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To Soak or Not To Soak?

cruiser rod

Smoke Blower
Joined Jul 18, 2013
I have a couple of buddies that have a MES smokers and they told me that they do not soak any of their wood chips for smoke. I have an older 06 model which I recently picked up and seems like it does smoke better when I don't soak my chips but the manual does instruct to soak the wood chips for 30 minutes. Also, the previous owner gave me a bucket of ground up hickory chips almost to the consistency of saw dust. I would soak that, would I?


Legendary Pitmaster
OTBS Member
Joined Jun 13, 2012
Nope....you would end up with a mess if you soak the "sawdust" stuff.  When I first started...I did soak the chips.  I use chunks now...they last longer...and never soak anymore.


chef jimmyj

Epic Pitmaster
Staff member
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Group Lead
Joined May 12, 2011
Soaking only has a marginal benefit for the Charcoal guys. In an Electric Smoker they only delay the production of smoke and additional wet chips will extinguish previously burning chips making smoke production intermittent. The saw dust will just burn faster and have to be replenished more often...JJ

chef willie

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
Joined Dec 31, 2010
I'm with Kat.....no soak here & I like the BIG chunks sold at Home Depot vs what some brands call 'chunks' which look more like large chips to me....Willie


Legendary Pitmaster
Joined Oct 20, 2010
I don't soak wood chips when I use them in the MES...primarily though I use Smokehouse Pellets. They seem to smoke longer and I can get a better variety of "flavors". In the propane, I use chunks and I know Kathryn uses a propane smoker as well. It's a bit tough to get those chunks in the MES chip tray!

cruiser rod

Smoke Blower
Joined Jul 18, 2013
Great information guys, thanks. I'm use to my Big Chief Smokehouse and the chip pan sits right on top of the burner. I guess for warm smoking that's a better way to get smoke.

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