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Received this red oak in the January '13 exchange from Smoke Em If Ya Got Em. Really excited to use them as I have never smoked with oak, and as Tom says, it's the "queen" of cooking wood. My question is the large pieces of bark. They are 2-4 oz each. Is that too much bark for a smoke? Smoke Em himself wasn't sure either, so answer for both of us! I did a search on the forum and found great reviews for red oak itself, but a few negative comments on using the bark. I typically use wood from Cookshack which has maybe .25 inch of bark, but these are huge. What say you?
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There was a discussion in the wood section a while back on bark vs no bark. I believe that most agreed that bark didn't affect the smoke either way. I've used several woods with bark before, nothing that thick, but nevertheless everything came out just fine. I'd throw one piece of bark in with each piece of wood.

And maybe Troy will jump in an give us some insight.
Originally posted by Wildcatter:
For the past year I have been using a lot of red oak, I find it very mild and kinda velvety smooth smoke almost sweet if you know what I am trying to say, anyway have noticed no noticeable difference with the bark or without. Loved it on my "T" Day bird and on pork!

I like red oak as well, velvety smooth is a good discription!! I have been blending oak with apple and hickory for jerky and red oak and pecan on the last brisket and pb I did. Loved it!! I only can tell a difference when I use oak with bark to cold smoke.
Hate to go kicking old topics back to life..but..real interesting thread I have a red oak in the front yard but not big enough to cook with yet. In general I love all Oak..especially in little tight running air conserving not sure what there be not to like about it. Now black jack Oak can be scary. Anyway..the good smoke flavor of nearly all trees is located in the bark. So the more bark you got the better it should smell and taste in a hypothetical scenario. Regular old Oak with no bark is like cooking over cardboard boxes. Now a couple of notable exceptions is Pee Can trees..the best flavor is in the nut shells. Now think this would also apply to hickory nut shells since they are in the same family of trees..but aint sure. Aint never had enough Hickory nut shells to do any science on that. Who knows?
Same here they are my very favorite. And we have two..was three big Pee Can trees out in the backyard. I can usually con the Warden into shelling them out and making me some brownies and then I cook with the shells. Sad news it was our year not to make hardly any nuts. Not even enough for the squirrels. We had them running out of the ying yang last year..guess we were due for a pause in the action. Keep hearing you can buy the shells at Gardening places where it passes for mulch..but aint got up the energy to look for some. Not much telling if has exotic chemicals on it either. Might put my mind to finding hickory nut shells one of these days. Those should be a killer. Hickory trees are apparently illegal in this part of the world.

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