Question about wood...

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Original poster
Apr 7, 2012
anaheim CA
I use wood chunks in my vertical propane smoker and usually just toss them in but with smoking a turkey this year I want to know if it's better to soak the wood first or not. I have had trouble in the past with it catching fire and getting it too hot inside. I would really like to maintain my temp rather than checking on it by opening the door when it's to hot inside putting out fire it's just a pain so if you guys have any suggestion that would be awesome. Thank you.


Aug 25, 2013
Bellevue, Washington
I use a charcoal smoker, New Braunfels, that I use

wood in. I keep a five gallon bucket nearby, and use

it to dip any wood that catches fire. If you soak your

wood, you steam your food. Use your vents to

control the heat.


Master of the Pit
May 12, 2013
Newark on Trent, United Kingdom.
Hello.  This is on of those questions we get from time to time.  Soak the wood?  Fat side up or down?  Here is my opinion for what it is worth.  Others may have different advice.  This is only my opinion.  Soaked wood will just steam until it dries out enough and then will ignite anyway. The steaming wood CAN ( but not always ) start to produce white smoke.  I advice is if you find your wood chunks are igniting and raising your temps too high, use smaller chunks or chips.  Other option would be to order Jeff's pellet smoker and problem solved.  Good luck.  Keep Smokin!



RIP. Gone but never forgotten.
OTBS Member
An A-MAZ-N aux. smoke generator would solve all your problems but too late now to get one for thanksgiving, but Christmas is coming soon!.

I have used soaked chips and chucks and really never seen the do what I wanted. Sounds like you might be running a hot box. Remember as said above that the vent is your friend. If you can regulate with the suction it is better than discharge. You may also realize you may not need as much heat.

Good luck and remember to enjoy the smoke.
Last edited:


Smoke Blower
Jun 27, 2013
Watertown, TN
Isolate the wood from the actual fire. I.e., either wrap in foil or use a 'chip box' or a small cast iron pan. Something along those lines. Soaking makes steam/white smoke, as noted above, and the chips/chunks will catch fire regardless. 

Isolation from the fire is key. 

Last year, Wal-Mart had a gift pack of 4 chip varieties and a cast iron 'smoke box' for like 12 bucks. Wish I would have grabbed one...but they will probably have the same thing again. Haven't looked, personally.

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