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Wood chunks--soak or not?

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    Wood chunks--soak or not?

    I have never soaked wood chunks but was reading the back of a B &B wood chunk bag (out of boredom) and it suggests either a 30 minute soak, or use them dry. They don't really say anything else about advantages/cons.

    Every BBQ book I have read says to not soak them.

    For those of you who do soak chunks (not chips), do you get better smoke, more smoke, longer, etc?

    - Never have soaked chunks etc.
    - My BIL a great guy soaks the heck out of them and swears by it. Amongst other things BIL's are like Ensigns in the Navy "To Be Seen Not Heard And Never Trusted".


    • Arsenlael
      Arsenlael commented
      Editing a comment
      This made me laugh out loud.😂

    • wu7y
      wu7y commented
      Editing a comment
      We said the same thing about hard stripe e-5s in the Army.

    • bbqLuv
      bbqLuv commented
      Editing a comment
      "To Be Seen Not Heard And Never Trusted"--Two Thumbs UP.
      Happy grilling to you

    Generally the answer is no. There may be exceptions but I know of none. Especially with chunks.


      I like fire, not smoulder!

      Seriously, a wet chunk is going to be prone to giving off nasty smoke.




        • klflowers
          klflowers commented
          Editing a comment

        • Troutman
          Troutman commented
          Editing a comment
          Yea I was going to look that article up as well. Thanks for doing the deed Morg !!

        Once the water turns to steam and goes away, which happens fairly quickly, you're burning a dry wood chunk. I'd just skip the soaking.


          I used to soak my wood chunks all my life until a year or so ago. I read that by soaking them, they absorb hardly any water at all. Not enough to make any difference in the amount of smoke or as to how fast they burn up. I quit doing it after that. And if anything, I’ve noticed a little bit more smoke flavor by not soaking them. This site, AR, also has confirmed that it doesn’t do any good to soak them, in fact they recommend not soaking them.
          Last edited by Panhead John; February 3, 2021, 01:12 PM.


            As everyone has commented, you want dry wood and not wet wood. In fact, heat your chunks up if you can. Hot wood is better than ambient temp wood. It's not the wood burning, but the wood is giving off sufficient organic vapor in air to ignite. The hotter the wood, the more vapors it's giving off. Think flash point.


              I do not soak.


                Meathead completely debunks soaking in his book with the science to prove it. No soaking.


                  No chunk soakage here.


                    I only soak my feet. Wait, is that TMI???


                    • Clark
                      Clark commented
                      Editing a comment
                      klflowers YES, TMI!

                    • Panhead John
                      Panhead John commented
                      Editing a comment
                      So klflowers What do you soak yours in? I use an herbal and tea tree oil with a Lavender scent. It really makes me feel pretty.

                    • klflowers
                      klflowers commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Panhead John, I used to use a combination of rose water and battery acid - the acid helped with bunions, and the rose water complimented my last name. Now I go with a SPG combo, similar to my brisket rub. I won’t comment any further on that.

                    The only thing to worry about is soaking your throat with beer. Soaking wood just doesn't deliver the same results.


                      Just remember, the Ark spent a wee bit of time in the water, & it had some pretty valuable cargo, like everything. Wood is not a sponge. So be it. Why would you want to soak anything you want to burn?
                      Last edited by FireMan; February 4, 2021, 05:37 PM.


                      • DrJimmy2112
                        DrJimmy2112 commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Appreciate the biblical reference

                      No. Never.



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