Soaking wood chips

Discussion in 'Woods for Smoking' started by smokindummy, May 23, 2008.

  1. How long can your wood chips soak in water before they won't be any good for smoking? Should you soak them just over night or can it be for a couple of days or even just keep your chips or chunks in water all the time? Please help
  2. bbq bubba

    bbq bubba Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Depending on what your using, soaking is basically not needed.
    All it does is delay the smoke your trying to produce!
  3. ronp

    ronp Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I always have a bucket soaking. Yes it does prolong the smoking, just something I do and have been doing for years. Who knows! Helps avoiding flair ups. Just My opinion.
  4. peculiarmike

    peculiarmike Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Here we go again.

    1- Don't use chips, use chunks
    2- Do not soak any wood you are wanting to smoke with, it just has to dry out before it will light and produce smoke.
    Does that make sense?

    Or, just do whatever you want.
  5. sumosmoke

    sumosmoke Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Since I've started smoking meat, I've tried both chips and chunks, soaking and not soaking.

    Read a post where someone had soaked chunks and then froze the water with the chunks in them so when the ice thawed, they were ready to go. I bought a cast iron chip box and found that the chips burned up quickly and replacing them was tedious due to the amount of times I had to re-fill the chip box.

    After all the trial and error I've found that using chunks works best without soaking. If I do soak them again, I may soak the chunks in a cherry or apple juice to get that smoke flavor in there since I don't have access to either of those woods.

    My $0.02 in the matter ....
  6. 7outof10

    7outof10 Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    some times what i will do is soke the first batch of chips that i use becouse for me i have to play wiht the heat a lot befor i get the right temp that i want and this will help me from looseing smoke when iim not cooking yet ........or i could just wate to put the wood box in tell its running right [​IMG]........but that would be way to smart for me lol
  7. av8tor

    av8tor Meat Mopper

  8. waysideranch

    waysideranch Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    No soak here.
  9. brentman0110

    brentman0110 Meat Mopper

    I agree with the consensus. DO NOT SOAK and USE CHUNKS! I have tried both and definitely for ease and for the best TBS, do not soak. Like it was said before, wet wood does not produce smoke. Think about it, when you build a fire, do you use wet or dry wood? You decide.

  10. 7outof10

    7outof10 Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    heres a ? then about chuncks i have s smoke box on my propain smoker ti is about 8" by 5" i have all ways used chips just becouse of the small smoke box could i put chuncks in there .....well would they smoke good i have just had really good luck with chips i would maby be able to get 10 to 12 chuncks into it .......
  11. ddave

    ddave Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    When I started I used to use chips and soak them. I thought it was a pain and didn't make much sense to me as a former boiler/dry kiln operator. Now I use chunks and don't soak -- I just make sure I set the chunk off to the side of the fire as much as possible.

    As was already stated -- wet wood does not produce smoke, it does produce steam. The wood will not smoke until enough of the free moisture is driven off and the wood starts to reach combustion temperature. Once that happens, the wood is just as susceptible to flaring up as if it was put in there unsoaked. If the heat source is too intense for the wood to just smolder, it will flame up whether it was soaked or not. Chips are more likely to burst into flame since there is more surface area expoesd.

    Knowing that this is an ongoing debate that will likely never end [​IMG] -- let me say this. If you use chips and soak and it works for you and you are happy with the results, great, keep doing that. If you are looking for a method, I would suggest using chunks and not soaking.

  12. master_dman

    master_dman Meat Mopper

    I use chips and chunks.. whatever piece was too small to be a piece of firewood while splitting my apple wood.

    I put it in a bucket that sits outside. It just happens to get filled with rain water. So I guess you could say I soak. If the water happens to evaporate from the bucket.. I'll use it dry.
  13. daboys

    daboys Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I've tried both chips and chunks. Use all chunks now. I don't soak them either. The chips just burn up too fast.
  14. geob

    geob Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    No soak, use seasoned wood cut in chunks here.

  15. placebo

    placebo Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Used to soak chips when I first started. Did a lot of reading here and realized I was asting my time with that. Now I just use dry chunks and some charcoal for the smoke ring (electric smoker).

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