As my masterbuilt smoker is placed on my patio, my guests can see it. So, when my smoked dish tastes so delicious, they curiously ask me about my cooking hacks. One of their common questions is, do you soak wood chips for masterbuilt electric smoker.
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My answer to this question is always “Yes” because soak wood chips can help produce more quality smoke, nice aroma, and even stronger flavor. Another key consideration is the soak wood chips decrease the chance of catching fire.
But, soaking or not soaking depends. Some individuals use soaked wood chips, and some of them use dry ones. As dry wood chips require less time to cook, that’s why many people use dry chips.
Check out this article, and it will take 3-4 minutes to read the entire article. But, hopefully, at the end of it, you will get your answer with proper clarification.
Why should you soak wood chips for masterbuilt electric smoker
Soaking the wood chips brings more taste and increases the juiciness of the meat. Many people who used soaked wood chips observed a way better taste in their smoked dishes. So, let’s see some of the importance of soaking-
The most important benefit to using wet wood chips, it will reduce the chance of catching fire and decrease the opportunity of food burning.
Soak woods generate better fire and also redoubles the taste. So, if you forget to soak your wood chips, it will cost you more.
On the other hand, dry woods generate less smoke and always have the chance of catching fire, isn’t it dangerous?
What Will Happen If You Not Soak Wood Chips
Wood chips not only use as a fuel source but also improve the taste of the food. No doubt, dry chips will cook the food in less time, but it cannot give the magical aroma and flavor you are looking for.
And dry wood chips enhance the opportunity of incinerating the food. It also generates less smoke and always have the chance of catching fire,
Now the choice is yours. Will you blow your guest’s mind with the delicious taste or compromise the flavor over time?
Hopefully, you guys will get to know the importance and benefits of using soaked wood chips by now.
But we know there are few people who are still not convinced enough on this matter. Still, they are confused about whether they should soak the chips or not?
So, here I will provide you an easy answer.
A Continuous Battle on – Wet vs. Dry Wood Chips!
While talking about soaked wood chips, it will help enhance the food’s flavor and taste. Want to know how? Which one is better – wet wood chips or dry ones? Let’s find out the answer.
Naturally, water evaporates at the boiling point then turns into steam. When the water completely evaporates, then the wood chips go to reach the point.
It will create more smoke and enhance the taste of the cooked food, but it will take a bit more time than dry wood chips.
Overall, we can say these wet wood chips assist to a specific level till the water completely evaporates and turns into steam.
So, if you want a richer flavor in your food, soak the wood chips in apple juice, or any other liquids. But remember, this liquid does not overpower the wood.
And when it comes to dry wood chips, it will take less time compared to soak wood chips but unable to give a richer flavor.
But in case you use the wet wood chips, you have to bear in mind, these wood chips need to be wrapped in aluminum foil to ensure even dispersion of heat throughout your Masterbuilt electric smoker to give the desired output.
Using wet or dry wood chips is totally based on your hot smoking recipe. For instance, in the case of cold smoking, no need to soak the wood chips.
On the other hand, if you want to get the extra juicy flavor, then go for the soaked wood chips.
How Long Should Wood Chips Be Soaked Before Smoking
You might have this question in your mind. No need to give stress of thinking about how long the wood chips will be soaked? Unlike how much wood chips do you need, it’s very important to know.
As we are here to release you from stress. Well, it is better not to over soak the wood chips. You must be getting confused; why am I saying so, right?
Let me explain; if you over soak the woods, then it will absorb more water and get scummy. It is always better to follow the soaking time that is mentioned by the manufacturers.
Woods generate better smoke when they are soaked. When it comes to dry woods, it creates less smoke for a short time.
As generally, we all expect, the bigger wood piece may take a long time to soak and produce smoke for a longer time.
Having 1 inches thickness and 3 to 4 inches long wood chips are better for soaking. Here we mention some soaking times; you can have a look:
- For small chips – they will take around 2 – 3 hours to soak as they are small in size.
- For large chips – they need to soak for around 12 – 24 hours.
You can use liquids such as fruit juice, wine, or beer to soak the chips because these liquids help to infuse the wood chips with flavor and add more taste to the foods when they smoke. Use apple juice for light notes and red wine for spice notes.
Also, you can use rum to give a caramel taste. If you are running out of time, you can cut down the soaking time, but you cannot have the desired smoke production in this case.
But basically, the soaking time will depend on the recipe and amount of your cooking. If you need little smoke for a steak and cook it for 5 to 6 minutes, then no need to worry about the soaking time.
But in case you are making up your mind to cook salmon or other seafood, then it is essential to soak the wood chips before setting the fire.
As we mentioned earlier, the needs of soaking or not soaking the woods totally depend on the smoking recipes. In case you are planning for cold smoking, then no need to soak the woods.
How to Use the Soak Wood Chips For Masterbuilt Smoker?
Masterbuilt smoker’s ventilation has been designed to allow low and slow cooking. It is the perfect choice for any entertaining outdoor event, such as a steak party.
So in this section, you will get to know how to use the wood chips for a Masterbuilt smoker. So, stick with me here. Things to do before starting:
- Check Ventilation Leaks
Before you turn your Masterbuilt smoker, it is better to check the door whether it has any leaks or not. Because leaks in the door cause poor ventilation and it will prevent the essential combustion for producing smoke. So, it is better to use a smoker cover to make your machine last longer.
- Remove Extra Water
Remove water from the pan and ensure all the equipment is in its appropriate place.
Start the process!
Step-1: Put Wood Chips: First, you need to put around one cup of wood chips into the tray. You can also remove the tray, fill it, and then reinsert it into the machine. As you need to select the wood chips according to your smoker’s loader
Make sure to turn the handle to unload the position as it helps the wood chips keep them precisely into the loader.
Step-2: Preheat Smoker: Now it is time to start your Masterbuilt smoker and also set the desired temperature for cooking. Remember, never keep your food to the machine until it has an opportunity to heat up.
If you store your smoker in your garage or any cold place, then it is essential to preheat the machine to have a stable and desired cooking temperature.
Tips: Depending on the climate, you need to preheat the electric smoker. You can preheat it for 20 – 30 minutes but do not go for a longer time.
Step-3: Set Temperature: As masterbuilt smokers are designed to work in subzero temperature. But it is wise to have an external thermometer with you. So after preheating the smoker, you need to check its internal temperature.
Based on external factors, it may vary sometimes. So setting the desired cooking temperature is very important before adding the meat.
Tips: You need to gauge the cooking temperature as it will help to prevent the overcooking of your smoked foods. Set the temperature to 250 degrees Fahrenheit to start smoking.
Step-4: Add Meats: After once you get the desired cooking temperature, it now turns to add the meats and start to cook. You have to keep on checking the wood chips. However, one cup of wood chips lasts for 4 to 5 hours.
Tips: Need continuous monitoring of the smoke level but do not open the smoker door.
Step-5: Add Extra Wood Chips: It is better to keep on adding wood chips every 4 hours until your cooking is done. Otherwise, there is a potential threat of incinerating foods.
Tips – You should grease the cooking racks to make your cleanup easy.
Step-6: Turn Off the Smoker: After using it, you need to switch off the machine; otherwise, any accident can happen.
Step-7: Clean The Smoker: You should clean the grates, racks, water bowl, and all the required cooking equipment. Shake the chambers to remove the leftovers; you can also use a brush to do this.
Clean all the debris; it is better to clean the smoker when it cools off. Proper cleaning extends its durability.
Well, cooking in a smoker is not that easy. It takes patience when you use soak wood chips. At finishing, you will get the tender meat with a smoky grilled flavor.
Helpful Tips for Soaking Any Type of Wood Chips!
You can use fruit juice, wine, or beer to soak the chips; these liquids help to infuse the wood chips with flavor and add more flavor to the foods when they smoke.
You can also try apple juice for light notes and a touch of red wine for spice notes. Also, can add rum for giving a caramel flavor.
After soaking, you can also use the drained liquid in your cooking. As it will help add some extra taste to your dish. Remember to have enough beer or liquid always with you. Another important fact, you need to select the chips based on your smoker’s tray.
How To Select Wood Chips For Masterbuilt Electric Smoker?
Good news! Nowadays, it is very easy to buy wood chips for your Masterbuilt smoker, and they all come in an affordable range. Not only from the nearby local store, but you can also purchase them online.
For beginners or electric smoker owners, it is better to use the stronger smoking woods to experience the best flavor. Selecting the suitable wood chips totally depends on the hot smoking recipes –
- Hickory: it can be a great wood for smoking wings, pork butt and gives a strong smokiness taste.
- Mesquite: introducing mesquite, another stronger smoky wood and one of the reliable ones in creating realistic smoky aroma. It gives the best result for smoked brisket.
- Oak: It is considered as a medium-strong wood. Though it cannot provide the juiciness just like the other woods, it can add a solid smokiness flavor. The best part is, it does not overpower like other woods; that’s why it is the best option for subtly flavored meats, such as turkey.
- Orange: It gives a tangy citrus flavor, and you can use it almost in every recipe except fish items.
- Peach: Peach is perfect for chicken, pork cooking, and it adds a slightly sweet taste to your dish.
- Pecan: If you are planning to smoke beef, turkey, or ribs, nothing can beat it. However, it cannot give that much stronger flavor, just like hickory, but you will love its milder flavor.
- Walnut: It gives a very strong flavor and can become bitter at times. So it is better to use it with the pairing of lighter types of woods.
Honestly, if you want to cook seafood, chicken, or ribs to get the best result, it is better to select fruity foods. But if you make up your mind to smoke lamb, turkey, or beef, then nothing can beat the nut-producing woods.
Apple, pecan, cherry is mostly used nowadays for most meat items. Without mentioning one particular name for your electric smoker, we suggest you experiment with all the options to observe which taste suits your taste bud most.
You can also mix up the fruit and nut-producing woods to observe the distinctive flavor. For example, you can mix up cherry and hickory, or pecan or citrus.
Remember, never use any evergreen (Pine, Cyprus) and also coniferous woods. Want to know why?
Because these woods are unhealthy, as they can cause sickness and also harm the electric smoker. Besides, they never enhance the taste of the meat. Therefore, they are not ideal for smoking. Redwood and cedar are also not suitable for smoking.
Never use the painted woods as they have toxins, and these add with the meat, it can cause serious health problems. So it is also very essential to know which to use or avoid.
As we promised, at the end of this article, hopefully now you got your answer to this question, right? By using the tips and guidance, you can able to create your signature steak dish.
There is nothing better than having fun together with your loved ones and enjoying smoked juicy steaks. So what will you do now? Do you soak wood chips for Masterbuilt electric smoker or not?
So, if you are planning to make an awesome seafood or steak party on your Masterbuilt electric smoker, then what are you waiting for? Go start to soak your wood chips and marinate the meat. Ready to make a YUMMY steak ever!