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View Full Version : Should Smoke Ring Matter?


dmprantz
01-08-2011, 11:43 PM
So okay, we probably all know that KCBS judges are instructed not to look at smoke ring. The reason is because using curing agents containing nitrates and nitrites, an "artificial" smoke ring can be generated. At the same time, KCBS rules specifically ban "corned beef." Do this direction and rule contradict each other? What exactly is meant by "corned beef?" Do the rules mean that any brisket which has been packed in a barrol with small pebles of salt is banned? What if I cure a brisket in a wet brine, cover it with cracked pepper, and then smoke it, turning it into a pastrami? No, I think the rule means no cured briskets. If the rule really means no cured briskets, then any chemically induced smoke ring is illegal, and smoke rings could be judged....right? Does any one think it would be a bad thing to clear this up? How about a rules change where rather than banning corned beef, curing agents are banned, and judges are allowed to judge the smoke ring? What say the competing brethren?

dmp

rooftop bbq
01-08-2011, 11:49 PM
my guess is its talking about bringing in a corned brisket, if you wanted try and start corning it after inspection I dont think that would be a problem

Rookie'48
01-08-2011, 11:52 PM
OK, let's try it this way: The meat (brisket in this case) cannot be seasoned, marinated or otherwise farked with before meat inspection at the comp. That being said - if you can corn the briskie, soak the salt out afterwards, smoke it & get it turned in all between meat inspection on Friday & 1:30 pm Saturday your a better man than I, Charlie Brown :tape:.

Rooftop beat me too it - slow typing mod.

CivilWarBBQ
01-08-2011, 11:59 PM
IMO, the rule regarding corned beef has to do with what you start with, not what you end up with. If for some reason you wanted to turn in corned beef you could ~ you just have to start with a plain raw brisket and pickle it yourself between meat inspection and turn-in.

There is no need to worry about corned beef because anybody who tried it would be panned by the judges, just as you would if you turned in a box of chicken giblets (legal) or feather bone ribs (legal).

There are myriad clarifications and expansions that could be made to the existing rules and thousands more that could be added. Thank God KCBS has had the wisdom to rely primarily on the common sense and character of Reps to handle all these possibilities rather than create a five-inch thick book of rules.

dmprantz
01-09-2011, 12:27 AM
All due respect, but I disagree: If the intent was simply to prevent you from bringing a manufacturer corned beef, then it would be included under rule 7 which specifically prohibits specific manufacturer additives. Just add sodium nitrite and sodium nitrate to the list. Add Potassium too if you wanna make sure.

I'm really trying to simplify the rules rather than complicate them. Rather than having one rule for manufacturer additives, another specific to corned beed, and an (undocumented?) direction to judges which they can easily ignore, just prohibit all curing agents and allow smoke ring.

dmp

Smokedelic
01-09-2011, 01:24 AM
If you can tell the difference between a smoke ring created with smoke and a "smoke ring" created with a curing agent, you're better than 98% of the folks out there.

I think the smoke ring adds to the overall appearance of any meat and probably factors into most judges scores accordingly.

Smoke'n Ice
01-09-2011, 05:56 AM
With your logic, green wood would be banned as it is a high producer of nitrate & nitrite during combustion. Another source, propane, is already banned so there would be precedence to banning the use of green wood. While we are at it, dry aged wood, while not as high in production of these chemicals, would also be banned.

It do get ridiculous during the off season.:rolleyes:

Dale P
01-09-2011, 07:33 AM
We had an offset that took a bunch of fuel to keep at temp. Smoked like a freight train. We didnt use any additives asnd the smoke ring wood be up to an inch. The brisket was horrible but what a smoke ring.

Buster Dog BBQ
01-09-2011, 09:09 AM
Me thinks all the concentration on smoke ring makes poor attention to rest of contest.

Hogtie N' Ride
01-09-2011, 09:25 AM
I like the idea to take the focus off a single characteristic, pigeon holing the whole entry for any one thing vs to stay focused on the overall appearance, is it appetizsing or not? Is my mouth watering?

dmprantz
01-09-2011, 09:44 AM
It do get ridiculous during the off season.:rolleyes:

You're the one being a bit rediculous. Butter is banned as a manufacturer additive, but not for cooking process in general. "Corned Beef" is arbitrarily forbidden without defining what it is.

I agree that smoke ring shouldn't be singled out. That's the point. Rather than tell judges "look at the meat and tell me how appealing it is, but pretend like this one characteristic isn't even there" Help them by just saying look at the meat.

dmp

JD McGee
01-09-2011, 10:13 AM
The smoke ring is what it is...if you're smoking meats you're gonna get one in some form or another. I strive for a nice smoke ring just for presentation reasons...plus it tells the judges "this piece of meat was smoked to perfection"...how they interpret it "officially" is another issue.

As far as "curing" agents in competitions...I don't think you're gonna get a deep "artificial" smoke ring on an 8 hour cure...much less "corned beef or pastrami"...

Finney
01-09-2011, 11:20 AM
"Corned Beef" is arbitrarily forbidden without defining what it is.

I think most of us know what they mean when they say "Corned Beef".

carlyle
01-09-2011, 11:38 AM
Disregarding smoke ring is just like disregarding garnish. Both during appearance judging. Both good ideas. Both instructions could possibly ignored by judges.

Cured meats or corned beef, as noted above, are unlikely in a contest due to the long
prep time that will not work in the time restraints of a contest.

It is possible to disagree about what a term means, like corned beef or parted pork,
no matter which words are used. Different people look at the same thing and do not agree with what it means.

Refer to the whole issue about " parted pork" in the rules. Big discussion and disagreement at Philly last year about what it meant and was it necessary.

If you feel strongly, get it to the rules part of the discussion at KC next week.

Vince RnQ
01-09-2011, 12:13 PM
If you can tell the difference between a smoke ring created with smoke and a "smoke ring" created with a curing agent, you're better than 98% of the folks out there.


I had a CBJ come up to me after a contest one day and inform me that he had given very low marks to one brisket entry he judged that day because it clearly had an artificial smoke ring. I asked how he knew it was created artificially and he told me that it HAD to be artificial because it was so deep and clearly defined in the meat. He then added that in the two years he had been barbequing, he had never created such a beautiful ring and so he was sure it just wasn't possible to create one naturally.

I just shook my head and I'm certain I heard the Spirit of Common Sense weeping in the distance.

Buster Dog BBQ
01-09-2011, 12:26 PM
I guess I have to through this out there...If smoke ring is so important why do pellet cookers fair so well? I know you can get a smoke ring on a pellet pooper but just sayin...

JD McGee
01-09-2011, 02:17 PM
I guess I have to through this out there...If smoke ring is so important why do pellet cookers fair so well? I know you can get a smoke ring on a pellet pooper but just sayin...

I think you just said it...:becky:

sitnfat
01-09-2011, 03:14 PM
If you turn in sliced brisket or sliced pork a smoke ring is very important I think the meat would look funny without it. As for artificial rings I ain't smart enough to figure out how to do that so I will stick with the old fashioned way.

watertowerbbq
01-09-2011, 07:33 PM
I'm really trying to simplify the rules rather than complicate them.

Really?

watertowerbbq
01-09-2011, 07:34 PM
If you turn in sliced brisket or sliced pork a smoke ring is very important I think the meat would look funny without it. As for artificial rings I ain't smart enough to figure out how to do that so I will stick with the old fashioned way.

tender quick

MoKanMeathead
01-09-2011, 08:07 PM
We used TQ once when we first started and left it on too long. We actually had a double smoke ring, one from the TQ and a natural one - they were actually different colors. We still use it but have adjusted the timinmg.

Even though the rules say not to judge the smoke ring I would be surprised if at least some judges don't judge it.

Rookie'48
01-09-2011, 08:30 PM
You can get a pretty nice "smoke ring" this way: Take a chunk of meat right out of the fridge, rub it, throw it in a cold oven and turn it on to about 250* or so. When done, slice that sucker & check out the "ring".

Just sayin' .............

Bentley
01-09-2011, 10:38 PM
No...

JD McGee
01-09-2011, 10:53 PM
Nothin' artificial about this smoke ring...tonights dinner...:-P

http://i1098.photobucket.com/albums/g380/WineCountryQ/KosmoBrisket014.jpg

http://i1098.photobucket.com/albums/g380/WineCountryQ/KosmoBrisket013.jpg

Hub
01-10-2011, 05:21 AM
Smoke rings can be fickle (you can cook the same way each time and they'll vary in size and intensity). Note also that the lowest weighting factor in scoring is appearance. I think KCBS is wise to ignore them in judging instructions. Its the flavor and texture that really count.

G$
01-10-2011, 01:35 PM
I had a CBJ come up to me after a contest one day and inform me that he had given very low marks to one brisket entry he judged that day because it clearly had an artificial smoke ring. I asked how he knew it was created artificially and he told me that it HAD to be artificial because it was so deep and clearly defined in the meat. He then added that in the two years he had been barbequing, he had never created such a beautiful ring and so he was sure it just wasn't possible to create one naturally.

I just shook my head and I'm certain I heard the Spirit of Common Sense weeping in the distance.

My goodness.