Newbie to smoking. Have a few questions about wood/smoke

Discussion in 'Woods for Smoking' started by jtyler48, Dec 23, 2015.

  1. jtyler48

    jtyler48 Newbie

    Hey everyone,

    Happy Holidays. I just had a few questions... 

    I've been reading about soaking wood chips in water to prevent flare ups; however I also read that chunks shouldn't be put in water because that causes them to take a while to start smoking. 

    I have put whole chunks in the smoker as is and they have caught fire relatively quickly; thus resulting in my temperature to go up pretty quickly. 

    I'm getting a charcoal basket in a few weeks, does this help keep the wood from catching fire? Does the wood start to smoke as it gets heat even though it hasn't ignited yet?

    I realise these may be silly questions but I simply don't know the answers and could use help on them.

    Thanks in advance. 
  2. travisty

    travisty Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    It all depends on your smoker/ heating type. I ALWAYS soak my chips when cooking with my charcoal smoker, but you are not supposed to soak them in electric smokers since it isn't necessary for getting good smoke without flarup. Ive never used propane personally, but I think you could do it either way on there, though I think because of the moisture loss I would lean toward soaking them.
  3. smokeymose

    smokeymose Master of the Pit

    Hi, jtyler! No such thing as a silly question here :)
    It sounds like more of an airflow problem to me. I don't know what type of smoker you have. If wood gets enough heat and oxygen it flames. Cut back on the air and it smolders without flaming. IMO soaking the wood makes it smoke more (try tossing a wet log on a campfire), as well as making it last longer. Have you tried wrapping the wood chips in a foil "pouch" with a few holes punched? A lot of people do that. It gets the heat without enough oxygen to flame...

  4. jtyler48

    jtyler48 Newbie

    Thanks guys.

    I have a Oklahoma Joe Longhorn offset smoker. Now that I think of it, the door vent was wide open when the wood flared up. 

    I'll try keeping it shut to see what happens. Should fix the issue I would imagine. 

    I know this is the wrong forum, but maybe you guys can help me out quick. 

    Vent open on the offset smoker box increases airflow which causes the coals to burn quicker at higher temps right?

    What about the vent in the exhaust? When do I want that open and when do I want that closed?

    If temp is too low, I open up offset smoker box vent a bit correct? If temp is too hot, I close it, but what about the exhaust during these times?

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