Food, Wine & Just Good Living With SaucyJoe

It started with a love of food, wine & fun and blossomed into a maddening pursuit of the best recipes, techniques, grills, smokers, wines, crafted beers, rubs, marinades and sauces... We do more than play with our meat though -- we review and discuss all things cooking, drinking, reading, laughing and living at SaucyJoe's.

Friday, June 30, 2006

Stumped by Eucalyptus

I recently received an email from a guy in Australia who had made his own smoker and needed info on possible heat sources for the smoking process. He said he had some Australian Hardwoods and gobs of Eucalyptus wood. My first reaction to the Eucalyptus wood was "oh no, no, no", but after doing some studying I found out some things.

-The main article against using Eucalyptus in smokers has been copied and pasted into the majority of posts out there and it's over five years old. They consider Eucalpytus to have resinous qualities and should be treated more like soft woods.

-It is a hardwood that grows quickly and they got a bunch of it California.

-In an effort to stop the use of Red Oak in the bbq process in California, one Oak protection group is suggesting the use of Eucalyptus for the heat source in bbqing. Just heat source ... Oak would still be used for the smoke flavor.

-Red Oak in some California regions is tough to come by and Eucalyptus has been used in those lean times for cookin' BBQ. Don't think many would fess up to that!

-One place in California is using a mixture of Eucalyptus and Avocado wood to fire their cooking ovens. They're running their ovens at 700 degrees F. Not what you'd call low and slow BBQ

Now I never thought of California as the pulse of the BBQ nation, but it does bring up some thoughts on how things could change based on the availability of wood sources.

I replied to my Australian emailer that he should stay with his Australian Hardwoods and if he runs out of everything then wrap up your food airtight in foil and then throw on the Eucalyptus just to finish the cooking process. I'm glad he wrote me and the information I gained from it all.

What's your thoughts on this Stumping question???


Blogger Dr. Dave said...

I would think that Eucalyptus would be a lousy heat source as well. It is not a very dense wood, and would probably heat unevenly and slowly. Especially for BBQ, you want a predictable fire. This stuff would be very unpredictable. You could use it for a fire STARTER...maybe.

Wed Jul 05, 05:22:00 PM CDT  

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