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Old 01-26-2007, 09:20 AM   #51
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I didn't think it all sounded right either when Kitchenelf posted it a while back and took a look. Seems to be true--for some chemical reason which doesn't really make much difference to me personally. ;o)
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Old 01-26-2007, 11:27 PM   #52
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Andy
I'm not chemist but I know from years of cooking on all kinds of cookers that an electric cooker needs the charcoal with the wood chips or chunks to produce smokering.
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Old 01-27-2007, 09:11 AM   #53
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I'm certainly not a scientist. I was just trying to reason it out in my own mind. Bottom line, I consider the smoke flavor a lot more important than the smoke ring.

Thanks for your help.
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Old 01-27-2007, 11:18 AM   #54
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When a smoke ring develops in bbq meats it is not because smoke has penetrated and colored the meat(muscle)...rather it is because gases in the smoke interact with the pigment myoglobin. This is supported by the fact first: it is possible to have a smoke ring develop in a product that has not been "smoked". secondly is also possible to heavily smoke a product without the developement of a smoke ring. Basically it is a chemical reaction between the smoke and the meat.

As to the tip of 1 briquet mentioned above...I can testify that it does indeed work...Why? I dunno..maybe something in the compostion of the briquet produces more nitrates/nitrites? Again I dunno...but it works!

If you really want to have a great smoke ring in your meat..say a brisket..just cheat!! Coat your meat with Tender Quick and the resulting smoke ring will be beautiful..Your friends/neighbors will be duly impressed! This "trick" once prevalent in some circles has resulted in smoke rings no longer being a consideration in competitive bbq. cooking.

How do you think the TV chefs do it?? I'll give you three guesses!
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Old 01-28-2007, 05:13 PM   #55
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I do believe the charcoal must be the key. No, the ring doesn't matter in the taste at all. It only matters when a "friend" points out that - "oh, dear, there's no smoke ring in YOURS" - that's when I first noticed it. Then when I smoked the first butt in my other smoker - poof - smoke ring. So, for whatever reason, it is the charcoal or hardwood briquettes like I use, that causes the smoke ring.

The friend that pointed this out brought a smoked pork butt to the same function I did. Hers had a beautiful smoke ring. However, she doesn't smoke with any hickory or any wood, only charcoal. I'd rather have no smoke ring and good flavor

And, if you ask any hardcore smoker the smoke ring is kind of like a badge of honor - and does make a difference to them.
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Old 01-28-2007, 06:44 PM   #56
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I smoke on a propane smoker using wood chips and water pan and I definitely get a good smoke ring in the meat.

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Old 01-29-2007, 04:35 PM   #57
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I do remember getting a smoke ring when using my barrel smoker with lump charcoal/hickory wood. I must admit I don't remember with my electric smoker. I'll make it a point to check on my next smoke. Either way it hasn't made any difference in how the meat tastes, which I feel is the ultimate goal of smoking. I'm planning on smoking a shoulder this weekend for the Super Bowl.
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Old 01-29-2007, 09:25 PM   #58
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Smokering does have a sweet flavor it's just unless you cure the pork there is not enough flavor to stand out.
Jim
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Old 03-05-2007, 05:21 PM   #59
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I just finished reading this post and the science behing the smoke ring was interesting. I have a question, when smoking a boston butt do you use the hickory chunks the entire time or for part of the process.
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Old 03-05-2007, 05:59 PM   #60
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much depends upon the cooker you are using, one school of thought is that smoke penetration stops about two hours into the smoke and after that the meat has reached a high enough temp to close all pores and all further smoke only collects on the surface. If there's too much then the shoulder may taste bitter. Sooo.. a couple of hours of good smoke and you should be covered. :@)
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