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Soak or not to Soak

BeastBeast Posts: 78
edited 9:59AM in EggHead Forum
When you are doing fatties or any other type of meat do you soak your chunks or not before use i've heard that you are suppose to soak them for an hour before putting them on can someone please confirm this thanks in advance


  • Nature BoyNature Boy Posts: 8,523
    Howdy Beast,
    I have never been able to figure why the soaking thing. The food tastes best with clean burning wood, and soaking it just slows that process down. Personally I think the smoke tastes nasty from anything other than clean, dry, seasoned wood. Even then, it takes some time to get burning cleanly.[p]Just some thoughts on this chilly sunday mornin. Beers to you (when beer thirty rolls around in your neck of the wooods!). Cook on brutha.
    Twitter: @dizzypigbbq
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  • billtbillt Posts: 225
    i think you probably have to soak chips or they burn too fast. i use un-soaked chunks. some one posted here a while back about distributing pieces of lump smoke wood amongst the lump charcoal so you get smoke at various times during the cook. i have been doing this and am happy with the results. i generally use hickory. if you are not experienced with smoke wood, a little bit goes a long way.start with less. i over smoked some stuff in the beginning. you can always add more the next time and that is better that screwing up a good piece of meat.
    i will be turning a fatty corned beef brisket into pastrami today and am anxious to clog my arteries.

  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 5,937
    Beast,[p]I think soaking chips got started by people using regular charcoal grills. The things burn so hot and fast that unsoaked chips just burst into flame. That certainly was my experience.[p]The Egg retains both heat and moisture, unlike the ordinary grill. Soaking the wood adds to a very specifc problem, the formation of creosote. When wood burns, some of the chemicals in the smoke will bond with water vapor and form creosote if the temperature is 250 or lower. So if the cook is low and slow, with a dome temperature of 250, any additional water vapor increases the chance of creosote formation. Also, smoldering wet wood would would make it right away. Soaking the wood pretty much undoes the curing of the wood from green to dry.[p]gdenby

  • TonyTony Posts: 224
    Beast,[p]I agree with some of the others; use chunks in BGE, and do not soak. Soaking results in incomplete combustion of the wood until it dries out. The incomplete combustion results in thick white smoke. These particles of smoke deposit on your meat, and if it is a long, slow cook - the uncombusted smoke then continues to slowly combust - the result being a severe blackening on the surface. That stuff is bitter and very undesirable. When you use dry chunks and the fire is burning properly, the vent should have a thin whisp of white-ish / blue-ish smoke. And if you "nose it", it should smell pleasingly like the wood you are using. Under this condition, the meat will not turn black, rather a nice tint of brown. If "nosing the vent" stings your nose... rest assured it is doing bad things to the meat. The longer the cook, the worse the impact will be. I have done briskets and butts for 18 to 24 hours with dry chunks and the fire burning properly - and the meat does not comne out black - rather a very nice brown, moist and tender.[p]The BBQ Guru (or similar) is an excellent addition for controlling this process to a "T", without any headaches.[p]I'm firing my Large up in a bit to do 3 racks of babyback ribs with apple and a touch of hickory; 2:1:1... I can almost taste them already![p]TD
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