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Old 07-01-2008, 06:19 PM   #11
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"Oversmoking" is a myth. I cooked with about 40- 16" logs last week and the food was perfect. If the chips are dry and seasoned, you should be able to add as many as you want with no harm. I don't believe it should be any different in a WSM or a KLose mobile. If the food tastes bitter, it is not "oversmoked" it is just not clean smoke. This is akin to the myth that "the food absorbs all the smoke it will by the time it reaches 140 degrees." The truth is, the food does not "absorb" much smoke at all. The smoke ring comes from a chemical reaction between the meat and the smoke components. The "flavor" of the smoke comes from the particulates that come to rest on the surface of the meat. I find that, if you spend 10 hours smoking with oak, and finish with hickory for 3 hours, the food will taste more like hickory than anything. Good luck. WM
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Old 07-01-2008, 06:26 PM   #12
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Wow, that is very interesting. Can anyone comment to that?
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Old 07-01-2008, 06:50 PM   #13
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Old 07-01-2008, 06:54 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodman
"Oversmoking" is a myth.
I knew some guys back in the '60s who oversmoked.

--John
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Old 07-01-2008, 07:01 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unity
Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodman
"Oversmoking" is a myth.
I knew some guys back in the '60s who oversmoked.

--John
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Old 07-01-2008, 07:33 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unity
Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodman
"Oversmoking" is a myth.
I knew some guys back in the '60s who oversmoked.

--John
Huh????? Dave? Dave's not here man.......
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Old 07-01-2008, 09:39 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unity
Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodman
"Oversmoking" is a myth.
I knew some guys back in the '60s who oversmoked.

--John
Hey, you promised not to tell.
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Old 07-02-2008, 09:21 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodman
"Oversmoking" is a myth. I cooked with about 40- 16" logs last week and the food was perfect. If the chips are dry and seasoned, you should be able to add as many as you want with no harm. I don't believe it should be any different in a WSM or a KLose mobile. If the food tastes bitter, it is not "oversmoked" it is just not clean smoke. This is akin to the myth that "the food absorbs all the smoke it will by the time it reaches 140 degrees." The truth is, the food does not "absorb" much smoke at all. The smoke ring comes from a chemical reaction between the meat and the smoke components. The "flavor" of the smoke comes from the particulates that come to rest on the surface of the meat. I find that, if you spend 10 hours smoking with oak, and finish with hickory for 3 hours, the food will taste more like hickory than anything. Good luck. WM
I offer this only for conversation - I'm not trying to be a prick. I have noticed several comments about how "smoke has nothing to do with a smoke ring." Then the follow up comment "smoke ring is a chemical reaction between the meat and chemicals from the smoke." Help me here but logic tells me that if the ring comes from a reaction between the meat and chemicals from the smoke then the smoke - which brings the appropriate chemicals to the meat - is responsible for the smoke ring.

I remember that someone recently put up pics of meat done on a gasser that had a smoke ring. His argument was that the presence of a ring on a gasser meant that smoke had nothing to do with the smoke ring. But there is plenty of smoke in a gasser - just not wood smoke. Try doing the same thing in an oven and there will be no ring.

Again, not trying to be a prick. I'm no physicist or chemical engineer. I'm just not getting the logic. Educate me.
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Old 07-02-2008, 10:39 AM   #19
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Smoke Ring in Barbeque Meats
How to Get That Coveted Pink Ring With Your Cooking
by Joe Cordray

Slow cooked barbecue meats often exhibit a pink ring around the outside edge of the product. This pink ring may range from 1/8 inch to 1/2 inch thick. In beef the ring is a reddish-pink and in pork, chicken and turkey it is bright pink. This pink ring is often referred to as a "smoke ring" and is considered a prized attribute in many barbecue meats, especially barbecue beef briskets. Barbecue connoiseurs feel the presence of a smoke ring indicates the item was slow smoked for a long period of time. Occasionally consumers have mistakenly felt that the pink color of the smoke ring meant the meat was undercooked. To understand smoke ring formation you must first understand muscle pigment.

Myoglobin is the pigment that gives muscle its color. Beef muscle has more pigment than pork muscle thus beef has a darker color than pork. Chicken thighs have a darker color than chicken breast thus chicken thigh muscle has more muscle pigment (myoglobin) than chicken breast tissue. A greater myoglobin concentration yields a more intense color. When you first cut into a muscle you expose the muscle pigment in its native state, myoglobin. In the case of beef, myoglobin has a purplish-red color. After the myoglobin has been exposed to oxygen for a short time, it becomes oxygenated and oxymyoglobin is formed. Oxymyoglobin is the color we associate with fresh meat. The optimum fresh meat color in beef is bright cherry red and in pork bright grayish pink. If a cut of meat is held under refrigeration for several days, the myoglobin on the surface becomes oxidized. When oxymyoglobin is oxidized it becomes metmyoglobin. Metmyoglobin has a brown color and is associated with a piece of meat that has been cut for several days. When we produce cured products we also alter the state of the pigment myoglobin. Cured products are defined as products to which we add sodium nitrate and/or sodium nitrite during processing. Examples of cured products are ham, bacon, bologna and hotdogs. All of these products have a pink color, which is typical of cured products. When sodium nitrite is combined with meat the pigment myoglobin is converted to nitric oxide myoglobin which is a very dark red color. This state of the pigment myoglobin is not very stable. Upon heating, nitric oxide myoglobin is converted to nitrosylhemochrome, which is the typical pink color of cured meats.
When a smoke ring develops in barbecue meats it is not because smoke has penetrated and colored the muscle, but rather because gases in the smoke interact with the pigment myoglobin. Two phenomenon provide evidence that it is not the smoke itself that causes the smoke ring. First, it is possible to have a smoke ring develop in a product that has not been smoked and second, it is also possible to heavily smoke a product without smoke ring development.
Most barbecuers use either wood chips or logs to generate smoke when cooking. Wood contains large amounts of nitrogen (N). During burning the nitrogen in the logs combines with oxygen (O) in the air to form nitrogen dioxide (NO2). Nitrogen dioxide is highly water-soluble. The pink ring is created when NO2 is absorbed into the moist meat surface and reacts to form nitrous acid. The nitrous acid then diffuses inward creating a pink ring via the classic meat curing reaction of sodium nitrite. The end result is a "smoke ring" that has the pink color of cured meat. Smoke ring also frequently develops in smokehouses and cookers that are gas-fired because NO2 is a combustion by-product when natural gas or propane is burned.

Letís review the conditions that would help to contribute to the development of a smoke ring. Slow cooking and smoking over several hours. This allows time for the NO2 to be absorbed into and interact with the meat pigment.

Maintain the surface of the meat moist during smoking. NO2 is water-soluble so it absorbs more readily into a piece of meat that has a moist surface than one which has a dry surface. Meats that have been marinated tend to have a moister surface than non-marinated meats. There are also a couple of ways that you can help to maintain a higher humidity level in your cooker; 1. Do not open and close the cooker frequently. Each time you open it you allow moisture inside to escape. 2. Put a pan of water on your grill. Evaporation from the water will help increase humidity inside the cooker.

Generate smoke from the burning of wood chips or wood logs. Since NO2 is a by-product of incomplete combustion, green wood or wetted wood seems to enhance smoke ring development. Burning green wood or wetted wood also helps to increase the humidity level inside the cooker.
A high temperature flame is needed to create NO2 from nitrogen and oxygen. A smoldering fire without a flame does not produce as much NO2. Consequently, a cooker that uses indirect heat generated from the burning of wood typically will develop a pronounced smoke ring. Have fun cooking. A nice smoke ring can sure make a piece of barbecued meat look attractive.

About the Author:

Joe Cordray is the Meat Extension Specialist at Iowa State Universityís nationally renowned Meat Lab, located in Ames, IA. He has been writing for The BBQer since Fall of 2001
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Old 07-02-2008, 11:11 AM   #20
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Here is my reaction to that article. I'll preface my interjections by putting Monty before my comments.


AUTHOR: When a smoke ring develops in barbecue meats it is not because smoke has penetrated and colored the muscle, but rather because gases in the smoke interact with the pigment myoglobin.

MONTY: My point exactly. It is not that smoke penetrates the meat thus causing the smoke ring. It is the gasses in the smoke that cause the smoke ring. However, smoke is still necessary as it transports the necessary agent to the meat. Let's continue...

AUTHOR (EMPHASIS CAPPY): Two phenomenon provide evidence that it is not the smoke itself that causes the smoke ring. First, it is possible to have a smoke ring develop in a product that has not been smoked and second, it is also possible to heavily smoke a product without smoke ring development.

MONTY: What does that mean? Can I cook a brisket in a crockpot and get a smoke ring? No. How about a convection oven? No. Not unless nitrogen can be produced in those environments. However, our good author moves beyond theory to practice - as I suggest we do, by writing the following:

AUTHOR: Most barbecuers use either wood chips or logs to generate smoke when cooking. Wood contains large amounts of nitrogen (N). During burning the nitrogen in the logs combines with oxygen (O) in the air to form nitrogen dioxide (NO2). Nitrogen dioxide is highly water-soluble. The pink ring is created when NO2 is absorbed into the moist meat surface and reacts to form nitrous acid. The nitrous acid then diffuses inward creating a pink ring via the classic meat curing reaction of sodium nitrite. The end result is a "smoke ring" that has the pink color of cured meat. Smoke ring also frequently develops in smokehouses and cookers that are gas-fired because NO2 is a combustion by-product when natural gas or propane is burned.

MONTY: Catch that? The nitrogen from the wood combines with the oxygen and forms NO2. This is absorbed into the meat and hey presto, a smoke ring.
Now check this out. He actually tells us how to get a smoke ring - by SMOKING the meat. He says it right here -

AUTHOR: Letís review the conditions that would help to contribute to the development of a smoke ring. Slow cooking and smoking over several hours. This allows time for the NO2 to be absorbed into and interact with the meat pigment.

MONTY: some text has been cut but he continues...

AUTHOR: Generate smoke from the burning of wood chips or wood logs. Since NO2 is a by-product of incomplete combustion, green wood or wetted wood seems to enhance smoke ring development. Burning green wood or wetted wood also helps to increase the humidity level inside the cooker.
A high temperature flame is needed to create NO2 from nitrogen and oxygen. A smoldering fire without a flame does not produce as much NO2. Consequently, a cooker that uses indirect heat generated from the burning of wood typically will develop a pronounced smoke ring. Have fun cooking. A nice smoke ring can sure make a piece of barbecued meat look attractive.


MONTY: In theory one does not need smoke so long as the chemical reactions take place. But outside a chemestry lab one needs the presence of smoke for a smoke ring.

IMHO smoke is the cause of a smoke ring - even if it is not theoretically the only way to get a smoke ring.

Certainly the claim that smoke has nothing to do with a smoke ring is not supported by this man's article.
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