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To Soak Or Not To Soak

cruiser rod

Smoke Blower
76
14
Joined Jul 18, 2013
I've just started smoking with a MES and a few of my buddies told me that they don't soak their wood chips. I had a Big Chief cold smoker and I always soaked my chips and always had good smoke. Using the MES when I soak the chips I don't see as much smoke. Is it me or should I not soak my chips?
 

jdwalker

Newbie
24
11
Joined Oct 3, 2013
I don't think smoking chips does anything except create steam.  As far as I can tell, soaking does nothing for quality of smoke and only slows down the process.  It is pretty easy to add more chips to your MES if you want a longer smoke.  Just my .02.

JD
 

daveomak

SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
25,353
2,976
Joined Nov 12, 2010
In the MES, I have found using less chips, more often, provides a better smoke on food..  a 1/4 cup of chips about every 30-45 minutes works well for me...   I don't soak chips... If you want moisture in the smoker, a small aluminum pan with a 1/4 - 1/2 cup of water, for the first few hours of smoke, will add sufficient moisture to the smoker.... 

Dave
 
Last edited:

smokinhusker

Legendary Pitmaster
8,188
75
Joined Oct 20, 2010
 
In the MES, I have found using less chips, more often, provides a better smoke on food..  a 1/4 cup of chips about every 30-45 minutes works well for me...   I don't soak chips... If you want moisture in the smoker, a small aluminum pan with a 1/4 - 1/2 cup of water, for the first few hours of smoke, will add sufficient moisture to the smoker.... 

Dave
He said it all!
 

cruiser rod

Smoke Blower
76
14
Joined Jul 18, 2013
From my newly recent experience I agree with y'all. I did have a concern with a flavor difference but that has been answered here too. Thanks again!
 

kenster56

Newbie
11
10
Joined Oct 31, 2013
The only thing you will get from soaking your chips is a few more minutes of smoke. The chips are to thin/small to retain much water and it evaporates quickly. In my opinion it is a waste of time to soak them.
 

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