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To soak, or not to soak

allsidallsid Posts: 473
edited 11:38AM in EggHead Forum
Any recommendations on soaking or not soaking chips prior to smoking? I always thought you should but the bag of chips I got said not too. Also- is there any benefit to putting chips directly on the coals verses in foil or a smoke box?

Proud resident of Missoula, MT

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  • MickeyMickey Posts: 16,890
    NO to soaking and put them on and in coals.
    Salado TX Egg Family: 2 Large and a very well used Mini, just added a Mini Max (I'm good for now). 

  • Mickey wrote:
    NO to soaking

    Why not soak them, I've noticed the same thing on the ones I just purchased?

    & from my understanding a smoke box is for gas grills.
  • Capt FrankCapt Frank Posts: 2,578
    Do what Mickey says! :)

    Remember, you are cooking with natural wood charcoal which will impart a slight smokey flavor to anything you cook, so be careful how much you add, you can quickly overpower your food.
  • Rusty RoosterRusty Rooster Posts: 1,239
    Soaking was started by gassers to try to stop chips from bursting into flames. In you egg you controll airflow so that there are no flames, so chips/chunks will only smolder. Besides, in a approx. 1200 degree lump fire all you will do is add a little 212 degree steam. ;)
  • RRPRRP Posts: 17,345
    the ONLY time I soak any chips is when my fire has gotten well beyond my desired dome temp and I don't have the time to wait it out to come down. Then soaked chips spread on the hot coals will bring down the temp in a jiffy. This little trick has never failed me.
    Dunlap, IL
  • I'd soak. The release is slower. I assume if you are smoking something then you have time. If you need to flash fry a burger and want some smoke maybe then just throw the chips on. As far as the foil it may make it easier to clean up. Also you may kick up some ash if you just drop a big chunk down on the coals.
    I'd soak and sip a beer.
  • brisket30brisket30 Posts: 122
    I have tried both ways and I not noticed a great deal of difference.

    However, I have uses excessive amount in both layering the chips and chucks and have yet to develope a good smoke ring or a real smoke taste like commercial BBQ. Any suggestions for that.
  • PhilsGrillPhilsGrill Posts: 2,256
    I've heard that soaking chips just makes steam for a few seconds as you put them on the coals that burn 1200 degrees. Make perfect sense so I've never soaked any chips. Now soaking and putting in a foil pouch for a gas grill will work.

    As for chunks, here is some info for soaking chunks.

    This is why soaking chunks makes no sense either for the egg.
  • BotchBotch Posts: 3,881
    I read on another bbq site, think it was Naked Whiz but not sure, that soaking causes the wood to burn at a higher temperature, which causes the more complex (ie tasty) combustion compounds to break down into simpler (ie harsh) combustion compounds.
    I can't quite wrap my head around whether this would be true or not (and I have two engineering degrees) but plan on testing it somehow this summer. Stay tuned.
    Live fast, die young, and leave a well-marbled corpse.  
    Ogden, Utard.  
  • BasscatBasscat Posts: 710
    Use chunks, don't soak, on the coals. That's my story, and I'm stickin' to it ;-)
  • Carolina QCarolina Q Posts: 9,201
    chunks if you can get em. chips if you can't. bark or no bark, seasoned or green. lichen or not. whatever. and no soaking needed.

    If you’re afraid of butter, use cream.    Julia Child

    Central Connecticut 

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