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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 03-20-2011, 02:42 PM   #1
MilitantSquatter
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Default Why do/don't you spray your meats ??

Lots of various threads/discussion regarding if you spray, what ingredients you spray and how frequently you spray, what type of device to spray with etc...

Not too much content as to WHY you spray / don't spray ?


Discuss...
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Unread 03-20-2011, 02:50 PM   #2
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When I got started, a lot of the recipes I used (mostly out of Raichlene's "How to Grill" and "BBQ USA") instructed to spritz with apple juice or apple cider vinegar every hour or half hour.

I never considered much about the "why". I always assumed it was to help impart flavor and keep the meats from drying out. It makes sense that would be why.

Now......it's really out of laziness or trying to leave the lid down as long as possible that I don't spray. Plus....since I stopped spraying and still noticed that the meats were NOT dried out.....I don't see the point.

Kind of like mustard slather to hold the rub on. I don't do it now, because I've found that the rub sticks without the mustard, so I skip this step.


I'm sure that spraying does help impart some flavor to the meats, particularly on ribs or chicken parts, but on large cuts? butts or brisket? I doubt it.

Perhaps, but I'll just rely on my rub and the smoke to do the flavoring from now on.
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Unread 03-20-2011, 03:00 PM   #3
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I did it at first with most of what I would cook however I only do it with ribs now and with brisket its a 50/50 depending on my mood. Personally I think it adds way to much time to a smoke and I don't see that much of a difference when doing it. I have a bone in picnic that has been going since 8pm last night that has not been touched since it when on last night. No flipping, turning, basting, spritzing and only one look after 12 hrs! I'm thinking it will be just fine. Vince B
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Unread 03-20-2011, 03:01 PM   #4
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If a person has a good insulated smoker I don't see the need in spraying. When I had my chargriller (with no modifications) spraying helped because the unit didn't hold heat/humidity well. But my Stumps doesn't have that problem. There is plenty of moisture in the chamber throughout entire cook.
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Unread 03-20-2011, 03:01 PM   #5
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From a moisture perspective, sprays and mops are most useful when you're not wrapping in foil. Once the bark is set, they help keep the surface hydrated during long cooks. The steam inside the foil will do this, so it's a moot point if you wrap.

You can also use them to layer flavors. A flavorful liquid is mopped onto the meat, and then the heat from your fire reduces the liquid leaving the concentrated flavors. You can control the intensity by the number of times you mop during the cook. The more you mop, the more layers you'll have.

Lots of people like to spray with apply juice because the sugars caramelize, and leave a really pretty color (especially on pork) with a hint of sweetness.
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Unread 03-20-2011, 03:15 PM   #6
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PLUS.....

Correct me if I'm wrong, but if it's about moisture, wouldn't putting a water pan in the cooker help hydrate the environment too? If I'm really concerned about moisture, I'll do this, but typically I'm not.

As has been stated before on this forum.....having a lot of meats in the cooker helps with keeping a moist cooker chamber. If you can't to this, use a water pan.

Spritzing requires opening the cooker. And as we all know......
"If you're lookin, you ain't cookin'!"
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Unread 03-20-2011, 03:18 PM   #7
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IMO, spraying adds no value.
opening the cooker adds no value.
save the money you'd spend on juice and buy beer instead.
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Unread 03-20-2011, 03:22 PM   #8
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I spray because:

1. To build another flavor layer over the rub.
2. To keep meat surfaces moist, as I do not wrap in foil.
3. To augment the chamber moisture level.
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Unread 03-20-2011, 03:26 PM   #9
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A mixture of apple juice and soy sauce for color , flavor, and moisture.
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Unread 03-20-2011, 03:47 PM   #10
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I don't, mainly in the interest of keeping the cooker closed. I ain't precious it about though, I may go back to doing it at some point.
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Unread 03-20-2011, 04:36 PM   #11
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I think it should be important to mention that a highly developed palate may or may not be able to taste the "layers" of spritzing/spraying while food is on the smoker, the chances of a person who is eating because they're hungry actually being able to peg the fact that you spray or don't spray are absolutely zero. If I spray every 30 minutes of a rib cook and don't sauce them, then my mouth will pick up the apple juice I've used, but once sauced, the gig's up. Just my opinion.
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Unread 03-20-2011, 04:46 PM   #12
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I have mopped using "Texas style" sauces on beef and enjoy the extra flavor. However, if I am making pork shoulders, I do not see how an little extra liquid on the surface can make much difference. Salt, pepper, some rub and smoke (via low and slow) and that is all.
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Unread 03-20-2011, 05:02 PM   #13
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In the past, and for the most part now, I do not spray. I prefer to leave the lid down, and I prefer to have moist air in the cooking chamber throughout the cook. I do not believe that opening the cooker aids in this goal, as the hot air will rise and evacuate the chamber the minute I open the cooker. This causes variations in cooker environment, the more often you do it, the less consistent your cooking is. This leads on unreliable results. I set chamber moisture by use of water pans or water cans to evaporate moisture into the chamber, which will prevent surface drying.

That being said, I have been messing around with a new spray on sauce, which does require I open the chamber, and I have been getting drier ribs as a result, with notable hardening of the bark, which is counter intuitive, but, was exactly what my experience suggested might happen. I still am working with that spray on sauce, as I believe the results in terms of taste and appearance are superior. But, there is also no doubt in my mind that the opening and closing is creating changes in chamber moisture and temperature in my small cooker that are not acceptable at this time.

In a larger cooker, at lower temperatures, with more thermal mass and a lot more meat, this may not be an issue, as the moisture and heat are more effectively controlled by the thermal mass of the metal and the amount of meat a larger cooker can hold. Since I cook in a kettle, getting even a little out of range can cause me to have to chase temperatures, not a good thing.
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Unread 03-20-2011, 07:18 PM   #14
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who says you have to open the lid to spray anyway
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Unread 03-20-2011, 07:19 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barbefunkoramaque View Post
who says you have to open the lid to spray anyway
Automatic misters like a hydroponic set up?
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