Do I Need To Soak Wood Chips

Masterbuilt Electric Smoker

Masterbuilt Electric Smoker

I have a Masterbuilt smoker. Do the wood chips need to be soaked in water when using an electric smoker?


For the Masterbuild electric smoker that you have the answer is no.

Having said that (and thanks to your question) I thought I'd add my general comments about the merits of soaking or not soaking wood because everyone has their own way of smoking and opinions about whether to use wet or dry wood. So here's mine.

For cold smoking I use dry wood because I want to dry the food out and wet wood makes this more difficult.

For hot smoking it depends.

Charcoal Smoker
If I'm using my charcoal smoker and placing the wood chips directly on the heat source, I use wet wood. This is simply because dry wood will burn and the smoke effect will be only for a short period of time.

To prolong the use of wet wood when placed directly on the charcoal you can try this idea for size:

  • Use chunks around 3” to 4” long and approximately 1/2” or 1” thick.
  • Soak wood in water for 30 minutes
  • Wrap the wood chips in foil and pierce holes in foil.
  • Now place the foil parcel onto your coals or the flavor bars of your gas grill

I actually place my soaked wood chips in an old flan dish and just place the dish directly on the charcoal. It's crude but it works to give a slow burn.

A kamado smoker like the Primo or Big Green Egg burns charcoal extremely efficiently, so much so that some charcoal may still have not ignited despite there being enough fire to provide the right temperature for smoking.

Sprinkling a lot of small wood chips all over the coals prior to starting your fire will ensure that you get a continuous supply of smoke throughout the cookout. In this case it doesn't really matter if your wood has been soaked on not because any wood that smokes 8 hours inot a cookout would have already dried out anyway.

Gas Smoker
If I'm using my gas smoker, I just put large dry wood chunks on the hot plate but there's absolutely no reason why you shouldn't use wet wood if you want to.

The only other thing that you need to consider is which flavor wood chips work well with which meats. To learn more about this, take a look at my page about barbecue wood chips.

See Also:-

Learn About BBQ Thermometers
Grill Charms – Unique Grilling Gifts
Utensils Tool Kits
More Barbecue Grill Accessories And Gift Ideas

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