This article under construction
The answer to the question in the title depends on how much you can change the moisture content of the wood that is not in direct contact with the water. If you soak the wood for only a few hours the wood in contact with the water will absorb enough H2O to increase the moisture content of the wood in contact with the water and to a depth of approximately 1/8 inch, but the interior part of the wood will see no or very little change in moisture. In order to change the moisture content of the wood in the center of the wood significantly the chunks must be soaked for a minimum of four days, not a few hours.
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Just for the record I have never, up until I did this little test, soaked my chunks in water or anything else.
I did use a couple of soaked chunks just to see what happened, one on a very hot charcoal grill, the other on lump in the SFB of the CharGriller. The one in the grill started smoking within 5 seconds and kept producing TBS for about 45 minutes, about twice the time of my normal, dry wood. If the intent of soaking wood chunks is to prolong the amount of time the wood smokes when grilling, then it works-as long as you soak the wood long enough. And by long enough I mean a few days not a few hours.
The one in the SFB took much longer to produce visible smoke at the stack, about 5+/- minutes, although I could detect the distinct sugary maple smell almost from the start. I think it is apparent that the excess water slowed down the smoke production, so I can see no benefit to using soaked wood chunks in an offset fire box. Or in other types of smokers, such as a UDS or Weber Bullet, where the charcoal fire does not burn very hot.
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