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tomorrow i get to deal with the 2'+ diameter cherry tree limb that came down in my back yard on wednesday. there's a thread on LIG about it if anyone is interested. i'm going to borrow the neighbor's chipper/shredder to dispatch the smaller limbs (it'll handle up to 3" in diameter).

one of the things i'd like to be able to do is to get some good smoking wood chips for smoking fish and such. i've asked a couple of friends but we couldn't come up with a consensus on it. do you remove the bark from the wood to make wood chips for smoking or leave it on? also, are there specific parts of the tree that make better smoking chips than others (heartwood or sapwood)?
 

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I've always peeled the bark from my favorites, Apple, Vine Maple and Oak. But, that's just because somebody taught me that way 45 years ago. He was a guide on the Nestucca and always claimed that the bark contains oils and acids that give fish a nasty flavor. Never tried it bark on.
 

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when I lived in california...I know :rolleyes: ....I used to use the bark (it was like a concentrated flavor) from the red oak down there for the smoker and BBQer, sure wish it was available here. by far the best and worked great on all meats. it imparted a red tinge on the meats and man the smell was/is awesome the whole neighborhood new when I was smoking/BBQing. when we moved back here I brought a whole duffle bag with me, lasted 2 years but all gone now :sick:
 

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I have been given a 5hp chipper that will take up to 3" dia.. I have thought about using it for making chips for smoking but was concerned with how clean it had to be to be safe for human consumtion? Do you have to worry about sanitizing it first? What procedures do you do before using the chipper to make your chips for smoking?

Thanks for the info on the bark. That was another question I had also.

My parents live in Wenatchee and have a few apple and cherry trees and I have thought about using the trimmings from those. Now I am definately going to. They have been paying to take them to the dump due to some newer regulations on burning.

Heh, if anyone might be interested in getting fruit tree(apple, cherry, peach,???) trimmings next spring, for making thier own chips, let me know. I am toying with an idea about that.

[ 08-16-2003, 12:26 AM: Message edited by: Conspiracy Theory ]
 

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after sending limbs through chipper I let the chips sun dry on the driveway for as long as I can. A couple of weeks or more. Stir around once a day or so to turn chips, getting air and sun to all sides. If you don't dry well your chips may mold. If your in a hurry and want to use chips sooner you can oven dry. With oven temp set on low, spread chips on sheet tray being careful not to get chips to many chips on to tray ( you'll want a single layer. Let tray set on the low temp for 6-8 hours, more or less. Depends on how green the tree was. Stir while in oven once and a while to turn chips.

[ 08-16-2003, 08:10 AM: Message edited by: cully ]
 

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I don't chip the wood at all. I'll use chips if thats all I can get but prefer to throw a whole hunk right on the pan. Two things: 1. the chips catch fire much more easily 2. a whole hunk will smolder for hours. I work with a propane fired smoker that I built but its basicly the same as the electric ones I assume you guys are using. As to peeling the bark, if you've got that much free time, go fishing!
 

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Ampersat,I've always peeled the bark off the wood I plan to use for BBQ,not sure why,but that's what I do. Seems to work out just fine. I've even made my own chips for the Little Chief. You need a old school chain saw with a manual oiler. When cutting into the log don't use the oiler. It doesn't take long to fill up a cardboard box with saw dust. Oh ya,take it easy,you don't want to over heat the bar and chain.
 
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