brown Dog Writers Guild

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    Dave,

    Thanks for the advice! I've just broken one of the logs up into de-barked chunks ..I'm sure fruit wood will be OK...but I won't take the chance on the variety of bark I have!

    Varminthunter,

    Thanks also, sound advice...but central southern England is not exactly awash with mesquite or hickory wood chip sellers /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif...I'm probably the only person for many many miles with a water smoker ....I'm 'apple wood chips or no smoke' for this Christmas.......bought the smoker in a px in Germany years ago....you have prompted me to give it a quick test run with the new wood tonight though! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif
     
  6. Centre Punch

    Centre Punch Well-Known Member

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    Matt,
    I have used apple logs in the past that came from my own tree, i saved these when i trimmed the tree back 3 years ago.
    I did however remove the bark before storing the logs (1 1/2" - 2" dia) which i also cut to about 5"-6"in length.
    At times when i want a bit more smokey flavour i will put a couple of green twigs in the embers.
    I have had more failure then success when using applewood and a good bit of meat has ended up in the bin, or i pretended that it tasted good when in fact is was very bitter and too smokey. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif

    Ian.