"Discover Cooking, Discuss Life."

Go Back   Discuss Cooking - Cooking Forums > General Cooking Information > Outdoor Cooking Forum > BBQ & Smokin' Meats
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 01-06-2006, 02:12 PM   #1
Head Chef
 
htc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: USA,Oregon
Posts: 1,302
How much wood to add when smoking?

I've only smoked boneless pork once and it turned out pretty good. So I've been trying to research more on the net. One thing I don't understand, a couple of sites state that you don't need but a couple pieces of wood to smoke a piece of meat.

I don't understand this. I get my wood from a local sporting store, so the wood chunks are about the size of my fist. I soak the wood chunks in water. There's no way that these chunks of wood can last and smoke for many hours. I usually just add more soaked hunks of wood as they burn up. Someone also mentioned that I don't need to do this. That I only need to add the wood for the first couple of hours then not worry and just make sure that the temp of the smoker is keep at the right level. If I don't add wood thru the whole cooking process, will there still be a nice smoke ring?

Can any of you avid smokers out there shed some light on this?

__________________

__________________
htc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2006, 04:33 PM   #2
Chef Extraordinaire
 
mudbug's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: NoVA, beyond the Beltway
Posts: 11,166
htc, HH is the smoker expert in our house, but I think I can safely tell you it's not the amount of wood that matters but keeping the temp constant. At least that's what HH always keeps his eye on, and his BBQ usually turns out great.
__________________

__________________
Kool Aid - Think before you drink.
mudbug is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2006, 07:35 PM   #3
Certified Pretend Chef
 
Andy M.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 41,374
It's not necessary to have flavoring smoke during the entire cooking period, especially for longer cooking pieces like a butt.
__________________
"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan
Andy M. is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2006, 10:09 PM   #4
Head Chef
 
htc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: USA,Oregon
Posts: 1,302
Andy, so how long do I need to add it? The first 3 hours or so?
__________________
htc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2006, 10:19 PM   #5
Certified Pretend Chef
 
Andy M.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 41,374
If you're cooking something for 10-12 hours, 3 hours of smokw should do the trick. If you're used to adding smoke for the entire time, then 3 hours of smoke will result in a less smokey taste.
__________________
"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan
Andy M. is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-2006, 12:19 PM   #6
Assistant Cook
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,694
Two to three hours is plenty for me

After that it begins to taste like more smoke than meat. Temp at 250*--no higher.
__________________
Gretchen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-2006, 09:19 PM   #7
Executive Chef
 
Raine's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: NC
Posts: 3,549
htc, they are probably using charcoal or lump to finish the cooking.

Pursists will burn wood down to coals only.

The length of time to add wood/smoke may depend on which cut of meat you are cooking. A 7-8 lb butt, we apply wood/smoke for 4-5 hours, then just keeping a consistant temp thereafter for a total of 8-10 hours.

The wood chunks are about the right size. If you start with lump/charcoal, add your wood, and finish with lump/charcoal, you can get by without having to even soak the wood.

Check out this link and see if it helps.

http://www.virtualweberbullet.com/fireup2.html#minion
__________________
Raine is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-2006, 09:32 PM   #8
Executive Chef
 
Raine's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: NC
Posts: 3,549
Smoke Ring in Barbeque Meats
How to Get That Coveted Pink Ring With Your Cooking
by Joe Cordray

Slow cooked barbecue meats often exhibit a pink ring around the outside edge of the product. This pink ring may range from 1/8 inch to 1/2 inch thick. In beef the ring is a reddish-pink and in pork, chicken and turkey it is bright pink. This pink ring is often referred to as a "smoke ring" and is considered a prized attribute in many barbecue meats, especially barbecue beef briskets. Barbecue connoiseurs feel the presence of a smoke ring indicates the item was slow smoked for a long period of time. Occasionally consumers have mistakenly felt that the pink color of the smoke ring meant the meat was undercooked. To understand smoke ring formation you must first understand muscle pigment.
Myoglobin is the pigment that gives muscle its color. Beef muscle has more pigment than pork muscle thus beef has a darker color than pork. Chicken thighs have a darker color than chicken breast thus chicken thigh muscle has more muscle pigment (myoglobin) than chicken breast tissue. A greater myoglobin concentration yields a more intense color. When you first cut into a muscle you expose the muscle pigment in its native state, myoglobin. In the case of beef, myoglobin has a purplish-red color. After the myoglobin has been exposed to oxygen for a short time, it becomes oxygenated and oxymyoglobin is formed. Oxymyoglobin is the color we associate with fresh meat. The optimum fresh meat color in beef is bright cherry red and in pork bright grayish pink. If a cut of meat is held under refrigeration for several days, the myoglobin on the surface becomes oxidized. When oxymyoglobin is oxidized it becomes metmyoglobin. Metmyoglobin has a brown color and is associated with a piece of meat that has been cut for several days. When we produce cured products we also alter the state of the pigment myoglobin. Cured products are defined as products to which we add sodium nitrate and/or sodium nitrite during processing. Examples of cured products are ham, bacon, bologna and hotdogs. All of these products have a pink color, which is typical of cured products. When sodium nitrite is combined with meat the pigment myoglobin is converted to nitric oxide myoglobin which is a very dark red color. This state of the pigment myoglobin is not very stable. Upon heating, nitric oxide myoglobin is converted to nitrosylhemochrome, which is the typical pink color of cured meats.
When a smoke ring develops in barbecue meats it is not because smoke has penetrated and colored the muscle, but rather because gases in the smoke interact with the pigment myoglobin. Two phenomenon provide evidence that it is not the smoke itself that causes the smoke ring. First, it is possible to have a smoke ring develop in a product that has not been smoked and second, it is also possible to heavily smoke a product without smoke ring development.
Most barbecuers use either wood chips or logs to generate smoke when cooking. 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 end result is a "smoke ring" that has the pink color of cured meat. Smoke ring also frequently develops in smokehouses and cookers that are gas-fired because NO2 is a combustion by-product when natural gas or propane is burned.
Let’s review the conditions that would help to contribute to the development of a smoke ring. Slow cooking and smoking over several hours. This allows time for the NO2 to be absorbed into and interact with the meat pigment.
Maintain the surface of the meat moist during smoking. NO2 is water-soluble so it absorbs more readily into a piece of meat that has a moist surface than one which has a dry surface. Meats that have been marinated tend to have a moister surface than non-marinated meats. There are also a couple of ways that you can help to maintain a higher humidity level in your cooker; 1. Do not open and close the cooker frequently. Each time you open it you allow moisture inside to escape. 2. Put a pan of water on your grill. Evaporation from the water will help increase humidity inside the cooker.
Generate smoke from the burning of wood chips or wood logs. Since NO2 is a by-product of incomplete combustion, green wood or wetted wood seems to enhance smoke ring development. Burning green wood or wetted wood also helps to increase the humidity level inside the cooker.
A high temperature flame is needed to create NO2 from nitrogen and oxygen. A smoldering fire without a flame does not produce as much NO2. Consequently, a cooker that uses indirect heat generated from the burning of wood typically will develop a pronounced smoke ring. Have fun cooking. A nice smoke ring can sure make a piece of barbecued meat look attractive.
About the Author:
Joe Cordray is the Meat Extension Specialist at Iowa State University’s nationally renowned Meat Lab, located in Ames, IA. He has been writing for The BBQer since Fall of 2001
__________________
Raine is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-2006, 10:13 PM   #9
Master Chef
 
Michael in FtW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Fort Worth, TX
Posts: 6,592
Since Raine knows best - I would go with her suggestions.
__________________
"It ain't what you don't know that gets you in trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." - Mark Twain
Michael in FtW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2006, 07:52 PM   #10
Senior Cook
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Dallas, Tx. ( Big D )
Posts: 313
Low heat, long time....

....but how low, or better yet, how hot is too hot. I got this from a master. He contends that you never raise the temperature past the boiling point. He would say, " Why whould you boil the moisture from the meat". On my cast iron smoker, I keep a pan of water throughout the cooking. Many people don't like heavy smoked meats. You can use charcoal for the heat and add a log of mesquite or hickory, or whatever you like. Bark makes a bitter flavor, so burn it off first. Set the flavor and finish it up in the oven. It's much easier.
__________________

__________________
Phil is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



» Discuss Cooking on Facebook

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:18 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.