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Old 10-06-2007, 12:49 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by beerco View Post
Oh jeez, ever hear of google? how about Gas oven vs electric oven just search on moisture. Yes there's debate but the fact is that a gas oven produces lots of water.

Sheesh, you seem pretty normal on the other threads where I've read your stuff.
Did you not read what you typed….there is DEBATE as to whether this is true or not. That makes it subjective. Further, you must consider the moisture the food itself will impart to the chamber, the venting the oven has, whether or not you're using a covered roaster, etc. There are many components to this “debate”.

And I’m being pretty normal here, but I’d suggest next time you start a discourse with someone, you don’t jump in with terse “false” accusations. It has a way of putting people off.
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Old 10-06-2007, 01:40 PM   #22
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Did you not read what you typed….there is DEBATE as to whether this is true or not.
But just because there's debate doesn't mean that one side isn't wrong.

The fact is that while technically you are correct that "heat is heat" the reality is that in our world you can't separate heat from the medium (and radiant heat i.e. heat without medium does influence as well). Different cookers have different environments WRT humidity, combusion gasses, radiant heat etc.

e.g. you've got a charcoal smoker and an electric version of the same. I personally use one to two big chunks of wood for a long smoke. If I put the same amount of wood in both smokers the taste will probably be similar but the smoke ring will not. If I put more wood in the electric smoker to get the same ring, there taste will not be similar - probably way too much smoke. (BTW in my personal experience charcoal does have an effect on the flavor too) .

Similar things can be said of water vs. no water in the smoker. When I used an electric smoker, I thought the meat came out better with a water pan. I now have a smoker with over 10x the thermal mass of my electric and a water pan is not necessary to get the same results.

Steaming is different than roasting. Gas ovens give different results compared to electric. Convection isn't Conventional etc. etc. etc. This is a subtle science and the details mater.

To say that an electric smoker will give the same results as charcoal is very misleading. Heck, just different designs of pit with the same fuel give different results. If the subtleties (which often aren't so subtle) of the different pits are lost on you, don't make the mistake of thinking they're lost on everyone.
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Old 10-06-2007, 01:54 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by beerco View Post
But just because there's debate doesn't mean that one side isn't wrong.
An it certainly doesn't mean one side is right.

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e.g. you've got a charcoal smoker and an electric version of the same. I personally use one to two big chunks of wood for a long smoke. If I put the same amount of wood in both smokers the taste will probably be similar but the smoke ring will not. If I put more wood in the electric smoker to get the same ring, there taste will not be similar - probably way too much smoke. (BTW in my personal experience charcoal does have an effect on the flavor too) .

To say that an electric smoker will give the same results as charcoal is very misleading. Heck, just different designs of pit with the same fuel give different results. If the subtleties (which often aren't so subtle) of the different pits are lost on you, don't make the mistake of thinking they're lost on everyone.
No, it’s a fact. Did you even read the sources you cited. From your own source:

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 smoke ring is produced by WOOD smoke. You get wood smoke in an electric smoker or a charcoal smoker. Charcoal is made from wood, so it should be painfully obvious that if you use charcoal you are increasing the amount of NO2 available. Thus it should also be obvious that you can also increase the NO2 available in an electric smoker by using more smoke.

Adding moisture to the equation further helps the smoke ring since NO2 is water soluble. Thus a water smoker can impart smoke to the meat more quickly since the steam condenses on the surface of the meat. Basting the meat can also expedite the process.

The smoke flavor through out the meat is from the NO2 diffusing through the surface of the mat and traveling inward. Smoke flavor and a smoke ring go hand in hand. To say that you can get overly smokey meat and no smoke ring is an absolute contradiction in terms. Lightly smoke meat has a small to no smoke ring and little smokey flavor. Heavily smoked meat has a deep smoke ring and heavy smokey flavor.
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Old 10-06-2007, 01:55 PM   #24
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...e.g. you've got a charcoal smoker and an electric version of the same. I personally use one to two big chunks of wood for a long smoke. If I put the same amount of wood in both smokers the taste will probably be similar but the smoke ring will not. If I put more wood in the electric smoker to get the same ring, there taste will not be similar - probably way too much smoke...

If I'm understanding you correctly, if you use 'two big chunks of wood', in a charcoal smoker and another two in an electric smoker, you'll get good smoke from one and too much smoke and no smoke ring from the other?

Please explain that or correct my understanding.
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Old 10-06-2007, 02:14 PM   #25
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If I'm understanding you correctly, if you use 'two big chunks of wood', in a charcoal smoker and another two in an electric smoker, you'll get good smoke from one and too much smoke and no smoke ring from the other?

Please explain that or correct my understanding.
I guess I wasn't clear. Let me back up a step.

Smoke flavor is produced from smoke. "raw" wood makes the most smoke, charcoal just a little.

The smoke ring is produced by the reactions of oxides of nitrogen with stuff in the meat. Both wood and charcoal produce oxides of nitrogen. Hotter temps produce more oxides than lower temps. Electric produces very little if any.

So if you put one chunk of wood in an electric and charcoal, the meat will have similar smokey flavor because there was roughly the same amount of smoke to flavor the meat.

On the other hand the one in the charcoal smoker will have more smoke ring. Depending on the situation, the electric may have no smoke ring at all. This is because much more NO2 was created in the combustion of the wood + charcoal compared to just one chunk of wood .

if you up the amount of raw wood in the electric smoker to get the same amount of NO2 as the charcoal smoker, you will produce a lot more smoke, possibly "over" smoking the meat.

To put it another way, using charcoal, you can get a smoke ring without any smoke (i.e. without adding any raw wood what so ever). Since I switched to charcoal from gas for regular grilling I get em all the time even when no wood is added.
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Old 10-06-2007, 02:19 PM   #26
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So, equal amounts of wood for smoke on the different smokers will produce similar flavors but not similar smoke rings...
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Old 10-06-2007, 02:37 PM   #27
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So, equal amounts of wood for smoke on the different smokers will produce similar flavors but not similar smoke rings...
Correct. The only thing I'd add for clarity is that it's due to the fuel/heat source.
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Old 10-06-2007, 02:39 PM   #28
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So the smoke ring is a cosmetic thing.
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Old 10-06-2007, 02:47 PM   #29
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[quote=Andy M.;491435]So the smoke ring is a cosmetic thing.[/quote


been my experience that yes .. its for looks ..

this is a interesting read ..

Smoke Ring in Barbeque Meats
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Old 10-06-2007, 02:53 PM   #30
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So the smoke ring is a cosmetic thing.
Honestly I'm not entirely sure on that one. The evidence seems to point that yes, it is strictly a pigmentation thing and doesn't really affect flavor.

One thing I can say with certainty is that food made over charcoal has a different flavor compared to that prepared over e.g. gas, smoke ring or not.

But of course, cooking is about appealing to the visual senses as well as taste and olfactory senses.
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