"Discover Cooking, Discuss Life."

Go Back   Discuss Cooking - Cooking Forums > General Cooking Information > Outdoor Cooking Forum > Gear: Grills, Smokers & Pits
Click Here to Login
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 02-15-2006, 04:01 PM   #1
Senior Cook
240brickman's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Central Pennsylvania
Posts: 109
Send a message via AIM to 240brickman Send a message via Yahoo to 240brickman
Question about soaking wood

OK, all you scientists, I have a dilemma. If I'm going to be smoking food on my grill or smoker, I'll soak my wood chips in water for 1/2 an hour (or longer) before using them.

My question is this: what if I soaked the wood in salty water, as opposed to just plain water? We'll assume that the salt is completely dissolved (say, 1/2 cup salt stirred into a quart of water). Would that affect the way the wood burns? I mean, would it burn more slowly, or more quickly?

I'm just wondering if there's some way to get "maximum smoke" out of the same amount of wood.


Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work--Aristotle

240brickman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2006, 04:16 PM   #2
Chef Extraordinaire
jennyema's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Boston and Cape Cod
Posts: 10,161
I found this

"Never burn wood that has been taken from salt water. Chlorine combines with the smoke to produce dioxins and furans, which are dangerous carcinogens. "
jennyema is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2006, 08:44 PM   #3
Head Chef
BigDog's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Farmington, Minnesota
Posts: 1,007
Send a message via MSN to BigDog Send a message via Yahoo to BigDog
Yeah, wood soaked in salt water is cool to burn as part of a camp fire type fire. Makes some cool colors with the flame. Well, at least soaked in sea water. I wouldn't use it for cooking, even before reading the previous post!
Integrity & Honesty
have been sacrificed on the combined altars of Control, Political Correctness, and Convenience
BigDog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-2006, 03:53 PM   #4
Senior Cook
pckouris's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 169
Do not use salt water! Period. Fresh water only.
I soak my wood chips and chunks in water a minimum of 30 minutes. Most of the time more like an hour.
Then I wrap them up in heavy aluminum foil. Punch holes with my BBQ fork on one side which I put facing down on the fire (coals or propane) on the fire (hot) side of the grill. I put the meat or whatever on the other (cool) side and let the smoke from the chips float across the food.
I've had great success and really good tasting wood and smoke flavored
food(s). Expecially BBQ Pork ribs, chicken and shrimp!
I just buy my muskeete chips and chunks at my food store (Publix) right here in Marathon and the bag lasts about five sessions.
I use an amount that covers the bottom of a five gallon bucket and then a little more.
Oh, also with my propane grill I make sure I don't have the burner on anything but low because I want the coals to last long and do not want to burn them up without getting the good long smoke effect. Sometimes when the wood has really taken hold I turn the burner off until I need it. This prolongs the wood and really does a great job on the flavoring of the foods you are grilling.
Hope this helps.
pckouris is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:20 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.