Is Mulberry Wood Good For Smoking Meat?

When done right, wood smoke can infuse BBQ with fantastic flavors. And this centuries-old cooking method uses smoke to enhance the natural taste of meats, such as pork and beef.

Now, more often than not, that added tang perfectly suits the kind of meat you’re preparing. However, your choice of smoking wood can give meat a mild sweet flavor — or even a strong bitter taste. So, what kind of flavor can you expect to get from Mulberry wood?

Well, in this post, you’ll discover what kind of tang Mulberry wood will give to BBQ. You’ll also learn which certain type of Mulberry tree produces the best type of wood for smoking meat with.

is mulberry wood good for smoking meat

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Can You Use Mulberry Wood For Smoking Meat?

Well, Mulberry wood comes from fruit-bearing trees. And the sweetness of their edible fruit is reflected in the mild flavor from the smoke of this hardwood.

This is why Mulberry wood pairs well with poultry, rabbit and even fish. However, it is not as strong as say Hickory or Oak wood.

But, using Mulberry wood comes with one key caveat. And that caveat is that it’s the Mulberry female trees that are best suited for smoking with.

What Do You Mean By Female Mulberry Trees?

When it comes to trees in general, there are three sexes; dioecious female, dioecious male, and monecious.

Dioecious female trees produce female flowers and fruit. And dioecious male trees produce male flowers and pollen.

And last, but not least, there are monecious trees. Both female flowers and male flowers bloom on a monecious tree.

Now, not all tree species are represented by all three sexes. For example, Oak and Pine trees are monecious trees. And some tree species, such as Cedar, are Dioecious trees.

But, in the case of Mulberry in particular, this species can grow to be any one of the three sexes.

So Why Does This All Matter When It Comes To Smoking Meat With Mulberry Wood?

You see, it is the Mulberry dioecious female trees — and the Mulberry monecious tree — that produce edible fruit.

However, the Mulberry dioecious male tree does not produce any fruit. Yet, the Mulberry male dioecious tree makes up around 1/3rd of all Mulberry trees.

Which means that not all types of Mulberry wood will add that sweet smoky flavor to your food. So, you need to make sure you’re using Mulberry wood that specifically comes from a fruit-bearing tree.

Is Mulberry Smoking Wood Really All That Mild? What If I Want A Stronger Smokier Flavor?

Fruit-bearing trees are generally much milder smoking woods — and Mulberry wood is no exception.

Nonetheless, if you want your food to be infused with stronger flavor, then you should use Hickory wood.

This is the best smoking wood for slow-cooking red meat, and it pairs well with brisket and even pork. In fact, Hickory is so strong that it can end up over-smoking meat, making it taste bitter.

But, so long as you keep the temperature low — and smoke your food for a while longer — excessive smoking shouldn’t be a problem.

Is It Safe To Smoke Meat With Mulberry Wood?

When it comes to smoking meat, the main thing to remember is to avoid using wood filled with sap or pitch.

Tree sap/pitch, (which are both resinous type substances), will vaporize when that log is burned. And that vaporised resin will infuse into meat (right along with the wood smoke).

Now, tree resins aren’t appetizing, and they’re not tasty. So, at best, sap-filled smoking woods will ruin the taste of your food. And at worst, you can even become ill if you eat resin-saturated smoked meat.

This is why you don’t want to smoke meat with sap-filled lumber such as Cedar or Pine.

Nonetheless, in the case of Mulberry wood, this particular timber is not filled to the brim with tree sap or tree pitch. So, it is perfectly safe to smoke meat with Mulberry wood.

What Is Tree Sap And Tree Pitch? Trees produce sap as a way to fight off insect attacks. While pitch is a thicker resinous substance also produced by trees. And the job of tree pitch is to seal and heal damaged sections of the tree.

And What Can I Do To Make Mulberry Wood Smoke Even Better?

The main thing you can do is to only burn wood that’s sufficiently dry.

Dry wood, (otherwise referred to as seasoned wood), has a low moisture content. This not only allows wood to catch light, but it also reduces the chances of it over-smoking.

That’s because wood with a high moisture content will emit a lot of carcinogenic smoke. And this will infuse BBQ meat with an off-putting bitter flavor, instead of an appetizing one.

So, the best way to dry Mulberry wood, is to allow it to air-dry in a low-humidity area. And freshly logged Mulberry lumber can take anywhere from 6 to 12 months to dry out enough to use.

Related Post: How To Season Wood (7 Tips)

To Wrap Up, Here Are The 3 Key Takeaways From This Post…

  • 1). Smoking with Mulberry wood will give meat a mild sweet flavor.
  • 2). However, this is only true of wood sourced from fruit-bearing Mulberry trees. Dioecious male Mulberry trees do not produce fruit.
  • 3). Only use dry Mulberry wood to smoke meat with. That’s because if those wood chunks contain too much moisture, they will emit too much smoke.

References:

How to Tell If a Mulberry Tree Is Male or Female | Garden Guides

Husbands, A. and Cranford, S., 2019. A material perspective of wood, smoke, and BBQ. Matter, 1(5), pp.1092-1095.

How urban planners’ preference for male trees has made your hay fever worse | The Guardian

The Difference Between Tree Sap & Tree Resin | Sciencing.com