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Smoke ring help!!!

I have a question for the smoke ring color. How do you get the smoke ring to be red? I.e in brisket, ribs or whatever. Is it from the type of wood you use, the rub, I know cooking temp has a factor in it as well. Every time I smoke stuff, my smoke ring is usually black or their is none at all, or it looks like I cooked it in the oven. Thanks you everyone


  • ShadowNickShadowNick Posts: 520
    If I remember correctly the smoke ring is actually a chemical reaction that occurs due to the heat and not really the smoke at all and it has a specific meat temp it forms at. I don't remember exactly what it is, but I do know typically the colder your meat is when you put it on the egg the better the smoke ring.
    Pentwater, MI
  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 28,817
    Couple of things you can do. Use more wood and throw some chips on just before you put the meat on. Put the meat in the freezer for a couple of hours before putting it on. I believe you can use some curing salt in your rub(?) too but I've never done that


    Caledon, ON


  • EggcelsiorEggcelsior Posts: 14,015
    The "smoke ring" is just a reaction of myoglobin in the muscle with nitric oxide formed from combustion of the wood and charcoal. It can be artificially created with Mortons Tender-quick or anything for curing.
  • SmokeyPittSmokeyPitt Posts: 9,864

    Which came first the chicken or the egg?  I egged the chicken and then I ate his leg. 

  • I think @SmokeyPitt's link is a great resource.  My succinct explanation:  light your fire in one place, put a big honking chunk of whatever wood you want on top of the coals and put the meat on.  This will cold-smoke the meat while the Egg gets up to temp, and it's how I've gotten good smoke rings so far.

    [Northern] Virginia is for [meat] lovers.
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 23,020
    for some reason my briskets always get a nice smoke ring either done low and slow or a hot and fast 5 hour cook. only thing i can think of is that i use alot of oak in the fast cook, a hunk the size of a forearm
  • SocalcajudoSocalcajudo Posts: 132
    Thanks everyone

    @saturdayfatterday. So with lighting it in one spot, do you put the meat on immediately or do you stabilize the egg temp first.

    What i do when I set up for low n' slow is this. I stack my royal oaks first layer at the bottom. Then add some wood chunks total size of about a fist cut into 3. Layer on top of that some medium sized lump a little past the frebox. Then 2 more hickory chunks slightly smaller about 3" x 2" x 1". Then I add more lump up to mid fire ring level and on top I add 1 small chunk of hickory and a handful or two of whatever chips.

    Usually as the temp rises, I then add the plate setter and wait for the egg to stabilize then add the meat and maybe small chunks of wood.

    Does anyone else do it this way with the wood chunks? Or do you just put the chunks on at the top of the coals right before putting on the meat.
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 23,020
    i just put it on top, this one was a 5 hour fast cook, alot of oak, the egg almost disapeared there was so much smoke

  • Charlie tunaCharlie tuna Posts: 2,191
    I see what you mean about "a nice smoke ring" !!  Looks great.
  • SocalcajudoSocalcajudo Posts: 132
    Thank you again and thanks for the link. Just read up on it. I will experiment different ways and see what results come up.
  • @Socalcajudo: I stabilize the Egg with the meat inside already.  Basically, if I've got smoke going, I want that meat in there.  This means starting to adjust well before you hit your desired temp so you don't overshoot it.  I also put all my smoke wood on top to get max smoke early on.

    [Northern] Virginia is for [meat] lovers.
  • NoDak1959NoDak1959 Posts: 45
    I've always heard that you want GOOD white smoke not the somewhat acridic(sp) blue smoke? Is this true? Willing to learn from any and all expierences!
  • SkiddymarkerSkiddymarker Posts: 8,347
    Everyone's experience is different, in my case I start MBGE with a small fire, top of the lump, near the front. Once the electric starter comes out, in goes the set-up, dial the DFMT to petals only and the bottom vent to about 1". It takes anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour to reach clear smoke at a fairly stable 250-300. In goes the cold meat right out of the fridge. A nice ring is possible with just the lump (RO). If I have some chips or chunks in there it may be even more pronounced. 
    Delta B.C. - Move over coffee, this is job for alcohol!
  • Like Eggcelsior said, its a chemical reaction between nitric acid and myoglobin in the meat. The nitric acid is generated by the gases from the burning wood interacting with the moist meat surface. The nitric acid dissolves into a nitrate ion that penetrates the meat and reacts with the myoglobin (the thing that makes red meat red, or in the case of pork pink because it has less myoglobin) to form thismyoglobin which forms the "smoke" ring.  This reaction stops at 120 degrees, so the longer the temperature in the meat is from about 45 to 120 degrees, the deeper the smoke ring.  The nitrate ion can't penetrate much deeper than 3/8 inch, so that is an optimal smoke ring.  This process won't occur in the absence of generous amounts of nitrous oxide, so natural combustion is the only thing that generate the smoke ring.  
  • i just put it on top, this one was a 5 hour fast cook, alot of oak, the egg almost disapeared there was so much smoke

    Fishlessman - I am wondering if the smoke you get is thick white smoke or just regular translucent smoke in high volume. Thick white smoke at times imparts bitter flavor as most say. So i was just curious as to the "quality" of the smoke that got you this great smoke ring if that makes sense. 

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