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What's the deal with Cedar? Aren't conifer woods s

BigBadgerBigBadger Posts: 461
edited 11:46PM in EggHead Forum
I have eaten Cedar planked salmon and yes it does taste good. Every time I try it the boards are burnt underneath and that got me to wondering. Every listing of smoking woods I've read indicate Conifer woods are NOT safe for smoking due to toxins they release or some other issue. But at least they all agree not to use conifers for smoking. So if the Cedar planks are burning, does that not mean they are smoking? Is it not unsafe.

Contradictory links?

http://www.meat-smoking.com/can-you-smoke-meat-with-cedar-wood.html

http://www.smoking-meat.com/salmon-recipe-cedar-plank.html
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Comments

  • Good question. I'm sure St!ke will be along shortly. ;)
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  • Oh now I'm confused...I'm just gonig to give up and switch to smoking with Trex planks from now on. :P
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  • no toxins. it's that too much can be bitter and resinous.

    but salmon is often smoke over fresh green juniper. a westphalia ham is (if i remember correctly) smoked with juniper or other conifer. whatever the local population had on hand is generally what they used. only now that we have the luxury of cooking for style do we quibble about certain woods.

    it's all personal preference.

    remember that planked food is predominantly a cooking method, and it just so happened to accidentally contribute smoke flavor. just like barbecue. reason #1 is to cook the food. the smoke flavor was a freebie. now people do it ON PURPOSE to get that smoke flavor.

    if we were sitting on the bank of a river ten thousand years ago trying to cook a fish, we'd slap it on a green or wet (soaked) cedar board maybe, to hold it up to the fire. not one of us would be trying to "infuse the river-fresh salmon with a hint of stately cedar smoke" hahaha, as a stupid menu today might advertise.

    today, we soak the plank to delay the smoke, because too much is, well, not necessarily good. at the end of the cook, the smoke starts, and the salmon picks up a little flavor. there's no flavor from sitting on the plank itself.
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  • thirdeyethirdeye Posts: 7,428
    ...if we were sitting on the bank of a river ten thousand years ago trying to cook a fish, we'd slap it on a green or wet (soaked) cedar board maybe, to hold it up to the fire. not one of us would be trying to "infuse the river-fresh salmon with a hint of stately cedar smoke" hahaha, as a stupid menu today might advertise.

    Image5-1.jpg

    Wait a minute, sticks came before boards... besides, can you imagine the price of a board 10,000 years ago? Especially a cedar board. I would think they would all be going into the production of cedar chests so out ancestors could store their winter wardrobe and not have to worry about moth damage.
    Happy Trails
    ~thirdeye~

    Barbecue is not rocket surgery
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  • ok ok. five thousand years ago, around the time they invented the circular saw and planer

    :laugh:
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  • Knew I could count on you.

    LR
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