Thinking about using cedar wood for cooking? 6 reasons to don't!

Thinking about using cedar wood for cooking? 6 reasons to don’t!

6 REASONS TO AVOID CEDAR WOOD FOR COOKING

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You love different techniques for cooking and absorb new information like a sponge. In particularly, you love outdoor methods of cooking. One of your favorites is plank cooking on cedar wood. Every time you read a recipe, they all call for use of a cedar plank or other methods to use cedar wood for cooking.

But is cedar really the best choice? More so, is cedar wood for cooking a safe choice?

Let’s examine the top 6 reasons why cedar wood for cooking may not be an ideal choice. Click To Tweet

#1 Softwood Classification Presents a Concern for Using Cedar Wood for Cooking

Cedar wood is not a hardwood. It is a softwood that is from the gymnosperm trees meaning, it is a conifer or cone producing tree. As a rule, softwoods should not be used for cooking as they contain a lot of air and sap which equates to a fast burn and unpleasant flavors. In fact, there are many softwoods that can be toxic if cooked over.

#2 Poor Fire Resistance

During plank cooking, you are using the wood as a vessel to infuse flavor to whatever food is placed on top of the plank. Here’s the concern with cedar – because it is a lower density wood (23 lb./ft³), it has very poor fire resistance. That means, it reaches full combustion much faster than hardwood and will burn as a result. Certainly, that’s not what you’re looking for when you plank cook.

#3 Poreless

Unlike hardwood which contain pores in the cell walls, softwoods like cedar are poreless. They use cell components called tracheids to transport water and nutrients. In addition, the organic compound lignin found in the cell walls, is much lower than in traditional hardwoods used for cooking. Why is this an issue? Lignin is what gives wood fired cooking the distinct flavor and aroma to foods. In using cedar wood for cooking, the average lignin composition is 20%±4 compared to common hardwoods used for wood-fired cooking which average 28%±3.

#4 Plicatic Acid

Cedar contains chemical properties (specifically plicatic acid) that are shown to be a good absorber of odors and moisture. This is one of the key reasons why cedar is a preferred softwood for pest control to keep fleas, ants, mites, moths, and mosquitoes away. When exposed to plicatic acid for lengthy periods of time, a condition known as “cedar asthma” can develop.

Additionally, a regular exposure to the cedar oil found in the wood can result in contact dermatitis or skin irritation, rhinitis, and conjunctivitis.

#5 Animal Toxicity

There are many studies available on how the use of cedar wood chips and shavings have affected animals continually exposed to these products. Most studies show a correlation with liver dysfunction in animals such as rabbits, guinea pigs, and hamsters. In fact, smaller animals, like guinea pigs and hamsters, have a higher incidence of death which may be attributed to plicatic acid exposure. The phenols and aromatic hydrocarbons also have been shown to cause respiratory problems in animals like those listed above.

#6 Not All Cedar Is The Same

Cedar is part of the pine family of trees with native origin in North Africa and Asia. There are no native cedar trees to North America. The red cedar common in the Eastern USA is part of the Juniper family and can be highly toxic if taken internally. Under no circumstances should you ever cook with red cedar from the Eastern states of the USA.

USA cedar trees are referred to as false cedars since there are no native varieties. There are commonly 5 varieties of the false cedars available: Western Red Cedar (common to Southern Alaska, Northern California, and the Rockies), Northern White Cedar (Southeastern Canada, Northeastern quarter of the USA, south into Tennessee, and west into Iowa), Eastern Red (Aromatic) Cedar (Eastern USA), Yellow Cedar (Pacific Northwest from Alaska to British Columbia into Oregon), Spanish Cedar (although Native to South and Central America, it was planted in Florida). Every false cedar has some known health risks with the most common being respiratory due to toxicity of its pollen, oil, or other chemical compound.

Now you’re asking..

“So if there are all these documented health risks, how and why have cedar plank cooking and other methods of cedar wood cooking gain so much popularity?” I suppose the easiest answer is that cedar was used by the earliest settlers in the Pacific Northwest as a means of preserving, storing and cooking the seasonal fish. Think about the limitations of the day: they would be using resources that are available without thought to the items we ponder today like health, future risk, etc. This concept was examined from a different perspective many years later with the desire for flavor, appearance, and functionality.

We often make the mistake of jumping into something full throttle before asking some of the key questions to keep our bodies safe and healthy. Remember, there’s lots of documentation out there stating why you should not cook with softwood yet when it comes to cedar wood cooking, specifically, cedar plank cooking, we don’t seem to carry that issue forward. I don’t think I’ll ever understand why.

We love providing information to our readers and subscribers that is not in the open and letting you weigh the information for your own verdict. All types of questions are welcome and we encourage you to follow and subscribe to our social channels so you don’t miss anything. We look forward to providing you with tips, techniques, recipes, and the science for all things wood-fired cooked.

Purchase products:

Wood Chunks- Double & Single Filet

More Related reading on this subject

More Related reading on this subject

Additional reading:

-BEYOND PRICING: THE TOP THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN PURCHASING COOKING WOOD

-THE TOP 8 MISTAKES TO AVOID WHEN COOKING & GRILLING WITH WOOD

IS WOOD-TAR CREOSOTE THE ‘MONSTER’ TO WOOD-FIRED COOKING

DrDr. Smoke says "Just because it might be a "fad," cedar wood for cooking may not be good for your health."

Dr. Smoke says “Just because it might be a “fad,” cedar wood for cooking may not be good for your health.”

These chips are produced to fit the Alto-Shaam® Combitherm® Combi Oven

These wood chips are produced to fit the the Alto-Shaam® Combitherm® Combi Oven

Alto-Shaam® Combitherm® Combi Oven-“Smoke”with Smokinlicious®

We love having the opportunity to work with chefs throughout the world in determining what they desire in a wood-fired flavor for various menu items.

As you can imagine, we get the opportunity to work with a variety of equipment lines that use wood for flavor and coloring. One of our favorite commercial equipment lines is produced by Alto-Shaam® who specialize in food service and retail markets by offering cooking, holding, display, and chill equipment lines.

Part of the Alto-Shaam® cooking offerings is Alto-Shaam® Combitherm® Combi Oven which not only offers convection cooking but smoke infusion as well. This highly efficient oven works with hardwood chips to bring the aroma and taste of wood infusion to all types of meat, poultry, fish, fruits, vegetables, herbs, and spices. In fact, when SmokinLicious® began development of our microchip line, we targeted Alto-Shaam® Combitherm® oven for ideal sizing production to meet the needs of the commercial kitchen. In the end, we found that our smaller Minuto® Wood Chip line offered even greater flavor than traditionally-sized wood chips with little ash residue when used with the Combitherm®.

Here’s the best part: because we manufacture every product, we can offer chefs single species of our filtered specialty wood chip line or we can custom blend to give their menu items greater diversity from others. That includes blending different wood species as well as sizes. Smaller chip particles may be used for more pungent woods while larger sizes of sweet or savory chips are included for a fully balanced wood recipe flavoring based on the overall food ingredients.

Chefs who use the Alto-Shaam® Combitherm® simply love the ease of adding our dust free product to the equipment, dialing in the smoke infusion level they desire, and letting the oven do its magic. The best part is they don’t have to worry about an unclean wood source going into their expensive equipment and causing equipment failure or producing off color and taste to the foods being cooked.

We know we can offer the best flavor in wood combustion by starting with the ideal hardwoods for cooking. The rest can be left to the cook’s imagination. We know the effort it takes for those in the food and beverage industry to commit to a specific piece of equipment. We know the expense involved. What we don’t understand is why the same time and research aren’t spent assessing the wood supply to be used in the oven? Why risk this investment to an unvetted supplier?

If you own an Alto-Shaam® Combitherm® Combi Oven or you are in the market for a new piece of equipment, join those who have already experienced the benefits of our exceptional Minuto® wood chip line and get ready to be blown away with the possibilities our products can bring to your kitchen!

Bon Bar B Que!

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wet or dry wood for smoking? Which is the best!

Wet or dry wood for smoking? Which is the best!

Soak or not to soak my wood prior to smoking? Click To Tweet

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This is one of the top questions heard when it comes to cooking with wood. Do you soak the wood chunks or chips before using on the grill or smoker?

I have a definite answer which is do not soak the wood before using in your equipment.

Let us examine why.

Water Becomes Steam

Any time water is introduced to a preheated piece of equipment, whether it is an LP/gas grill, electric unit, or charcoal grill, it will affect the temperature of that equipment. For the LP/gas and electric units, this can be seen in the call for more gas or electric energy to keep the temperature at the preset level. For the charcoal unit, the water will reduce the heat of the coals and the fire will need to work harder to regain the energy to sustain the target temperature.

Wet Produces Off Flavor

There is an ideal moisture range for hardwood used for cooking, which includes grilling, smoking, direct coal and ember methods. You will hear the terms “seasoned” and “green”. “Green” wood refers to fresh cut wood which has not had an opportunity to dry out. The risks of using this type of wood is it will burn at variant rates, emit more sap, and has the potential to impart bitter and musty flavors. “Seasoned” woods refer to hardwoods that have dried out naturally. These will provide for more consistent temperature, provide cleaner flavors, and combust with less creosote build-up. Just be aware, you do not want firewood! If you Google seasoned wood, you will read that this is wood left to dry for 9-12 months or more. Do not leave your wood that long as it will not release any essence that produces the flavor.

Mold Potential

The wetter the wood the more potential there is for mold to develop. Mold needs 3 conditions: moist or damp locations to grow, a food source to survive, ideal temperatures usually from 32° to 120°F but love 70-90°F.

It is important that though you will use wood dry on any equipment (unless the equipment manufacturer specifically requests you soak the wood in water) that the wood not be completely dehydrated of all moisture. We recommend that you cook with wood that is approximately 20-25% moisture level. This is the main reason why at SmokinLicious®, we take the moisture reading on every order and provide that information to you. Here is a tip: if you see wood that is packaged in a plastic bag with no air holes, that is completely dry wood and will not provide any flavor or essence of the wood. It merely becomes a heat source

Wood Chips Combust Faster

One product that chronically is misrepresented to be prepared wet are wood chips. I have yet to see packaging in the retail box stores that states to use the chips dry. All brands make a recommendation to soak the wood chips and apply them to a coal fire wet. If you do as recommended, you will not only stall the temperature of your equipment, you will stall the production of smoke vapor production. Remember, water must become steam for the wood to be dry enough to combust.

What should you take away from this article? It does matter if the wood used for grilling and smoking is wet or dry. Do not stall your cooking, do not taint your food’s flavor, do not risk your health by using wet wood. Keep it dry for clean, pure flavors that make wood-fired foods so enjoyable.

Do you have a target moisture level or seasoning time you keep your hardwood at? Leave us a comment and subscribe to get our latest tips, techniques, recipes and the science behind the fire and smoke, for all live fire cooking methods. That’s SmokinLicious!

SmokinLicious® Products:

Smoking Wood Chunks- Double and Single Filet

Wood Chips- Grande Sapore®

Wood Chips- Minuto® and Piccolo®

More Related reading beyond wet or dry wood for smoking and preparing your wood for the smoker!

More Related reading beyond wet or dry wood for smoking and preparing your wood for the smoker!

Other valuable information:

-HOW MUCH WOOD TO ADD WHEN SMOKING

-SMOKEHOUSE PRODUCTS WOOD CHIPS- HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

-WHAT WOOD FOR SMOKING: A PRIMER

 

 

Dr. Smoke- wet or dry wood for smoking is an important technique!

Dr. Smoke- wet or dry wood for smoking is an important technique!

We don't use or sell Apple wood for smoking! Too many potential health risks

We don’t use or sell Apple wood for smoking! Too many potential health risks

We don’t offer any applewood for sale! Here's why. Click To Tweet

 

Why we Don’t Use or Sell Apple wood for Smoking– Those of you living outside of New York State may be surprised to learn that we are the number two state for apple production behind Washington state. However, we do rank number one for the greatest number of varieties of apples. Annually, our state produces nearly 30 million bushels of apples. So, why not use apple wood for smoking of foods?

With an abundance of apple trees, the assumption would be that our number one hardwood offering must be apple. However, you would be wrong.

Apple Wood for Smoking? Abundance Comes at a Cost

Just because apple wood is abundant in our state doesn’t mean it should automatically be sold as a cooking wood. This is without question, a favorite fruit. When something is at high demand it is protected in order to assure the supply for that demand. For this reason, growers of apples put their priority into preserving the fruit production.

Keep in mind, an apple tree may not start producing fruit for the first 8-10 years but it can produce for 50 or more years. In fact, with careful and frequent pruning, these trees do remain in the orchard bearing fruit if they don’t become infested with a disease or pest.

Good Agricultural Practices

Around the year 2001, the New York apple industry began working on a strategic plan in conjunction with Cornell University to develop what they referred to as an integrated fruit production program. The purpose of the program was to ensure apples were produced using environmentally friendly processes to include eco-friendly insect, mite, disease, vertebrate and weed pest management. In other words, this was meant to use more “friendly” pesticide applications and methods. What didn’t change is the that chemicals were still being used.

The USDA has done extensive study on pesticides and their life on agricultural products (USDA Pesticide Data Program). As a result of the studies, here is a list of the common pesticides found to be present on apples in what is termed residual form.

USDA Findings:

Diphenylamine (DPA) 82.8%
Thiabendazole 81.0%
Pyrimethanil 75.2%
Chlorantraniliprole 41.2%
Acetamiprid 28.7%
Imidacloprid 20.2%
Carbendazim (MBC) 17.3%
Tetrahydrophthalimide (THPI) 16.7%
Methoxyfenozide 15.9%
Fludioxonil 13.4%
Thiacloprid 12.7%
Boscalid 12.7%
Pyraclostrobin 11.8%
Phosmet 9.6%
Azinphos methyl 9.2%
Fenpyroximate 8.5%
Endosulfan II 8.1%
Myclobutanil 8.1%
Diazinon 6.5%
Trifloxystrobin 5.8%
Spinetoram 5.0%
Endosulfan I 4.3%
Etoxazole 3.3%
Pendimethalin 3.3%
Fenpropathrin 2.8%
Fenbuconazole 2.7%
Carbaryl 2.4%
Endosulfan sulfate 1.9%
Flonicamid 1.6%
Chlorpyrifos 1.6%
Cyhalothrin, Total (Cyhalothrin-L + R157836 epimer) 1.1%
Spinosad 0.9%
o-Phenylphenol 0.9%
Imazalil 0.5%
Chlorpropham 0.4%
Difenoconazole 0.3%
Permethrin cis 0.3%
Esfenvalerate+Fenvalerate Total 0.1%
Buprofezin 0.1%
Thiamethoxam 0.1%
Pyriproxyfen 0.1%
Tebuconazole 0.1%
Pronamide 0.1%
Methoxychlor olefin 0.1%
Dicofol p,p’ 0.1%
Permethrin trans 0.1%
DCPA 0.1%

The premise for using all these pesticides is the common belief that apples cannot be grown without chemical pesticides. Despite efforts to institute ecofriendly practices, we remain dependent on chemicals. But here’s the kicker: apples are ranked number 4 out of 12 as a fruit most contaminated by pesticides. Washing with water doesn’t do enough either. The chemical pesticides can penetrate the skin into the flesh of the apple making every bite a risk.

Apple Wood for Smoking? In the Fruit, In the Tree

So what does this mean for the actual tree growing the apples? Spray the tree with chemical pesticides to protect the fruit production and consequently, you compromise the tree for any other purpose including cooking. Pesticide applications embed into the soil base of the tree, which then enters the root system, and is on the way to the other parts of the tree. Pesticides can also become air born as they turn into a vapor and travel by airflow (think wind). The bark of any tree is a great absorber of these air particles. Once pesticides enter the human body, they are stored in the colon. Symptoms then progress to stomach pains, abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting. Certainly, toxicity can advance and produce colorectal cancer. Know that once the chemicals are absorbed into the tree’s roots and nutritional supply center, they are there for life.

As a company, SmokinLicious® just can’t participate in risk to the public’s health. If we can offer products that are as natural as possible, bark-free to prevent absorption of pollutants captured by the bark, we will do it.

Avoid Applewood and orchard woods only use Forest Fresh wood for Smoking.
Our Forest Fresh Symbol

Given there are so many other choices for safe hardwoods free of potential chemical contamination. We opt to dismiss apple wood for smoking even though we are a state in apple abundance.

In conclusion SmokinLicious® makes you an informed consumer through valuable articles like this one. So leave us a comment and follow us or subscribe for more great recipes, techniques, tips, and the science behind the flavor and fire. Most importantly, that is SmokinLicious®.

SmokinLicious® Products:

Wood Chunks- Double & Single Filet

Wood Chips- Grande Sapore®, Minuto® & Piccolo®

More related reading on using Apple wood for smoking and other orchard woods see our smoking & Grilling tips and technique see our directory on previous blogs!

More related reading on using Apple wood for smoking and other orchard woods see our smoking & Grilling tips and techniques.

Additionally, read more on orchard woods:

-ARE FRUITWOOD TREES LIKE THE APPLE “SNOW WHITE” BIT INTO?

-TO BARK OR NOT

-6 REASONS WHY CEDAR WOOD SHOULD NOT BE YOUR TOP CHOICE FOR COOKING

-THE BALANCE OF WOOD LIGNIN IN BARBECUE

Dr. Smoke- Now you know the reasons we don't use or sell Apple wood for smoking or any other Orchard woods for Smoking, Grilling or Cooking!

Dr. Smoke- Now you know the reasons we don’t use or sell Apple wood or any other Orchard woods for Smoking, Grilling or Cooking!

our food scale demonstrates Grande Sapore® and Double Filet wood chunks as a guide to adding wood flavoring with our Smokinlicious® products.

Our food scale demonstrates guidance on adding wood for food smoking.

One of the most common questions asked when it comes to smoking foods on a gas grill, traditional charcoal grill or smoker is, how much wood do I need? Likely the second most common question is where does the wood go? Click To Tweet

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Let’s break this down by equipment and method of smoking so you have a good place to start in answering the above questions.

(more…)

IsIs it fresh, is always a question that comes from new smokehouse products wood chips customers only! Our old customers know that at Smokinlicious® we are cutting products daily and measuring moisture to produce the best smoking wood in the world! it fresh, is always a question that comes from new customers only! Our old customers know that at Smokinlicious® we are cutting products daily and measuring moisture to produce the best smoking wood in the world!

Is it fresh, is always a question that comes from new smokehouse products wood chips customers only! Our old customers know that at Smokinlicious® we are cutting products daily and measuring moisture to produce the best smoking wood in the world!

Smokehouse products, need fresh Smokinlicious® Minuto® and Piccolo® wood chips to produce the finest smoke flavor! Click To Tweet

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I always find it interesting when we receive a new inquiry about providing specialty products for commercial-grade smokehouses. I’m speaking specifically to the large commercial-grade smokehouse. The type that utilize walk-in, wall smokehouse units that can turn out hundreds of pounds of product each cycle.

First, there’s always the question if we can duplicate the current wood chip product. That’s where the education begins.

(more…)

We discuss the pros and cons of using aluminum foil for food smoking- in particular your BBQ and how it can affect the outcome.

We discuss the pros and cons of using aluminum foil for food smoking- in particular your BBQ and how it can affect the outcome.

USING ALUMINUM FOIL FOR FOOD SMOKING: PROS & CONS Click To Tweet

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“Does using aluminum foil for food smoking still allow the wood flavor to penetrate?”

(more…)

Our 75-75 rule for our Thermal Heating process

Our 75-75 rule for our Thermal Heating process

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You’re limiting your time in stores and other public places. You’ve taken to online shopping as well as searching for ways to keep your meals interesting and flavorful. You’re ready to do more grilling in order to keep the family in the household yard, getting some fresh air and UV light when available. The only concern you have is, how safe is it to receive all these packages at home? Won’t they be hosts to the virus as well?

Your concern is certainly a valid one and most definitely has basis. Let’s examine this concern further and explain how the SmokinLicious® procedures protect you.

Why our Thermal Heating Process Makes a Difference

Since 2005, every product manufactured by SmokinLicious® undergoes our Thermal heating process that is a 4-probe computerized system to ensure optimum function of our chamber. Because we know some fungi spores are only killed at 60°C/140°F, mold spores at 56°C/133°F, and listeria at 74°C/165.2°F, we exceed any regulation for heat level and duration in order to protect the food chain system. Currently, we use a temperature of 75°C/167°F for a sustained duration of 75 minutes. We also developed a re-hydration process within our chamber to ensure the hardwood is not depleted of all moisture enabling it to be used for a variety of live fire cooking methods.

The SmokinLicious® Packaging Process

Except for a few micro wood chip products, all the SmokinLicious® online products are packaged in cardboard boxes. Our Packaging Team adheres to strict disinfectant procedures and utilizes gloves during the packaging process. We also have automated package loading systems in place for specific products that result in a product no-touch scenario. Additionally, science believes COVID-19 has a survival capability of 24 hours on cardboard if it is not immediately disinfected. We recommend upon receiving your carton, you either spray or wipe down the carton with an approved anti-bacterial, anti-viral disinfectant to ensure no risk of host transfer if the carton should become contaminated during the delivery process. Note, the chances of a viral host surviving on shipped cardboard packages is low due to the variant temperature and humidity the package encounters while in transit. This makes the package you receive from SmokinLicious® even less of a risk. For ultimate in safety, disinfect the carton upon arrival, place the product in another container that allows for airflow, and discard the packaging carton.

Thermal Evolution Is the Question

At this stage, we simply don’t have the science about every bacterium and virus that can enter our world. We do suspect that temperature and more specifically humidity, will play a factor in slowing the infectious rate. The exact temperatures that kill germs/viruses depends on the microbe and how long it stays in the heat. This is the unknown. This is the waiting game to determine if eradication is possible before the anti-viral becomes available.

While we wait, enjoy the pure, clean flavors of SmokinLicious® and get outside and cook for peace and comfort.

Are you making more online purchases? Leave us a comment and subscribe to get our latest tips, techniques, recipes and the science behind the fire and smoke, for all live fire cooking methods. That’s SmokinLicious! Keeping you safe and informed.

More related reading on thermal heating process and other safety precautions we take in our smoking & Grilling tips and technique see our directory on previous blogs!

More related reading on thermal heating process and other safety precautions we take in our smoking & Grilling tips and technique see our directory on previous blogs!

Additional blog topics to read:

-OUR AIR HANDLING PROCESSES PAY OFF IN THE BATTLE WITH COVID-19

-WOOD SAFETY AND OUR EFFORTS TO PROTECT YOU!

-10 Thinks To Consider Before Purchasing Wood For Cooking, Grilling & Smoking

-COOKING WITH WOOD YOU SHOULDN’T HAVE TO THINK ABOUT YOUR SAFETY

SmokinLicious® products:

SmokinLicious Minuto® wood chips

Wood Chips- Minuto®, Piccolo

Wood Chunks– Single & Double Filet

Smoker Logs– Full & Quarter Cut

Dr. Smoke-

Dr. Smoke- We have been using our customized Thermal heating process on our products since 2005

air collection for our products assure safety

Our investment in good air handling systems provide peace of mind for our customers during this COVID-19 outbreak that our products are packaged safely!

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You’re likely at the point where you’re starting to ask a few more questions about the handling of some items you purchase that previously may never have been given a second thought. You also may be receiving frequent updates from suppliers apprising you of the steps they are taking to ensure no viral agents are being transferred with products they are handling.

This is the point where SmokinLicious® is different. Handling and cleanliness of our products has been a priority from the start. We worked to establish our procedures and improve on them as our business grew.

Currently, we have in place an air collection system that allows us to capture our sawdust and wood chip products utilizing clean air piping that provides for a dust-free product outcome, cleaner air for our employees to work in, and ease of moving the products from the collection bins to the finished packaging areas. An added benefit, the product is not exposed to human handling. Our employees handle the bins of finished product initially, then stage these for packaging as needed.

Our products are not stored as raw material on the ground or floors. There are dedicated storage bins for each level of product that can easily be disinfected with natural, food-grade disinfectant methods as needed.

For SmokinLicious®, steps were already in place to maintain a healthy safe environment for our employees and products that make this recent pandemic concern easily managed by us.

It’s further piece of mind that we can continue to supply our pure, clean cooking woods for those that value the benefits of live fire cooking, whether on the grill, fire pit, smoker or fireplace. Embrace the safety and ease of grilling at home once again with the incomparable flavor of wood.

Do you plan to grill and/or smoke more at home with the recent COVID-19 scare? Leave us a comment and subscribe to get our latest tips, techniques, recipes and the science behind the fire and smoke, for all live fire cooking methods. That’s your SmokinLicious®! Ensuring your safety and knowledge.

More related reading on Applewood and other orchard woods see our smoking & Grilling tips and technique see our directory on previous blogs!

More related reading on air collection and other grilling safety tips see our smoking & Grilling tips and technique see our directory on previous blogs!

More blogs you might enjoy:

 

-WOOD SAFETY AND OUR EFFORTS TO PROTECT YOU!

-10 Thinks To Consider Before Purchasing Wood For Cooking, Grilling & Smoking

-COOKING WITH WOOD YOU SHOULDN’T HAVE TO THINK ABOUT YOUR SAFETY

 

SmokinLicious® products:

SmokinLicious Minuto® wood chips

Wood Chips- Minuto®, Piccolo

Smokin’ Dust

Dr. Smoke-

Dr. Smoke- We are sure glad we made the investment in our air handling systems to collect our dust and chip products without many human hands involved.

image of wood safety and our 75-75 rule

Our 75 degree c for 75 minutes is for wood safety product to protect your health and the environment.

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Wood Safety

You’re likely giving thought to many more potential hosts for the COVID-19 in an effort to keep everyone important to you safe and healthy. Without question, everything you touch has the potential to be a host for the virus that is spreading so rapidly around the world. It is without question, a scary time. What you likely don’t realize is SmokinLicious® has always been committed to protecting our customers from the transfer of potential contaminants.

Not Just Any Wood Supplier

In our previously published article titled, DEMYSTIFYING TERMS USED FOR SELLING SMOKING & GRILLING WOOD we attempted to explain what the varying words used to describe preparation to wood sold for grilling and smoking actually meant. The important point to take from this article is that these various “labels” don’t relate to what can assure bacterium and viral agents don’t survive if they grab onto the wood to ride as a viral or bacteria host. In the end, we are the only current supplier who not only sells hardwood only for the purpose of cooking, but utilizes a heat treatment process that is at a level to ensure no microbial or viral agent can latch on to the wood and infect the user.

Even though we use an intense heat level of 75°C/167°F, we developed a method to ensure the hardwood is not dried out to to where it would be classified as firewood, something we never want to be compared with.

Remember, we know some fungi spores are only killed at 60 °C/140 °F, mold spores at 56 °C/133 °F, and listeria at 74 °C/165.2 °F. Although there is no confirmed data on the heat level that COVID-19 dies, we do know that sunlight results in the viral agent only surviving a few hours, given the intensity of the ultraviolet rays. This suggests that heat does play an important role in reducing the virus surviving.

The current regulations in place for wood just don’t make assurances to safety. Our efforts reinforce that potentially fatal bacterium cannot enter our food chain. You can handle our packaging and cook with our products knowing we’ve done our part to ensure no transfer of bacterium or infectious agent.

Can your local firewood or other wood supplier make the same claim? SmokinLicious® – the brand that’s pure, clean, and safe for cooking.

Do you plan to grill and/or smoke more at home with the recent COVID-19 scare? Leave us a comment and subscribe to get our latest tips, techniques, recipes and the science behind the fire and smoke, for all live fire cooking methods. That’s SmokinLicious®!

SmokinLicious® products:

Our hand split double filet smoker wood chunks

#woodchunks

Wood Chunks- Double or Single Filet

More related reading on Applewood and other orchard woods see our smoking & Grilling tips and technique see our directory on previous blogs!

More related reading on our wood safety and other smoking & Grilling tips and technique see our directory on previous blogs!

Other blog topics you might like:

-TO BARK OR NOT

-10 Thinks To Consider Before Purchasing Wood For Cooking, Grilling & Smoking

-COOKING WITH WOOD YOU SHOULDN’T HAVE TO THINK ABOUT YOUR SAFETY

-WHY MICROBIAL BACTERIA RISK IN YOUR SMOKEHOUSE IS WINNING

Dr. Smoke- follow our wood safety when BBQ ng

Dr. Smoke- We practice wood safety with our Heating process!

 

SMOKE IT LIKE A PRO

Ceramic Smoker- Smoke It Like a Pro

A ‘MUST HAVE’ RESOURCE FOR CERAMIC SMOKER
Posted By: Dr. Smoke

We know you are all likely aware of the excessive number of cookbooks and resource books available in the area of grilling and smoking, and I’m sure you’ve purchased your share. I’m also sure you’ve experienced periods of disappointment when you finally get the opportunity to delve into the pages of that book only to find that the recipes don’t all relate to cooking on the grill or ceramic smoker, and the tips are in short supply.

With that being said, I want to give my stamp of approval on a great resource for all you advocates of ceramic cookers out there!

Smoke It Like A Pro on the Big Green Egg & Other Ceramic Cookers by Eric Mitchell is the ultimate resource for all things done on ceramic cookers! Over the years, I’ve lamented about the need for a cookbook that includes all the detail to actual cook the recipes on the smoker and/or grill! Finally, Mr. Mitchell does just that!

His personal commitment to ceramic smokers truly shows not only in the beautiful photographs of the foods and cooker techniques, but in his simplistic terminology and focus on the small details that will make this resource a favorite. Even if you don’t own a ceramic cooker, you will gain great tips on fire starting and manipulation of the fire for fuel and flavor, as well as exceptional recipes – my personal favorite is that extensive dessert listing that is all done on the cooker.

Now available online and at select bookstores, Smoke It Like A Pro on the Big Green Egg & Other Ceramic Cookers by Eric Mitchell will get you firing up that cooker despite the weather! “Bon-Bar-B-Q!”

Dr. Smoke- One great resource for owners of ceramic cookers- "Smoke It Like a Pro!".

Dr. Smoke- For our friends that own a ceramic smoker, here’s a helpful resource you shouldn’t pass up- “Smoke It Like a Pro” by Eric Mitchell!

More Related reading on ceramic cookers, check out these articles:

For additional reading and insight on ceramic smoker, here’s a list that will interest you:

The Smokinlicious® Wood Guide for Ceramic Cookers

Don’t Forget the Water Pan When Smoking

 

 

Cherry wood for smoking will bring out the sweetness in anything in the smoker!

Cherry wood for smoking will bring out the sweetness in anything in the smoker!

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WILL CHERRY HARDWOOD SWEETEN EVERYTHING IT TOUCHES?-Without question, Cherry is one of the most popular woods for wood-fired cooking, particularly when it comes to hot smoking using traditional smoking equipment. Despite information SmokinLicious® has provided on this hardwood species (Put a Cherry on It blog & Cherry Wood Question blog), there are still many questions posed and many misunderstandings about this wood. My intention here is to speak on the cherry varieties in North America and ensure that you can make an informed decision when selecting this hardwood for cooking.

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Our wood flavoring chart

WHAT WOOD TO USE FOR SMOKING Click To Tweet

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I see the question asked so many times and in so many ways. What is the best wood to use for smoking? What is the best wood to use for smoking (fill in the blank with your favorite food)?

I’m going to shake things up a bit by stating there is no rule book saying a specific wood must be used with a specific food. There are, however, some basic things you should know to reduce the risks of toxicity, damage to your equipment, and overall ruining your barbecue. Use the wrong hardwood and you can bitter any food you expose to that wood’s smoke.

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In the Wood Bark or Not debate this Diagram shows the two key elements of the tree that can effect your Barbecue results. Smokinlicious® only harvest wood from the heartwood of the tree.

In the Wood Bark or Not debate, this Diagram shows the two key elements of the tree that can effect your Barbecue results. Smokinlicious® only harvests wood from the heartwood of the forest grown tree and recommends that cooking with wood bark not be done.

If you rely on an outside source say a firewood supplier, you may want to rethink cooking with wood bark. Click To Tweet

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COOKING WITH WOOD BARK – TO BARK OR NOT?

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The four season has an affect on wood storage and its cooking or smoking potential
The four season has an affect on wood storage and its cooking or smoking potential
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Listen about proper wood storage

Wood Storage-I recently had a lovely telephone conversation with a new customer who had previously lived in the Carolinas and now was dealing with the great variability of climate in the state of Colorado. This customer had the fortitude to think about the altitude, humidity and temperature differences in Colorado and how they might affect hardwood purchased from us and stored in his new home state.

This got me thinking about the information we currently offer regarding hardwoods. We’ve provided you with information on differences of hardwoods and which are ideal for cooking, on why moisture is important for certain methods of cooking, and how to store hardwood. I think what’s missing is maintaining the stability of hardwoods in different climates. To do this, you need to know Equilibrium Moisture Content (EMC) for each state and for each season.

Let me first state some facts about hardwood and wood storage.

The Ideals for Wood Storage

Wood at or above the fiber saturation point – which I define as the point in the drying process when only bound water in the cell walls remain with all free water removed from cell cavities -will lose moisture when exposed to any relative humidity below 100 percent. The average fiber saturation point is 26%.

Totally dry (oven dried) wood will absorb moisture when exposed to any relative humidity except when at zero. At a constantly maintained temperature and relative humidity, any wood will reach a point where it neither loses nor gains any moisture. When wood is in moisture balance with the relative humidity of the air surrounding it at a given temperature, the wood has reached its equilibrium moisture content (EMC). Put another way, in an environment maintained at a constant relative humidity and temperature, the wood will come to a moisture content that is in equilibrium with the moisture of the air. I believe the ideals for relative humidity are 37 to 53% and temperature 66° to 74° F. Keep in mind, relative humidity is much more important to EMC than temperature.

Why is knowing EMC important when it comes to hardwood or in this case, cooking hardwood?

Knowing this information can provide an indication of how fast the cooking wood might dry out or the likelihood that a wood might regain some moisture during specific seasons and in specific states in the USA.

EMC Averages in the USA for Wood Storage

There are five designations I am giving to the outdoor conditions for wood storage: arid (having little or no rain), dry (low relative humidity with little moisture), moist (air with high relative humidity), damp (air with moisture), and wet (air with high water vapor). As you’ll see, some states have no variation in condition based on season and others see significant variation. I’ll be listing the average EMC for season and the condition designation per season. Keep in mind, each hardwood responds to these conditions slightly differently based on the density of the wood and the conditions it grows in.

  • Alaska:

Winter: average EMC = 13.9; Designation = Wet

Spring: average EMC = 12.9; Designation = Wet

Summer: average EMC = 14.6; Designation = Wet

Fall: average EMC = 15.6; Designation = Wet

  • Alabama:

Winter: average EMC = 13.6; Designation = Damp

Spring: average EMC = 13; Designation = Damp

Summer: average EMC = 13.8; Designation = Damp

Fall: average EMC = 13.6; Designation = Damp

  • Arkansas:

Winter: average EMC = 13.6; Designation = Damp

Spring: average EMC = 13; Designation = Damp

Summer: average EMC = 13.3; Designation = Damp

Fall: average EMC = 13.4; Designation = Damp

  • Arizona:

Winter: average EMC = 9.8; Designation = Dry

Spring: average EMC = 7.2; Designation = Arid

Summer: average EMC = 7.9; Designation = Arid

Fall: average EMC = 8.4; Designation = Arid

  • California:

Winter: average EMC = 12.7; Designation = Wet

Spring: average EMC = 11; Designation = Moist

Summer: average EMC = 10; Designation = Dry

Fall: average EMC = 11.4; Designation = Dry

  • Colorado:

Winter: average EMC = 11; Designation = Wet

Spring: average EMC =8.9; Designation = Moist

Summer: average EMC = 8.6; Designation = Dry

Fall: average EMC = 9.4; Designation = Dry

  • Connecticut:

Winter: average EMC = 12.6; Designation = Wet

Spring: average EMC = 11.6; Designation = Moist

Summer: average EMC = 12.4; Designation = Dry

Fall: average EMC = 13; Designation = Dry

  • Delaware:

Winter: average EMC = 12.3; Designation = Wet

Spring: average EMC = 11.8; Designation = Moist

Summer: average EMC = 12.2; Designation = Dry

Fall: average EMC = 13.1; Designation = Dry

  • District of Columbia (DC):

Winter: average EMC = 11.9; Designation = Wet

Spring: average EMC = 11.8; Designation = Moist

Summer: average EMC = 12.2; Designation = Dry

Fall: average EMC = 12.8; Designation = Dry

  • Florida:

Winter: average EMC = 13.9; Designation = Wet

Spring: average EMC = 13; Designation = Moist

Summer: average EMC = 14.4; Designation = Dry

Fall: average EMC = 14.3; Designation = Dry

  • Georgia:

Winter: average EMC = 13; Designation = Wet

Spring: average EMC = 12.3; Designation = Moist

Summer: average EMC =13.2; Designation = Dry

Fall: average EMC = 13.5; Designation = Dry

  • Hawaii:

Winter: average EMC = 13.5; Designation = Wet

Spring: average EMC = 13; Designation = Moist

Summer: average EMC = 12.5; Designation = Dry

Fall: average EMC = 13; Designation = Dry

  • Idaho:

Winter: average EMC = 14.5; Designation = Wet

Spring: average EMC = 10.3; Designation = Moist

Summer: average EMC = 7.9; Designation = Dry

Fall: average EMC = 10.7; Designation = Dry

  • Illinois:

Winter: average EMC = 14.7; Designation = Wet

Spring: average EMC = 12.9; Designation = Moist

Summer: average EMC = 13.2; Designation = Dry

Fall: average EMC = 13.5; Designation = Dry

  • Indiana:

Winter: average EMC = 15.1; Designation = Wet

Spring: average EMC = 12.8; Designation = Moist

Summer: average EMC = 12.9; Designation = Dry

Fall: average EMC = 13.7; Designation = Dry

  • Iowa:

Winter: average EMC = 14.8; Designation = Wet

Spring: average EMC = 13.1; Designation = Moist

Summer: average EMC = 13.6; Designation = Dry

Fall: average EMC = 13.7; Designation = Dry

  • Kansas:

Winter: average EMC =13.2; Designation = Wet

Spring: average EMC = 12.3; Designation = Moist

Summer: average EMC = 12; Designation = Dry

Fall: average EMC = 12.2; Designation = Dry

  • Kentucky:

Winter: average EMC = 13.9; Designation = Wet

Spring: average EMC = 12.3; Designation = Moist

Summer: average EMC = 13.3; Designation = Dry

Fall: average EMC = 13.1; Designation = Dry

  • Louisiana:

Winter: average EMC = 14.5; Designation = Wet

Spring: average EMC = 13.9; Designation = Moist

Summer: average EMC = 14.4; Designation = Dry

Fall: average EMC = 13.9; Designation = Dry

  • Maine:

Winter: average EMC = 13.5; Designation = Wet

Spring: average EMC = 12.2; Designation = Moist

Summer: average EMC = 13.1; Designation = Dry

Fall: average EMC = 14.3; Designation = Dry

  • Maryland:

Winter: average EMC = 12.2; Designation = Wet

Spring: average EMC = 11.5; Designation = Moist

Summer: average EMC = 12.1; Designation = Dry

Fall: average EMC = 12.8; Designation = Dry

  • Massachusetts:

Winter: average EMC = 12.4; Designation = Wet

Spring: average EMC = 11.6; Designation = Moist

Summer: average EMC = 12.2; Designation = Dry

Fall: average EMC = 12.9; Designation = Dry

  • Michigan:

Winter: average EMC = 17.3; Designation = Wet

Spring: average EMC = 12.8; Designation = Moist

Summer: average EMC = 13.2; Designation = Dry

Fall: average EMC = 14.7; Designation = Dry

  • Minnesota:

Winter: average EMC = 14.7; Designation = Wet

Spring: average EMC = 12.8; Designation = Moist

Summer: average EMC = 13.6; Designation = Dry

Fall: average EMC = 14.4; Designation = Dry

  • Mississippi:

Winter: average EMC = 14.2; Designation = Wet

Spring: average EMC = 13.4; Designation = Moist

Summer: average EMC = 13.9; Designation = Dry

Fall: average EMC = 13.7; Designation = Dry

  • Missouri:

Winter: average EMC = 14; Designation = Wet

Spring: average EMC = 13; Designation = Moist

Summer: average EMC = 13.3; Designation = Dry

Fall: average EMC = 13.3; Designation = Dry

  • Montana:

Winter: average EMC = 13.8; Designation = Wet

Spring: average EMC = 10.9; Designation = Moist

Summer: average EMC = 9.4; Designation = Dry

Fall: average EMC = 11.4; Designation = Dry

  • Nebraska:

Winter: average EMC = 13.5; Designation = Wet

Spring: average EMC = 12.3; Designation = Moist

Summer: average EMC = 12.3; Designation = Dry

Fall: average EMC = 12.3; Designation = Dry

  • Nevada:

Winter: average EMC = 11.4; Designation = Wet

Spring: average EMC = 8.5; Designation = Moist

Summer: average EMC = 6.5; Designation = Dry

Fall: average EMC = 8.4; Designation = Dry

  • New Hampshire:

Winter: average EMC = 13; Designation = Wet

Spring: average EMC = 11.6; Designation = Moist

Summer: average EMC = 12.4; Designation = Dry

Fall: average EMC = 13.5; Designation = Dry

  • New Jersey:

Winter: average EMC = 12.5; Designation = Wet

Spring: average EMC = 11.5; Designation = Moist

Summer: average EMC = 12; Designation = Dry

Fall: average EMC = 12.8; Designation = Dry

  • New Mexico:

Winter: average EMC = 9.7; Designation = Wet

Spring: average EMC = 6.8; Designation = Moist

Summer: average EMC = 8.5; Designation = Dry

Fall: average EMC = 9.2; Designation = Dry

  • New York:

Winter: average EMC = 13.9; Designation = Wet

Spring: average EMC = 11.6; Designation = Moist

Summer: average EMC = 12.6; Designation = Dry

Fall: average EMC = 13.7; Designation = Dry

  • North Carolina:

Winter: average EMC = 13; Designation = Wet

Spring: average EMC = 12.4; Designation = Moist

Summer: average EMC = 13.7; Designation = Dry

Fall: average EMC = 13.6; Designation = Dry

  • North Dakota:

Winter: average EMC = 15.1; Designation = Wet

Spring: average EMC = 13.2; Designation = Moist

Summer: average EMC = 12.7; Designation = Dry

Fall: average EMC = 13.6; Designation = Dry

  • Ohio:

Winter: average EMC = 14.9; Designation = Wet

Spring: average EMC = 12.7; Designation = Moist

Summer: average EMC = 12.8; Designation = Dry

Fall: average EMC = 13.7; Designation = Dry

  • Oklahoma:

Winter: average EMC = 13; Designation = Wet

Spring: average EMC = 12.5; Designation = Moist

Summer: average EMC = 12.4; Designation = Dry

Fall: average EMC = 12.6; Designation = Dry

  • Oregon:

Winter: average EMC = 16.4; Designation = Wet

Spring: average EMC = 13; Designation = Moist

Summer: average EMC = 10.7; Designation = Dry

Fall: average EMC = 13.4; Designation = Dry

  • Pennsylvania:

Winter: average EMC = 13.4; Designation = Wet

Spring: average EMC = 11.4; Designation = Moist

Summer: average EMC = 12.6; Designation = Dry

Fall: average EMC = 13.4; Designation = Dry

  • Rhode Island:

Winter: average EMC =12.2; Designation = Wet

Spring: average EMC = 11.5; Designation = Moist

Summer: average EMC = 12.3; Designation = Dry

Fall: average EMC = 12.8; Designation = Dry

  • South Carolina:

Winter: average EMC = 12.8; Designation = Wet

Spring: average EMC = 13.3; Designation = Moist

Summer: average EMC = 13.2; Designation = Dry

Fall: average EMC = 13.2; Designation = Dry

  • South Dakota:

Winter: average EMC = 14.2; Designation = Wet

Spring: average EMC = 12.9; Designation = Moist

Summer: average EMC = 12.5; Designation = Dry

Fall: average EMC = 12.8; Designation = Dry

  • Tennessee:

Winter: average EMC = 13.7; Designation = Wet

Spring: average EMC = 12.6; Designation = Moist

Summer: average EMC = 13.4; Designation = Dry

Fall: average EMC = 13.4; Designation = Dry

  • Texas:

Winter: average EMC = 12.9; Designation = Wet

Spring: average EMC = 12; Designation = Moist

Summer: average EMC = 12.1; Designation = Dry

Fall: average EMC = 12.5; Designation = Dry

  • Utah:

Winter: average EMC = 14.2; Designation = Wet

Spring: average EMC = 9.7; Designation = Moist

Summer: average EMC = 7.2; Designation = Dry

Fall: average EMC = 10.2; Designation = Dry

  • Vermont:

Winter: average EMC = 13.4; Designation = Wet

Spring: average EMC = 11.9; Designation = Moist

Summer: average EMC = 12.2; Designation = Dry

Fall: average EMC = 13.7; Designation = Dry

  • Virginia:

Winter: average EMC = 10; Designation = Wet

Spring: average EMC = 11.9; Designation = Moist

Summer: average EMC = 13; Designation = Dry

Fall: average EMC = 13.1; Designation = Dry

  • Washington:

Winter: average EMC = 16.9; Designation = Wet

Spring: average EMC = 12.7; Designation = Moist

Summer: average EMC = 11.2; Designation = Dry

Fall: average EMC = 14.2; Designation = Dry

  • West Virginia:

Winter: average EMC = 13.8; Designation = Wet

Spring: average EMC = 12.4; Designation = Moist

5; Designation = Damp

Fall: average EMC = 14.2; Designation = Damp

  • Wyoming:

Winter: average EMC = 11.7; Designation = Wet

Spring: average EMC = 10.5; Designation = Moist

Summer: average EMC = 8.9; Designation = Dry

Fall: average EMC = 10.2; Designation = Dry

So, what do you take from these numbers? Locations in what we call the dry climates of the US Southwest exhibit the lowest EMCs, with Nevada posting the lowest annual EMC. Locations considered coastal or near coastal like Alaska, the Gulf coast, and Northwest have the highest EMCs, with an island in Alaska having the highest annual EMC of over 19%. Of course, for the lower states, Washington state has the highest EMC of over 17%.

The largest variability in EMC occurs in the states of eastern Washington, eastern Oregon, and Idaho. Those states with the smallest variability include the deep South with Texas leading the list. For 48% of the country, the range of monthly EMC variability is between 2 and 4%.

When it comes to times of the year with the highest EMC, its no surprise that December leads for most of the Midwest, western and northern states. The south tends to show the most variability in September, with April and May demonstrating the most stability for 58% of the country.

Without question, certain locations will find it more challenging to purchase hardwood for cooking and maintain its stability. Hopefully, this guide will assist you selecting the best season to purchase or to maintain a sizable inventory of product.

What challenges have you found with wood storage for cooking and barbecue? Let us know in the comments and don’t forget to follow us on all platforms. Providing tips, techniques, recipes, and the science behind the flame and fire to improve your skills with wood-fired cooking! That’s SmokinLicious®!

SmokinLicious® products:

Wood Chunks- Double & Single Filet

Wood Chips- Grande Sapore®

Smoker Wood Chips- Minuto® & Piccolo®

Smoker Logs- Full & Quarter Cut

More related reading on proper wood storage and climatic influences see our smoking & Grilling tips and technique see our directory on previous blogs
More related reading on proper wood storage and climatic influences see our smoking & Grilling tips and technique see our directory on previous blogs !

You might also enjoy:

TEMPERATURE, MATERIAL AND TIME DETERMINE WHEN ITS CALLED BARBECUE

APPLEWOOD – WHY WE DON’T USE IT! – HERE’S WHY

-TO BARK OR NOT

-THE BALANCE OF WOOD LIGNIN IN BARBECUE

Dr. Smoke-
Dr. Smoke- Our state by state guide for proper wood storage, to preserve your wood.

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