Do You Soak Wood Chips for a Masterbuilt Electric Smoker?

soak wood chips

You should not soak wood chips for a Masterbuilt Smoker before putting them in the smoking tray. Soaking wood chips allows the wood chips to absorb water which then turns into steam at 212F long before the wood begins to smolder at it’s flashpoint of 572F. This causes the wood chips to take longer to produce smoke which is counterproductive. In fact, it is better to preheat your wood chips by leaving them on top of your smoker which allows the wood chips to reach it’s flashpoint faster.

There is a great read on this in the book Meathead : The Science of Great BBQ and Grilling by Meathead Goldwyn.

What Masterbuilt has to Say About Soaking Wood Chips?


Masterbuilt recommends using wood chips or wood pellets in their smokers. Fruitwood chips or any hardwood type such as oak, hickory or mesquite wood chips are highly preferable for their smoker.

So things up to here are flexible and can 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.  I don’t believe this to be the right choice. Science experiments have been done on this and the consensus is that you shouldn’t soak your wood chips before putting them in the smoker. 

The success of smoking depends on your smoking approach, which ideally has to be using low heat used for several hours when cooking whole chickens, roasts, or ribs.



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 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.

Our Top Tips for Smoking Food

Tips for Smoking Food

When you are smoking food, then you have to keep in mind and keenly remember certain tips and suggestions. To follow this smoking technique, this is an easy job to do.

You can see the below-written details and see how food is smoked:

Using a tin can for smoking wood chips in an electrical smoker:

First of all, for smoking wood chips in an electric smoker, you can make use of a tin can for this desired and needed job. As an example, just take a tin can and make drill holes in it.

Toss your wood chips in that tin can and inject them into your smoker. This way, your wood chips will produce enough smoke.

If you do not want to use a tin can, then other alternatives available for you are to make use of a pellet tube or you can avail a box smoker in this regard. In this manner, your wood chips can constantly generate smoke for around and about 4 to 11 hours.

Tip on soaking any kind of wood chip:

Using the less is more technique while smoking any food:

If you are given the job of smoking any food, then make sure to apply and follow the technique of less is more. You need to understand that less smoke is always more to bring taste and flavor into your food.

If you generate enough and maximum smoke, then there is a chance that your food may not get cooked up to the required taste levels.

It is seen that too much smoke becomes may overwhelm your dish. For retaining and fully enhancing the taste of your dish, you have to bring less smoke into it.

Suggestion on cooking poultry:

In addition, if you want to cook and smoke poultry, then you have to go on adopting a different and unique cooking style in this regard. As an example, for smoking red meat, we have some helpful tips for you.

First of all, you do not have to follow a low and slow cooking approach. Make sure to thoroughly and properly cook your chicken and you need to set the higher temperature settings.

Keep on cooking and smoking the chicken until and unless it is cooked evenly.

What to do before starting to smoke your meat?

Like, if you are smoking meat on an electric smoker, then season that meat first of all.

With this term of seasoning, we mean that you have to apply salt and pepper and also other spices and ingredients on your meat.

Before placing the meat in an electric smoker, you have to make sure that there is no dust and odor or any other residue on it.

How to Soak Wood Chips?

Soaking Wood Chips


How Can Less Be More?

It is constantly seen that using fewer wood chips is a desirable and appropriate technique for generating more smoke into your smoker. This is what we call and popularly named as less is more technique.

If you believe that too much soaking of wood chips and too much usage of wood chips bring flavor to your dish, then you are wrong. You have to follow the balanced technique in this cooking job.

If you do not want to make your meat or chicken loaded and burdensome, then make less use of wood chips.

You should have a clear and simple understanding regarding how many kinds of wood chips your dish needs and how much soaking time is needed by it.

If you are going to massively soak wood chips, then there is a chance that your meat may become overcooked. Moreover, there is a probability that your meat or chicken exterior may get burned.

Your whole dish is not going to taste good definitely if you too much soaking of wood chips technique will be followed by you.

For the reason that all cooks have to move on this approach of less is more!

This is the most beautiful and useful tip that you have to follow. Generating too much smoke shall overwhelm the taste of your dish.

And if you have added other flavors and ingredients in your dish, then this presence of too much smoke may remove the taste and aroma of these flavors as well.


Get Extra Added Flavors:

In the market, we have seen this massive presence of extra and additional flavored wood chips. With the use of these wood chips, you can bring more and more extensive flavors to your meal.

You can have such wood chips from any of the nearest shops and stores of yours or you can order such wood chips online.

If you have tried such flavored wood chips, then share your experience with us. Furthermore, these additionally flavored wood chips claim to enhance the taste scale of your dish.

In addition, these wood chips are infused and packed with a richer and greater amount of flavors. Like, these flavors are available in the mesquite form or you can have the flavored taste of oak and hickory wood chips.

To further enhance and maximize their taste, you can soak these wood chips into some liquids. As an example, you can soak them in apple juice or wine or even in beer.

This is one of the balancing acts that you can go for. So, if you prefer to use flavored wood chips, then it is suggested to soak them and even immerse them in these liquids to experience additional flavor and taste.

With the use of these liquids, you are going to see that your dish will not become overpowering or overwhelming.

These kinds of tips and suggestions manage to complement the taste and deliciousness scale of your dish.

If you have not heard about this concept and trend of using flavored wood chips, then we guarantee you that you will love this concept now.

Moreover, you can share with us how you do this smoking cooking job and what tips and strategies you follow.