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Wood chips, to soak, or not to soak??

orion11orion11 Posts: 140
edited 6:34AM in EggHead Forum
Smoking the Buckboard Bacon that I have cured up today and all I have is Hickory chips in the larder, no chunks. I have always used larger chunks on the Egg and am not sure if I need to soak the chips, or just put them on dry, maybe doing a couple additions to the fire as the smoke dies down. With the low temp of 180 I will shoot for, I was not sure if I should be throwing wet chips on the lump?


  • Mike-RRMike-RR Posts: 181
    Good morning. That's really a personal preference. I've done both, and really I still prefer to soak wood chips, while using chunks that are dry.

    Of course, that is my preference...I'd recommend whatever method you've been using before, but here is my rule of thumb:

    chips = wet
    chunks = dry

    I just don't like having to take apart the whole rig just to get the smoking wood in, but it's worth it.

    Happy Egging!
  • PopsiclePopsicle Posts: 518
    I quit soaking my chips a couple of years ago. Can’t tell the difference in smoke or burn rate on the Egg. Good luck with the bacon.
    Willis Tx.
  • orion11,[p]Either spread plenty across the top of the lump or mix it in, but don't soak the chips.
  • orion11orion11 Posts: 140
    Michael B,
    Thanks, good idea to mix some in, then I wont have to try and add more during the cook. So, you can teach an old dog new tricks!

  • 61chev61chev Posts: 539
    What did you use for the cut of meat? The last I did was boneless butt it was really good. I fried a bunch up for brunch for Christmas and the Grandkids really went for it I had to get more out and make seconds

  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    no need to soak, at any temp. you'll find chips or chunks won't burn even if you toss them on during a blazing nuke-temp sear.[p]there's no spare oxygen above the fire, so no flame (after you shut the lid, that is)[p]try mixing chips in as you build the fire. it'll be a short fire, so don't bother with chips out near the edges. keep them in the middle, up and down through the center, since the fire (my fire anyway) usually goes down before spreading out.

    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • FidelFidel Posts: 10,172
    Don't soak - absolutely no reason to soak chips. Once the lid is shut they will not ignite.
  • FidelFidel Posts: 10,172
    What do you mean by "take the whole rig apart to get the smoking wood it"?

    If you are using chips it is easy - fashion yourself a little slide out of foil. If no food is on just remove the grid, put your ramp between legs of the platesetter and let your chips go fo a ride. If food is on, slip that slide between the grid and then between the legs. A little more work, but I've done it dozens of times.

    If you are using chunks, just bury a few in the lump before you even light it. They'll give you plenty of smoke later in the game.
  • orion11orion11 Posts: 140
    61 CHEV,
    I bought 12 pounds of boneless butt at Costco to make some sausage and, while trimming it up, there were two large solid "chunks" that just looked like great bacon matireal. I have made it with tenderloin and loins but I really like the stuff made from the boneless butts the best.
    Thanks all for the great suggestions.

  • Mike-RRMike-RR Posts: 181
    Thanks again for the excellent info, Fidel. Here's what I'd do to get the chips in:

    Remove the grate extender
    Remove the grate
    Remove the drip pan
    Remove the plate setter

    All this time, I'd be losing heat and time. That's where my old gasser has come in handy, because I'd just throw all that hot stuff on the old grates inside. Of course, after I got the smoking wood in there, I'd have to do it in reverse, with the added step of getting the meat added after all that.

    Now, I'll be on a mission to create a new slide for the chips. I still like them soaked/drained, but I tend to use less now, and use them in conjunction with a chunk of wood I've buried deep in the lump, usually in the center.
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