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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Tulsa
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    1,328

    Default BBQ Information reference.

    Browning...

    This is also called the Maillard Reaction. It is a reaction between amino acids in the meat's surface and sugars in the presence of heat. The Maillard Reaction and the smoke introduced to the meat's surface is what gives barbecue it's characteristic "bark". Usually, well smoked barbecue has a crust that is black in color suggesting the Maillard Reaction on overdrive. Don't worry... this is a good thing. Most people love the "bark" on a properly cooked Boston butt or brisket.



    Searing...

    Most barbecue pit masters do not sear their meat before smoking. Searing meat is cooking it for very short amounts of time in an attempt to seal in the juices. Scientific tests have been performed which weigh two identical pieces of meat before and after cooking. One being seared and the other not. Test results show that the seared piece of meat lost more moisture than the not seared meat. If searing is done properly, it will improve the flavor due to the Maillard reaction, but it will probably not improve juiciness very much. This one is extremely controversial though. Many chefs swear by "searing in the juices". Maybe there is something to it because after reading the paragraph on resting, you'll understand how the muscle fibers contract when heated and push the juices to the center of the meat.


    The Smoke Ring...

    The smoke ring is important for aesthetic reasons, but as far as flavor is concerned, it contributes none. The smoke ring is just a chemical reaction between nitrogen dioxide and the amino acids in the meat which produce a pink color. Nitrogen dioxide is produced when wood is burned at temperatures exceeding 600 deg F. Note this is in the firebox and not your cooking chamber. The smoke ring really has nothing to do with smoke at all. The smoke will impart it's flavor to the surface of the meat independent of the smoke ring reaction. Interestingly enough, gas grills do produce nitrogen dioxide. Some sawdust burning smokers that combust at lower temperatures do not produce nitrogen dioxide. Of course, ovens do not produce smoke rings, but what kind of jackass would cook barbecue in an oven anyway!? Note that in barbecue competitions, most judges do not know these facts and they think the smoke ring is caused by smoke and they do take that as a sign of properly smoked meats - especially brisket. So producing a good smoke ring is important.


    Resting...

    I can't say this loudly enough... make sure you properly rest your meat before slicing or pulling! As the outside muscle fibers in the meat heat up, they contract and push the moisture to the center of the meat. If you pull a piece of meat off the fire and set it on a cutting board, you'll see that some of the juices will naturally run out. If you cut the meat prematurely, about twice as much will run out. And you wonder why your brisket is so dry! Let the meat rest at room temperature. If it is too cold outside, wrap it in aluminum foil and let it rest that way. Do not put it in the refrigerator or ice box to rest. Let chicken and ribs rest for 15 minutes and butts and brisket for 30 minutes. Of course, always slice your brisket against the grain. And now would be a good time to tell you... stop poking holes in your meat! Every time you poke a hole in your meat, you can literally see the juices flow out! How stupid is that!? Poke it once with a meat thermometer and leave the probe in. Otherwise, use your hands or tongs to move your meat around. Injecting is a whole different story. Injections are done before cooking and they generally introduce a whole lot more moisture than they let out. Some of the moisture will leak out, but it's sort of an offset. The benefit being the introduction of more flavors to the center of the meat. Your meat probably will not be juicier, but it may improve the taste a bit.
    VDS aka "IT"
    Brinkman Smoke N Pit Pitmaster
    Kegerator(retired)
    OUTDOOR GOURMET 11-PIECE COMBO FRYER SET
    KCBS Certified BBQ Judge
    Formaly "The Q Joint" BBQ Team (The Butt Man)
    There's no place like 127.0.0.1
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    Jeremy
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    w.KS
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    3,158

    Default

    That was some good reading IT, thanks.

    Mistakes - It could be that the purpose of your life is only to serve as a warning to others.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Ruskin, FL
    Posts
    6,290

    Default

    Good Stuff, Jeremy!
    Thanks for posting.
    ~Brian~
    BBQ Jones comp team
    KCBS Member
    KCBS CBJ

  4. #4

    Default

    Good stuff Jeremy. When I got the part about the hole poking (restrain yourself fatback) it reminded me of watching pitmasters that use a bbq hook to move meat around. I guess I always thought that would cause moisture loss, but I guess they know more than I do (which is why they are pit masters and I am but a wood chopper)
    Josh
    AKA: Geek with Fire


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    South of Peculiar, MO
    Posts
    6,735

    Default

    Thanks Jer! I love the flavor of a good smoke ring.
    I suppose a lot of folks do think they are "sealing in the juices" when they sear meat, but searing is ALL about flavor.
    "If you can't smell smoke it ain't a barbeque joint" peculiarmike

    TQJ Plankowner

    "Life's tough.....It's even tougher if you're stupid."
    - John Wayne

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Tulsa
    Posts
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    Default

    Good reference Jeremy. What is your source?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    w.KS
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    3,158

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SmokyOkie View Post
    Good reference Jeremy. What is your source?
    What makes you think he didn't figure out all this himself? You have it out for him don't ya? Push him off a boat, then this..........what the heck, man?















    Mistakes - It could be that the purpose of your life is only to serve as a warning to others.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Tulsa
    Posts
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    Default

    Pushing folks off the boat is more my style if I have it in for them.

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