Nut Shells - Using Hickory Nut Husks For Smoking

by Kyle

I need to know, can you us the outer thick shell of a hickory nut to smoke with? I have a lot of them and I would like to us them if they were usable.

Thanks, Kyle

Whole Hickory Nuts In a BasketHICKORY NUTS AND HUSKS

Using Hickory Nut Husks For Smoking

whole hickory nuts for smoking
by: no sauce needed meat smoker

I have been using whole hickory nuts to smoke meats for over 30 years. A coworker brought me some in 1983 as I did not even know what hickory nuts looked like.

I used them and found the smoke flavor was sweeter than with wood chips. Ribs especially are blackened with smoke, not burned and most folks who have tried them like them without any bbq sauce.

smoking with hickory husks
by: CT Smoker

I actually tried smoking with a combination of husks and shells this past weekend. Came out pretty good. I'm not that experienced a smoker to tell the difference but the pork shoulder did have a nice subtle smokey flavor.

I didn't soak them and the husks weren't all fully dry, maybe a month off the tree so they were brown but not woody. Going to try soaking them next time.

Smoking with hickory nut shells/hulls
by: Hickoria

First, I'd like to agree with all the other responses. I've been using shells for over 30 years to smoke meat. I started out trying to use them in the grill, but found it difficult to keep them from flaring into unwanted fires.

I finally decided to reuse an old Weber grill. Using an inexpensive electric hot plate instead of charcoal for the heat source, I was able to control the temperature and avoid the flare ups. In addition, by closing off the vents, I was able to actually get the most smoke flavor imparted into the meat.

I've used this process for pork - ribs and roasts and beef briskets. I'm sure any kind of meat can be done in this fashion.

Getting back the hull question - I've not used just the hulls, but a neighbor told me they used them to smoke salmon, just not sure of the entire process.

Hope this helps.

by: Anonymous

We have 3 large hickory nut trees on our property and I was looking for a use for them, other than shelling them out for the nutmeats. I cracked some and added them to my BBQ grill when I was smoking country style pork ribs.

They burn quite hot, but give off a great smoke, and add even more flavor to the meat than the hickory chips you buy. I have since gathered about a 5 gallon bucket full to use and give to friends and family.

This is only from one tree, so I'm sure I will end up with enough to last all winter (we grill all year).

I'm not sure about the dried outer husks, but I think they have too much of a "menthol" smell to be good in the smoker. At least mine do.

Great Flavor
by: Laura

Yes I like them better than the wood-both nut and shell .They impart a great flavor and I store a batch of them for use.

go for it !
by: Laura

The hickory nuts and the outer shell impart a excellent flavor better than the wood-I think.We grill with them all the time- just soak them in water for a couple of hours and toss in the fire.

by: Ohio Smoker

I'm not sure about the hickory nut shells, but I have used pecan shells (soaked in water) on my briskets this summer and it turned out great. I would use the trial and error method and use a small amount of shells at first.

Smoking With Nut Husks
by: Bill

I haven't tried the husks from hickory nuts myself, but I'm sure they'd be safe to use, just as the actual shell around the nut is safe. I would be concerned that the husks might produce a strong, bitter smoke.

My recommendation?

Make sure the husks are completely dried and have had a chance to cure for a few months. First time you try them out, use just a small amount. Try it with chicken breasts, as their flavor is mild and you'd get a good sense of how well the smoking husks flavor the meat. From there, adjust the amount of husks used.