Ever wanted to have an intimate family meal with the enticing smell of smoked food but having a hard time cooking with the smoker?
As far as smoking is concerned, it takes hours to produce a perfectly smoked dish.
An electric smoker can quickly provide you the same result. It reduces the difficulty of smoking, and most of all, an electric smoker is more accessible to operate than other types of smokers.
An electric smoker is either aromatized with wood pellets or wood chips, satisfying your craving for delightful menus for all meals.
It has been a debatable topic for a long time either—do you use wet wood chips in an electric smoker or use dry wood chips instead. This article aims to address and give a clear understanding of the trivial issue.
Smoking is a seasoned way of preserving and producing fragrant and juicy meat. In recent trends, with the help of electric smokers, smoking is no longer limited to meat.
Various dishes nowadays ranging from vegetables, fish, pizza to baked products, smoking is the best choice for premium and palatable food.
Electric smokers come in different variants. Analog electric smoker, digital electric smoker, and the latest in the market, the Bluetooth digital electric smoker is available today.
Each variant is accompanied by a tray capable of holding wood pellets and wood chips because electric smokers are mainly made for wood chips.
Types of Wood Chips
Several manufacturers of electric smokers also produce wood chips made explicitly for their own brands, but it does not prohibit you from using other brands.
Preference always matters. Either you’re a self-professed or a real master chief, take advantage of choosing available wood chip products that suit your taste.
Each type of wood chips provides different kinds of flavor or taste profile and enhancement to the food. For some food gurus, wood chips variants have distinct food suitability and compatibility. Here are some examples and top recommended wood chips available in any store.
● Walnut Wood Chips – has a nutty and smoky to heavy profile, suitable for red meat and huge meat types like moose or beer meat, compatible with light wood chips like the citrus type.
● Applewood Chips – has a sweet yet strong to dense flavor, best for beef, poultry, and fish dish. And can be blended with mesquite wood chips for added tang.
● Oakwood Chips – A heavy yet smoky mood, best pair for red meat, fish, and pork. It is also best used independently for strong heavy taste.
● Apricot Wood Chips – has an almost similar profile to hickory wood chips, but less bulky and sweet in taste, best for all types of meat.
● Hickory Wood Chips – also known as “the king” of wood chips in the smoking world, has a bold and strong, robust but sweet flavor, suited for all types of meat, especially rib parts.
● Ashwood Chips – a mild aromatic profile best suited for fish products, but ash wood chips are also suitable for red meat for some food goodies.
● Cherry Wood Chips – a fruity flavored wood chip that gives an extra sweetness and mild profile to the meat, can be paired with a citrus type of wood chips, suitable for beef and poultry meat.
● Beechwood Chips – the top celebrity wood chip in the Pacific Northwest famed for smoking salmons and an excellent alternative for charcoal in barbequing meat.
● Mesquite Wood Chips – provides a bold earthly taste, highly recommended for smoking beef and other wild game meat. Also complements other blends of wood chips for the added flavor profile.
● Birchwood Chips – a subtle yet relatively almost the same taste profile as maple wood chips that dramatically enhances the flavor of poultry and other fowl meat. Although birchwood chips give an extra touch to the food, it is one of those wood chips that are hard to find.
Electric smoker with the wood chip of your choice can significantly change the dish profiles. Wood chips can give variant taste from heavy to light feeling, firm to the mild aroma, and sweet or earthly flavor. At the end of the day, nothing beats good smoked food.
Benefits of Using Wet Wood Chips
Do you use wet wood chips in an electric smoker? Using dry or wet wood chips entirely depends on the cook’s preference. However, soaking the wood chips before using it is unnecessary. Some smoking experts, when forging dishes in an electric smoker, prefer using wet wood chips.
The question is, do you use wet wood chips in an electric smoker? If yes, get to know the pros and cons of this option.
● More Flavor – you’ll get a more enticing scent, and the food would look extra inviting.
● Juicier Meat – because the wood chips are wet, will not burn but smolder, causing the wood chips to release steam.
● Regulate Heat – most electric smokers do not have a pre-installed temperature regulator. Wet wood chips will help you to regulate the heat inside the electric smoker.
● Longer Burning Time – soaking wood chips will reduce the burning rate of wood chips since it will only smolder and burn slowly.
● Cause More Smoke – damping of wood chips will cause smoldering. The effect of such will produce more smoke than dry wood chips.
● Stronger Profile – soaking wood chips is not only limited to water. Other liquids like fruit juice, beer, and even wine can be used to wet the wood chips for a whole new higher level of flavor.
Downside of Using Wet Wood Chips
It’s a fun fact that with all the bright side, shadows of a negative side exist. Why do you use wet wood chips in an electric smoker when it can be a reason for an unsuccessful dish. Such reasoning could come up, especially for those newbies in smoking. But fear not, these minor downsides are controllable.
● Longer Time to Cook – because of wet wood chips, the burning process takes longer than usual. A little bit of extension of patience will be the best investment in this activity.
● More Steam Than Smoke – in some instances, wood chips are over soaked, causing more steam than smoke, so instead of putting it immediately at the smoker tray, why not preheat the wet wood chips first. It’ll grant you the amount of smoke you need.
● Cooling or Extinguishing the Flame – too much steam without any outlet for excess water can drip in the fuel tray and extinguish the fire. Again, preheat the wood chips to the desired dampness.
● Liquid Could Overpower the Wood – adding flavored liquids like wine, booze, and juices might overpower the wood chips flavor. Best to practice the consistency of liquids and wood chips. As the saying goes, practice makes things perfect. Why do you use wet wood chips in an electric smoker? Things could go wrong and sideways, but lemonade is made from lemons. With these few tips, you can bet, smoking will never be as hard as ever before.