Best wood to cook with?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by braggscowboy, Feb 17, 2004.

  1. braggscowboy

    braggscowboy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I know this question will depend on where you live, but if you have hard wood and cook with wood sometime, what kind do you find to work best?
    I have a Sweetheart stove and don't use it all the time, but do on occasion and hope to more when I have more time to monitor when burning. I have been using Black Jack Oak, Post Oak and Hickory when I have to cut the Hickory for some reason (like to save it). I like the Black Jack really well and it cooks fast and hot. Post Oak not as well. I want to try some of the Sasafras when I have time. It splits really well and and will burn quickly, but don't know if it will burn hot enough. I have plenty of the Black Jack, but it is hard to cut and stack brush. If I used it all the time I would use the Black Jack cut into lengths of about 16" and about 2"to 2 1/2" and it would just fine. I know that it will make reall good biscuits and pies. Thanks for the thought!
    braggscowboy.
     
  2. goatlady

    goatlady Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I'm under the impression oak is the best for baking - it burns slow and even and you need a long even heat for the oven. Fast and hot is good for cooking on the surface. According to my 101-year-old neighbor.
     

  3. I guess your talking about cooking in a wood kitchen stove? I've never cooked in a actual wood kitchen stove but I have eaten food that my aunt has cooked. She always use small slab wood in hers. She would by slab wood left over from a saw mill and have it split up in about 2" diameter pieces.

    If we are talking about cooking over coals in the outdoor then hardwood is what you want to use for stuff such as dutch oven cooking. When hardwood is burned down to coals it last longer then softwoods will. However if you are cooking something like steaks, chicken breast, or hotdogs over a grill then it will be alright to use softwoods since you will not need the heat for very long.
     
  4. braggscowboy

    braggscowboy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Thanks r.h. and goatgirl.
    r.h. The wood is for a wood cookstove. My mom cooked on one when I was small, but has been sometime. I have only had mine for a couple of years and use it in the winter. I think that the blackjack oak and hickory does a really good job. I still think that I will try the Sasafrass when I have time and see how well it will do. I have discovered that split wood will burn hotter than non split wood. But, the black jack limbs will really do a good job.
     
  5. bgak47

    bgak47 Well-Known Member

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    split wood & small pieces...blackjack,hickory, & a little bit of pine or cedar. it will give a fast flame that will last!
     
  6. Swampdweller

    Swampdweller Well-Known Member

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    Which wood to use for cooking would depend a great deal on what you cook and how you like it cooked.
    I have a friend who likes everything well done. When he comes over to work, we use hedge, a.k.a. osage orange. My wife gets weary of scraping the charred food off the pans, but, it does get done.
    I have another friend who likes things cooked to a fine medium. To cook his food, we use well-seasoned oak, hickory, locust, elm, mulberry, hackberry, cherry, ironwood, sassafras, kentucky coffee tree, or hedge....and just watch the pot a little closer.
    For my friend who likes things just about raw, we use green cottonwood to cook.
    For us ? Whatever's handy. Just don't burn it green.

    Swampdweller
     
  7. cathyharrell

    cathyharrell Well-Known Member

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    we use mesquite for outdoor cooking. It is about the only wood around.