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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 10-07-2011, 08:49 AM   #1
Coldholler
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Default How long does meat absorb smoke?

follow-up -- about chicken -- I'm thinking about smoking for a bit, pulling the fire out of the firebox (for safety), and then switching to gas.

The idea is to achieve some apple smoke flavor and then take advantage of the potentially higher and steady heat of gas (which is still indirect in my smoker, although above 275 the radiant heat reaches the meat more directly than at 230-265).

Should be the same principle as moving to an oven but without the downsides.

Salient question -- how long does meat most actively absorb smoke? To what temperature, more specifically? Chicken, ribs, butts, brisket -- are there major differences?
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Unread 10-07-2011, 08:56 AM   #2
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In my experience the smoke ring stops forming at around the 140 degree mark, but all meats continue to absorb smoke to a diminishing degree as long as they are exposed to it.
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Unread 10-07-2011, 09:41 AM   #3
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Chicken and other poultry absorb smoke like a sponge. It's easy to oversmoke. With pork butts, I have to work to give them enough.
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Unread 10-07-2011, 09:52 AM   #4
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Cool -- thanks. The 140 mark really helps. I can't wait to see how easy it is to regulate (and elevate) the temperature in my rather big cooking chamber with my sort of small firebox. I am welding a cylindrical Char-Grill firebox from Lowes perpendicularly onto the back side of a sideways oriented drum smoker, 48"x30". The two drums will look like a "T" from above. Smoke will enter the cooking chamber via a 4" flue, equaled by the two 2" diameter stacks. The O2 intake is adjustable and on the opposite end of the firebox (of course). My welder tossed some paper in there and reports that the draft is excellent. But I don't know if I can get enough heat into the main chamber to reach those higher temps. Next week I'll know -- a report and PRON will follow!
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Unread 10-07-2011, 11:20 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeSmellsLikeSmoke View Post
In my experience the smoke ring stops forming at around the 140 degree mark, but all meats continue to absorb smoke to a diminishing degree as long as they are exposed to it.
I agree with the above. While the smoke rings stops forming, it's still sucking up the flavors.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Coldholler View Post
follow-up -- about chicken -- I'm thinking about smoking for a bit, pulling the fire out of the firebox (for safety), and then switching to gas.

The idea is to achieve some apple smoke flavor and then take advantage of the potentially higher and steady heat of gas (which is still indirect in my smoker, although above 275 the radiant heat reaches the meat more directly than at 230-265).

Should be the same principle as moving to an oven but without the downsides.

Salient question -- how long does meat most actively absorb smoke? To what temperature, more specifically? Chicken, ribs, butts, brisket -- are there major differences?
My only concern would be the formation of water when the gas burns... You may loose some of the 'crispyness'. Other than that it should work file.
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Unread 10-07-2011, 11:20 AM   #6
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The last gas grill I had came with a cast iron smoker box. No top on it. Just load the box with chips and place on the grate. When it gets hot enough it would start to smoke.
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Unread 10-07-2011, 03:30 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coldholler View Post
follow-up -- about chicken -- I'm thinking about smoking for a bit, pulling the fire out of the firebox (for safety), and then switching to gas.
Sounds like a lot of work for something that cooks in about an hour.
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Unread 10-07-2011, 03:48 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luke duke View Post
Sounds like a lot of work for something that cooks in about an hour.
I typically cook thighs and quarters for 4 hours at 235 to 250. Falls off the bone like pulled pork. I'll try this faster, higher heat thing on wings, but I'm not inclined to speed up the process on bigger things and ruin perfection...

But you're right -- if I can get the temp high enough with the smoke, there'll be no reason to switch over!
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