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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, equipment and outdoor cookin' . ** Other cooking techniques are welcomed for when your cookin' in the kitchen. Post your hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures, but stay on topic and watch for that hijacking.


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Old 02-29-2008, 11:30 AM   #1
smokinvic
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Default Wood Smokin'

I have been a smoker of the prok ribs and tri-tip using the indirect heat method, dropping soaked hickory wood chips directly over the coals. Now this may be a silly questions, but when using firewood, lets say read oak to start the fire; would it be a good idea to add a fruit wood on top of that (a la wood chip method) that is soaked? Or is it best to stick with just one wood? Does any additional firewood (after fire has been started) have to soaked at all?
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Old 02-29-2008, 11:36 AM   #2
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I prefer to not soak the wood. Just a nice clean fire with a light blue smoke. Red Oak is readily available here, so I use that for heat. It is very mild so I may add some cherry or apple wood when cooking pork or chicken. I'll add Hickory or Mesquite when cooking beef. Just my .02. I'm sure you'll get a lot of opinions on this.
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Old 02-29-2008, 11:49 AM   #3
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For shorter cooks on my weber I usually soak da chips.

Ey vic are you originally from SA?
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Old 02-29-2008, 12:23 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Single Fin Smoker View Post
For shorter cooks on my weber I usually soak da chips.

Ey vic are you originally from SA?

I am actually from Whittier, born and raised. My wife is from Santa Ana, and here is where we live now. I have been here for about 5 years.
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Old 02-29-2008, 01:26 PM   #5
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Let's talk physics...

When you heat up water you make steam
When you heat up wood you make smoke

Water starts steaming at 212°F
The wood doesn't start smoking until it hits >400°F

In my opinion, the water delays the start of smoking until the steam is gone.
People soak wood chips because they can't control air flow. The wood then ignites because of high heat and lotsa air. Wetting the wood gives them the false impression that they are getting the wood to last longer, but it is really just delaying the onset of smoke by keeping the temperature of the wood lower than the smoking point.

My advice:

If you can control airflow just put the wood on the fire (maybe minion style)

If you can't control air:
Make a "smoke infuser": essentially a 4" black pipe with drilled out end caps. It creates an oxygen starved environment. Stuff it full of wood chunks. Throw it on top of your fire. It gets hot, wood smolders but doesn't ignite. When you are done you end up with a pipe full of charcoal.

Worst case make a foil pouch, but they can burn up and you don't want to eat a bunch of barbecue that has around vaporized aluminum foil.

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Old 02-29-2008, 04:21 PM   #6
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Soak a chunk of wood for a MONTH and then split it open. It's moist about 1/8 inch in. The rest is DRY. IMHO, skip soaking and use then dry.
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Old 02-29-2008, 04:51 PM   #7
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No soaking here either!
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Old 02-29-2008, 06:49 PM   #8
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My smoker is so large that I use Oak for heat and then some kind of fruit wood for flavor ( Cherry is my favorite )
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Old 02-29-2008, 06:53 PM   #9
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Do yourelf a favor and move away from the soaking. I used to do it too until I met up with the Brethren. Now I never soak anything.
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Old 02-29-2008, 07:02 PM   #10
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No soaking. Chunks, not chips. Better smoke.
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Old 02-29-2008, 07:58 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jiarby View Post
Let's talk physics...
If you can't control air:
Make a "smoke infuser": essentially a 4" black pipe with drilled out end caps. It creates an oxygen starved environment. Stuff it full of wood chunks. Throw it on top of your fire. It gets hot, wood smolders but doesn't ignite. When you are done you end up with a pipe full of charcoal.


I like the smoke infuser idea. It is similar to the way you smoke wood on the Afterburner. I am curious though could you show a pic of the size and how many holes you drill in the caps?
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