Soaking is a waste of time. And as some good posts have pointed out SOME of the reasons: 1. The water does not penetrate into the wood more than about 1/4'', and then when placed in the heat - the moisture evaporates before it can do any good. 2. When you introduce any moisture this way - you risk adding black smudge to your meat, as you are moisturizing the smoke for the time that the moisture is being evaporated - not my idea of quality cooking. 3.If you reasoning is that it keep the wood from flaring up - you need to reduce the amount of air passing thru the fire chamber, and you should re-think where you are positioning your wood.