Fruit tree wood is great for slow cooking or smoking. Apple does a great job on Pork shoulder/butts also!
I sympathize with you about the loss of a tree, especially after it has produced for so long. When we left SoCal in 2000, I left behind a dozen fruit trees that gaves us over ten years of produce, and lot of pleasure. Luckily the buyer of our home has the same interest in the trees that I did, and they are thriving. We have planted 35 trees here on land that was wooded before the builders hit the lot. Some are in their 3rd full season. We use the pruning trim for added flavor in the outdoor cooking. We look forward to the first fruit on some of these trees this season.
While we are on this thought. I wish I had known how spreading strawberries can be. we slaved in the desert of SoCal to keep 25 plants from dying...Here we have to rip those suckers out twice a year to keep them from smothering themselves...but have a ton of berries all summer.
Strawberries are great with outdoor food !!!!!