Originally Posted by aawa
You can use tenderquick or other nitrates to help create a smoke ring, but what I was talking about is that the amount of salts in your rub can help form smoke rings. Sorry if I was unclear about that.
I have never used tenderquick or any other agent to create a smoke ring. All the smoke rings you see in my pictures are produced by the rub (typically 1 part salt, 1 part pepper, 1/4 part garlic powder by volume) heat provided by charcoal, and smoke provided by wood.
As pointed out though in this thread, you can help the production along of a smoke ring by going from the fridge right to the smoker, put your meat on at a lower temperature and then ramp up the temperature later, use more salt in your rub, use nitrates such as tenderquick in your rub.
My process for things going into the smoker. Get fire started, trim and rub, put on smoker when I get thin blue (normally around 250-275 degrees) and let the smoker climb to 300-325, I don't hold the smoker at 250-275, I just let it keep climbing till it gets to 300-325. I normally will go nekkid on everything I smoke unless the color gets too dark (but most of the time I don't have to wrap)
So if I understand correctly....meat at room temp going into the smoker + relative short time in the smoker + no nitrates & relatively little salt in my rub = minimal smoke ring.
It's a largely aesthetic element so I'm not concerned about it, just curious as to the different result from past cooks.