A gas called nitrous oxide is produced when you burn wood or charcoal. Heat and oxygen turns it into nitrous dioxide. As nitrous dioxide touches moist meat and comes in contact with water in the meat and forms nitric acid. The acid dissolves on the moist meat surface and mixes with water and it forms a nitrate ion. This nitrate combines with the myoglobin in the meat and forms a pink colored line near the surface of the meat. That's what's responsible for the smoke ring. The thickness of the smoke ring is limited by the ability of the nitrate ion to penetrate the meat. The formation of the smoke ring happens early in the cooking process and it requires plenty of oxygen at the fire, moisture on the surface of the meat and a relatively cool meat surface temperature.
You could also rub the meat with Tender Quick for about 10 minutes, wash all of it off and then BBQ it for the same results.
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Last edited by Boshizzle; 07-21-2010 at 10:29 PM..