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Moisture = Smoke Ring?

BBQfan1BBQfan1 Posts: 562
edited 3:00AM in EggHead Forum
Folks:
Just finished up reading another bbq book, this one is entitled, "Barbecue America--A Pilgrimage in Search of America's Best Barbecue". In general, a very good read, with a mix of recipes, profiles of bbq joints and those who make bbqing their livlihood. There was one statement made in the book that I had never heard mentioned in the dozens of other books on que I've read over the years. I will quote it direct, and you folks tell me if it makes sense to you:
"The amount of surface moisture in meat or poultry has much to do with pink color penetration. The pink ring is created when nitrogen dioxide (N02), is absorbed into the moist surface and reacts to produce nitrous oxide (N20)."
If this holds true, would not a piece of meat or poultry that has been marinated, brined or even spritzed heavily with a liquid, be open to a deeper and more pronounced smoke ring? Have you found this to be true? Not so much on this forum, but among those with competitive cooks on them, there seems to be a great desire for a deep smoke ring. Is surface moisture the key to attaining a deep, pronounced smoke ring?
BBQfan1
ps--this quote was not attributed to anyone in particular, just mentioned in a side-bar, so I assume it is the opinion of the authors, Rick Browne & Jack Bettridge.

Comments

  • glennglenn Posts: 151
    BBQfan1,
    The statement you quoted is correct. Your conclusion about more surface moisture may not be.....
    Ever cook a chicken that tasted great was moist but the juice ran light pink or there was red in the joints? The same thing is happening there, the flesh IS cooked the red color comes from the nitrous oxide. You CAN get rid of this color....just overcook the chicken.
    There is a great discussion on this phenomena in "On Food and Cooking" by Harold McGee. Worth every bit of the twenty bucks it will cost.
    Glenn

  • drbbqdrbbq Posts: 1,152
    glenn ,
    Nitrous Oxide? That's the stuff the dentist gives you. Nitrites cause the coloring we refer to as smoke ring.
    I'm not a chemist but I don't think they're the same.

    Ray Lampe Dr. BBQ
  • glennglenn Posts: 151
    drbbq,
    Hi, Dont think that it is nitrites that cause the ring. I know that nitrites used in sausage and some brines cause the hemoglobin in some meats to turn pink and that the nitrates used in dry cured hams turn to nitrites that in turn caus the ham to turn pink. Harold McGee in his book "On Food and Cooking" goes into detail about testing for doneness in food by looking at color. It is in this section that he talks about nitrous oxide and its affect on chicken (joints are red and juice has a pink cast). Check out the book, one amazing text.
    Glenn

  • ZipZip Posts: 372
    glenn,[p]He also speaks to carbon monoxide as doing the same thing as the NO. Just keep in mind that NO is a product of nitrite considering McGee's text on page 111 of On Food and Cooking. I know for sure if you take a couple tablespoons of Tender Quick disolved in water and spray a piece of meat like a pork loin and let it sit. You will have a beautiful quasi smoke ring even if you cook it in a conventional oven. [p]You may want to take a look at the BBQ FAQ - Science and BBQ section on smoke rings for a little clarification. They have said it better that I could ever say it.[p]Food science is just as confusing as any other kind of science, but at least you can eat most of you experiments![p]Zip
  • drbbqdrbbq Posts: 1,152
    Zip,
    You know, every time I try to spend some time with the BBQ FAQ I'm confronted by some info from Smoky Hale, and that eliminates the credibility for me. I am going to get that other book though.

    Ray Lampe Dr. BBQ
  • drbbqdrbbq Posts: 1,152
    glenn,
    I think it's the same reaction as in the sausage and ham. You don't?

    Ray Lampe Dr. BBQ
  • JJJJ Posts: 951
    drbbq,
    I totally agree with you about Smoky Hale.

  • CatCat Posts: 556
    drbbq,[p]I'm with you and JJ (hiya, Bro) on ole Smoky, but he's only cited once in the FAQ that I know of. There's a lot of gold
    there ...and some colorful characters to boot.[p]Along with McGee, check out Shirley Corriher's 'Cookwise' and Russ Parsons' 'How to Read a French Fry.'[p]Cathy

  • drbbqdrbbq Posts: 1,152
    JJ,
    This could be a first.

    Ray Lampe Dr. BBQ
  • JJJJ Posts: 951
    drbbq,
    What do you mean "It could be a first". IT IS. hehe

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