• 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.

To soak or not to soak


Joined Oct 10, 2013
What's the deal. Do I need to soak my hickory chips or not? Is there a taste difference from dry to wet chips. I like a heavy smoked taste on my meats is hickory the best or do you all have a preference . Thanks

bama bbq

Master of the Pit
Joined Sep 24, 2011
Though I don't use chips (I use chunks), some soak some don't.  I prefer apple, peach, plum, cherry, etc on poultry and pork.  Oak on beef.  But if you like heavy smoke hickory will do it.  Also, for heavy smoke add more chips throughout the cook.


Epic Pitmaster
Joined Oct 7, 2012
you didn't say what you are using for a smoker. Anyway I do not soak. They have to dry before they smoke. that makes steam. A lot of people do soak.

I change my wood depending on what I am smoking.

Happy smoken.

Last edited:


Epic Pitmaster
OTBS Member
Joined Apr 4, 2013
Mule knows his stuff, I think pretty much the general consenus is not to soak. That depending upon your smoker type, the only reason I can attribute soaking to is to allow the smoker to start comming up to temperature before releasing smoke. The smoke absorption sweet spot is supposedly 100 to 140 IT (internal temperature). Yes it still takes smoke above and below but at a dimninished rate.

Since most electric smokers have a small chip capacity so they don't ruin the meat oversmoking (all at once), they try to allow the meat a head start before the smoke.

I don't know thats why, but its the only dang reason I know because all the smokers I have seen recommend 'em soaked.

I don't soak either.


Joined Aug 27, 2013
If wood soaked up water, it would sink. Boats float, right? What little water that stays with chips creates steam, the smoke comes when they're dry. I prefer chunks anyway, Personally, I think chips are just marketing.

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.