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peculiarmike
02-07-2008, 11:12 AM
Let's get this rolling! I've always heard about how "the smoke penetrates the meat" and that creates "the smoke ring". Wrong! Smoke does not "penetrate" meat. And meat does not have "pores" that "open and close". Here is the straight skinny on the smoke ring and how it is created. Joe's credentials are at the end of his paper.
And them's the facts -

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

Fatboy
02-07-2008, 11:37 AM
You don't really expect an Iowa yankee to know anything about BBQ do you?:lol

Bbq Bubba
02-07-2008, 11:58 AM
Very nice Mike, a little bored today???
Really, that's some good reading! :D

glued2it
02-07-2008, 12:03 PM
In a nut shell.
The smoke does penetrate the meat and adds flavor, However the smoke ring is NOT the smoke penetration but a chemical reaction to the meat's surface.

peculiarmike
02-07-2008, 03:52 PM
In a nut shell.
The smoke does penetrate the meat and adds flavor, However the smoke ring is NOT the smoke penetration but a chemical reaction to the meat's surface.


I'm reserving judgement on the "penetration" thing. I am waiting a reply from Dr. Cordray on this subject.
This forum deals in FACT, not theory or what the popular line or old story is. Our purpose here is to FACTUALLY prove or discredit the subject at hand. We want the straight skinny, the whole truth, just the facts Ma'am.

peculiarmike
02-07-2008, 03:56 PM
You don't really expect an Iowa yankee to know anything about BBQ do you?:lol

Well, they grow all those hogs! :shrug:

Fatboy
02-07-2008, 04:39 PM
I'm reserving judgement on the "penetration" thing. I am waiting a reply from Dr. Cordray on this subject.
This forum deals in FACT, not theory or what the popular line or old story is. Our purpose here is to FACTUALLY prove or discredit the subject at hand. We want the straight skinny, the whole truth, just the facts Ma'am.

If you're only dealing in fact, then you need to remember that his opinion is only that, an opinion.:msn-wink::mouth zipped shut:

Well, they grow all those hogs! :shrug:

Yeah, but they've screwed that up pretty well. They really hurt pork quality when they started the "Other white meat" thing.

glued2it
02-07-2008, 05:39 PM
I'm reserving judgement on the "penetration" thing. I am waiting a reply from Dr. Cordray on this subject.
This forum deals in FACT, not theory or what the popular line or old story is. Our purpose here is to FACTUALLY prove or discredit the subject at hand. We want the straight skinny, the whole truth, just the facts Ma'am.

I wasn't trying to be argumentative, I was trying to clarify.


I can pull a piece of meat out of the center and it has smoke flavor. So if the smoke doesn't penetrate the meat, Then how does it get there?

peculiarmike
02-08-2008, 08:09 AM
I wasn't trying to be argumentative, I was trying to clarify.


I can pull a piece of meat out of the center and it has smoke flavor. So if the smoke doesn't penetrate the meat, Then how does it get there?

Guess that is what we are trying to find out.
No argument, either way, just looking for the facts.

glued2it
02-08-2008, 08:50 AM
:sign0092:

Q-N-Brew
02-08-2008, 09:39 AM
Not having the facts or anything to back up my theory here. But if the smoke doesn't penetrate the meat, then might it soak in via the moisture from the meat itself? Just some fat for ya'll to chew on while you work this out.

Do you have a plan to test any theories to prove or disprove any thoughts?

Q

peculiarmike
02-08-2008, 10:08 AM
[quote=Fatboy;2010]If you're only dealing in fact, then you need to remember that his opinion is only that, an opinion.:msn-wink::mouth zipped shut:


He deals in chemical reactions and scientific research to prove or disprove things, that is not opinion. Looks like fact to me. :twocents:

SmokyOkie
02-08-2008, 11:08 AM
Coming in late in the game, I hope no one objects to my observations.

It would appear to me that the man has credentials and that what he states is stated w/o evidence in this article. It may be fact, but is not stated as such in this article. If he cited conclusive evidence then it wouold be, once proven, fact. I say this while at the same time not questioning the man's information.

As to how the smoke flavor gets to the middle of the meat, that is an entirely different issue than smoke ring.

By my experience, smoke ring has nothing whatsoever to do with smoke flavor.

glued2it
02-08-2008, 12:43 PM
Coming in late in the game, I hope no one objects to my observations.

As to how the smoke flavor gets to the middle of the meat, that is an entirely different issue than smoke ring.

By my experience, smoke ring has nothing whatsoever to do with smoke flavor.

That was pretty much my nutshell statement.

The smoke ring is not a direct result of smoke penetration (or is not caused by), It is.............mikes description.

SmokyOkie
02-08-2008, 03:17 PM
I hereby request that we declare this to be :deadhorse: until new evidence is and definitive clarification is submitted.

peculiarmike
02-09-2008, 01:12 AM
Like I said, I'm reserving judgement on the "penetration" thing. :frusty:

John DOH
03-23-2008, 03:33 PM
In response to Gluedtoit's question of how the smoke flavour can reach inside the meat, I would suggest the following:

Smoking is not just "dry heat" cooking; its a high humidity thing as well, and the water vapor will probably pick up some of the "smoke" and cause it to adhere to the meat.

The meat is not seared, and contains a good deal of liquid, that moves around the muscles by capillary action, and, logically, this would drag along the nitrates of the smoke into the interior of the meat, thus giving interior "cuts" a smokey taste, even if the "exterior" will have the strongest tasting "smoke" flavour.

When we evacuate a piece of meat from the cooker (be this oven, grill or smoker) we almosy always leave it sit for 20-40 minutes, that we don't instantly lose all the liquids that would otherwise pour out of it when its hot, the liquids "re-distribute" themselves in the meat, and wash the nitrates through it, giving the whole of the work a uniformly smokey taste.

Of course, I'm Canadian, and you guys will disbelieve this as a result....

John

gunrunner2491
03-23-2008, 11:12 PM
You don't really expect an Iowa yankee to know anything about BBQ do you?:lol

Some of us Iowans do know BBQ:smack:
just my:twocents:

Fatboy
03-24-2008, 10:24 AM
Some of us Iowans do know BBQ:smack:
just my:twocents:


All in good fun Gunrunner. We don't want to take anything too seriously around here. If we do, somebody might end up getting pissed off, and we can't have that.:msn-wink:

gunrunner2491
03-24-2008, 11:41 AM
There is some fact in your statement, I moved up here from South Texas in November. What I have noticed there are alot of gas grill owners up here. I have only met 1 other person who I believe has a passion for Great BBQ as I do, and I mean BBQ that is made slow and low with thin blue smoke. Granted I hope to meet other BBQ Passionists as my self, but only time will tell. I do spread the word of good BBQ and not what you get at a local drive thru. That is why I look foward to coming home from work and look foward to the new posts of the day. Let me get off my soap box, and apolagize if I offended anyone.

SmokyOkie
03-24-2008, 12:01 PM
In response to Gluedtoit's question of how the smoke flavour can reach inside the meat, I would suggest the following:

Smoking is not just "dry heat" cooking; its a high humidity thing as well, and the water vapor will probably pick up some of the "smoke" and cause it to adhere to the meat.

John

:wo: My spell check says you mis- spelled flavor:msn-wink:


Actually though, frequently smoking is dry heat. While a lot of folks use a smoker that involves a water pan, quite do not. Neither my stickburner nor my drum uses any source of moisture other than what might exist in the well seasoned wood.

bigabyte
12-09-2008, 05:49 PM
This is an experiment I did about smoke ring formation earlier this year. I figured I would share this in case anyone found anything interesting or useful from it. I was mostly surprised about the ash myself, the rest went as I suspected it would. I had to condense multiple posts, so I indicated where each individual post started by a date/time stamp.

----------------------------------------
(posted 2/26/2008)
This experiment is to test some various methods of making BBQ meat to see what impact, if any, each method has on the smoke ring formed in the meat.

I have read so many different ideas about how/why smoke rings are formed, and it is difficult to be sure which ones are right. There is a web page which I think might have the most complete plausible explanation, and that page is http://www.geocities.com/senortoad/SmokeRinginBarbequeMeats.htm (http://www.geocities.com/senortoad/SmokeRinginBarbequeMeats.htm)

Now, in addition to some of what is described in that link, many of the things I have heard around the BBQ community about smoke rings and it's formation are things like:

1. The smoke ring shows the depth of smoke penetration into the meat.
2. It is how to tell meat has really been smoked and not cooked in an oven.
3. It is formed by wood ash landing on the meat.
4. Stops forming after meat has been on for X number of hours.
5. Stops forming after meat has reached a certain temperature (usually 140 is what I hear).
6. Stops forming when the pathways in the meat become clogged (from rub and/or soot).
7. The smoke ring is what gives meat it's smoky flavor.
8. Cooking meat in a gas oven can form a smoke ring.

My experience tells me that some of those above are definitely not correct, and I also believe some others may not be correct but have only experience to make me feel that way and no direct evidence.

So I plan to do some experiments that should shed some light on many questions about smoke ring formation. I am not planning to glean insight to all questions about smoke ring formation in this one weekend, but this weekend should demonstrate a number of smoke ring facts and misconceptions.

I am going to be cooking 16 pieces of pork in 3 different cookers. Each piece of pork will be a quarter block of a deboned pork shoulder butt. I will quarter 4 butts to get the 16 pieces. These should be of sufficient size to make a good test, yet small enough to not be so wasteful I begin to question why the hell I'm doing all this.

Two of the cookers will be WSM's running on wood chunks and charcoal briquettes. One WSM will have a water pan to make a moist cooking environment, and the other will use a sand pan to have a drier cooking environment. Each will be cooking at approximately 250-275 degress. The third cooker will be a gas oven set to the same temps that the cookers are running at.

On each of the WSM's I will place 6 pieces of meat prepared the following ways. The only difference between the 2 WSM's will be the moist vs dry environments.

1. Plain, no treatment of any kind before or during the cook.
2. Brined for 24 hours prior to cooking.
3. Plain, but spritzed with apple juice every 45 minutes during cooking.
4. Rubbed overnight before cooking.
5. Slather and rub applied overnight before cooking.
6. Brined for 24 hours, then slathered and rubbed overnight, and spritzed with water every 45 minutes during cooking.

In the oven I will place 4 pieces of meat prepared the following ways:

1. Plain, no treatment of any kind before or during the cook.
2. Rub of Morton Tenderquick Cure applied to meat before cooking.
3. Slather of liquid smoke and rub of Morton Tenderquick Cure applied to meat before cooking.
4. Rub of wood ash applied before cooking (it will not be eaten though).

What should be demonstrated by all this:

1. What differences, if any, are there in smoke ring formation between a wet and dry cooking environment?
2. Does applying extra moisture to the meat with mop/spritz or brining affect the smoke ring compared to not using these techniques, and is one method better than the other?
3. Do rubs, slathers, or mops/spritzes clog up the meat pores reducing depth of smoke ring compared to meats that do not use these techniques?
4. Does cooking in a gas oven form a smoke ring?
5. Can a smoke ring be formed in meat cooked in a smoke-free gas oven?
6. Can smokey flavored meats with a smoke ring be produced in a smoke-free gas oven?
7. Does wood ash contribute to smoke ring development?

Questions that are not answered in this experiment, but I hope to answer in a future experiment are:

1. Does the smoke ring represent the penetration of smoke flavor into the meat?
2. Does smoke ring formation stop after meat has been cooking for a certain amount of time, or when it reaches a certain temperature?
3. Can meat with no smoke ring taste smokey?

(posted 2/28/2008)
I started today. I made up some brine earlier today of 1 cup salt to 1 gallon of water, boiling to dissolve the salt. I then let it cool down and chilled in the refrigerator for several hours.

I got the four butts at Sams Club which come packaged 2 butts together in cryovac. I made sure to pick ones where both butts looked the same size, and the total weight between both packages was the same. I found two packages at roughly 15 pounds each where the butts looked the same size in each.

Here are the butts from the first package before...
http://i219.photobucket.com/albums/cc150/bigabyte/2008_03_02/Day0_ButtsInCryo.jpg

...and after deboning and quartering.
http://i219.photobucket.com/albums/cc150/bigabyte/2008_03_02/Day0_ButtsQuartered.jpg

I took the four pieces in the left of the above photo and put each in a ziploc with some of the brine. I then pushed all the air out of the bag, sealed it up and tossed in the fridge. I took the other 4 pieces on the right and wrapped them back up real tight and put back in the fridge. I will use those pieces for rubbing and slathering tomorrow night.

(posted 2/29/2008 20:19 CST)
This evening I cleaned up my kettle grill real good, then lit up a chimney of cherry chunks. I dumped the chunks in the kettle and filled in with more cherry, and let it go with inlets open and lid off until they had burned down to coals. Then I put the lid on so the ashes wouldn't get blown around overnight. Tomorrow morning I should be able to get me some pure cherry wood ash.

Twenty four hours after putting the 4 pieces in brine, I took them out along with the other 4 pieces I quartered up last night. Here's what they looked like. The brined ones are the 4 on the left.
http://i219.photobucket.com/albums/cc150/bigabyte/2008_03_02/Day1_ButtsBefore.jpg

I bagged up 2 of the brined ones and put back in the fridge. Then I applied slather to the other 2 brined pieces, and to 2 of the plain pieces. Here's a photo after the slather. The 2 brined ones are on the left.
http://i219.photobucket.com/albums/cc150/bigabyte/2008_03_02/Day1_ButtsSlathered.jpg

Then I applied rub to all 6 of these pieces. Even though I had blotted dry the brined pieces, they really took on a lot of rub, and I mean a whole lot. Here's a photo after the rub. The 2 on the left are the brined, slathered and rubbed, the middle 2 are slathered and rubbed, and the 2 on the right only have rub.
http://i219.photobucket.com/albums/cc150/bigabyte/2008_03_02/Day1_ButtsRubbed.jpg

Hopefully I'll be able to provide updates tomorrow as the experiment progresses. It's a busy weekend though, so I may not be as timely as I would wish to be. I will take pictures though.

--------------------------------------------------

I had to break this in to 2 posts as the text was too long!:D

californiasmokin
12-09-2008, 06:24 PM
Thanks for the post Chris,
Interesting about the ash smoke ring.Very informative stuff!

SmokyOkie
12-09-2008, 10:26 PM
:wow: That's a book.

Bottom line , however is that the smoke ring is a chemical reaction with nitrites/ nitrates with the myoglobin of the meat, and that smoke ring really has nothing to do with flavor?

We know that nitrites and nitrates have a color changing effect on meat being as that's what makes ham and corned beef pink.

next question....what effects do all the variables have on beef?.....poultry?....:roflmaoha0::roflmaoha0:


Thanx for the info biggie!:thumbs up:

bigabyte
12-09-2008, 10:40 PM
next question....what effects do all the variables have on beef?.....poultry?....:roflmaoha0::roflmaoha0:
I knew someone would ask that! It's hard to make everyone happy. Heck, even after posting htis on some other places I got some messages asking me if I thought using a vertical like a WSM had an effect on the results, or the lifting of the lid to spritz.:shrug:

As for the smoke FLAVOR, my general comeback on that question is what happens if you smoke a corned beef, pastrami, bacon or cured ham? Does it taste smokey? Since it has no smoke ring, how did that smoke taste get there?:ack2:

SmokyOkie
12-09-2008, 10:55 PM
All of them are injected with brine that has liquid smoke in it?:shrug:

bigabyte
12-09-2008, 11:00 PM
Crapola. The second thread has too many photos for me to change it so it displays all the pics.

You may notice that the pics got pretty blurry at that point. I can't remember what exactly I did wrong but I had the camera set on a setting that basically caused the pics to go pretty bad. I didn't notice until much later. You can still see the meat and smoke rings, just not very pretty pics is all.

Tomorrow sometime I may come back and delete these and report so that I can get all the text and pics in.:msn-wink:

Jake
12-10-2008, 12:08 AM
holy chit folks, great read, thats why this site is the best:thumbs up:

bigabyte
12-10-2008, 08:20 PM
(posted 3/1/2008 11:08 CST)
The meat is on! I got probably a little over a cup of cherry ash which was more than sufficient.

I took the other cryovac of butts to debone and quarter.
http://i219.photobucket.com/albums/cc150/bigabyte/2008_03_02/Day2_ButtsInCryo.jpg

Here they are deboned and quartered. The 4 on the left will be the pieces I use in the oven, and the 4 on the right will be used in the WSM's for the plain pieces and the spritzed pieces.
http://i219.photobucket.com/albums/cc150/bigabyte/2008_03_02/Day2_ButtsQuartered.jpg

I got the WSM's synchronized at 275 with Kingsford charcoal and cherry chunks, and set the gas oven for the same temp. For the pieces cooking in the oven, I took half-size aluminum pans and made a HD foil divider to keep two pieces seperately while they cook.

In ths picture are 2 of the oven pieces. The one on the right is the plain piece, and the one on the left has a rub of 1 tbsp Tenderquick.
http://i219.photobucket.com/albums/cc150/bigabyte/2008_03_02/Day2_BeforePlainAndTQ.jpg

In this picture are the other 2 oven pieces. The one on the right got a thin layer of liquid smoke and then a rub of 1 tbsp Tenderquick. I think you can guess what is on the one on the left. Doesn't it look *****?
http://i219.photobucket.com/albums/cc150/bigabyte/2008_03_02/Day2_BeforeSmokeTQAndAsh.jpg

In this picture are the 6 pieces that went in the WSM with the water pan. On the top row from left to right are Plain, Spritzed, Brined. On the bottom row from left to right are Rubbed, Slather+Rub, Brine+Slather+Rub+Spritz.
http://i219.photobucket.com/albums/cc150/bigabyte/2008_03_02/Day2_BeforeWet.jpg

And this last picture is the 6 pieces going in the WSM with the sand pan. On the top row from left to right are Plain, Spritzed, Brined. On the bottom row from left to right are Rubbed, Slather+Rub, Brine+Slather+Rub+Spritz.
http://i219.photobucket.com/albums/cc150/bigabyte/2008_03_02/Day2_BeforeDry.jpg

I will begin spritzing the pieces that get spritz beginning at the 3 hour mark, and spritz them every 45 minutes with Members Mark Apple Juice.

More updates as I get them and can post them.

(continued due to text and image limitations)

bigabyte
12-10-2008, 08:23 PM
(posted 3/1/2008 21:59 CST)
The results are in!!!

Pieces came off at different times over the course of about 45 minutes, but I had a system to keep everything organized and when all the pieces were ready I was able to process them systematically. This is a good thing because when I took the pictures off my camera I found I had only taken 14 photos, so I missed taking photos of two pieces. Because of the system I was able to quickly identify exactly which pieces did not get pictures. It was the Dry Brined piece and the Wet Brined piece.

The system I had to keep everything in order was to put toothpicks in the pieces in each cooker to identify which ones they were. Then when taking pieces off of the cooker, I had three different pans to put them in, so only pieces from the same cooker wound up in a pan. Then from the number of toothpicks in each piece in the pan I knew exactly what cooker and what piece it was. Then when evaluating them I did them in a specific order by cooker and number of toothpicks and wrote down the results for that cooker and piece number.

The pictures were taken as I processed the pieces, so they followed that same order, and I also included the toothpicks in the photos for identification if needed. It's a good thing I did because this is how I was able to figure out which pieces I had forgotten to take photos of.

OK, I know you are itching for the results, here they are. All pieces were cooked to between 195 and 200 degrees. The cookers were running at 275 throughout the cooking process. to measure the smoke ring, I sliced each piece in half and took the measurement of the smoke ring at its thickest point that was not a corner or gouge/cavity.

WSM w/Water Pan - Plain
1/2 inch thick smoke ring. Boring flavorwise.
http://i219.photobucket.com/albums/cc150/bigabyte/2008_03_02/Final_Wet_Plain.jpg

WSM w/Water Pan - Spritzed
1/2 inch thick smoke ring. Boring flavorwise.
http://i219.photobucket.com/albums/cc150/bigabyte/2008_03_02/Final_Wet_Spritzed.jpg

WSM w/Water Pan - Brined
1/2 inch thick smoke ring. Tasted rather good actually.
(sorry, no photo)

WSM w/Water Pan - Rubbed
3/8 inch thick smoke ring. Tasted good.
http://i219.photobucket.com/albums/cc150/bigabyte/2008_03_02/Final_Wet_Rubbed.jpg

WSM w/Water Pan - Slathered and Rubbed
3/8 inch thick smoke ring. Tasted good.
http://i219.photobucket.com/albums/cc150/bigabyte/2008_03_02/Final_Wet_SlatherAndRub.jpg

WSM w/Water Pan - Brined, Slathered, Rubbed and Spritzed
3/8 inch thick smoke ring. Tasted better than the others.
http://i219.photobucket.com/albums/cc150/bigabyte/2008_03_02/Final_Wet_All.jpg

(continued due to text and image limitations)

bigabyte
12-10-2008, 08:27 PM
WSM w/Sand Pan - Plain
1/2 inch thick smoke ring. Boring tasting.
http://i219.photobucket.com/albums/cc150/bigabyte/2008_03_02/Final_Dry_Plain.jpg

WSM w/Sand Pan - Spritzed
1/2 inch thick smoke ring. Boring tasting.
http://i219.photobucket.com/albums/cc150/bigabyte/2008_03_02/Final_Dry_Spritzed.jpg

WSM w/Sand Pan - Brined
1/2 inch thick smoke ring. Good meat flavor.
(sorry, no photo)

WSM w/Sand Pan - Rubbed
3/8 inch thick smoke ring. Tasted good.
http://i219.photobucket.com/albums/cc150/bigabyte/2008_03_02/Final_Dry_Rubbed.jpg

WSM w/Sand Pan - Slathered and Rubbed
3/8 inch thick smoke ring. Tasted good.
http://i219.photobucket.com/albums/cc150/bigabyte/2008_03_02/Final_Dry_SlatherAndRub.jpg

WSM w/Sand Pan - Brined, Slathered, Rubbed and Spritzed
3/8 inch thick smoke ring - This one had the best bark and best flavor of all of the pieces today.
http://i219.photobucket.com/albums/cc150/bigabyte/2008_03_02/Final_Dry_All.jpg

Oven - Plain
No smoke ring at all. This was the most boring flavor of all of them.
http://i219.photobucket.com/albums/cc150/bigabyte/2008_03_02/Final_Oven_Plain.jpg

Oven - Tenderquick rub
5/8 inch thick smoke ring. This tasted OK. Nothing special.
http://i219.photobucket.com/albums/cc150/bigabyte/2008_03_02/Final_Oven_TQ.jpg

Oven - Liquid Smoke and Tenderquick Rub
5/8 inch thick smoke ring. This did not taste bad, but if I was sereved this anywhere I would never order it again. The smoke flavor did not taste like real smoke and was very subtle and kinda weird tasting. I would never mistake this for real smoked BBQ, no way, no how.
http://i219.photobucket.com/albums/cc150/bigabyte/2008_03_02/Final_Oven_LiquidSmokeAndTQ.jpg

Oven - Cherry Wood Ash
1/4 inch light colored smoke ring, but it was there! I did not taste it however.
http://i219.photobucket.com/albums/cc150/bigabyte/2008_03_02/Final_Oven_WoodAsh.jpg

(continued due to text and image limitations)

Short One
12-10-2008, 08:28 PM
:twocents: Just an observation, but IMHO the pieces you are going to spitz, may only get spitzed once. From their size I would think they will be done in 3 hrs., if not before.

bigabyte
12-10-2008, 08:30 PM
(continued from above)

I was surprised at how clear the results seem to be at initial glance. There are some noticeable patterns in these results. Here is what I am taking from this at first glance.

1. Cooking in a gas oven does not produce a smoke ring. (I knew this already though, but nobody can say I didn't include this)

2. Wood ash on meat does indeed form a smoke ring.

3. Meat cooked in an oven with Liquid Smoke could not fool anyone familiar with real BBQ.

4. Introducing extra moisture to the meat from a water pan, brining or spritzing has no effect on smoke ring penetration.

5. Adding a rub to the meat reduces penetration of the smoke ring. Slathers, spritzes and brines do not seem to cause any more reduction in the smoke ring, it appears to be just the rub that makes this difference.

-----------------------------------------------

Well, that's what happened folks. Feel free to chime in with your thoughts.

bigabyte
12-10-2008, 08:35 PM
:twocents: Just an observation, but IMHO the pieces you are going to spitz, may only get spitzed once. From their size I would think they will be done in 3 hrs., if not before.
I spritzed four times, starting at the 3 hour mark. The total cook time was roughly 6 hours, some came off a bit earlier, some later.

peculiarmike
12-11-2008, 12:25 AM
Did you read this? -

"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."

The smoke ring is just a color change, it has no flavor. And yes, it does form in gas smokers.

bigabyte
12-11-2008, 08:53 AM
Yes, I read that. Why do you ask? One interesting thing to note is the absolute lack of a smoke ring in the plain piece cooked in the gas oven. So using natural gas to form a smoke ring seems to not hold water.

Fatback Joe
12-11-2008, 09:29 AM
I always assumed (based on nothing but just kicking it around in my head a bit) that the amount of smoke ring, if any, you got from cooking with gas would probably have something to do with how "clean" of flame you had.

A nice clean flame would probably not have a high enough concentration of the chemicals necessary to contribute much to ring formation where as a "dirty" flame is going to give you a ring.

But, as I said, based on nothing other than just giving it some thought.........and very, very little at that.

bigabyte
12-11-2008, 09:45 AM
If that's the case, then my propane grill might be a good candidate for making smoke rings right now. It's could use a cleaning as it's a bit dirty down by the burners.:ack2:

Fatback Joe
12-11-2008, 10:07 AM
If that's the case, then my propane grill might be a good candidate for making smoke rings right now. It's could use a cleaning as it's a bit dirty down by the burners.:ack2:

Oh.......I am not saying that is the case........I am just saying that it what ran through my head. :msn-wink:

I am fine with never knowing the truth on this. :D And if really pushed to take one side or the other, I would say that you won't get a ring with gas...........it feels good to take a stand. :woohoo:

bigabyte
12-11-2008, 10:33 AM
LOL! I'm not taking sides either. I'm just an observer, I have no agenda.:msn-wink:

I only do these kinds of experiments to find out for myself what happens. I was surprised by the wood ash smoke ring. I wasn't surprised by the lack of a smoke ring in my gas oven because I have made roasts of many kinds in my oven and have never once seen a smoke ring. This does not mean if someone were to disagree with me and say gas CAN create a smoke ring that I would say they are wrong. I would simply point to the roasts I have done, and this experiment to say that it sure as heck doesn't happen when I cook at home.:D

Get this, before doing this experiment, I actually debated with a guy on another forum that wood ash is NOT responsible for the smoke ring, but that it is the NO2 in the gases released from the burning wood converting into...blah, blah you have read this already but get the idea. The person I was debating with explained they are pretty old, have been around Q'ing for quite some time and that they knew they were right but would not disagree with me on the gasses, only that wood ash DOES create a smoke ring. I thought this person was nuts and is why I was eager to see the results of my experiment. Needless to say, I had to eat some crow after this experiment because, lo and behold, wood ash DOES in fact create a smoke ring.

So after this, I tend to keep a more open mind when debating these topics. If (for example) PeculiarMike was asking that question because he knows from first hand experience that a plain non-treated piece of meat cooked in his propane grill created a smoke ring, I would not argue with him about it. I would be intrigued to hear about it though because it differs from my results, and it would make me question why there is a difference, and maybe even experiment some more to find out if I felt like it.


As for what everyone else takes from any of my experiments, I just post them so that if someone would like to knwo what somebody found out first hand, then it is available to them. It all started with a lack of reliable information on what ingredients in rubs burned, or what caused them to burn. So after finding out I shared it with everyone so anyone wondering these questions would no longer have to wonder, they could either take my results or if they were not satisfied with that they can find out on their own. At least I gave them the option though.

Other than this sort of stuff though where you learn from someone who actually tested something to see if it was really true, or doing your own testing first hand, all there is as an alternative is getting advice from talking to people or reading what people post on the internet, which for me is not always a very reliable source of information.:msn-wink: Yet I post my results on the internet, so isn't that ironic.:roflmaoha0:

SmokyOkie
12-11-2008, 12:04 PM
Ironic indeed.

As to the gas burning causing a ring, I might suggest that a gas fired smoke house or smoker is not as airtight as a gas oven. As a result there would be a good deal more post combustion gas released when cooking with them than there would be in a gas oven.

the author doesn't say that cooking in a gas fired cooker does can a ring, he merely states that it can.

I would be willing to bet that if you cooked some pork in a gas fired smoker such as a GOSM w/o any wood at all that there would be at least a slight amount of pink showing, but I wouldn't bet much.:roflmaoha0:

Smoking Duck
01-07-2009, 06:27 PM
I believe that the smoke ring is caused by the myoglobin (or whatever that stuff is). However, I also believe that in order for the smoke ring to occur, you need to produce the heat with a fossil fuel (charcoal, wood). The Bradley is an electric smoker which uses wood bisquettes. However, because the primary source of heat is electric, there is no pink ring that is produced with the meat even though there is wood that is producing a smoke. Now, if it were simply a myoglobin (or whatever that stuff is) reaction, I believe you would see the ring in a Bradley or a gas oven. One can try to simulate the ring with some cure but that's not a true ring, IMO. Interesting reading on the subject.

SD

Jake
01-11-2009, 01:49 PM
always good info here, :thumbs up:

ShooterRick
10-19-2009, 08:44 PM
Interesting article. HOpe you dont mind but I borrowed it to share elsewhere. Great forum I found here. Thanks

SmokyOkie
10-19-2009, 09:50 PM
I dunno Rick, the author of the thread may want a royalty............

NOT!

Spread the knowledge!

peculiarmike
10-19-2009, 10:40 PM
Royalty??? Hmmmmmmmm.........................

californiasmokin
03-01-2013, 10:16 AM
:bump::bump:

Interesting read.

two-short
03-01-2013, 04:05 PM
thanks california' for findin this . it was a good read:stir: