So, you’ve finally decided to cut down that Bradford pear tree in your yard. Or maybe you find yourself with an abundance of broken branches littering your yard. With barbeque season right around the corner, you might wonder if you can use that leftover wood for smoking your meat at your next cookout.
Is Bradford pear good for smoking meat? There are misconceptions about the safety and flavor of the smoke from the Bradford pear, but the answer is a resounding yes! Wood from a Bradford pear tree is perfectly safe for use in smoking meats, and many people who have tried it say the flavor is delicious when paired with the right kind of meat.
In this article, we will discuss what a Bradford pear tree is and why there are so many people who may think the wood from this ornamental tree is a bad choice for smoking meat. Keep reading to learn why the truth is that the Bradford pear is a great option for smoking.
Can Bradford Pear be Used for Smoking?
Bradford pear wood is suitable for smoking. Like most other fruit-bearing trees like apricot or apple, the Bradford pear tree has wood that produces a very light smoke that is slightly sweet but not overpowering. Many people who have used the Bradford pear to smoke meat rave about its flavor.
The wood from a Bradford pear may be slightly bitter if not allowed proper time to season and dry out. Burning the wood while still green may leave your meat with a bitter aroma and taste, so be sure to allow the wood ample drying time.
However, because Bradford pear wood is very dense, be sure not to over-dry it. The wood becomes very hard when over-dried and will be extremely difficult to split. The Bradford pear tree is also prone to very knotty branches, making it difficult to split cleanly. Aim for large sections of branches or wood that are straight and free of knots, so it’s easier to work with.
We recommend a vertical bbq smoker like this one to get the most out of your cooking space. If your patio space is limited, using a vertical smoker as it will greatly reduce the amount of space that will be taken up during smoking. This smoker is multi-functional and has two separate access doors to make adding charcoal or checking your meat easier.
Is Bradford Pear Wood Toxic?
The wood of a Bradford pear tree is not toxic and is safe to use for smoking meat. It is also a great fuel source and is often used as firewood. It is very dense and burns hot for a long time. The toxic part of a Bradford pear tree is the seeds found in the fruit.
When the seeds of a Bradford pear are ingested and mixed with stomach acid, it forms cyanide! Ingesting the seeds of a Bradford pear can cause mild fever, dizziness, and stomach upset. Fortunately, someone would have to ingest a very large number of seeds before it would cause a significant problem. Still, do not risk it.
What Meat is Good to Smoke with Bradford Pear?
Bradford pear wood has a very light and slightly sweet aroma. It pairs with any kind of meat, but the aroma it produces complements sausage, chicken, pork, and seafood very well. The sweet flavor of Bradford pear is sometimes too strong for red meats but may be good on rib or shoulder cuts.
If you’re unsure about the flavor of smoke produced by Bradford pear, try a small amount and see what you think. You can also mix Bradford pear with oak or maple wood to balance out the sweetness of the smoke. You could even start with a different kind of wood and then finish off the meat by adding the Bradford pear at the end to produce a light, sweet undertone to the flavor.
Is The Bradford Pear and a Traditional Pear the Same?
The Bradford pear is a hardwood, fruit-bearing tree that originated in Asia. It is a cultivar of the Callery pear tree. The Bradford pear became popular in the United States in the 1960s. and was a popular choice in cities and parks because of its thick green foliage and beautiful white flowers produced when the tree blooms in the Spring.
The difference between a Bradford pear and other fruit-bearing trees like apple, cherry, or traditional pear, is that the fruit produced by this tree is mostly inedible for humans, which is why they are considered ornamental. The pears are very hard, almost pebble-sized fruits. The seeds in these “pears” are toxic to humans in large amounts and should not be consumed.
The fruit can be used for wines and seasonings and are a favorite choice for birds! And the flavor produced by wood from a Bradford pear will have a similar flavor to a traditional pear or fruit tree, with a mild, fruity odor.
Does the Bradford Pear Have a Bad Smell?
The flowers of the Bradford pear tree are beautiful white blooms. Unlike most flowering plants and trees that produce sweet-smelling flowers designed to attract bees, the Bradford pear produces flowers with a smell often compared to rotten fish.
This may be because instead of relying on bees for pollination the Bradford pear tree relies on flies. The good news is that the smell only lasts while the tree is in bloom, and the odor does not transfer to the wood. So, you don’t need to worry about your smoked meat ending up smelling like rotten fish!
The Bradford pear tree is considered an invasive species because of the tree’s ability to propagate on its own and spread rapidly. Because of this, many states have banned it completely. It also has a short life span due to its tall height and unstable branching structure. It is very susceptible to wind and ice and will shed branches often.
Many people who have a Bradford pear tree may find themselves with broken branches littering their yard. Or you may know someone who has recently cut down one of these trees to keep them from spreading. But if you’re a barbeque aficionado that’s good news for you! Don’t let that good wood go to waste!
Make sure you collect some of that fragrant wood, season it well so it’s dry and ready, and you will be rewarded with wood suitable for smoking a variety of meats. The slightly mild, fruity flavor of a Bradford pear tree is unique and will leave your mouth watering for more!