Sausages on willow sticks being cooked on a campfire
Why Lumber Is One Of The Worst Types Of Wood For Smoking And Grilling
While it's never a good idea to throw just any wood on the grill, it's especially important to steer clear of processed wood and wood products like lumber.
In the U.S. and Canada, lumber refers to wood of the processed variety or wood that may have been treated with chemicals in preparation for its use as a building material.
It's a pretty good bet that lumber has been treated with chemicals that are toxic to humans. Burning chemically altered wood like lumber produces harmful ash and smoke.
Grilling over some varieties of timber — even fresh kindling — can also pose a risk, as even untreated fresh wood can contain naturally occurring toxins.
Pine isn't suitable for cooking due to its levels of creosote, a hazardous byproduct. If you're foraging, avoid wood with visible mold or rot as both can create toxins when burned.