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Competition BBQ *On Topic Only* Discussion regarding all aspects of Competition BBQ. Experiences competing or visiting, questions, getting started, Equipment, announcements of events, Results, Reviews, Planning, etc. Questions here will be responded to with competition BBQ in mind.


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Unread 08-13-2008, 10:25 PM   #1
DMDon
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Default Brisket smoke ring

I am having problems getting a smoke ring on brisket. I use a BWS gator with sand in the water pan and a pan of water on top of it. I trim up the point so no fat is left on it but do not fully seperate it from teh flat. I leave a little fat between the point and flat and a quarter inch on the baskside of the flat. Then I brine with 1 cup salt and 1 cup sugar per gallon of water for 4 hours. Then inject with Butcher block and rub with a combo of Smokin Guns hot and Uncle Erneis and let set for 4 hours. Then in the smoker at 250 with wicked good charcoal and cherry wood till it hits 165. Then wrap in fiol till done. It turns out very moist and tender but no smoke ring. Any suggestions?
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Unread 08-13-2008, 10:29 PM   #2
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I don't know if the brining has an effect or not, but I've never brined a brisket. I'd be afraid of it starting to cure a bit.

Do you put the brisket on cold? The longer it's below 140 or so, the more chance for a smoke ring....

But smoke ring doesn't really matter... taste matters.
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Unread 08-13-2008, 10:39 PM   #3
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Put the brisket on ice cold and wet. Don't dry it off before putting the rub on. Also, consider throwing it on before the smoker comes up to temp. My stick burner produces a much larger smoke ring than my WSM, even though the meats are prepared identically. So the cooker plays a big factor too.

I agree with Curt that the smoke ring probably doesn't matter, but it looks good and certainly doesn't hurt.
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Unread 08-13-2008, 11:15 PM   #4
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I have a tough time getting a really good smoke ring on my briskets with the spicewine. Not sure why. I'm thinking I like Paul's idea of putting on colder. I've always sort of let them come up a bit in temp but longer in the smoke before it reaches 140 degrees internal can't hurt.
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Unread 08-14-2008, 12:03 AM   #5
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Start the cook at lower temps 200 to 225. As other suggested put the brisket in cold. At 3 hour mark or when the internal on the brisket hits 140 then turn up the heat to 250 mark.

Your cooker, a Spicewine, WSM, any cooker that moves low amounts of smoke through the cooker will have problem producing smokering unless you modify the cooking process.
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Unread 08-14-2008, 05:56 AM   #6
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I put my briskits in my WSM cold & moist, then hit it with wood chunks heavy for first hour or so as WSM is coming up to temps (i let it run for about 15 min after adding hot coals) and keep wood burried in spots in the ring for smoke intervals. Get a nice ring around the meat, not to much - just enough. The smoke ring isn't as important to me as the taste IMHO, but surte looks purty...
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Unread 08-14-2008, 07:56 AM   #7
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Don,
I would get the best ring when I put the brisket on COLD. I mean cold too, but not frozen. You may also want to lower the pit temp to 180 or 200 for a couple hours before you crank it up to your regular cooking temp.

If all that don't work, there is always TQ. Works every time.
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Unread 08-14-2008, 08:35 AM   #8
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Smoke ring doesn't matter in a contest, supposedly. I've placed 1st with a brisket with basically very very little smoke ring, and 100% celebrity judges.. and you'd think they'd be more critical to not having a smoke ring.

just cook it good.. and present it well.
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Unread 08-14-2008, 08:54 AM   #9
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I too have had better smoke rings on my brisket when I put the meat in straight out of the fridge or cooler. I have also thought that starting the cook off at 200° for the first 2 hours or so, seems to help the smoke ring. Let us know how your practice goes with details on what you did. :)
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Unread 08-14-2008, 09:36 AM   #10
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I don't believe the coldness of the brisket has anything to do with the smoke ring. I let my briskets sit for about a half hour to 45 min and I get great smoke rings.


It probably has more to do with how much smoke your producing. I believe there's a thread about the salt content in the rub. Never brined either, so can't comment on whether that effects it.
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Unread 08-14-2008, 10:40 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff_in_KC View Post
I have a tough time getting a really good smoke ring on my briskets with the spicewine. Not sure why. I'm thinking I like Paul's idea of putting on colder. I've always sort of let them come up a bit in temp but longer in the smoke before it reaches 140 degrees internal can't hurt.
Jeff, how far closed do you run the exhaust on you SW? I noticed when I cranked it closed more, the ring formed better. I think " almost two turns" open seems right. Just a thought.
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Unread 08-14-2008, 11:12 AM   #12
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It probably has to do with the brine, Salt changes color of the meat, so may not hold the ring. For example, if you dip a piece of brisket with a nice ring in some beef broth the rings goes almost away.
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Unread 08-14-2008, 11:41 AM   #13
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Found this on about.com...


A smoke ring is a pink discoloration of meat just under the surface crust (called bark). It can be just a thin line of pink or a rather thick layer. The smoke rings is caused by nitric acid building up in the surface of meat, absorbed from the surface. This nitric acid is formed when nitrogen dioxide from wood combustion in smoke mixes with water in the meat. Basically it is a chemical reaction between the smoke and the meat. So how to do you get the best smoke ring? Opinions vary. Generally water soaked wood produces more nitrogen dioxide loaded smoke. If you really want to make sure you get a smoke ring then cheat. Coating meat with a salt tenderizer link Morton's Tender Quick, will load up the surface of the meat with nitrogen dioxide and give you a great smoke ring. Because of the prevalence of this kind of cheating, smoke rings are no longer taken into consideration in barbecue competitions.
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Unread 08-14-2008, 11:54 AM   #14
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Thanks for the help so far, keep the ideas coming. I don't care to try the tender quick. But I will try soaking the wood first. My other thought is wiping off the extra butcher block that oozes out of the meat, I had been rubbing it over the meat to help the rub stick. I wonder if it prevents the smoke from penetrating the meat.
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Unread 08-14-2008, 12:05 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DMDon View Post
My other thought is wiping off the extra butcher block that oozes out of the meat, I had been rubbing it over the meat to help the rub stick. I wonder if it prevents the smoke from penetrating the meat.

The liquid acts like a conductor and enhances the smoke. Your ring will be even less pronounced if you wipe it off first. Cook two briskets side by side and you'll see a noticeable difference.
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