There are a variety of woods that are great for smoking, each giving a unique flavor. Below are some of the more commonly available smoke woods.
There are plenty of other woods that are good for smoking but, some of these are a little more difficult to find. They include:
In general, the best woods for smoking come from fruit-bearing trees which lend a lighter smoke flavor and nut-bearing trees that produce a stronger smoke flavor. My personal favorites are apple and hickory depending on the type of meat I’m smoking.
Many people will avoid using sassafras for smoking so, if you decide to experiment with it, use it sparingly.
Below are some descriptions of good smoking wood:
Alder: Alder is commonly used with fish but, also works well with beef and pork. It has a light, slightly sweet flavor and is not overpowering. It is much less dense than other smoke woods.
Apple: Apple has a light, fruity, slightly sweet aroma and is commonly used with pork and poultry. It goes great with pork ribs and can be mixed with other woods like oak and cherry with good results
Cherry: Cherry is great for use with chicken. It has a subtle, sweet, fruity flavor. It goes well with beef, pork and poultry and can be mixed with oak and apple.
Hickory: One of the most popular smoke wood used, it has a strong flavor that complements all meats. It can be overpowering when too much is used but, can mix well with oak to tone it down.
Maple: Maple has a mild flavor. It can be slightly sweet because many types of maple are commonly used to make maple syrup. Maple goes especially well with pork and poultry. The wood is dense in weight but, light in color.
Mesquite: Commonly used in Texas barbeque, it’s often burned down into coals before being used as a heat source in wood-fired cookers. It is strong and can easily overpower your food so, use it lightly. It compliments beef, fish, pork and poultry. The wood is dense and dark in color with very rough bark.
Logs, Slabs, Chunks, Chips and Pellets
Smoke wood is available in all of these forms. The most available are chunks, chips and pellets. Chunks will vary in size from small pieces to fist sized pieces, they burn slowly and release smoke over a longer period of time. I recommend using chunks. When using chunks, it is unnecessary to soak them as water doesn’t penetrate seasoned wood very much. Also, it is unnecessary to soak wood chips if you’re putting them in a foil pouch.
I recommend experimenting with different sizes and flavors to find the combinations that best fit your taste.
The world’s forests hold enormous economic value — as long as they’re harvested for construction, consumer products, land clearing or access to minerals in the earth below. Unfortunately, millions of acres of formerly forested land are cut down with no thought toward the future use of the land. The result is a barren landscape that may never regrow into anything like the original forest.
Deforestation has obvious and severe consequences, as wildlife habitats are destroyed and soil erosion becomes severe. There are economic problems as well: If you clear cut a forest to harvest the raw materials, you might make a quick profit, but you’ll only make it once. The forest is gone and the land no longer holds any value.
Sustainable forestry seeks to balance our need for forest-based resources and economic benefits with the long-term health of the forest. Instead of harvesting a whole area, sustainable forestry manages a forest, extracting s
ome resources while maintaining the forest’s long-term health. That way, the forest continues to serve its ecological role and also serves as a continuing source of revenue.
Creating a plan for sustainable forestry isn’t easy, and there’s no silver bullet that fixes every forest’s problems. This article will explain the basic tenets of sustainable forestry and the importance of third party certification.
The specific practices of a sustainable forestry project vary from forest to forest, depending on the specific environment and the exact resources to be extracted from the forest. The first step is to survey the land that’s part of the sustainable forestry project, creating not just an inventory of the timber, but also of the various wildlife species present and whether any of them are endangered, along with other environmental issues such as watersheds, proximity to urban areas and recreational use by humans.
Next, forest managers determine what can be harvested from the forest,
and in what amounts. Their goal is to harvest timber in a way that doesn’t destroy the overall health of the forest. This can be done by pruning timber instead of felling entire trees, cutting down older trees to encourage diversity and growth, and thinning tree populations in some areas to promote healthier growth. It’s also important to plant new trees, taking care to plant species that will both provide the type of timber wanted and fit into the forest ecosystem.
Other sustainable forestry practices include controlled burning to encourage forest regeneration, continually monitoring the health of the forest, and working with local communities to ensure the preservation of cultural heritage related to the forest.
Perhaps the most important aspect of any sustainable forestry plan is training. A plan is only as good as the forestry workers who implement it, so not only must they be trained to carry out the sustainable practices identified in the plan, it’s important that they understand the benefits of sustainable forestry.
Sustainable forestry can go beyond the forest, extending to sustainable development practices. Sustainable development means building in ways that have minimal harmful impact on the environment. Factors include the location of the development, the methods used to clear land, and the types of wood used in the development. The best way to ensure sustainable forestry works is through third party certification.
Sustainable Forestry Initiative Program
Third party certification is a system by which an organization checks on the sustainable forestry practices of a timber producer. If the practices are acceptable, products made by the producer can carry a label that lets consumers know the products were made following sustainable forestry practices.
There are several third party certification programs in existence in the world. The largest certification group in North America is the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI). SFI and other third party certification groups follow certain international agreements and protocols, the most significant of which is known as the Montréal Process. The Montréal Process establishes the following general criteria for sustainable forestry:
•Conservation of biological diversity
•Maintenance of productive capacity of forest ecosystems
•Maintenance of forest ecosystem health and vitality
•Conservation and maintenance of soil and water resources
•Maintenance of forest contribution to global carbon cycles
•Maintenance and enhancement of long-term multiple socioeconomic benefits to meet the needs of societies
•Legal, institutional and policy framework for forest conservation and sustainable management
SFI is not intended to replace various nations’ laws that already regulate forestry practices. In fact, SFI’s guidelines can encourage nations to adopt better forestry laws because they won’t certify timber imported from nations with inadequate laws. SFI itself is independent of any specific government.
Before a producer can become certified by SFI, they must undergo a third-party audit. This audit checks that they meet or exceed water quality laws, follow practices outlined in SFI’s guidelines and work to protect endangered species.
At the time flooring is delivered, usually the plastering has been finished, most of the trim is up, and the windows and exterior doors have been fitted and are in place.
Sometimes the flooring is delivered on a damp day or even during rain, so that the exposed boards and ends of others in the bundles absorb moisture to some degree. If laid in this condition, the flooring will shrink a few months later and show cracks.
Very bad results may also be expected if the flooring is laid or even stored inside the house before plaster or masonry of the walls has had time to dry thoroughly. Moisture evaporates from damp walls into the air within the house. Some will be absorbed by the flooring. It is prudent to accept a delay in completion rather than to have the floor laid while the walls are still damp and thus risk unsatisfactory results.
Another condition that causes flooring to pick up moisture during construction is less obvious but, more common. Between the time the floor is laid and the house occupied, the general temperature within the house both day and night are likely to be lower and the humidity higher than if the house were occupied. At this stage, the house should be heated to keep relative humidity low enough to avoid absorption of moisture by wood.
If several days of damp weather occur immediately after the floor is laid and before the finish (such as varnish, shellac or floor seal) can be applied, the moisture content of the floor is likely to increase greatly. Absorption of moisture is much slower after a floor has received even the first coat of finish.
Even moderate absorption of moisture from the air can cause boards to press against one another as they swell. Heavy pressure of this sort can result in some crushing of wood fiber. Technically known as compression set, this crushing is the common cause of floor cracks. A relatively narrow margin of each board has to take the brunt of the compression, though the whole board takes up some of it. After a board has been compressed this way, it never completely recovers.
Let’s talk about the elephant in the room — one you can eat, drink, work or play on. You might even want to dance on it.
Rare Earth Hardwoods introduces the made-to-order “Elephant Table.” This made-to-order hardwood furniture piece is built with timber frame mortise and tenon joinery. The table-top is cut from Angelim Pedra 3” x 36” to 40” x 7’ with a hewn face. Although it’s massive, the Elephant Table is easily broken down for transport. It holds together with wooden wedges without using metal fasteners. Price: $3,750. For more information or to order, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 800-968-0074.
Are you looking for another way to express love to your Valentine this year? Here’s an idea: if he or she enjoys woodworking, you might consider a gift of red wood.
At Rare Earth Hardwoods, we’re featuring several kinds of red woods, including Bloodwood, Padauk, Brazilian Cherry, Mahogany – all desirable species to create carvings, bowls, furniture or even flooring.
Give the gift of red wood this year and you might even get a hand-created gift in return!
Stop in or visit us online http://www.rare-earth-hardwoods.com to get your Love Lumber gift certificate.
Austin, our general manager, has taken on a Black Locust decking job for a local contractor. We will be getting Black Locust material in by March or so to do this little walkway job.
Black Locust is actually a weed, but is stong, having the capabillities of hardwood .Black Locust is extremely durable hardwood ideal for exterior uses. What’s more it’s truly green! Black Locust is considered an invasive species to our region in Northern Michigan and is periodically culled by contract with state and federal authorities.
Rare Earth Hardwoods has access to the available Black Locust as it is sourced and sawn for uses such as decking, walkways, garden beds and fencing.
We want to thank the owners of what was once “Traverse City’s Cigar Box Factory” built in 1920 and recreated as The Box an event venue, in 2012. Thanks for being innovative enough to use our new product line — the radial hewn collection, unique textured surfaces produced from urban reclaimed trees. The product goes very nicely with the refinished orginal factory flooring and ceilings. Check out the pics!
Our featured wood of the month is Fava Tapeche. If you’re looking for a unique hardwood to create presents for the holidays, you might choose this versatile and straight grain wood. It’s a wonderful wood for cabinets, table tops or mantles. This exotic wood is a bit more unusual among the Fava wood types. The wood is dimensionaly stable and finishes nicely. This hardwood is on the low end of the janka hardness scale. Golden and red-toned in color, this lightweight wood can be painted or kept natural. It’s a light texture wood that fits both contemporary and traditional styles.
“Measure Twice, Cut Once.” Woodworkers Proverb
Just kidding. We don’t know if that’s a proverb, but we can tell you it’s a rule of measurement. Get it!? “Rule….”
When it comes to using a measuring tape to cut a piece of lumber to specific size, you need to do a little more than just pay attention. We can’t tell you how many times people just take the first measurement and cut, only to realize — too late – it’s too short. So, always measure twice, maybe even three times, before you cut. Otherwise… goody, goody, you get to buy more lumber from us. (-:
Use this handy measuring tape chart we created to ensure the correct cut: