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Where the heck is my smoke ring?

ShaneFShaneF Posts: 26
edited May 2012 in EggHead Forum

I have done a couple briskets.  I do the slather in mustard and liberally apply Dizzy Pig rub.  I COVER the coals with wood chunks trying to get a good smoke ring.  It never works....  After cooking at 235 degrees for about 10 hours, my smoke ring is only about 1/8th of an inch?  The meat still tastes good and is juicy and tender, but I just dont have the smoke ring.  Any suggestions?

Comments

  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    edited May 2012
    are you letting the meat get to 'room temp' before putting it on?

    you want cold meat, and as little in between the smoke and the meat as possible... mustard is between the smoke and the meat.

    smoke ring is just basically meat that is cured in a sense by the nitrites in the smoke.  they land on the meat, become nitric acid, and wick into the meat, producing the smoke ring.  this is often misunderstood as smoke penetration.  smoke doesn't penetrate. but the acid does, turning the meat pink.  it's flavorless (pretty much).

    supposedly, the chemical reaction stops once the meat is around 140 (unrelated to 'food safety', but coincidentally pretty much the same temp).  this doesn't mean the internal temp of the meat, but the temp of the meat where the acid is (in this case, the exterior).

    a heavy amount of smoke and cold temps will help deepen the smoke ring.  but fish swears he still gets one when going hot and fast


    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • MikeP624MikeP624 Posts: 292

    If the smoke ring is flavorless, then why does it matter if you have one or not.  As long as the food taste good, who cares about the ring.

  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 22,716
    dont understand why with the hot and fast, but here it is, 3 hours with smoke direct raised grid at 350 then foil for about 2 hours. i dont use chunks with this, i split up some cord wood
    :D

    image
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    edited May 2012
    it doesn't 'matter'.  in competitions, judges are supposed to ignore it (but i doubt they do).

    some folks like it because it is a traditional indicator of smoked foods.  and it certainly (with ribs) provides great color to what would otherwise be grey overcooked meat.  Pink vs. grey, i think (personally) the pink wins.  Both will have smoke flavor.

    Nitrites in smoke do also change the texture of the meat  (just as nitrite cures change the texture of ham, bacon, etc.) and give it a piquancy you don't get without nitrite (which is why salt-cured bacon is very different from nitrite cured).  But a smoke ring is generally so thin, you might not pick up the sharpness.  And any change in texture with the smoke ring you'd probably assume was just due to the bark and dryness.

    For a butt, no big deal if there's no line of pink, but i think ribs and brisket look much better with a smoke ring.
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • ShaneFShaneF Posts: 26
    It's the BBQ Pitmasters show that has me all worked up over the smoke ring.  I am not sure if it is something they judge on but it is something that definitely gets critiqued.
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    did you get an answer to your question?
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • ShaneFShaneF Posts: 26
    Yes I did, Thanks Stike!  The I was thnking the mustard might be blocking some of the smoke(adic) penetration.  I also let the brisket sit out for about an hour thinking that letting it get to room temp would be beneficial(sort of like a room temp sous vide) but it obviously didnt help. 
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 22,716
    thirdeye has a list of techniques and tricks to get a better smoke ring which should help
    http://playingwithfireandsmoke.blogspot.com/1996/03/smoke-rings.html
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    warming up meat is good for a roast or steak, where you want even done-ness throughout during a relatively short but high-temp cook.

    but there's no benefit to it with barbecue.

    most times when folks don't have a smoke ring, their answer to the question 'did you warm up the meat?' is "yes".


    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • xraypat23xraypat23 Posts: 421
    shane, don't worry about it so much. A little ring is fine, and remember, the guys at the comps can use chemicals to falsely make their own smoke rings.
  • zosobao5150zosobao5150 Posts: 133
    Yeah, my wife told me it's not the size that matters...
    XL BGE
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 16,180
    Yeah, my wife told me it's not the size that matters...
    And perhaps she was a bit away from the truth...
    Louisville;  L & S BGEs, PBC, Lang 36; Burnin' wood in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer.  
  • GriffinGriffin Posts: 7,647

    If the smoke ring is flavorless, then why does it matter if you have one or not.  As long as the food taste good, who cares about the ring.

    Appearance sake only. It looks better with one to most people, but has no effect on taste.

    Rowlett, Texas

    Griffin's Grub or you can find me on Facebook

    The Supreme Potentate, Sovereign Commander and Sultan of Wings

     

  • NewportlocalNewportlocal Posts: 474
    It's the BBQ Pitmasters show that has me all worked up over the smoke ring.  I am not sure if it is something they judge on but it is something that definitely gets critiqued.



    Great thread you started. And I have BBQ pit masters on series record. Good times.
  • are you letting the meat get to 'room temp' before putting it on?

    you want cold meat, and as little in between the smoke and the meat as possible... mustard is between the smoke and the meat.

    smoke ring is just basically meat that is cured in a sense by the nitrites in the smoke.  they land on the meat, become nitric acid, and wick into the meat, producing the smoke ring.  this is often misunderstood as smoke penetration.  smoke doesn't penetrate. but the acid does, turning the meat pink.  it's flavorless (pretty much).

    supposedly, the chemical reaction stops once the meat is around 140 (unrelated to 'food safety', but coincidentally pretty much the same temp).  this doesn't mean the internal temp of the meat, but the temp of the meat where the acid is (in this case, the exterior).

    a heavy amount of smoke and cold temps will help deepen the smoke ring.  but fish swears he still gets one when going hot and fast


    Good stuff. Did not really know any of that
    1- LGBE
    1- KBQ C-60 (The Dishwasher)
    I- Blackstone 36" Griddle
    1- Sweet-A$$ Roccbox Pizza Oven
    1-Very Understanding and Forgiving Wife
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