Originally Posted by Steeb
So far, I've only used hickory (which was a little strong for my taste, but I may not be using it correctly) and apple. I also have a bag of oak, which is what I think I'll use for the brisket
In my opinion you shouldn't be soaking the wood chips in water. Contrary to what would seem obvious, it isn't the visible part of the smoke that imparts the flavor. When you wet the wood chips it is akin to using green wood and you are going to get more of the visible smoke which is the part you don't want. That's the stuff that tastes horrible and soots up your chimney. You want a nice clean burn with only the light blue smoke if any visble. Brisket is also very easy to over smoke so easy does it. I think this is why you are finding when you use hickory that it has a strong flavor. It is actually pretty mellow. If you are doing a long burn in the smoker you don't have to "smoke" it the whole time for good results.