soaked wood dried out question

Discussion in 'Woods for Smoking' started by fire it up, Mar 10, 2009.

  1. fire it up

    fire it up Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I had planned on smoking today but this morning changed it to tomorrow. My question is about wood. I threw some hickory chunks in water last night but took them out this morning. Would soaking them again tonight change the flavor that comes out tomorrow since they were soaked and then dried already? I wasn't sure considering the color of water after soaking some woods overnight and I just wanted to make sure I don't lose any of that wonderful hickory flavor.
  2. grothe

    grothe Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Personally, I don't soak wood. Soaked wood just takes longer ta start smokin. IMO
  3. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I stopped soaking my smoke wood a long time ago. If you're doing it because the smoker instruction book says to, stop. If you're doing it because of an attempt to slow the burning of the wood down, there are other more effective ways to achieve this...less heat to smoke box, less air entering smoke box, etc.

  4. sumosmoke

    sumosmoke Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Excellent advice, definitely what I would've said.
  5. alx

    alx Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Moisture content of cut wood reflects the relative humidity in the air.For instance--underwater salvaged woods dry to a usable moisture content pretty quick as they are old and dead.The crystalization of resins in wood doesnt stop underwater.For example--I helped salvage hundreds of about hundred year old southern long leaf pine pilings from the potomac river and we milled and it dried in short order for flooring, beams etc.It will absorb some moisture like an old door thats hard to shut in winter.I never pre-soak my wood, as its aged and pointless.Some folk soak chips so it doesnt burn up so quick.
  6. I don't believe you can change the flavor of hickory by adding water. Once it gets hot enough to evaporate the water, you still have hickory.
  7. werdwolf

    werdwolf Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Pretty much what everyone else said. I don't soak the chips for my MES.
  8. mikey

    mikey Smoking Fanatic

    Soaking chunks is a big waste of time.
  9. ddave

    ddave Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Yep, what they all said. [​IMG]

    Do yourself a favor, don't soak your wood.

  10. rw willy

    rw willy Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Ditto to the above.
  11. fire it up

    fire it up Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Well I appreciate all the responses and seems like a general consensus. The reason I do soak my wood is because right now the only thing I have to smoke on is a Brinkman "gourmet" electric smoker so any flames or flare ups inside have to be extinguished. The last time I used it I picked up a little smoke box from Lowes to try out so I could get smoke but no flame. It worked great but took forever to actually start smoking, like 2 hours to get hot enough. It's not like the soaked wood doesn'tcatch on fire because eventually it does and I still have to deal with that it just seemed to me that that way it would smolder a bit more before it ignited, though that may have just been water evaporation?
    I am in the process of converting an old oven into a smoker but for the time being this is all I have to work with. Though I am still a noob to the world of smoking I would say about 90% of my smokes have been pretty successful, I just have a hell of a time keeping the temp up and trying to keep the flames from whipping up in the bottom.
    So I suppose for now my best bet would be to make use of my smoke box? That or maybe I should just go out and get a better smoker now that I know it is something I love and not something that is going to sit in the corner of the garage and never get used...
  12. mikey

    mikey Smoking Fanatic

    I place my chunk(s) in between the U bend of the element. Never have a problem with the chunk of unsoaked wood catching fire. It just smokes like it's supposed to.
  13. alx

    alx Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Possibly one of those electric stove top box smokers for fish or as Mikey said below..I personaly have never used electric.Good luck with your smoking.

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