Oak tree in full autumn canopy.

Oak tree in full autumn canopy.


With over 60 species of oak hardwood in the USA, this hardwood can be split into two categories: Red Oak and White Oak. It is one of the most popular hardwoods to use in cooking likely because of its ready availability. But as we’ve mentioned before, just because something is available in your area, doesn’t make it a success for all cooking techniques and foods.

Oak is a heavy, strong, and ring-porous hardwood resulting in a coarse texture and prominent grain. Oak hardwood is part of the Fagaceae family of wood. The scientific names for the varieties we manufacture are Quercus coccinea Muenchh., Quercus falcata Michx. Var. Falcata, Quercus muehlenbergii Engelm., Quercus prinus L., and Quercus velutina Lam. The common names for the varieties found in the Western New York and Northwestern Pennsylvania regions include Red Oak, Spanish Oak, Yellow Chestnut Oak, Rock Oak, Smoothbark Oak.

Oak is considered the strongest in flavor for hardwoods. It is known for providing deep coloring to the outer skin of foods meaning a very dark often black outer skin and it can be overpowering to those who aren’t used to smoked foods. It also is a hardwood that can mold easily especially when exposed to significant variations in temperature and humidity. Additionally, it does not like to make contact with metal which can be a challenge when cutting with metal/steel tools! Oak will show its distaste by producing black streaks on the wood or even coating its entire outside with a black “dye”-like substance.

Oak Hardwood Cooking & Smoking Profile:

Heat Level: High – 21.7 (red) 26.5 (white) MBTU

Fuel Efficiency: Excellent

Ease of Lighting: Fair

Ideal Uses: Grilling/Braising/Pit Roasting/Hot Smoking/Cold Smoking (white)

So, if you are keen on bold flavors and definitely like smokiness to your foods, then oak is a clear winner. However, I do recommend using less of this wood when cooking poultry, fish, fruits, vegetables and herbs/spices especially if you have a gas assist unit or are using lump hardwood charcoal or hardwood Charwood for fuel.

Our Oak Hardwood is a very dense piece of wood for long-lasting wood-fired cooking and smoking

SmokinLicious® products:

Wood Blocks

Smoker Logs

Wood Chunks: Double and Single Filet

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

More Related reading on "What Wood for Smoking" and other great smoking and grilling tips and techniques

More Related reading on “What Wood for Smoking” and other great smoking and grilling tips and techniques

Related reading:







Dr. Smoke uses Oak Hardwood for long ember fired cooking and grilling!

Dr. Smoke uses Oak Hardwood for long ember fired cooking and grilling!

Olive Trees of Italy are facing the same Bacterium invasion as the USA

Italy’s Olive Tree Disease


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listen to our blog regarding wood for smoking

I am a wood geek. I love the living cells of trees and the hundreds of compounds that produce the various aromatics, tannins and flavors that make trees so valuable for medicinal, cosmetic, and flavoring uses. Whenever I’m in the woods, I always feel like these giants are breathing with me.

Then my joyful thoughts turn sad. Observing over the years how our lifestyle and explorative ways have changed our atmosphere which in turn changes the natural order of things. One of those things is our trees and the current impact of olive tree disease.

But North America is not alone! Battles over the loss of various hardwoods and softwoods continue as we fight to save the forest giants as well as orchard soldiers around the globe.

Prepare for Higher Olive Oil Pricing due to Olive Tree Disease

It’s called Xylella fastidiosa or commonly called “olive tree disease” and it’s a deadly bacterium that is gaining attention as it takes mark on the olive trees and groves of Italy since 2013. In 2016, this bacterium was blamed for the death of some one million olive trees in Southern Italy most of which were cut down to stop the deadly bacterium from spreading. But it hasn’t stopped. Even with netting and routine pruning, olive trees continue to suffer and eventually die or are cut down.

We know that the bacterium that causes olive tree disease starts somewhere within the heart of the tree and then travels towards the roots and branches. This is the reason pruning can sometimes be beneficial. Research has also shown that there are specific varieties of olive trees that are more susceptible to Xylella resulting in growers moving toward varieties with less risk when they replace or add new growth areas.

There is a pest, the meadow spittlebug, that is the carrier of Xylella and the reason it is necessary to net the trees to prevent this pest from traveling and spreading this major bacterium concern to other areas and other countries.

Much like our North American Emerald Ash Borer pest that is responsible for tens of millions of ash tree death and destruction, the meadow spittlebug and the Xylella bacterium it can carry results in loss of olive production to those damaged branches. Although the olive oil pressed from the olives research shows does not carry any disease or risk from this specter of olive tree disease, the bacterium has significantly reduced the volume of olives available to produce oil. Thus, pricing goes up as availability of olives depletes.

Olive Tree Disease- It’s Not Just an Olive Concern

You might think this is just an olive tree issue but you’d be deadly wrong. Xylella is a strain of bacterium that is considered one of the most dangerous plant bacteria in the world. It causes a tree to die of thirst from the inside out by blocking the xylem or transport tissue of the tree responsible for moving water and nutrients from the roots upwards to other parts of the tree. Xylella is then carried from tree to tree by the spittlebug who latch on to the tree’s xylem tubes sucking out liquid. When they travel to the next tree to feed, the bacterium they’ve picked up is passed into that tree’s xylem when they go to feed again. With no cure, the plant or tree stays infected for life, until it dies.

There have been strains of Xylella fastidiosa in citrus as well as pear, peach and plum. There is also a potential new strain in Southern California that could affect the grape production which could decimate the wine production something not needed after all the years of wildfires.

Continents currently affected by this bacterium include North America, Europe, and Asia but more are expected.

Olive Tree Disease- What’s Next?

In my opinion, the focused concern is on the specific market of product whether it be olive oil, wine, or fruits and not on the tree destruction that is occurring all around us. I’m wondering how much longer we have to witness century old trees dying and family businesses evaporating from what appears to be nature taking back or returning to the soil what she feels is rightly hers. I can’t help but think that these pests that are invading our largest plants on our planet are likely the result of our own actions or even inaction.

How concerned are you about the North American trees? Leave us a comment and subscribe to get our latest tips, techniques, and recipes, plus, the science behind the fire and smoke.

SmokinLicious® products:

Wood Chunks- Double & Single Filet

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


More related reading on how Smokinlicious® reduces the risks of Microbial bacteria in our wood products
More related reading on smoking & Grilling tips and technique see our directory on previous blogs!

More related reading:




Dr. Smoke- Olive trees are threaten with pest just like our forests in the USA.
Dr. Smoke- protect our tree resources.



Wood Lignin is what produces the great flavor in Barbecue

Wood Lignin is what produces the great flavor in Barbecue

Choosing wood species for their lignin can help your BBQ! Click To Tweet

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Let me start this article by first reminding you that wood contains hundreds of compounds that honestly, we don’t know everything about. For this reason, I am only speaking today regarding those known compounds and what they contribute to foods cooked by wood fire. Specifically, I’ll be looking at lignin which is the only large-scale biomass source that has aromatic functionality. In English, this is what gives wood-fired foods the distinct flavor and aroma.

Often, you read about specific flavors and aromas as they apply to meats but today, I want to delve into the compounds that are most prevalent by wood species and what they offer to food.

Lignin- A Refresher

Lignin is one of the primary compounds responsible for cell construction in a tree and makes up 15-30% of wood cells. It has a primary role in conducting water to feed the tree’s cells and when burned, yields a tremendous amount of energy. Plus, lignin produces rigidity in cell walls which prevents rot.

As a polymer or large molecule composed of many repeated subunits that bond together, it is the only one that is not composed of carbohydrate (sugar) monomers. Because lignin is a polymer, there are many possible bonding patterns between the individual units, thus, we don’t have full knowledge of all the possibilities.

What we do know is lignin contains phenols or hydroxyl groups which are alcohols. As these compounds work together, they produce a preservative action on the food which is antibacterial in nature. The surface of the smoked food is modified with resulting flavors and aromas which are associated with barbecued foods. Let’s take a closer look at these smoke vapor flavors.

Profiles of Smoke Compounds Click To Tweet

If you recall our publication on wood-tar creosote we tapped into the science of wood-tar creosote and its purpose as a preservative as well as producer of flavor, color, and aroma to barbecued foods. In that article, we just barely mentioned the compounds responsible for the flavors. Let’s provide you with the main compound list and what the odor and flavor descriptors are.

Phenol: this compound provides the sharp, robust aromas and the astringent, sharp aftertaste to wood fired foods.

Dimethylphenol: another compound that has a sharp, robust odor that also has a sweet aromatic undertone. Flavors are sweet, charred, and astringent.

Isoeugenol: this is the compound associated with vanilla aromatics in addition to sweet and fruity. Flavor descriptors include sweet, smoked-ham notes, hydrolyzed vegetable protein-like, with clove-like undertones.

4-Methylguaiacol: another compound that includes vanilla-like, fruity, cinnamon-ish, and smoky odors, with flavors of caramel, vanilla, sweet, and pleasant notes.

o-Cresol: odors are smoked sausage like with robust, sharp undertones. This one on its own can produce more unpleasant smoky flavors.

Guaiacol: Smoky, sharp, aromatic aromas with flavors that are spicy, sharp, sweet and dry. This is the yellowish aromatic oil that forms from creosote.

Syringol: Sausage-like aromatic that is sharp and sweet, with a spicy note. These flavors include whiskey notes with smoky-char taste.

Lignin Levels in North American Hardwoods

I’m going to report the lignin levels of common North American hardwoods derived from the Klason lignin method, which values the residue remaining after solubilizing the carbohydrate with strong mineral acid. What follows are percentages of oven-dried woods with temperatures ranging from 68°F/20°C to 248°F/120°C.

Acer saccharum Marsh./Sugar Maple = 22%

Alnus rubra Bong./Red Alder = 24%

Betula alleghanienstis Britton/Yellow Birch = 21%

Carya glaubra (Mill.)/Sweet Pignut Hickory = 24%

Carya ovata (Mill.) K. Koch/Shagbark Hickory = 21%

Fagus grandifolia Ehrh./American Beech = 22%

Fraxinus Americana L./White Ash = 26%

Populus tremoides Michx./ Quaking Aspen = 19%

Prunus serotine Ehrh./Black Cherry = 21%

Quercus alba L./White Oak = 27%

Quercus prinus L./Chestnut Oak = 24%

Quercus rubra L./Northern Red Oak = 24%

Quercus stellate Wangenh./ Post Oak = 24%

What do all these percentages mean when it comes to your barbecue? You can assume that the higher numbers mean there are larger numbers of compounds at work to flavor your foods. It’s obvious that woods like hickory and oak have great percentages of phenol, guaiacol, and dimethylphenol, since these woods tend to produce the boldest flavors. Those hardwoods like cherry, alder, and maple have the compounds of methylguaiacol and isoeugenol coming forward in the flavors which results in sweeter and more toned coloring to meats. Another factor that must be kept in mind when examining lignin is the heat level the wood is exposed to. Cook at a higher temperature and these compounds can become muddier as combustion occurs more rapidly producing ash accumulation that can change flavors and aromas quickly. All factor in to the resulting flavor, color and aroma of barbecued foods, whether animal protein, vegetable, fruit, or other. This just further supports that wood-fired cooking is an art that requires a balanced hand that understands the importance of controlling as many factors as possible, primary of which is cooking temperature and airflow to bring out the highest percentage of beneficial compounds the wood can offer.

What is your favorite hardwood or mixture of hardwoods to cook with? Leave us a comment to share your views. Bringing you informative recipes, techniques, and the science beyond the fire, smoke, and flavor. That’s SmokinLicious®!

SmokinLicious® products:

Wood Chunks- Double & Single Filet

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

More related reading on how Smokinlicious® reduces the risks of Microbial bacteria in our wood products
More related reading on smoking & Grilling tips and technique see our directory on previous blogs!

More information on the composition of wood:



-Lab Report on Moisture and storage of wood


Dr. Smoke-
Dr. Smoke- the amount of wood lignin and taste is the “art” of Barbecue


We need to keep out Microbial Bacteria from the food chain!

We need to keep out Microbial Bacteria from the food chain!

Prevent microbial bacteria in the food system. Click To Tweet

Listen to the audio of this blog

With the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reporting some 48,000 cases of food borne illness events each year, resulting in some 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths, food borne illness outbreaks often generated from microbial bacteria is a serious concern. This is an added stress to manufacturing facilities that produce smoked food products as they must adhere to multiple regulations regarding the raw food product, smoke process and final smoked food product. The last thing a facility needs is to worry about the wood material used in the smoking process but that should be a priority for these facilities. Why?

Escherichia coli, Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella enteritidis, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Lactobacillus plantarum, Pseudomonas fluorescens, and Aspergillus flavus have all been shown to survive on plastic material meaning that if a supplier utilizes the standard GMA pallet commonly found in the grocery industry, these microbial bacteria or viruses survive and can flourish increasing the risk that they can be introduced to new food product placed on these recycled plastic pallets.

Microbial Bacteria- Hosts of Contamination

With the recent outbreaks affecting romaine lettuce (from E. coli) and beef (from salmonella), attention is being drawn to other potential hosts for the transfer of the bacteria. We know the common hosts: unsanitary conditions at a farm or packaging facility, food handlers failing to employ personal hygiene standards prior to working with food, food exposed to climate conditions that stimulate the bacteria development. One potential host that has not been fully publicized is the packaging materials used to transport. Unfortunately, it is the lack of enforcement in this area that puts the smokehouse industry at further risk.

Raw Material Transport

Many smokehouse operations purchase wood product for the smoke infusion from companies that supply the wood chip in paper bags that are then stacked on wooden or plastic GMA pallets. Although some of these suppliers may be able to attest that the wood chips have been kiln dried or heat treated to a certain temperature, none confirm to a heat level that would kill all the bacteria previously listed. Specifically, listeria, which requires a temperature of 74 °C/165.2 °F to be killed, is a key concern in smokehouse operations that include meat, poultry and fish products.

The risk is elevated by the potential for these bags to be penetrated by a stray nail from a wood pallet or sharp edge of a plastic pallet. If the pallet contains the bacteria, it is a host that can transmit to anything it has contact with.

Decreasing Your Risk of Microbial Bacteria

In previous testing of wood pallets, one or more of salmonella, E. coli, and listeria were found to be present in as much as 6.8 million spores/gram which is classified as an extremely high count. Given that domestically, there is no requirement for wood pallets to be heat treated for movement between states, the contamination can be passed to multiple locations with food when the pallet remains in the transportation system.

Although there have been efforts to change the transport of food by road and rail through the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), to date nothing has been regulated on the packaging materials that the food is placed on.

One encouraging finding is that cardboard materials, if correctly stored, reduce the potential for cross-contamination of food due to a quicker viability loss by spoilage and pathogenic microorganisms compared to the plastic packaging. For this reason, SmokinLicious® only packages our smokehouse wood chip products in cardboard packaging that is then placed on a pallet that has been heat treated to an internal core temperature of 75°C/167°F and holds this minimum temperature for 75 minutes. We adhere to a higher heat treatment standard as the health and safety of everyone using our culinary products is of highest importance. We believe that hardwood used for cooking should be regulated independently and adhere to stricter standards than those currently in place for the general wood industry. Until that regulation is written and enforced, SmokinLicious® will self-regulate our product to this level.

At SmokinLicious®, we believe in Quality and Safety over profit! Isn’t it time your smokehouse joins us and takes a proactive stand against microbial bacteria like listeria, salmonella, and E. coli and help in the fight to rid our foods of life-threatening bacteria.

What is your biggest concern in your smokehouse food operation? Leave us a comment to share your views. Bringing you informative recipes, techniques, and the science beyond the fire, smoke, and flavor. That’s SmokinLicious®!

SmokinLicious products:

Wood Chunks- Double & Single Filet

More related reading on how Smokinlicious® reduces the risks of Microbial bacteria in our wood products

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


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

Additional reading:




Dr. Smoke- we do our part thru heat treatment to reduce microbial bacteria risks!
Dr. Smoke- we do our part thru heat treatment to reduce microbial bacteria risks!

The history of fire cooking part I


Grill fire

the fire

listen to our blogthe history of fire cooking part I


For thousands of years, it was the only way to cook. Many believe that this discovery separated man from the other animals. Fire.

Estimated to have been discovered some 2 million years ago, the discovery of fire and more importantly, the discovery of how to tame fire, resulted in man’s brain development, value of food, changes in our body, and social structure. It gave us survivability. It extended our life by improving daily calories and nutritional needs by allowing us to cook poisonous plants and meats.

So how did fire cooking get discovered? That is the million dollar question. Here are some of the hypotheses out there regarding the discovery of fire for cooking:

The History of Fire Cooking Part I- Nature Provides Ignition

There are some scientists who believe that fire cooking was found by accident. A lightning strike or grass fires that sprung up due to the excessive dry conditions exposed to the hot sun. Many don’t feel man did anything to “discover” fire other than observe the characteristics of fire: it produces abundant heat, light, and when it traps an animal within its flames, it produced a more tender meat, easier to digest food source, and more pleasing aroma to the meat.

Tool Construction

There are others who believe that early humans realized the importance of tools. By sharpening stones to produce spears, cutting tools, etc., these early beings observed spark. Either through intention or perhaps with Mother Nature’s assistance, these sparks caught twigs, brush, fruit, and/or grains on fire. Remember, early human life did not involve a developed brain. A discovery of fire, however, would help advance not only our brains, but our bodies into the erect beings we are today.

The Earliest Cave Cooking

In South Africa’s Northern Cape province, a dwelling known as Wonderwerk Cave, contains the earliest evidence that our ancestors and apelike ancestors were using fire. Compacted dirt showed evidence of ashes, carbonized leaf and twig fragments, and burnt bits of animal bones. Scientists were then able to analyze this material and determine that the fragments were heated between 750 and 1300°F, which is the heat level of a small fire made of twigs and grasses.

If indeed our earlier species learned to harness fire for cooking, this would account for the advancement of our brains and our ability to become erect beings walking on two legs. Cooking on fire allowed for easier chewing and digestion and produced extra calories to fuel our brains. Fire also warded off nighttime predators, allowing for sleep on the ground or in caves rather than in the trees.

It’s All About Energy

Raw food diets have been popularized as a method of losing weight and of being healthier. However, only a fraction of the calories in raw starch and protein are absorbed by the body via the small intestine. As a result, the remainder passes into the large bowel, where it is broken down by the organ’s high population of microbes, which consume the majority for themselves. However, cooked food is mostly digested by the time it enters the colon. For the same amount of calories ingested, the body gets roughly 30 percent more energy from cooked oat, wheat or potato starch as compared to raw, and as much as 78 percent from the protein in an egg. In experiments, animals given cooked food gain more weight than animals fed the same amount of raw food.

Cooking breaks down collagen (connective tissue in meat) & softens the plants’ cell walls to release their storage of starch & fat. The calories to fuel the bigger brains of successive species of hominids came at the expense of the energy-intensive tissue in the gut, which was shrinking at the same time. If you look at early imagery of apes, you’ll see how we morphed into narrow-waisted Homo sapiens.– the history of fire cooking part I

Coming up in The History of Fire Cooking: Part II, learn more about why cooking foods by fire made us who we are today. In conclusion, did we provide you with new information you didn’t know? Additionally, leave us a comment and subscribe as we bring recipes, tips, techniques, and the science behind the fire and smoke.

Purchase products:

Wood Chips- Grande Sapore®

Wood Chunks- Double & Single Filet

More Related reading on "What Wood for Smoking" and other great smoking and grilling tips and techniques

More Related reading on “What Wood for Smoking” and other great smoking and grilling tips and techniques

Additional reading:




I hope you enjoyed the the history of fire cooking part I

I hope you enjoyed the history of fire cooking part I

Smokinlicious pristine wood blocks is a great back drop to the 10 things to consider when purchasing cooking wood

Smokinlicious® wood blocks are a pristine backdrop for the 10 things to consider when purchasing wood for cooking!!

Listen to the audio of this blog

Many of you who reside in the Southern and Western States have the advantage of being able to engage in wood-fired cooking pretty much whenever you want, regardless of the calendar. You may do so on an LP grill, a charcoal grill, charcoal/wood smoker, or electric grill or smoker. Those of us living in the North and to the East – though we could continue cooking outdoors all year – usually elect to restrict our outdoor cooking methods until temperatures climb above 55°F!

Soon, it will be an even playing field when it comes to enjoying the outdoors for all of us so what better way to get prepared than to start thinking about replenishing supplies for our outdoor living and cooking.

Today, I’m going to give you a guide on the top 10 things to consider when purchasing wood for cooking, grilling or smoking in general.

#1 Is the wood native to the USA?

If the wood comes from outside the United States, it doesn’t necessarily make it a bad choice but you do need to understand that importing wood products into the USA is highly regulated. Mostly, the wood needs to be certified that it has been treated in some way to ensure no insects are hitching a ride in! Remember, that treatment could be with chemicals or by heat only, so be sure you check the label. This product may turn out to only be ideal for hot temperature cooking like searing and grilling due to the dryness of the wood, or if chemicals were used, it shouldn’t be used at all.

#2 Is the wood 100% hardwood?

It is imperative that any wood you use to cook with, wood chips, wood chunks, logs or dust be only hardwood. Look for labeling that attest to the fact that only hardwood was used as some companies will use a mix of softwood and hardwood or include press woods.

The Pristine, Clean, Bark Free Double Fillet SmokinLicious Wood Chunks Displayed

SmokinLicious® Double Fillet Chunks

#3 How does the company get the wood?

Many of the companies who supply wood chips for cooking have another manufacturing process that produces a scrap or waste product. Not Smokinlicious®! Often, those leftovers are used in this secondary business of BBQ woods, smoking woods, or cooking woods, to name a few of the labeling names. Check packaging for the source or origin location of the wood and if that company name matches the one on the front of the packaging label.

#4 Are you getting the wood named on the label?

This seems like a no brainer but honestly, wood is no different than olive oil or cheese. You may not be getting 100% of the wood species listed on the label just as we’re finding extra virgin olive oils may not be extra virgin or grated cheese isn’t 100% cheese! If you find packaging that simply states “hardwood” or “mixed hardwoods” then you don’t know what you’re getting. Be sure to read the entire label and check for a reference to 100% of a species.

#5 Is the brand name the actual manufacturer of the wood or just the distributor?

It is very common for brands to be in a business that they don’t participate in from a manufacturing point. Check the small print on the label to see if the manufacturer of the product is listed or if the label simply states who the product is distributed by. Distributors don’t have a lot of history on the product in the box or bag.

#6 Does the seller make claim to a certain cooking method for the wood?

This is key to ensuring you don’t end up with a disaster. If the packaging clearly states the product is for grilling, then don’t try to use it in your smoker or stove top smoking pan. Compatibility of a cooking wood to equipment should factor in the moisture level of the wood. Too dry, and it will just catch fire. Too wet and you won’t be able to grill with it.

#7 Are there any terms such as “naturally cured” or kiln dried on the label?

The terms generally mean that the wood has been air dried for an extended period, much like you do with firewood before using it in your fireplace, or the wood has been exposed to low temperature drying in an enclosed area. Either method means the wood will usually have a moisture level of 4-13% which will not make it ideal for hot smoking techniques. Again, these woods are best for high heat level cooking as dry wood produces a lot of heat. Woods with a moisture level ~20% are ideal for hot smoking.

#8 Does the wood have bark?

Photo shows the nasty bark on products sold by our competitors

Our competitors’ bark on product

Bark is the protector of the tree and so it is like a sponge, absorbing anything that isn’t healthy to the tree. When bark-on wood is exposed to heat, you will get a lot of separation or weakness to the cell structure of the bark. This can loosen during exposure to heat and burn separately causing flare ups in temperature control, sparks, and leave a coating on your equipment. If you have an option, go bark-free!

#9 Does the packaging label reference cooking or merely say “firewood”?

If you planning on going camping and setting up an elevate cooking grate over the fire, or using a Dutch oven for cowboy-style of cooking, then I don’t have a problem with using split firewood for the cooking part. This is in the great outdoors where there is a lot of area to handle the smoke vapor. But if you are using any kind of equipment that has a contained firebox area, please use something other than firewood to cook with. You simply don’t know where the wood has been or what it may contain so cooking within a confined chamber is not the ideal. Firewood can have a lot of resin, sap, and spark.

#10 Does the brand sell the product by weight?

Wood is a commodity that has a lot of variance when it comes to weight due to differences in density, moisture level, and variety of the species. It is the reason why wood cannot be sold by weight legally. Look at the packaging and be sure there is a reference to cubic inches, cubic feet, liters, centimeters, etc. Anything but weight.

There you have it! A guide for your upcoming outdoor cooking season using a variety of cooking/grilling woods like wood chips, chunks, logs or dust. Take a bit of time to check the packaging and examine all the information on a website before making your decision. Most importantly ask yourself: Do I want to eat anything cooked over this?

Dr. Smoke- Before purchasing wood for cooking, it's important to know the many factors!

Dr. Smoke- Before purchasing wood for cooking, it’s important to know the many factors!








More Related reading on purchasing wood for cooking:

More Related reading on purchasing wood for cooking:







Wood Chips Grande Sapore

Wood Chunks- Double or Single Filet

Smoker Logs- Full & Quarter Cut

Smoking Dust- Spice for Your Equipment


Case Notes: A restaurant is preparing to open in a new location and made the decision to invest in an Italian made pizza oven that has an option for wood-fired cooking. This equipment would take 6 months to manufacture and deliver to the USA, which gave the owners time to complete renovations on their new building in preparation for the free-standing oven’s installation. During that time, menu development and plating options were reviewed and decided upon.

The one planning need that was left to the last minute – locating the supplier for the cooking hardwood and determining appropriate sizing for the new equipment! WHY???

It always surprises me that restaurateurs are willing to spend $50,000 and up for commercial equipment that does a specific function or technique, yet they don’t spend the time before that purchase ensuring they can obtain the quality accessory needs to get every benefit from that investment.

Here’s the best part: often these equipment lines tote that they can do all sorts of functions including wood-fired cooking techniques. The truth – they aren’t really promoting that function of their equipment line! They simply want to sell you the equipment and have you use standard fuel options like electric and gas. How did I come to this conclusion? By the content of the user’s manual.

Many do not reference:

  • size of wood product needed for the equipment
  • how to light the product
  • how much of the product to use
  • where to locate a supplier of the cooking wood
  • pictorials of the steps to do the technique
  • provide a troubleshooting guide.

Do you really want to spend $50,000, $60,000, $100,000 and be left to fend for yourself with that investment?

Take the appropriate steps when considering additions to or replacements in your equipment line. Research not only the equipment but what is needed to do the smoke infusion technique with that equipment. Yes, wood chips are readily available even though there is a high level of variation between products. But other products are not so easy to find like wood pieces larger than wood chips but smaller than split firewood logs.

In addition, wood-fired techniques can also require additional “tools” to be available in the kitchen that may not have been standard inventory before.

Such things as:

  • fire retardant gloves
  • fire grade tools like long-handled tongs and a wood poker
  • a MAP canister/torch for lighting the fire
  • an infrared thermometer for reading temperatures within the cooking chamber
  • an ash receptacle.

Prioritize the needs of a wood-fired equipment addition by first reviewing the best option in equipment for your business’ need and second, assessing all the requirements of the wood to be successful in bringing this technique to your kitchen!


Dr. Smoke- only manufacturers Culinary Quality wood- Nothing else!!

Dr. Smoke- only manufacturers Culinary Quality wood- Nothing else!!









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Smoker wood storage summer or as the winter months approach, you should pop some holes in the box to circulated the air!

Smoker wood storage summer or as the winter months approach, you should pop some holes in the box to circulated the air!

Smoker wood storage for chips or chunks Click To Tweet

Listen to the audio of this blog

SmokinLicious® has the luxury of manufacturing every wood product we offer for sale. That means, our moisture rich wood is ready to use immediately. We certainly are not firewood as we work only with the heartwood of the hardwood trees and need proper storage to maintain our clean, fresh state. Plus, we want you to have a pleasant outcome to smoking your foods which is a direct result of the moisture level.

It’s Serious Business- Smoker Wood Storage!

We take wood storage seriously! Which is why when you purchase our products, you’ll receive a card educating you on the best storage containers and conditions. Simply put, any container that encourages air flow is ideal. We have found that some plastic containers can actual cause mold spores which is why materials made from wood, cardboard or metal are preferred. If you should encounter wood that has begun to develop evidence of mold, you may follow these steps to sanitize the wood for cooking:

1. Dilute 1 part white vinegar to 3 parts water (or 1.5 ounces of white vinegar to 3 gallons of water). Be sure the wood is completely submerged in the vinegar mixture.


2. Let the wood soak in the solution for a minimum of 2 minutes.


3. Remove the wood from the vinegar mixture and allow to air dry.


4. Store the wood as recommended above.


Prevent Sunburn

Just like your skin, wood can get too much sun and become sunburned, especially given we are bark-free product. It is best to select a location for storage that is away from direct sunlight. A cool, dry location is ideal. If you select a garage or basement area, be sure you don’t place any cardboard container directly on the cement surface or moisture will be drawn in through the carton to the wood and could result in appearance and aroma changes. If you do see the outside of the wood turn a bit gray, that likely is the result of some sun exposure.

Temperature and Humidity for Smoker Wood Storage

As a last point, keep temperature and humidity in mind when you select a storage location. Since our hardwoods are native to New York State, they are accustom to certain conditions including 4 seasons. Wood can be stressed especially when traveling in a truck to your location. Be sure to follow our directive sticker on the carton advising to get the carton open immediately upon delivery. Air is crucial to your wood remaining in the great condition it is in when we packaged it.

For those wanting to know if refrigeration is an option, our study shows refrigeration certainly doesn’t hurt the wood but you do need to rotate any unused wood periodically to prevent mold potential. Freezing the wood is not suggested. When you plan to use the wood for wood-fired cooking, be sure to remove the wood from a cold location and allow to come to room temperature in order to prevent a lengthy time waiting for combustion to take hold which is what produces smoke vapor.

More Related reading on this subject- More Related reading on this subject of cooking & Grilling with wood

More Related reading on smoker More




Dr. Smoke- Smoker Wood Storage is an important part of your grilling practices! Follow our advice to get the most out of your wood purchase

Dr. Smoke- Smoker Wood Storage is an important part of your grilling practices! Follow our advice to get the most out of your wood purchase



Thanks for the question regarding Mango wood.  Although limited in the
areas they can grow (India, Florida, Caribbean, Hawaii, etc.), Mango wood
is very popular for upper end wood products like bowls, vases, and even
some furniture.  However, you are correct.  Mango wood contains a sap
that is located at the base of the stem, branches, and trunk. As a result,
a recommendation is made never to burn mango wood as it emits a smoke
that is full of potent irritants.  Plus, Mango trees are highly
suseptible to a number of diseases and pest infestations,
including the fruit fly, black twig borer, sooty mold, and
southern green stink bug to name a few. Pesticide application
is generally necessary to maintain the health of these trees.
Because of the chemical application, Mango wood does not make
for good BBQ!
Stick to forest producing products for the safest woods for BBQ!
Use Smokinlicious® Mango Smokin' Dust®  instead!
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Our table for the moisture and storage of wood and how best to use this in cooking to your advantage

Our table for the moisture and storage of wood and how best to use this in cooking to your advantage

Listen to the audio of this blog


If you love to cook then you likely know that most dried herbs and spices never go bad if stored properly. You could say the same for smoking woods. Like a spice, smoking wood loses its flavor essence as it dries out. Lose the moisture and the wood becomes only a fire stick, producing heat. This results in the opposite of what you want when trying to add flavor from the wood.

Proper Storage is Key

We know that storage of wood in a cool, dry location will preserve the moisture level in the wood. Why? Wood loves to adjust to temperature and humidity to find balance. But how cool or warm does that location have to be? Is there an ideal temperature? Let’s find out by doing a simple experiment.

Time to Experiment!

How do we get started with our experiment. Wet and dry are all dependent on moisture. Fluctuate temperature and you will change moisture.

Using identical pieces of hardwood – same species, moisture level and size – one piece was placed in the refrigerator with a temperature between 40-42°F. The other piece was placed in the freezer with a temperature of 30°F. Using a timetable of three weeks, we took moisture readings each week. Let’s see how the hardwood did:

Freezer Refrigerator

Starting Level 27.1% 30.8% Moisture

Week One 18.8% 30.3%

Two 18.6% 30.0%

Three 16.9% 29.8%


Holy icicle! There are some major results here. First, log in the freezer lost nearly 50 percent of its moisture in just 3 weeks! Second, refrigerating smoking wood appears to stabilize it. If you want to make the wood happy, refrigerate it.

Lessons Learned?

  1. Wood likes cooler temperatures in the range of 45°F.
  2. Wood doesn’t mind a dark storage area.
  3. Freezer temperatures cause the free water in the wood to evaporate quickly.
  4. Wood likes as much space as it can get.
  5. Don’t store in plastic unless you want mold!

There you have it! If your cooking and smoking with food, regardless if you’re using wood chips, wood chunks, logs or smoking dust, the popular question of how to store smoking woods rests with a cool location, no direct sunlight and avoidance of plastic storage.

Just one more reason SmokinLicious® products are the best!


It seems that moisture and wood storage remain a hot topic. As more people invest in vacuum sealer devices for their food products, they question whether these are a good alternative for wood storage.

The short answer is, no. Let’s take a look at the reasons why.

Vacuum Sealing Wood is Not a Good Idea!

The purpose of vacuum sealing foods is to remove all the air or oxygen. Oxygen is what mold and bacteria thrive on. When using feezer bags, foods don’t show freezer burn which extend their life in the freezer. For refrigerated foods that are vacuum sealed, you’ll find an extended life as well. The question is, will the extended life transfer to wood stored in a vacuum sealed bag?

To answer this question, you need to understand what oxygen does. First, wood needs air. By removing all the air in a vacuum bag, stress results on wood fibers. Deprive wood of air and you have a greater risk for developing specific molds that thrive in oxygen low environments. Second, the plastic bag increases the risk for mold on the wood. Wood likes cooler temperatures but it does NOT like to be wrapped in plastic.

In the end, it is best to find a cool, dark location that has airflow for your wood. Keep it away from plastic and from porous materials like a concrete floor. Once the wood has air, space, cool temperature and darkness, it will thrive. Happy wood means flavorful foods!




More Related reading on the Moisture & Storage of Wood

More Related reading on the Moisture & Storage of Wood, check out these articles:

Wet or Dry Wood for Smoking- Does It Matter?

Cooking Wood- What You Should Know

Dr. Smoke- we provide the wood chip moisture readings on all our packages.

Dr. Smoke- Follow our guidelines on the moisture & storage of wood to keep your products fresh and producing tasty delights!



















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