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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 10-02-2003, 05:25 PM   #1
badger
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Default soaking wood in water to smoke with

One of the first things I learned comming into the Bandera-Brethren was NOT to soak my wood in water, but rather pre-heating the wood is better.

So... Why does Steven Raichlen from BBQ University say to "soak for 1 hour in water and/or beer to cover, then drain" in his recipes?

I watched another episode of BBQ-U today and saw his soaked wood, and now I am wondering, which technique is better?

John
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Unread 10-02-2003, 06:01 PM   #2
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Cause he's a moron!!! Plus, your not sucking on your wood, so soaking it in beer is alcohol abuse (unless it's schafer).

What's the point of soaking your wood, if you want to produce smoke? While the wood is wet, it just smolders (maybe you get some steam). There isn't much smoke produced until it dries out.
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Unread 10-02-2003, 06:26 PM   #3
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Using the great outdoors smokey mountain gas I have to soak or it would burn up to fast to do any good. For you all wood guys NO esprecially in beer, Geez. Not drinking tonight so I should make sense hell I might even venture to the empty chat room later.
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Unread 10-02-2003, 06:31 PM   #4
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So then you would soak to prolong the burn? Doesn't that give off a "bad" smoke though?


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Unread 10-02-2003, 06:41 PM   #5
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I have not notced it but I'm using chunks-chips. People told me when I bought it that meat would taste like gas, so far they be full of $hit. Only gas I notice is methane.

Still perfecting my wood smoke. Think I need a bigger wood box bean pot or something.
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Unread 10-02-2003, 07:32 PM   #6
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Phils $.02

Soaking prolongs the burn and causes it to smolder. We dont like smolder. We dont like white smoke. Its Ok if your using 1 chunk at a time. But we like sweet blue. Which is complete clean combustion. Our smoke is invisible. We're looking for long clean burns to produce the smoke ring and give us our smoky flavor, not a nasty layer of soot that tastes like smoke on our food.

Although we use the term, "smoking", technically, i dont thing we are smoking, we'r BBQ'in. Lower the temps 80 degrees <180 and use soggy wood.. Thats smoking.

IMO... $.02.
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Unread 10-02-2003, 08:43 PM   #7
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IMO...
It's burning to fast for me without soaking but I'm still experimenting. Going to have to slow it down someway. Now we have $.04 for the next bash kitty. Let it begin.
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Unread 10-02-2003, 08:47 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BBQchef33
Phils $.02

bla...bla...bla...

IMO... $.02.
Phil,

I thought the limit is $.02 per message? ;)
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Unread 10-02-2003, 09:04 PM   #9
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Damn your right my math was off we have $.06 for B3 now. Glad I'm not in finance.
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Unread 10-03-2003, 12:50 AM   #10
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I've use lump charcoal, soaked chips or chunks and have had nice results. However, I would like to use only wood and get the coveted Blue Smoke.
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Unread 10-03-2003, 05:47 AM   #11
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My $.02
I started using wood chips on my weber gas grill 8/10 years ago. I would soak the chips 4/12 hours if possible than i would make a log by wrapping the chips in foil, and pokeing one small hole into to the foil on top..... this would make some excellent bbq, actually
some of the best I've had. I am not sure that the white smoke from chips is all smoke, maybe a mixture of smoke and steam?
Now I use a bandera and wsm and do not use chips but chunks and i do not soak them.
The main difference is with the chips in a gas fueled smoker you are using them for flavor only, and when using lump charcoal with chunks you are using them for fuel and flavor. So they need to burn differently.

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Unread 10-03-2003, 07:07 AM   #12
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Thanks Gary I feel resurected. Cause after thinking about it most of the night I don't see anyway in the world for thin blue when using gas for heat wood for flavor. Did the foil trick in my grill as well use a cast iron box now. Same effect as the foil I think ?

Now we up to $.08 for B3, who is going to make it $.10 ?
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Unread 10-03-2003, 07:56 AM   #13
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I'll make it .10

I used to soak when I first started smoking. I was trying to micro manage the temperature within a couple of degrees. I would have hunks to throw on if the temp was low, and have some chips soaking if there was no smoke and the temp was a little high. Learned a lot since my first couple of cooks.

I never soak, and preheat when possible. Have been toying with the idea of breburning, but don't see the need for it really.

Just my 2 cents worth.
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Unread 10-03-2003, 08:01 AM   #14
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I used to soak and foil pouch the chips/chunks in the gas grill but stopped when I realized they just dried out and burned anyway - after all that white smoke.

On the ECB I tried soaking chunks and didn't like the result -- then tried dry chunks (both hickory and local oak) and that was ok but still had some white smoke. So now I light off a couple of chunks with the charcoal and then add a couple of warmed chunks around the outside of the coals -- sometimes I'll put a handfull of oak "sawdust" (chainsaw chips) in with the "cold" charcoal, al a minion method.

Seems to work and I'm a lot happier with the lighter smoke flavor - especially with the hickory.
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Unread 10-03-2003, 08:05 AM   #15
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I love this debate.

Personal preference for me is to never soak wood. When I first started 4 years ago on the ECB, my wife made a comment like "boy, this stuff really tastes like smoke" She was right, but it was probably more sooty cuz I would soak mesquite chips for 24 hours and keep throwing the stuff on all through the smoke. If I stopped seeing white clouds come out of the Brinkman, I would throw another handfull on.

But now, with the preheating, the spraying, the foiling, the instant combustion of the wood, and the sweet blue and no white smoke, my wife made a comment 3 days ago like "this stuff tastes great. Your Q no longer tastes like a chunk of wood. It has BBQ flavor, not wood flavor. I would bet that if someone tried this today, they would not even know you smoked it, just that it tastes great."

I was beaming.

So IMO, if it tastes like your chewing on bark, that's not Q, thats wood.
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