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Unread 05-25-2012, 01:33 PM   #1
loganm
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Soaking wood chips

I'm grilling some steaks tonight and I usually soak my chips in water. I know some ppl do whiskey or beer. What's yalls opinions on this. How much how long? They are hickory chips. Thanks!

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Unread 05-25-2012, 02:08 PM   #2
ajmorell
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Gasoline & report back

I use water, beer and whiskey are too expensive just to soak chips IMO
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Unread 05-25-2012, 05:28 PM   #3
thantos858
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It will depend a lot on your taste. As for the amounts enough so the chips soak it all up. I have used old oak wine barrels or the chips they add for flavor and it comes out really good.
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Unread 05-26-2012, 11:14 AM   #4
loganm
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Yea after I posted this I found a good website it gave me an idea it said. Beer for chicken, whiskey for steak, lemon juice for fish.
But I did use beer last night for my steak an they came out awesome!
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Unread 05-26-2012, 05:36 PM   #5
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hm, well. My take on it is that all the soaking is for is to slow the wood down so that you get some of the wood flavor before it turns to carbon.

All these other things you soak the chips in are eventually going to end up burning. Sometimes that's good, but mostly you'll end up with organics that stink when burned (like a sugary barbecue sauce on too-high heat, or a burnt marshmallow) ..

My rule is to put stuff like beer, bourbon, etc in the marinade or sauce, and let the wood be wood. But there are no "right" answers in grilling, only awesome meals that we can't remember how to recreate and horrible meals that we can't remember how to NOT recreate (marinating the chef might play a part in this problem)

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Unread 05-26-2012, 07:52 PM   #6
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Yea that's true... I know how to cook some pretty good basic chicken steak and fish if I know I can't mess up. Other than those days of its kit me and a few friends I experiment alot which is fun but like you said sometimes it could be a hit or miss the hard thing to do is remember the bad!
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Unread 05-27-2012, 10:42 AM   #7
TomchakXMJ
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usually i just soak mine for a half hour to an hour in water cause i cant see not drinking the beer/whiskey. usually just start em when i start the charcoal. you doing charcoal or gas grill?
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Unread 05-27-2012, 12:58 PM   #8
loganm
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I used kingsford charcoal.. And I used about two cups of hickory and one beer.... Minus a couple sips.. Four 8oz steaks also.

Like stated above they came out good.. I used a coors light I had in the fridge.. I may use a beer with a little more kick next time!
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Unread 05-28-2012, 12:24 PM   #9
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I don't know if you live near a Trader Joes but they have Charles Shaw wine for $2 a bottle (2 buck chuck). That gives good flavor and is pretty cheap. I like using a red wine for poultry.
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Unread 05-28-2012, 05:36 PM   #10
loganm
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Wow I would love to find something like that.. But I live in southeast we don't have any wineries down here. That does sound good I've used jack Daniels barrel but not wine.
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Unread 05-28-2012, 08:35 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loganm View Post
Wow I would love to find something like that.. But I live in southeast we don't have any wineries down here. That does sound good I've used jack Daniels barrel but not wine.
Check the local grocery store for wine. Most big chains will stock a wide selection. The thing to know about cooking with wine is to use one you would drink so it tastes good.
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Unread 05-28-2012, 08:47 PM   #12
loganm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thantos858 View Post
Check the local grocery store for wine. Most big chains will stock a wide selection. The thing to know about cooking with wine is to use one you would drink so it tastes good.
Never was big into wine.. But it makes sense that smokin it would taste good. I may have to start trying some.
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Unread 06-08-2012, 10:55 AM   #13
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I use apple juice on birds. Other than that its water and the flavor of the wood.
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Unread 07-24-2012, 10:14 AM   #14
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I just smoked 3 boston butts, and 2 hams this past weekend. I filled a 5 gal bucket with hickory chunks, then filled it with water & put the top on overnite.When I started the fire Sunday morning, I used chunk charcoal, and once that was established, I took some dry chunks and put them on the charcoal. After those were burning, I took 2 big handfulls of the soaked wood & tossed them on the fire. Once that happens, I close all the dampers and basically try to smother the fire. This creates the most smoke. When the chimney stops giving that wonderful white smoke, its time to add more wood. I would add a couple handfulls of the hickory(or oak) chunks, then top with a couple handfuls of the wet hickory.

The 1st picture is about after about 6 hrs on the smoke. The 2nd is after about 10 hrs. I usually dont go any higher internal temperature than 175. I think that makes the meat tender enough to pull if you want, or to slice.
7-22-12-bbq-6-hrs-.jpg   7-22-12-bbq-10-hrs-.jpg  
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Unread 07-24-2012, 11:53 AM   #15
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I'm on the fence about soaking wood. I've found that soaking wood for slow smoking tends to leave an overpowering bitter taste to whatever I'm smoking. I've found that just starting a fire in the fire box and adding dry seasoned hickory, apple, cherry, or whatever gives everything a more subtle smoke flavor. Adding just enough fresh wood to keep the temp stable. It gets even better if you let the meat rest for several hours or even overnight. Not to mention, here in western KY I've never seen a good BBQ joint soak their wood and there's probably half a dozen with in five miles of me. As for quicker cooking, burgers, steaks, chicken wings, etc. I'll use a base of natural lump charcoal, waiting till the coals are good and red. Then put soaked (soaked for about an hour) chunks of hickory, apple, cherry or whatever on just before the meat. That gives a good thick smoke that gets in the meat quick without being overpowering or bitter. Just my two cents.
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