Smoking meat or BBQ veg is one of the most delicious ways of celebrating the summer, and as the weather keeps getting hotter and hotter throughout the country, families are gathering together once again to make the most out of the extreme heatwave.
But even the most experienced BBQ masters and garden party hosts can fall short when it comes to mastering the use of BBQ wood chips for smoking, as there are plenty of best-use myths surrounding BBQ and grill products and few tried-and-tested tips BBQ enthusiasts can really rely on.
In this brief guide, we want to focus on one of these myths, perhaps one of the most common ones: Should you soak wood chips before smoking? We will also be taking a look at how soaking affects smoking power and release of flavours?
Here’s all you need to know to make an informed decision on how you use and prepare your BBQ wood chips, plus a little hint on where to find the best, extra-dry wood chips for smoking meat, vegetables, and fruits!
Why Should You Soak Wood Chips Before Smoking?
So, why is it so widely believed that you should soak before smoking vegetables and meats in the first place?
Some BBQ enthusiasts believe that soaking before smoking will lengthen the burning time, making for a long-lasting smoking session no matter the weather you might find yourself in and the quality of the smoking appliance you might be using. Others believe, instead, that soaking wood chips in water before use will simply get them to emanate steam rather than producing more smoke, arguably regulating the temperature of the appliance better but not actually impacting the flavour produced or creating more smoke.
So, where exactly is the truth? BBQ enthusiasts have long been debating this soaking tip, and the answer seems to fall squarely in the middle.
You’ll see that most BBQ wood chips come with the instruction of soaking them for about 30 minutes before smoking, so that you can shorten the waiting time between the initial burning and producing the smoke you need for delicious smoked meat and smoked vegetable recipes. Research shows, however, that soaking might not be necessary to produce more and more consistent smoke quicker, as much of what’s generated will in fact be steam, lowering the temperature of your smoker in return.
At the same time, soaking your wood chips before using them in other appliances such as gas grills and charcoal grills has been shown to be beneficial for a temperature-regulated burn throughout, especially if you’re mixing both wet and dry chips to achieve a consistent smoke as you’re cooking your meat and veggies.
So, it seems like soaking before smoking vegetables and all other BBQ-ready meals might not be necessary if you’re planning on using a high-quality smoker, while for other types of outdoor cooking, soaking can prevent many of the inconsistency issues associated with temperature regulation and problematic weather.
The Best Wood Chips For Smoking
In the end, whether you choose to soak or not soak, you’ll soon find that the choice of BBQ wood chips is much more crucial to a great cookout than any other best-use tip.
If you’re looking for high-quality, extra-dry Apple Wood Chips and Cherry Wood Chips for smoking to use for all the garden BBQs ahead, there’s no better destination to find what you need than our new BBQ & Grill section — especially if you’re looking for wood chips that can be soaked for excellent smoking performance in all sorts of grills as well as kept dry for quality smokers.
Coming in a handy, easy-to-use and re-sealable 0.8kg bag, our premium BBQ wood chips for smoking are the perfect choice for creating a delicate yet distinctive smokey aroma and bring your smoked meat, veg, and fruit to the next level. Whether you soak for 30 minutes beforehand or decide to use a mix of wet and dry chips, you’ll be guaranteed an extraordinary performance throughout, especially when used with our restaurant-grade lumpwood Charcoal.
Enjoy the warm and sunny days ahead with the best choice for your grill and smoker!