Old 11-17-2006, 08:03 AM
Fio Fio is offline
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Virginia
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Default Poplar?

I have a source of wood; a cabinetmaker will give me his cutoffs. They are mostly oak and poplar. I know oak is OK; are there any considerations for poplar? I haven't found anything, and in fact some have mentioned it, but I just want to be sure.

I hope it's OK because, as you know, woodworking cutoffs are the driest wood available.


- Fio
There is nothing quite so satisfying as drinking a cold beer, while tending a hot fire, in an oven that you built yourself, and making the best pizza that your friends have ever had.
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Old 11-17-2006, 08:20 AM
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Location: New Jersey USA
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Default poplar

The aspens that grew in Northern Michigan when I was a kid were called poplars. It was a really soft wood, it burned but didn't give much heat. Cabinetmakers poplar is an entirely different wood, hard like maple, smooth closed grain, greenish white in color, really stable, it's the choice for building things that are going to be painted or veneered. I don't know what kind of tree it comes out of, but I'm sure it's fine to burn. Give it a try
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Old 11-17-2006, 01:35 PM
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Location: Pebble Beach, CA
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I've had good luck with off-cuts. They are dried, and they seem to come in good sizes and shapes for burning in a brick oven. I can't comment on poplar, and haven't burned it, but my guess is that is has to be tight grained enough to burn well if they are making cabinets out of it. Is it somewhere between cheap and free?

I agree. Give it a try, and it might be good.

David, from northern MI, to NJ. That'a a move.

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Last edited by james; 11-17-2006 at 03:56 PM.
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Old 11-17-2006, 03:34 PM
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Location: Eastern NC
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Poplar grows well here in the southeastern us.

It dries nicely when dry. Gives off a lot of heat and burns quickly. Seems like a neutral wood. I would not imagine it would add much flavor to what you are cooking.

My oven progress -

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Old 11-17-2006, 05:58 PM
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Location: Prince Albert, Ontario, Canada
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Default Poplar

Here, the greenish grained wood you guys are referring to is called "gofer"
wood, meaning add one stick and gofer another. I burn quite a lot of it, and tend to call it an "understorey" wood, because I layer it under harder woods.

It's fine, really, classed as a semi-hardwood. In woodworking terms, it's desirable, because it can be, machined quite cleanly, holds a good, tight line, and paints well. If you can get offcuts, gofer it. It doesn't have the BTUs of harder woods, but it burns bright.

It has virtually no oil, so I think it's scent will be about neutral for pizza.

I'd bow to more expert opinion, but I think aspen is somewhat different. With that, I have no experience.


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Old 11-18-2006, 04:46 AM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 66

Jim is exactly right about poplar. Its also called tulip. Its the sapwood thats almost white and the heartwood thats green to brown. Quite often its udes to make popsickle sticks and tongue depressors. i's sure ie would be fine for cooking. Even better if its free. As far as aspen goes; when its dry it has no flavor or odor. Its used quite frequently in the food industry. Wooden spoons and forks, containers, ect. But it is very light and will burn quickly.
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