Newbie Question About Wood

Discussion in 'Woods for Smoking' started by davefischer, Jan 22, 2015.

  1. davefischer

    davefischer Newbie

    A newbie question (or questions) about wood...

    I have an electric smoker - Smoke Hollow

    I generally use wood chips. And I soak them (about 30 minutes), for no other reason than that's what I thought you're supposed to do.  Would it be better not to soak the chips at all?  Is there a reason to soak chips? I find that it takes quite a while for the chips to start smoking - 45-60 minutes.

    Can other types of wood be used in an electric smoker - chunks perhaps? I have hockey puck shaped chunks from a peach tree branch that I had to cut down last spring that I'd like to either chip up and use or just use the whole chunk. And what's the best method of lighting chunks?  and keeping them smoking in an electric smoker?  (Side note - some of the chunks grew a little bit of mold on them because I had them stacked when I first cut the branch up.  It was only small splotches of mold and once I laid them out in the on a grate to dry the mold dried and stopped.  Is it dangerous to use these for smoking food?)

    I've also read some posts about using a AMNS smoker.  Can or should these be used in electric smokers?  Do dust or pellets work best? And is the tube or rectangle a better option?

    When smoking, is the goal to have consistent smoke?  With the chips, especially with longer smokes for turkeys or pork butts, I'm refilling the tray 3-4 times.  Each time I refill it takes a while to begin smoking, I assume because they're wet and need to dry out.  I sometimes feel like I miss out on valuable smoke time.  Don't get me wrong, the food I've smoked still taste great.  Just trying to figure out what the overall thought is.

    Sorry if there's already info on these type of questions.  I looked, but admittedly I didn't look thoroughly. Any guidance/help/opinions/comments would be appreciated.


  2. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    I don't soak chips or any wood. To me it is counterproductive. I feel that if I am smoking meat then I would like to have smoke not steam. Nope, no soaking and for that matter no water in the pan either. There is somewhat of a debate about this. But I find it is mostly new smoker owners that swear by the manual that came with it that profess to see some benefit to it.
  3. chef willie

    chef willie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

  4. davefischer

    davefischer Newbie

    Haha.  Thanks for the input.  I debated whether or not to post that "google search" pic.  I didn't want to come across as a "super newbie". Mine is quite a bit more seasoned than that.

    As for chunks, do you pre-light them?  Or just let em' sit over the electric coil in the pan?
  5. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    No pre lighting needed.
  6. davefischer

    davefischer Newbie

    Thanks guys.  Appreciate the help.  Looks like I'm gonna have to throw something in the smoker this weekend and give the dry peach wood chunk a try.

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