Soaking or not soaking the wood chips is a frequent question that most of the barbeque lovers get to hear and discuss much often. Soaking wood chips is an approach that may vary depending on the particular type of smoker, and even this may vary between different electric smokers as well. Here, we will specifically talk about the Masterbuilt electric smoker and will find out whether we should soak wood chips before putting them in an electric smoker or not.
What Masterbuilt has to say about soaking wood chips?
Masterbuilt first recommends to use wood chips or the wood pellets and the flavoring could be as per your own choice. Fruitwood chips or the nit trees type wood chips are highly preferable for such smoker. So things till here are flexible and all in your hands to be adjusted as per your liking. But, moving on, the state of the wood chips to be used is recommended by Masterbuilt to be the soaked ones. They suggest soaking wood chips for at least 12 hours before using them in the electric smoker.
The success of smoking majorly depends on your smoking approach, which ideally has to be the low heat used for several hours when cooking whole chickens, roasts or the ribs. The benefit that you will get from the wet wood chips is that it will go on to maintain a lot more sustained and much regular heating. It is because of the reason that the wet wood chips are known for generating a lot more smoke, which eventually caps the oxygen inside the electric smoker and also controls the unwanted temperature spikes and the heat flare-ups, which obviously you would not like to have.
In case, you still see some unwanted high heat being developing inside the Masterbuilt electric smoker or inside the offset firebox, then you should add in a cup or two of some more wet wood chips, which will control the temperature hikes or uneven extra heat being produced. Alongside, you should also lower the temperature inside the electric smoker in order to even out the heat and to bring it back in your best control for ideal smoking of the meat.
Continuing the wet vs dry wood chips debate:
It is absolutely simple physics that the solid wood pieces are not known for absorbing excess water, no matter you soak them for several hours. The water only penetrates deep through the crevices and cracks, otherwise, there is just minimal moisture penetration just till the top surface layer. There is no straightaway smoldering of the wood chips when you put it right in the electric smoker. Rather, water starts to evaporate at the boiling point and turn into steam. So, only when the water would evaporate completely, then only the wood chips would go on to reach the point, where smoke could be produced and help in enhancing the flavor of your food. This means, that soaking wood chips helps only to a certain level until all the water is evaporated and turned into steam inside.
The variation of soaking or not soaking wood chips is only for the hot smoking recipes. For cold smoking, the wood chips should never be soaked. It is because you will need to dry the food in case of cold smoking and having wet wood chips would not allow achieving this state at all.
The wet wood chips should ideally be of 3 to 4 inches long and thickness should never be more than an inch. You may soak the wood chips in water for any time between 1 hour and 12 hours. However, the thing that matters the most is that the wet wood chips should always be wrapped inside an aluminum foil and small holes should be pierced all through the aluminum paper.
This will also ensure even dispersion of smoked heat throughout the electric smoker, giving many desirable results.[su_posts id=”959,969,382,298″ order=”asc” ignore_sticky_posts=”yes”]