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Looking for wood *chunks* appropriate for smoking fish

Anyone seen chunks of something like Alder or Beech around here? I can easily find things like chips and cedar planks, but chunks are easier to deal with for me because they don't burn up as quickly.

I'm planning on smoking salmon and bluefish primarily. If I'm being too picky and should just go with something like pecan, I'm happy to go that route. Advice is welcome.

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  1. The BBQ Barn in Arlington has chunks of a few different woods. Not cheap, but just what you are looking for.

    1. I think Bluefish enjoys apple smoke but I don't know where to buy it. I just collect the blowdowns at my parents' place.

      2 Replies
      1. re: smtucker

        Similarly, you can buy apple branches at pretty much any orchard.

        1. re: smtucker

          You can get apple chunks (and mesquite and cherry, I think) many places, including Sears or Ace Hardware stores. I've used apple, mesquite, and no wood at all, just briquets or hardwood low and slow , with good success for bluefish.

        2. True Value Hardware on Lexington St. in Waltham had several different kinds of chips and chunks a few weeks ago. I'm not sure what the inventory is like now. Also, Home Depot usually has a couple of kinds of chunks.

          1 Reply
          1. re: bear

            I checked the wood chunks/chips at True Value Waltham today. They didn't have any alder or beech, just cherry, apple, mesquite, hickory, pecan and the Jack Daniels barrels.

          2. Brookline Ice & Coal sells wood chunks (a few inches) in big sacks

            4 Replies
            1. re: Luther

              yes, we've always gone to them for our grill and smoker supplies. and they deliver as well.

              1. re: Luther

                They do sell wood chunks and it's great if you have storage. Just be aware that the bags are really large, either 25 or 40 lbs. Too big for my tiny house, sadly.

                1. re: bear

                  I haven't been in a long time, but I thought they had smaller bags of wood behind the counter

                  1. re: lc02139

                    They didn't a couple years back when I went, but maybe they were just out of the small bags. A call or an email would be wise if you want smaller

              2. I have used Smokinlicious with tremendous success.


                1. Tags hardware store in Porter Square has had wood chunks for smoking in the past.

                  1. Checking back in. Thanks for the suggestions.

                    Getting common woods, like apple, cherry, hickory, pecan, and mesquite, is pretty easy because Weber and CharBroil both sell them as chunks, so they show up at Home Depot and local hardware stores.

                    I've got apple, hickory, and cherry in the house right now, so I'll give those a go with bluefish. If a wayward salmon filet shows up too, it'll be a test subject.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: emannths

                      I have bought a few times from Maine Grilling Woods (http://www.mainegrillingwoods.com/) and they have a wide variety of wood chunks including Oak and Alder. They claim that all the wood comes from local sources, which I can't verify, but they do ship via ground for free.

                      1. re: heavydee

                        Looks like that's what they carry at BBQ Barn in Arlington, if their pictures are accurate.

                        1. re: emannths

                          Yeah I meant to add above that they are selling fresher, "local" wood than you will find in the Weber bags at Home Depot.

                          I think they told me not to even bother soaking them, which by looking online now seems like soaking any chunks doesn't really do much anyway.

                    2. I got my alderwood chunks by ordering online. I've decided that chips make more sense, though, because Salmon really isn't in the smoker that long anyway (only 2 hours).

                      1. I bought some apple chunks from Amazon a while ago. Good size pieces that burn slowly and give a lot of smoke. Here's the URL:


                        1. I recommend alder. Beech, god knows our forests have enough of it, but I've never used it or heard anything about it as a smoking wood. I use alder for salmon, bluefish, tuna etc. I'm sure it would not suck if you used apple, but I like alder enough to buy it online.

                          1. I've only seen alder and beech chips... No chunks

                            1. I buy my wood chunks from Vaughn's Wood Products online. They carry nice, clean 1 1/2" cubes of wood in a variety of flavors and their prices include shipping.


                              click on their gourmet wood chunks line for the 1.5" size.