How to get a deeper penteration of smoke aka Ring - BBQ Central

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Old 07-30-2007, 06:41 AM   #1
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I use a Traeger pellet smoker and pellets blended with Oak, either Apple or Pecan. Four hours +- at 225-250 does the trick. BTW, these are not glazed.



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Old 07-30-2007, 07:06 AM   #2
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That is beautiful John. Just beautiful.
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Old 07-30-2007, 08:39 AM   #3
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I have never tried this, but I have been told that the cooler the meat is when you start smoking, the longer the longer the reaction time for the "ring" to form.

I have not had enough experience to see how much would make a difference, but I would guess that starting with meat out of the fridge and the initial cooking tems listed above would be a good place to start.

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Old 07-30-2007, 08:45 AM   #4
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Here is what I have bookmarked about smokering formation and the reaction of the nitrates:

http://www.geocities.com/senortoad/Smok ... eMeats.htm

This was the best explanation I ever found.
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Old 07-30-2007, 09:02 AM   #5
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I put my food on the smoker right out of the fridge...I have found that I always get a better smoke ring when the meat is cold as it allows it to take a little longer in the smoke ring temp range. Science also proves that colder meat gets a better smoke ring as well.
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Old 07-30-2007, 09:43 AM   #6
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Ring?

After smoking for about 20 years, I quit looking for a smoke ring. Sometimes you get it, sometimes you don't. If you are doing competitions, it doesn't really matter. Judges are told to not pay any attenditon to a smoke ring.
Personally, I don't think it has anything to do with the taste of the BBQ. Just my thoughts.
PARTY!!!!!!!!!!!
Smoke On!!!
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Old 07-30-2007, 10:22 AM   #7
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Re: Ring?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kickassbbq
After smoking for about 20 years, I quit looking for a smoke ring. Sometimes you get it, sometimes you don't. If you are doing competitions, it doesn't really matter. Judges are told to not pay any attenditon to a smoke ring.
Personally, I don't think it has anything to do with the taste of the BBQ. Just my thoughts.
PARTY!!!!!!!!!!!
Smoke On!!!
Judges may be told not to pay attention to it but they do. It has no impact on the taste.
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Old 07-30-2007, 11:41 AM   #8
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Kmoniwannalaya,

Chiles and Greg have given you good advice (can't believe I said that about Greg) but Mr. Minion spoke to this subject many times he said that putting meat on right from the refrigerator will help with smoke ring formation as the meat will stay below the 140¬ļ mark, the point where smoke ring formation ceases. I think.
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Old 07-30-2007, 12:17 PM   #9
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yep, no taste to the smoke ring, and smoke doesn't cause it.
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Old 08-01-2007, 11:41 AM   #10
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I fired up my WSM for the first time and did not use nearly enough charcoal and wood. Subsequently, I could not keep the dome temp above 200.

I thought, well, it will just take longer to cook. After 5 hours, the meat was barely above 140. I wrapped them in foil with the sauce and put them in my oven at 200 for two hours. After that, I put them back on the smoker (still not enough coals) for another two hours trying to get them above 180. They never got there. Back in the oven they went until I got them to 200.

My mistake for not putting enough coals in there to begin with, but it was only the first time I used it.

The ribs were not too dry, but the smoke flavor (cherry) was way overpowering. Not to mention the smoke ring went clear to the bone all across the ribs. hmmm, 5 hours below 140. That will do it.

The ribs were still edible, and eat we did. I've got some learning to do with the WSM.

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Old 08-01-2007, 12:22 PM   #11
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Smoke ring is one thing, and smoke flavor another.

The article posted by Diva did a little to explain how smoke rings are formed. It may help to know a little more. The ring is caused the presence of three things. 1) Nitrogen compounds like nitrates and nitrites; Myoglobin (explained in Diva's article); and bacteria.

The bacteria occur naturally in meat, but in cut meat they concentrate on the surface because that's where the air is. Their diet consists of a narrow range of proteins, including myoglobin. In the presence of nitites/nitrates the chemistry changes so that when the bacteria break down the myoglobin the residue turns purple. These organisms are most active at temperatures between 80 and 120 F. If heat build up is slow enough, and enough of the other conditions of life are present, the bacteria will reproce and thrive below the surface of the meat as well. By 140 they're all dead.

Slow burning wood produces a number of chemical artifacts, including the relevant nitrogen compounds. The compounds and slow heat build up trigger the bacteria to reproduce below the surface and to make the purple color we call the smoke ring. However, the bacteria can fix nitrite/nitrate from other sources -- like liquid "cures." (Judges are instructed to ignore the ring because it's so easy to produce artificially.)

You can probably get the deepest penetration of ring by creating conditions favorable to the bacteria. The conditoins are: Meat with a damp exterior, but marinade not too acid. Surface temperature not too cool, but interior cool -- say half hour out of the refrigerator. But producing a consistent, deep smoke ring is not certain.

Over smoking is another problem altogether. A lot of it has to do with the size and shape of your firebox. I don't understand the actual dynamics, and have never heard anyone claim to on anything above the "informed speculation" level. If you've got a giant offset with a huge firebox you can burn straight green wood, hulls, bark, wet wood, all day long and no problem. If you've got a small bullet or small offset, it's a good idea to choose your smoke wood carefully, and stop burning smoke wood roughly half way through the cook to avoid acridity.

Rules of Thumb (who the hell was Thumb?): The smaller the cooker, the less smoke. The stronger the wood (mesquite for instance), the less you use. The more problematic (bark for instance) the less you use.

We also hit another problem and that's cooking at too low a temperature. Setting aside "cold smoking" which is a different process altogether -- you can't really cook meat at a chamber temperature below 210. We all know stuff happens, and temps sometimes spiral out of control sometimes. The more time you spend below that, the more problems you make for yourself. Here, the extra time required to cook made for overexposure to smoke. Also, the wood was burning at that low temperature where it throws off the highest proportion of unpleasant compounds. Not good. AND there are food safety issues.

If you have a particular fire building method and know the ramp up from 180 to 225 is quick and certain, you might want to take advantage of the lower temperatures to jolt the smoke ring bacteria. Why not?

Rich
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Old 08-01-2007, 01:24 PM   #12
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Humidity plays a role also but the science is clear on how it is formed and is covered well in posts above.

Jim
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Old 08-01-2007, 07:39 PM   #13
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I wonder how many times I've been asked, "Are you sure this meat is fully cooked?"

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Old 08-01-2007, 09:29 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Burnt Food Dude
I've heard that Morton's tender quick helps form a smoke ring.
I don't know if its true or not.
Absolutely true. And you don't need any pinche (darn) smoke either.
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