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Big farm to table dinner coming up. I'm showcasing the vegetables that are readily available this season. There is a beautiful spruce tree on the farm that I'd like to incorporate into a brisket. I have already kicked myself in the butt for not picking the spruce tips and or collecting the pollen. Timing is everything, I have to wait until next spring. But, there are still the needles. I understand the potency of flavor. Bitter is what I want. Plenty of fat to balance. I'm pairing with a black IPA that has piney and citrus notes.

So, my questions are:

  • If I was to do a long cold smoke with the needles and or wood, how long and how "hot"?
  • Should I just simply braise the brisket with the needles? Or both?
  • Sap?
  • What are your thoughts on cooking with spruce?
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I have many years of BBQ experience smoking briskets. I would not recommend spruce as a cooking/smoke wood for brisket or for anything. It will not taste very well. Too much creosote. Use oak, hickory, mesquite or any fruit or nut wood. If you are cooking the brisket via another heat source and using the spruce needles as a flavoring agent, that may work. Not very appealing to me, but.

  • I haven't tried spruce, but I have made the mistake of attempting to cook over other softwoods. Not a good choice. – Joshua Engel Aug 6 '18 at 18:20

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