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Should you soak your wood before smoking???


Meat Mopper
OTBS Member
Joined Jun 14, 2006
Seems like I have heard to both soak and not soak your wood before smoking.

I have 2 or 3 bags of both chunks and chips and they each say something different.

I haven't soaked my chips the last couple smokes and they seemed to work well.

Just wondered what most of you do and basically if I should be soaking them or not.

I am using a cast iron smoker box in an electric smoker.

Thanks :)


Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
Joined May 21, 2006
I don't soak mine Doug. It seems like it just delays the start of the smoke when you soak them :shock: . They sit there in the smoke box and boil in their water, and when they dry out they smoke. :?: Why bother soaking them. If I want them to start smoking in 20 minutes, I'll put them in the box in 20 minutes :roll: .

larry maddock

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
Joined Sep 27, 2005
yo y'all
i soak my chips for 20 or so minutes.
i drain excess water before i put in pie pan===
then pie pan on element...
i use about 4 handfuls a pan.

2 pans a smoke session.

i get a hour or so of the thin blue smoke per pan.

by 3 hours all smoke is gone.


Smoking Fanatic
OTBS Member
Joined Jun 20, 2006
Wood chips ned to be soaked or they tend to just burn up too fast. Wood chunks. why bother, the soaked in water just causes them to steam before the smoke can start.

Wood chips = grill
Wood Chunks = Smoker


Joined Jun 25, 2006
I agree with icemn62. It seems the smoke starts faster when not soaked but burns out to fast


Meat Mopper
OTBS Member
Joined Jun 25, 2006
I prefer to have about 2/3 soaked and 1/3 unsoaked wood chunks/chips. I will put the 1/4 unsoaked on the side and not mixed with the soaked wood so as to have some smoke as soon as possible to be followed up with the more enduring smoke of the soaked wood. I try to add additional newly soaked wood at least 30 minutes before I think the first load of wood has quit smoking. 8)

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