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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 04-22-2013, 08:59 AM   #1
Teltum
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Default Brown Sugar an Alternative to Foil

I think brown sugar acts like a natural foil.

So there is moisture on almost all cuts of meat we smoke. These "juices" when put on a smoker at or above 225 will evaporate. So if we disolve brown sugar on the serface of the meat in the meat "juice" when placed in a smoker part of the brown sugar rub will begin to caramelize (106C about 225F). Since it is in a fluid state will allow smoke to pass into the meat.

Then as the heat begins to dry the sugar juice mixture, polymerization then occurs that has a tendancy to become a more ridged substance as the water is removed.

This also makes sense in that it will help prevent smoke from further entering the meat and help prevent over smoking.

Since it is "sticky" the small amounts of smoke (carbon) will attach and give a more smoky flavor. After time there will be a carbon build up on the meat (the black color on the surface) that will also act to protect the meat from the drying effects of heat, the loss of natural renderings and act a thin layer of insualtion.

Once the meat is done cooking during the rest peorid the renderings will rehydrate the suger and soften the "bark."

Just one more thought on the great foil debate.
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Unread 04-22-2013, 09:09 AM   #2
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Where the fark do I begin.
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Unread 04-22-2013, 09:29 AM   #3
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Hey, all I am doing is providing my observations with a quick wiki search to back me up since I am not an expert in sugar synthasis. I am very happy to be wrong because we just added considerably to BBQ science! Plus pitmaster t you are one of my favorite posters to read so I am not trying to troll I am trying to expand our collective understanding of BBQ science.
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Unread 04-22-2013, 09:33 AM   #4
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I'm firmly in the camp that believes moisture comes from within the meat as it renders. Foiling, mopping, spritzing, using sugar of any type in the rub is just "extra". SPOG, and maybe a little paprika and or chili powder is a great all around rub (no sugar).

Cook the meat till it's fully rendered, and it's moist n juicy. I think a proper amount of rest is more important than brown sugar in the rub.

Over smoking is avoided by proper fire control. I save all the money I would of spent on foil and put it towards more/better meat.
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Unread 04-22-2013, 09:39 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teltum View Post
I think brown sugar acts like a natural foil.

So there is moisture on almost all cuts of meat we smoke. These "juices" when put on a smoker at or above 225 will evaporate. So if we disolve brown sugar on the serface of the meat in the meat "juice" when placed in a smoker part of the brown sugar rub will begin to caramelize (106C about 225F). Since it is in a fluid state will allow smoke to pass into the meat.

Then as the heat begins to dry the sugar juice mixture, polymerization then occurs that has a tendancy to become a more ridged substance as the water is removed.

This also makes sense in that it will help prevent smoke from further entering the meat and help prevent over smoking.

Since it is "sticky" the small amounts of smoke (carbon) will attach and give a more smoky flavor. After time there will be a carbon build up on the meat (the black color on the surface) that will also act to protect the meat from the drying effects of heat, the loss of natural renderings and act a thin layer of insualtion.

Once the meat is done cooking during the rest peorid the renderings will rehydrate the suger and soften the "bark."

Just one more thought on the great foil debate.
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Unread 04-22-2013, 10:52 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by El Ropo View Post
I'm firmly in the camp that believes moisture comes from within the meat as it renders. Foiling, mopping, spritzing, using sugar of any type in the rub is just "extra". SPOG, and maybe a little paprika and or chili powder is a great all around rub (no sugar).

Cook the meat till it's fully rendered, and it's moist n juicy. I think a proper amount of rest is more important than brown sugar in the rub.

Over smoking is avoided by proper fire control. I save all the money I would of spent on foil and put it towards more/better meat.
Yeah, in fact, I'd bet (although I've never done it) one could take a pork butt right out of the cryovac, plop it in a smoker with a pan under it and smoke it until it's probe tender (at WHATEVER pit temp) and when it was done, you'd have lots of moisture, drippings, juices (whatever you wanna call it) in the drip pan. Cooking, in fact, removes moisture from the butt.

I think the only thing that adding ANY seasoning to the outside of the butt does is help with bark (primarily the salt does this) texture and flavor, but absolutely adds NO moisture to the meat. The marbled fat, connective tissue breaking down and meat itself, once rendered, does this. I inject butts, not to add moisture, but to impart flavor to the inside of the butt. Juicy butts are acquired by proper cooking and not seasoning me thinks.
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Unread 04-22-2013, 12:04 PM   #7
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If in doubt -> Try both methods at the same time on your next cook and compare the results and show pictures to us to back up your theory. That is all we ask.
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Unread 04-22-2013, 12:14 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wampus View Post
Yeah, in fact, I'd bet (although I've never done it) one could take a pork butt right out of the cryovac, plop it in a smoker with a pan under it and smoke it until it's probe tender (at WHATEVER pit temp) and when it was done, you'd have lots of moisture, drippings, juices (whatever you wanna call it) in the drip pan. Cooking, in fact, removes moisture from the butt.

I think the only thing that adding ANY seasoning to the outside of the butt does is help with bark (primarily the salt does this) texture and flavor, but absolutely adds NO moisture to the meat. The marbled fat, connective tissue breaking down and meat itself, once rendered, does this. I inject butts, not to add moisture, but to impart flavor to the inside of the butt. Juicy butts are acquired by proper cooking and not seasoning me thinks.
I couldn't have said it better myself.
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Unread 04-22-2013, 02:27 PM   #9
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Since I don't use foil I don't feel like I need an alternative and I'm just not very fond of sweet goo Q, but hey that's just me. Whatever floats UR boat.
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Unread 04-22-2013, 02:42 PM   #10
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I add a little sugar to all of my rubs, even as little as 1% by weight. It functions in ways other than adding sweetness, that for my particular process, works out for me. I don't do this specifically to add moisture, but, I believe it does lend itself to a better bark, and surface texture.
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