Using wet wood?

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Original poster
Jul 5, 2007
Just wondering if ant of yall ever use wood that has been soaked in water when you are smoking meats?

When I do a smoke I usually start with Regular old charcoal briquet's as a starting layer in the bottom of the firebox then add hardwood lump charcoal to maintain the heat but on top of the coals I put soaked wood which is a very smoky fire with enough heat to keep the smoker chamber between 120 & 220 degrees without the wood getting the fire to hot.

I figured this out on my own & would like to know what everyone else thinks about the way I do it.
when I smoke on my performer, I use wet wood, makes good smoke and the coals don't ignite it. I just adjust the vents to maintain temp control. It's easier than it sounds, it just takes time to get the coals from a jet hot 600* down to the @200* i need.
I feel a Joan Crawford coming on............NO WET WOOD EVER.....
I've used both although I prefer it wet.
i use dry, unless it has been raining (like the last month). then i use it wet.

i prefer dry wood. i also use splits; chunks if i have to. i got a bag of wood chips for my b-day last weekend i am going to use soon. it is mesquite, chardonnay (sp?), and apple.
i soak my chips for more smoke. I do not have the luxury in my small gosm for larger chunks of wood so I try to get as much as I can out of as little as I can. Just to make me feel better I will soak the chips in left over bottle of wine or a bud light some one left at my house.
I use wet wood because of what I read when i first started, but what is the real difference with wet or dry? Is it the amount of smoke, is the flavor some how affected or is it the wet wood just smokes longer?
I have done it both ways and for me DRY is the way to go. However I do understand soaking chips and sawdust, in my gasser I have seen a difference in soaking the the smaller bits of wood(they do tend to last longer) but if I was using a charcoal/wood burner I would never soak the wood. To me it would make no sense, with the gasser I can crtank up the heat, but in a traditional smoker you would be defeating the desired results. Just my .02$ worth.

As all ways it really is a matter of personal preference. If the Q turns out for you and those you feed are happy...... then do what you want!!
i didn't read everyone's replies but my stance is- wet wood just takes longer to smoke- if yer a stick burner(or whatever) dry wood or w/ a firebox(ya didn't state) butted up against the fire will smolder & smoke- bottom line is - ya got wood & heat- ya got smoke. if ya can smell it(maybe not see it) it's smoking.
Depends if I'm smokin in the rain or not

but I do use mostly wet, it seems easier to control the heat in my ECB
Wood chunks dry, sawdust damp, chips damp.

I will however sometimes spray my chips or sawdust with apple juice if they choose to ignite. I mostly use chunks so it's usually dry.
I have done some thinking on this and having a lumber background (kilns) it does not matter. Any water that would have soaked into the outside of a chunk of wood will evaporate/steam away long before the wood starts to smolder sufficiently. water steams at 100c/212f and smolders at 260c/500f. (surface temp) The wood might last longer just because it takes it longer to come up to smoking temp due the moisture content of the wood. I have read that soaking hickory will make it less bitter but not sure if I even believe that. The amount of water soaked into a fist sized piece of dry wood in a couple of ours would only penetrate the first .12-.25" at the most.
So I say do what you want cuz it does not matter. I will probably continue to soak my small pieces of wood just because it make me feel better but for no other practical reason
I have done it both ways also. With my gasser, if I don't soak the wood chunks or chips, they will combust and I have a flaming smoker with temps in the 400-500 degree range. I have even wrapped the chunks in heavy duty foil and they still combust if they are not soaked.
Never fails.....I don't have a choice in the matter.
Never had that problem. W/o being oxygen starved they should still flame up once the moisture evaporates unless they are small enough that they have a layer of charcoal all over before the liquid is gone...but like I said what ever works. there is, imho, a right or wrong way.
Since I only have a charcoal bowl in my Brinkmann and not a fire box. I mostly use pre soaked wood on a bed of Kingsford coals. I soak 3-4" chunks in a 5 gallon bucket for about an hour. I remove about 2/3 and leave the rest soaking. I also use dry wood.

Why would I use wet, moist and dry wood on the same project?

Answer: To make it easier to maintain my ideal smoker temperature. If my fire is too hot, I'll add wet wood. If my fire is too cold (ironic eh?), I use dry wood. If it is just right, but needing smoke, i add the moist, pre soaked wood for smoke.

If I had access to good woods in large number, I would consider all dry and no charcoal, other then for starting the fuel. But since I have to buy my chunks in 10lb bags, I want to get the most out of it without having it burn up and producing little smoke.

Just my $0.02
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