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Questions about wood -

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Was at a presentation on BBQ and the question of to soak or not to soak wood came up - I have always soaked my wood but the pitmaster who was presenting said you should not soak the wood you are using for your smoke - what are your thoughts?

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  1. I don't soak, but I make sure the wood I use is well seasoned, not green. Mostly apple, but I have some apricot and pecan, too. You want the wood to smoke, not to generate steam. If the wood is soaking wet, it introduces yet another variable to make fire control more complicated.

    1. No soaking. Not only do you not want steam, you do not want the white, acrid smoke that comes with wet wood. Good smoke flavor comes from thin, barely visible blue smoke. This is also why you want to use chunks of wood, not chips. People soak chips so that they last a little while. just throw a couple of fist-sized chunks on your coals. That will provide that smoke flavor you desire.

      1. No soak...after watching a YT clip a while back about water not penetrating too deeply, I tried it myself. No reason to soak

        1. I suspect soaking is for wood chips that need to smoulder more than would chunks, which would slowly burn over time.

          Stopped using chips a long time ago. Strictly a chunk man.

          1. The pitmaster is correct. There is no reason to soak wood chunks. There is no benefit as the water doesn't penetrate very far and the wet wood takes some heat out of your coals.