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PostPosted: May 29 19, 8:33 pm 
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Freed Roger wrote:
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I wish I would have taken a pic of my meat for you guys.

I'd like to see pics of what you cooked. A pic of your meat? Not so much.


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PostPosted: May 30 19, 7:47 am 
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Fat Strat wrote:
You can't get a smoke ring in an electric smoker, at least not the kind that I use (typical Masterbuilt smoker). True story. I have never heard a definitive answer as to why it is true, but it is definitely true. Those smokers can pump out the smoke and you can get as much smoke flavor as you want, but you'll never get even a hint of pink/red. I've tried chips, chunks, vents wide open, vents mostly closed, wet, dry, tons of smoke, small amounts of smoke... no pink!


This is all about something called myoglobin.

Meat's cells are full of a kinda loose meshwork of proteins suspended in water. Heat to 120, it gets a white opacity. Red meat lightens to pink. Heat to 140, red myoglobin denatures into a tan colored hemichrome. Meat color shifts from red to brown-gray. This is why we can judge the doneness of meat by the ol' eyeball test. Little-cooked/rare meat and its juices are red, moderately cooked is pink, you killed the cow again it's brown and then the juices run mostly clear because at all that heat the denatured myoglobin bonds with other stuff in the meat and says there. Undercooked meat can also look brown if it's been frozen or exposed to light, the myoglobin is just denatured via a different means.

Anyway. Carbon monoxide and nitric oxide in the the smoker react with myoglobin to make that ring. The smoke ring is about gas, not smoke. These gases don't really penetrate far into the meat, therefore the ring is there at the surface. To get the environment you need, your smoker has to be an oxygen-rich environment (like a live smoker vented on both sides with good airflow) with good humidity (should be a water pan in there) and a lower temp. Also best if your wood is soaked ahead of time. You can't get that with an electric smoker. You can probably find cheats online, like hey you can put some curing salt on to get the sodium nitrate that will replicate the NO in a wood-fired smoker, but if you don't have experience with curing salt that's a pretty dangerous proposition.

In the forum you linked to, I'd take exception to a couple things:
1. The meat does not need to be wet, or marinated. In fact, marinated bbq? Never. If marinade is contributing enough flavor that it's more noticeable than meat or smoke then why are you spending all that time smoking a nice cut of meat in the first place? Just buy a strip steak, sauce it with the flavors in the marinade, save yourself 12 hours. Dry rub is all you need when smoking brisket. Take the meat out of the fridge, rub it with equal parts black pepper and salt being sure to coat it evenly, let it sit for an hour before it goes in the smoker. Lots of black pepper attracts and holds the smoke on the surface, helps your bark. The meat, tempered to room temp, will cook quicker. That's it. Forget marinades, injections, all that stuff in brisket. Dry rubbed and smoked well in the German/Czech style is like a rolled French omelette: a beautiful thing that's stood the test of time and doesn't really require improvement. If you want to add a bit of garlic powder or chile powder or paprika to your rub, that works. But marinades are amateur hour.
2. Green wood is not a good idea. Green, or fresh wood is going to have too much sap which will become acrid/acidic when burned. You're best off with old dry wood that you toss in a 5-gal bucket covered with water for a few hours before your cook.

If you don't want to spend a lot of money, and want a smoke ring, your best bet is a Weber bullet thing. Has a water pan, you open up the vents at the bottom and top, it's easy to add wood chunks, it has two grates so you can do a somewhat large job on it. It's tough to regulate consistent, even temp but you can keep it in range enough to have a good cook.


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PostPosted: May 30 19, 8:01 am 
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Thanks for the info, 33. I'd agree you don't want to marinade the meats though I can get behind a brine.

One thing I've gone back and forth on in my day is starting meat at room temp vs chilled. Room temp lowers the cooking time but also iirc would result in a less noticeable smoke ring because the temp rises quicker beyond the point where the compounds react with the meat to produce the ring.

Not that the smoke ring really matters regarding taste. But, as far as getting a good bark on certain cuts of meat, like pork loins in particular, you're going to need all the time in the smoker you can get. Pork butts and briskets it really doesn't matter due to the stall. At that point you have hours to let the bark form to your liking before wrapping. Or just don't wrap it at all and get a crunchy ass bark. Regardless, imo the bark is way more important than the ring.


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PostPosted: May 30 19, 8:22 am 
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I agree 100% on the bark v ring comment. A smoke ring contributes nothing to flavor or texture, so it's not important other than for aesthetics. Bark contributes both, in spades.

Tempering meat promotes even cooking always, whether it's a burger or some skirt steak for tacos (temper 10 min) or a brisket (an hour) or a giant giant steak like that weirdly enthusiastic Italian guy on all the Netflix cooking shows makes (3-4 hours). For smoking a brisket, if you want a smoke ring, I guess you could promote one by cooking cold meat. If you want to really get a big ring, put the meat in the freezer for an hour ahead of time. The gas will get further into the meat before the interior heats up and stops the ring from going any further. That will result, however, in inferior taste and texture.


Last edited by 33anda3rd on May 30 19, 5:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: May 30 19, 8:44 am 
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stlouie_lipp wrote:
Freed Roger wrote:
Obligatory:
I wish I would have taken a pic of my meat for you guys.

I'd like to see pics of what you cooked. A pic of your meat? Not so much.



Spoiler: show
Image


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PostPosted: May 30 19, 12:23 pm 
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Fat Strat wrote:
Fat_Bulldog wrote:
Looks good Fat Strat.

But, I have to question your lack of smoke ring. What happened there?


Great question! You can't get a smoke ring in an electric smoker, at least not the kind that I use (typical Masterbuilt smoker). True story. I have never heard a definitive answer as to why it is true, but it is definitely true. Those smokers can pump out the smoke and you can get as much smoke flavor as you want, but you'll never get even a hint of pink/red. I've tried chips, chunks, vents wide open, vents mostly closed, wet, dry, tons of smoke, small amounts of smoke... no pink! Great results (most of the time), but no ring. (interesting conversation about it here).

You can cheat by throwing your meat into a gas grill with some wood chips in a foil bag and cooking it for a little while before transferring it over to the smoker for the rest of the cook. I have done this with something like pork tenderloin, which likes a higher temp anyway. But, since I just cook for myself, my family and friends, it doesn't really matter.

I would love to upgrade to a pellet smoker at some point, but the cost is prohibitive and the electric is so dang convenient. Plug it in. Set the remote. Add meat and wood. Walk away.


I have one as well (masterbuilt electric), and you're correct...the end product is fantastic though on any meat I've tried, so don't really care. the convenience as you mentioned can't be beat.


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PostPosted: June 1 19, 9:30 pm 
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We ended up cooking that salmon dish again tonight; first time I can remember cooking the exact same meal back to back weekends.

I know I agreed with 33 that marinading isn't right for smoking meats but with the salmon it's not really smoking meats in the true sense of low and slow to chemically break down the meats, but still. It is smoking temps and the smoke adds flavor so it can belong here. Anyway the marinade consists of soy sauce, honey, sirracha all at about 1:1:1 ratio until the salmon is mostly covered. Mince a couple cloves of garlic and some ginger like half a chunk or so. Marinade for an hour or however long.

Here's some pics along with some salmon basted with butter/garlic/soy for the kids as they apparently don't like ginger and sirracha. Please.
spoilerd for MASSIVE size. at least I figured out how to post some pics. NOw just have to work on making them viewable. fml.
Spoiler: show
Image

Image

Image

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I cook the salmon probably well past it is safe to eat but that's the way I like it and I like to give it time for the smoke to get on there... Took 30 minutes or so at 250ish.

Edited: HFS finally got the pictures the right size.


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PostPosted: June 1 19, 9:56 pm 
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I marinaded brisket because I didnt get a full-on flat cut of brisket. Pork butt, no way i marinade. The fat on top of the brisket was very scant since i got a weird cut from the bin. (Not the butcher. Late decision ti add a small brisket. Just winging it,) So i did i tried to add some fat to it with marinade.

It turned out great.

I appreciate the technician-cientific style. But we are talking about meat here. There are generalities to cooking it. But what you start with varies.

Kind of weird, but in my job its like reading cookbooks and doing things by rules. I don't extend that to smoking meat. Not that I am opposed to other people with their myoglobin expertise. Trial and error works just as well.


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PostPosted: June 1 19, 10:05 pm 
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What'd you marinate it in?


Last edited by AWvsCBsteeeerike3 on June 2 19, 7:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: June 2 19, 7:32 am 
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marinate in a marinade

I'm sorry I can't help it


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