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smoke wood

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Tom Kurth View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tom Kurth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: smoke wood
    Posted: 23 May 2015 at 14:45
What woods are typically used for smoking meat and sausage in the German tradition? I'm guessing beech and/or fruitwoods. I know one of my great-grandfathers (who was the first generation born in America)used cherry exclusively. Anther (also first generation), according to my father, would use "anything he found lying around."

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Tom
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Tom

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 May 2015 at 19:24
I would guess you're right about the beech, Tom. Germany has managed its beech forests for several hundred years, and the wood is used for many things we'd not consider.

Plus I notice that Boar's Head is touting its beechwood smoked Black Forest Ham in that very manner.
But we hae meat and we can eat
And sae the Lord be thanket
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hoser Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 May 2015 at 02:01
Hickory and apple are my go-to woods for sausage, but my mind is always open to trying new ones.
I believe I would draw the line at something like mesquite though...a bit too strong in my opinion.
Go ahead...play with your food!
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Tom Kurth View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tom Kurth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 May 2015 at 15:48
Yeah, I don't care much for mesquite except for brisket. As I get older my stomach doesn't like heavy smoke at all, so I lean towards the lighter flavored woods--fruitwoods and maple. Rarely even use hickory any more.
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AK1 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AK1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 January 2016 at 22:28
I've read that fir is also used.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gonefishin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 January 2016 at 07:46
   When using stronger woods, such as mesquite, I wonder how many cooks are using similar amounts that they would with lighter woods.  I think mesquite no doubt adds a unique flavor.  Wood, in bbq'n is certainly a fuel, but it's also a primary ingredient adding to the flavor as well...I just don't think we always cook as it's a major ingredient.  I would wonder what people would think of mesquite if they used less, much less when bbq smoking their foods.   


  When it comes to old world smoking processes, I'm ignorant!  Beech definitely looks like it was/is used, along with pine and fir.  But it seems some of these woods are only used in a cold smoking process, which would make sense.  The woods are sometimes described as a sawdust/course mixture for the cold smoking and in the case of the Black Forest region hams, it's a process that takes days and days.

   Wish I could find more quality information on the subject!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drinks Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 January 2016 at 11:59
In Texas, hickory and mesquite are the first choices, however,pecan, white and black oaks, pear and apple , plum and cherry have all been used, the amount and length of smoke is a matter of individual taste.
I do not know anyone who has used a conifer twice.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 January 2016 at 18:55
From BriCan, who makes an smokes a lot of Black Forest bacon:

Quote beach and birch ... normally I would have some softwood as well but seeing that I have only just relocated (work wise) I do not have any, so I toss in a medium handful of juniper berries....
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 January 2016 at 18:57
More on the use of softwoods from BriCan:

Quote Soft woods are used throughout Europe in cold smoking .. the use is to give colour as well as flavour .. the most common one used is fir and spruce  ... I normally do 1/3rd hardwood (maple, beach, birch blend) and 2/3rds softwoods 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drinks Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 January 2016 at 19:23
Interesting, I did try loblolly pine, tasted about the same as basting with turpentine.
The soft woods available here are juniper and pine.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 January 2016 at 20:30
The trick, I think, is good airflow and remembering that less is more. I made some bacon that was smoked with a couple of woods, plus a few juniper berries. They did add a deepness to the smoke that worked well, but I'd not want to over-do it.
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