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Home-made Wood Chips/Twigs?

RiverFarmRiverFarm Posts: 216
edited 3:57AM in EggHead Forum
Can you use home-made wood chips for smoking your meats? We have lots of hickory trees as well as apple and other hardwoods. Juniper (cedar) smells as though it should be a good candidate, too. When we used our old smoker (an RS2D2 look-alike) we placed small branches or twigs inside to add flavor to the meat. Does that work on the egg as well?


  • Works quite well. Mayny of us do exactly that. I supplied quite a few with maple when one fell here a while back.
  • RiverFarmRiverFarm Posts: 216
    Thanks, Rusty. We have maple, too! That's good to know.
  • Cpt'n CookCpt'n Cook Posts: 1,917
    I make almost all of my chunks, Hickory, Oak, Maple and cherry. I did some smoked Pork chops last week and used Hickory nut shells, they seem to work well on a fairly short cook.
  • RRPRRP Posts: 21,924
    sure can! Here's a bucket with 27 pounds of hickory that I recently cut and split. Using some today to egg some baby backs. BTW there are different schools of thought but I don't bother removing the bark unless it just falls off by itself.
    L, M, S, &  Mini
    And oh yes...also a 17" BlackStone gas fired griddle! 
    Dunlap, IL
    Re- gasketing AMERICA one yard at a time!
  • Capt FrankCapt Frank Posts: 2,578
    eastern red cedar or juniper smells great but will give a bitter taste to food. it also contains a lot of resin which can gum up things, I would not use it
  • RiverFarmRiverFarm Posts: 216
    Thanks, Capt. Frank. I figured there was some reason why my husband didn't use eastern red cedar for smoking, but it sure smells wonderful in the woodstove!

    RRP, that bucket is a real inspiration!
  • Capt FrankCapt Frank Posts: 2,578
    watch out for chimney fires! The gum in red cedar burns like napalm!
    Capt Frank
  • RRPRRP Posts: 21,924
    Inspiration is right as I cut them into chunks in my workshop. That way I avoided getting chain saw bar oil on them and then split them with a chisel. OTOH instead of inspiration this big chunk of hickory I've had drying for over a year under the eves will take perspiration! One of these days I will get around to it!
    L, M, S, &  Mini
    And oh yes...also a 17" BlackStone gas fired griddle! 
    Dunlap, IL
    Re- gasketing AMERICA one yard at a time!
  • ibandaibanda Posts: 549
    I scrounge pecan limbs every time I visit Mom's farm and mesquite every time I visit Dad's place. Love pecan for chicken and mesquite for beef.
    "Bacon tastes gooood, pork chops taste gooood." - Vincent Vega, Pulp Fiction
    Small and Large BGE in Oklahoma City.
  • RiverFarmRiverFarm Posts: 216
    We have an enormous red oak that we're trying to split; must be several hundred years old and it's a bear to chop into small enough segments even to get it on our log splitter. I think letting it dry is just making it harder to do anything with! What are you using - a circular saw? You're thinking that bar oil would affect the taste when it's burned in your egg?

    Capt. Frank, we always burn juniper - and even pine, along with the harder woods. Our stove is efficient enough that it doesn't seem to cause a problem. The chimney is never creosoted up when we clean it.
  • jeffinsgfjeffinsgf Posts: 1,259
    Bar & Chain Oil -- at least what I use, which is Stihl -- is vegetable oil. Nothing to be concerned about, what miniscule amount might be on you end cuts.


    The very best smoke you'll ever get will come from the finger sized and smaller twigs off your hickory. Clip them off with pruning shears and put them straight on the fire.

    RRP, you've been worrying that piece of wood to death for over a year now! Quit posting picks and bust that thing up! :laugh:
  • RiverFarmRiverFarm Posts: 216
    LOL! And yes, when we grill I always go around and pick up newly fallen twigs and branches from the hickory tree by our porch. Great fragrance and nice taste!
  • RicklesssRicklesss Posts: 391
    Great thread!
    And I thought that I was the only (cheap) guy to "roll my own", smokin' wood.
    This past week, I've been falling many fairly large Red Alder tree's for a neighbor.
    I've been setting aside all the large chunky pieces for myself. I've been told Alder has a mild flavor that's particularly good for Salmon/fish etc.
    One thing that I have been wondering is weather I should dry it out (during the coming year/next summer) before I use it?
    If I don't, would't it be just like "soaking woodchips" in water before using? Something that some folks, but not all do...
    Can I use it as is? (fairly wet) or use it a year from now?'
    Are other woods needing to be dryed as well?
    Thanks for any advice!
    RicklessssssssS in Oregon
  • RiverFarmRiverFarm Posts: 216
    When we lived in the Pacific Northwest we used alder all the time to smoke salmon. It's the perfect wood for it. And we never dried it; we always felt that the natural moisture helped with the smoking. Same with our hickory twigs and branches here. We just make sure we have a decent fire going before putting it on.
  • jeffinsgfjeffinsgf Posts: 1,259
    I personally prefer that my wood be green. Like I said, the best hickory flavor I get is from twigs that I clip off the tree immediately before putting on the fire. You can't get any greener than that!

    Seasoning (drying) is great for fireplace wood, but completely unnecessary for smoking wood.
  • i gather up oak twigs, which constantly fall, and throw them in whenever i want an hit of smoke. and as far as hickory, the only thing i even bother with any more is the bark off shagbarl hickory. it peels off the tree or falls off by itaelf, and is sweeter than any wood by far, even sugar maple.

    warnings about bark are usually overblown.
    you don't want wet punky insect ridden bark, but dry tight bark, even dry bark by itself, will be great.

    i don't care if it is a plastic milk bottle you want to try using, if it smells good, 99% of the time it'll taste good too.
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