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Wood for BBQ

vanillagorilla Dec 10, 2007 10:56 AM

I have a WSM that I use for preparing BBQ and smoking meats. I'm able to find wood chips pretty consistently, but the smoker really requires chunks. I can usually find hickory and mesquite chunks at places like QFC or Fred Meyer. However, hickory is kind of boring (and can overpower some meat). I don't like mesquite for anything as I think it makes meat taste bitter.

I've seen alder, cherry, and apple chips and pellets; but I've never seen the chunks. I've also never seen oak. Does anyone know where to look for them in seattle?

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    soupkitten RE: vanillagorilla Dec 10, 2007 11:06 AM

    hi. i'm in msp and can't give specific recs for seattle, but we've approached local farms & orchards around here & had really good luck. if you have your own chain saw & trailer, the farmer will sometimes let you come out to the apple orchard and cut up a tree he was felling/trimming anyway and haul it away. saves him from doing it so it is a win-win and a lot of times you get all the wood you can use for free.

    uh, and i realize i may or may not be sounding like grizzly adams-- maybe you could also purchase hardwood branches/chunks from local arborist/trimming companies?

    2 Replies
    1. re: soupkitten
      Lauren RE: soupkitten Dec 10, 2007 01:54 PM

      I would post on Craigs list or Freecycle and see if you can get some from someone's tree. We still have a bit of cherry wood from a tree we took down years ago. And a friend just gave us the prunings from their apple tree. This will take a year or so to age but it's great to have!

      1. re: Lauren
        vanillagorilla RE: Lauren Dec 10, 2007 02:32 PM

        I'm more of an instant gratification guy. I don't have the patience to wait that long.

    2. h
      howard 1st RE: vanillagorilla Dec 10, 2007 11:17 AM

      all of those chips and pellets were once parts of larger pieces; you may want to check with those whence you found them to locate the chunks. also, there are any number of firewood dealers who may allow you to visit their yards to pick up smaller quantities and qualities than they can profitably deliver. remember, cordwood plus a bandsaw (or radial arm saw) equals chunks.

      1 Reply
      1. re: howard 1st
        vanillagorilla RE: howard 1st Dec 10, 2007 11:26 AM

        I've never seen a firewood dealer that has hardwood. It's usually pine and other softwoods that you can't use for smoking.

      2. paulj RE: vanillagorilla Dec 10, 2007 11:24 AM

        Joes (formerly GIJoes) sports shops carry smoking and BBQ supplies, though I can't say whether they have the chunks you want.

        5 Replies
        1. re: paulj
          vanillagorilla RE: paulj Dec 10, 2007 11:27 AM

          They will sometimes have chunks of mesquite and/or hickory. But I've never seen anything but pellets and chips of the other wood.

          1. re: vanillagorilla
            paulj RE: vanillagorilla Dec 10, 2007 12:06 PM

            After the recent storms, the wilder parks and woods should have a few downed red alders. With a small pruning saw you could cut yourself some branches.

            1. re: paulj
              vanillagorilla RE: paulj Dec 10, 2007 12:22 PM

              The problem there is that I'm a city boy and wouldn't be able to tell a red alder from a pine tree.

              1. re: vanillagorilla
                bbqboy RE: vanillagorilla Dec 10, 2007 01:02 PM

                What's boring about hickory? It is, after all, the quinessential bbq wood, either alone or mixed with oak.

                1. re: bbqboy
                  vanillagorilla RE: bbqboy Dec 10, 2007 01:16 PM

                  It's boring because it's all I every use. And I think with Pork and especially fish, it's just too strong.

        2. vanillagorilla RE: vanillagorilla Dec 10, 2007 03:21 PM

          I have found the answer to by own question. Sutter Home and Hearth in Ballard has chunks!

          1. MsMaryMc RE: vanillagorilla Dec 10, 2007 07:40 PM

            I just saw sacks of chunk cherry and apple wood at B & E Meats in Burien. Don't remember the weight, but they were good-sized sacks, about 3 feet tall, for $12.00.

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              Daniel RE: vanillagorilla Dec 11, 2007 06:42 AM

              Check out http://www.barbecuewood.com/StoreFron...

              They're based in Yakima and have a wide variety of woods in chips, chunks and logs. I've been buying from them for a couple years now and am really pleased with both the wood and the service. They ship UPS Ground which generally is overnight to Seattle.

              1. c
                chileheadmike RE: vanillagorilla Dec 11, 2007 06:49 AM

                Check with these guys, I think they ship. They have a lot of stuff and its all quality.


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                  ptridel RE: vanillagorilla Dec 11, 2007 07:29 AM

                  I buy apple wood logs, about 2" thick, at Fred Meyer in Ballard. They are nice and dry and burn wonderfully. For smoking you can soak some in warm water for an hour and then drop them onto burning coals for smoke. Sutter hearth and home has several kinds of woods in stock, though this is more expensive

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                    stevej RE: vanillagorilla Dec 18, 2007 02:45 PM

                    I too have a wsm and have found my wood chunks (actually small logs) at Golden Steer Meats in Bellevue - They sell huge bags 3ft tall - I've seen apple, cherry, peach and pecan there. You have to cut the wood down to size, but that's pretty easy with a small hand saw.

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                      earthworks RE: vanillagorilla Dec 26, 2010 01:48 AM

                      hello my names brandon,I live in bellingham & Earthworkstreeservice.com is my buisness. I also produce & market alder chips for smoking I go between seattle and bellingham often so if anyone is looking for natural whatcom county hillside alder chips my prices are competitive. I can supply the needs of commercial smokers/restuarants and smaller personal quantities as well. If you have any Questions, prices or orders my name is brandon brodie (360)305-5525 Thanks

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: earthworks
                        grangie angie RE: earthworks Dec 26, 2010 12:44 PM

                        What is a WSM ??

                        1. re: grangie angie
                          bbqboy RE: grangie angie Dec 26, 2010 06:23 PM

                          a Weber Smokey Mountain-

                      2. t
                        thomco RE: vanillagorilla Dec 26, 2010 07:37 PM

                        I'm also an avid WSM smoker. I live on Vashon, and for most of my smoking I use Apple or Apple/Alder combination - woods which I can get for free from friends and neighbors.

                        When I want something else, I go to Sutter Home and Hearth. http://www.sutterhearth.com

                        They sell 5lbs boxes of various smoking woods chunks. They have several fruit woods: Apple, Apricot, Cherry, Pear. You'll also find Alder, Pecan, Oak - and of course, hickory and mesquite (both of which I find overpowering). I think it's fun to experiment with different woods and mixes of woods.

                        They also have the best supply of BBQ equipment I've seen. (They seem to have morphed into more BBQ store than "hearth" which the originated as). Two locations: Ballard and Woodinville.

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