Continuing our feature on specific hardwoods for the sole purpose of wood-fired cooking, let me introduce you to very popular choice, especially when it comes to hot smoking or pit roasting techniques and meats.

Hickory hardwood is part of the Juglandaceae family of wood better known as the Walnut family.   The scientific names for the varieties we manufacture are Carya glabra (Mill.) sweet and Carya laciniosa (Michx.f.) but the common names for the varieties found in the Western New York and Northwestern Pennsylvania regions include: Pignut Hickory, Sweet Pignut, Smoothbark Hickory, Kingnut.

Hickory is most commonly used with animal proteins like beef (ribs, brisket), pork (shoulder, ribs), and game (elk, bison, moose, duck, deer).  Its overall flavour profile is more significant with a moderate level of infusion.  It often is described as having a bacon-like undertone.  Because the overall infusion is on the stronger side, it works well when mixed with a lighter hardwood or fruit wood like ash, cherry, or maple to balance the use of Hickory with non-animal proteins.

The overall color that results from the smoke vapor is on the brown or deep side.

 Heat Level: High – 27.5 MBTU

Fuel Efficiency: Excellent

Ease of Lighting: Fair

Ideal Uses: Grilling/Roasting/Braising/Pit Roasting/Hot Smoking

HICKORY TREE Oh, and the answer is no, you don’t need to be concerned with use of this wood for those with a nut allergy.  The trigger for an allergic reaction is contained within the nut themselves rather than the tree and occurs when the nut is cracked.  So enjoy this giant of the forest and Bon-Bar-B-Q!


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