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Ivory soak your wood?

Big MurthBig Murth Posts: 350
edited 4:28PM in EggHead Forum
Is this another "urban legend"? I got this nugget from a guy who smokes a lot of his own hams, etc., and he says that to keep your smoking wood, smoking should mix a little bit of Ivory Dish soap in your soaking water. Keeps the moisture in longer??? Anyone heard of this one? We do have a dry climate here, but I thought that water is water, and usually wet!!


  • Wise OneWise One Posts: 2,645
    Big Murth, actually there are things "wetter" than water and Ivory Soap may be one of them. However, I remember getting my mouth washed out with soap as a youngster and I am not willing to try this smoking with soap. It might be good but I just am not open to it.

  • Tim MTim M Posts: 2,410
    Big Murth,[p]I think that is more than urban legend, maybe just "myth".[p]If a piece of wood has X amount of H2O in it, it seems that it would not matter how wet it is (a reference of surface tension of the water). It will evaporate the same. A piece of wood smokes because it can't get enough oxygen to burst into full combustion, so it smokes. The water in a piece of wood slows down the heating process of the wood but once it evaporates out (pretty quick in a chip, longer for a chunk) water has no more effect and the wood heats up more and comes closer to full combustion ie: flames. Remembering it takes heat, oxygen and fuel for combustion - what does adding water do? It has to be heated before the fuel can burn and the water slows down the wood heating up and the steam produced would offset some oxygen getting to the smoking wood, slowing more or holding down the combustion process as long as it is present. Would adding a surface agent (soap) help anything? It seems that if it did anything at all it would allow the water to seep in the wood fibers easier and maybe more water would be "in" the wood but the difference would not be very noticable -IMHO. [p]I don't have access to a really accurate scale, but if someone wanted to they could take two equal sized and weighted chunks (no use fooling with chips). I would weigh them dry, then soke for x amount of time and reweigh them again. To be really accurate you would need a large test sample since wood chunks will probably vary greatly in density and so to in the amount of water each could potentially absorb.[p]I have a head ache non from thinking too hard.[p]Tim
  • Big MurthBig Murth Posts: 350
    Tim M,
    Between you and Wise One, I think I got some good answers to probably what is a ridiculous question/concept. With both personal and scientific observations that you've both imparted, I've now determined that the soap belongs in the kitchen, not in the Egg!! Gracias, amigos.

  • MopMop Posts: 496
    Big Murth, this idea might have come from the guy that sent his wife to the store for a can of elbow grease or a bag of vacuum...........[p]Mop!

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