Old 02-14-2010, 02:46 PM
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: richmond ca
Posts: 1
Default Are these types of wood safe to use?

I have been reading the posts about types of wood to use. I was wondering if anyone has experience with two types of wood I have collected. My neighbor cut some large limbs off of her Locust tree (Robinia). Does anyone have any experience using this wood in their pizza oven? Also, I have collected the wood from a dead Summer Holly (Comarostaphylos), which I know is related to manzanita and madrone, so I do feel pretty safe about that. I just want to make sure the wood I am going to use is going to be safe to cook with, i.e. are there be any toxins in these types of wood. Are there types of wood to definitely stay away from? (I have read some of the discussions about Walnut and Eucalyptus).
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Old 02-16-2010, 04:35 AM
Jaronimo's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Andover, New Jersey
Posts: 83
Default Re: Are these types of wood safe to use?

I do not know for sure if they are safe, but I do remember reading about some French or British soldiers who used holly or yew branches to hold meat over a fire to cook it and it turns out they are poisonous. I read it years ago about a battle many, many years ago, but it sticks in my mind.

I am a big believer in "if you are not sure, don't use it"
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Old 02-16-2010, 06:17 AM
Il Pizzaiolo
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: San Antonio
Posts: 1,719
Default Re: Are these types of wood safe to use?

There is a difference between sticking a branch in food versus burning it. The organic toxins from burned woods should be destroyed in the WFO (consistent with clearing the oven). while some contamination might be possible I doubt you need worry about those. Metallic and inorganic toxins are a much bigger concern IMO for they will tend to be more durable and long lasting.

Still, I would not argue against caution!
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Old 02-16-2010, 01:26 PM
Jaronimo's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Andover, New Jersey
Posts: 83
Default Re: Are these types of wood safe to use?

I just read a post on a BBQ smoker site that talked about side effects of using walnut. The complaints were mainly numbness of the lips and mouth after eating food smoked with walnut wood.

Does not sound like something I want to try.
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comarostaphylos, fire wood, locust, robinia, summer holly

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