• Some of the links on this forum allow SMF, at no cost to you, to earn a small commission when you click through and make a purchase. Let me know if you have any questions about this.

Soaking wood chips

smokindummy

Newbie
20
10
Joined May 22, 2008
How long can your wood chips soak in water before they won't be any good for smoking? Should you soak them just over night or can it be for a couple of days or even just keep your chips or chunks in water all the time? Please help
 

bbq bubba

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
3,649
12
Joined Feb 12, 2007
Depending on what your using, soaking is basically not needed.
All it does is delay the smoke your trying to produce!
 

ronp

Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
5,433
21
Joined Apr 27, 2008
I always have a bucket soaking. Yes it does prolong the smoking, just something I do and have been doing for years. Who knows! Helps avoiding flair ups. Just My opinion.
 

peculiarmike

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
1,564
13
Joined Jun 29, 2006
Here we go again.

1- Don't use chips, use chunks
2- Do not soak any wood you are wanting to smoke with, it just has to dry out before it will light and produce smoke.
Does that make sense?

Or, just do whatever you want.
 

sumosmoke

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
3,368
14
Joined Dec 29, 2007
Since I've started smoking meat, I've tried both chips and chunks, soaking and not soaking.

Read a post where someone had soaked chunks and then froze the water with the chunks in them so when the ice thawed, they were ready to go. I bought a cast iron chip box and found that the chips burned up quickly and replacing them was tedious due to the amount of times I had to re-fill the chip box.

After all the trial and error I've found that using chunks works best without soaking. If I do soak them again, I may soak the chunks in a cherry or apple juice to get that smoke flavor in there since I don't have access to either of those woods.

My $0.02 in the matter ....
 

7outof10

Meat Mopper
SMF Premier Member
225
10
Joined Oct 9, 2007
some times what i will do is soke the first batch of chips that i use becouse for me i have to play wiht the heat a lot befor i get the right temp that i want and this will help me from looseing smoke when iim not cooking yet ........or i could just wate to put the wood box in tell its running right
........but that would be way to smart for me lol
 

av8tor

Meat Mopper
231
17
Joined Feb 4, 2008
Peculiarmike;194969 said:
Here we go again.

1- Don't use chips, use chunks
2- Do not soak any wood you are wanting to smoke with, it just has to dry out before it will light and produce smoke.
Does that make sense?

quote]

Ditto on the above. Use chunck and forget it.
 

brentman0110

Meat Mopper
216
10
Joined Oct 4, 2007
I agree with the consensus. DO NOT SOAK and USE CHUNKS! I have tried both and definitely for ease and for the best TBS, do not soak. Like it was said before, wet wood does not produce smoke. Think about it, when you build a fire, do you use wet or dry wood? You decide.

Brent
 

7outof10

Meat Mopper
SMF Premier Member
225
10
Joined Oct 9, 2007
heres a ? then about chuncks i have s smoke box on my propain smoker ti is about 8" by 5" i have all ways used chips just becouse of the small smoke box could i put chuncks in there .....well would they smoke good i have just had really good luck with chips i would maby be able to get 10 to 12 chuncks into it .......
 

ddave

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
1,844
31
Joined Mar 3, 2008
When I started I used to use chips and soak them. I thought it was a pain and didn't make much sense to me as a former boiler/dry kiln operator. Now I use chunks and don't soak -- I just make sure I set the chunk off to the side of the fire as much as possible.

As was already stated -- wet wood does not produce smoke, it does produce steam. The wood will not smoke until enough of the free moisture is driven off and the wood starts to reach combustion temperature. Once that happens, the wood is just as susceptible to flaring up as if it was put in there unsoaked. If the heat source is too intense for the wood to just smolder, it will flame up whether it was soaked or not. Chips are more likely to burst into flame since there is more surface area expoesd.

Knowing that this is an ongoing debate that will likely never end
-- let me say this. If you use chips and soak and it works for you and you are happy with the results, great, keep doing that. If you are looking for a method, I would suggest using chunks and not soaking.

Dave
 

master_dman

Meat Mopper
242
10
Joined Mar 12, 2008
I use chips and chunks.. whatever piece was too small to be a piece of firewood while splitting my apple wood.

I put it in a bucket that sits outside. It just happens to get filled with rain water. So I guess you could say I soak. If the water happens to evaporate from the bucket.. I'll use it dry.
 

daboys

Smoking Fanatic
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
866
11
Joined Mar 30, 2008
I've tried both chips and chunks. Use all chunks now. I don't soak them either. The chips just burn up too fast.
 

geob

Meat Mopper
SMF Premier Member
286
10
Joined Mar 19, 2008
No soak, use seasoned wood cut in chunks here.

geob
 

placebo

Smoking Fanatic
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
970
12
Joined Jul 24, 2007
Used to soak chips when I first started. Did a lot of reading here and realized I was asting my time with that. Now I just use dry chunks and some charcoal for the smoke ring (electric smoker).
 

Latest posts

Hot Threads

Top Bottom
  AdBlock Detected

We noticed that you're using an ad-blocker, which could block some critical website features. For the best possible site experience please take a moment to disable your AdBlocker.