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View Full Version : True/False: Meat will only take on smoke for 3-4 hours


Roguejim
10-17-2015, 03:02 AM
It's been stated by some that after 3-4 hours, meat will not absorb any more smoke flavor, so, you could finish the meat in your oven if you are so inclined. Sounds fishy to me...

markrvp
10-17-2015, 03:43 AM
I think it's between 140-160 degrees that the meat doesn't take any more smoke. I've finished meats in the oven a number of times when I'm tired of sitting outside tending a fire.

If you want a darker, chewier bark, you can leave the meat uncovered in the smoke for longer.

IamMadMan
10-17-2015, 04:21 AM
Not true..... I think you are confusing the smoke ring formation with smoke flavor.

I have heard in that meat will only absorb smoke until it reaches 135 - 140 degrees internal temperature, but never by a specific time frame like the 4 hours you mentioned. It seems that there is a certain amount of confusion about the amount of "smokiness" imparted to the food in a smoker, with regards to time and temperatures.

The 135 - 140░ mark may the point where the protein myoglobin will denature, and will no longer change color with the nitrous oxide present in the smoke, thus stopping the formation of the smoke ring.

Neither time or temperature will stop the ability of food to take on additional flavor from the smoke. But moisture in the initial phase of the smoking process may increase the rate of smoke ring formation (not flavor). The smoke ring may stop forming, but the meat will continue to keep taking on flavor and making bark form. Below is an article on the formation of the smoke ring.


http://www.smokingpit.com/info/smokering.pdf



While it may be true to some degree that most absorption occurs up to an internal temperature of about 135 - 140 degrees, the meat will continue to take on smoke flavor past that point by a process called adsorption (not "absorption"). Also note that smoke flavor and "smoke ring" are completely different. This seems to be the subject of much confusion among BBQ enthusiasts. However smoke ring formation will diminish at or about 140 F when the proteins begin to coagulate. There is not a necessary connection between smoke ring appearance and smoke flavor.

http://montanasbestbbq.teddybearbbq.com/askpitmaster.htm


But i have heard of people having problems with their smoker after four hours or reaching the 135 - 140 degree mark, they have finished the meat in the oven and still have some smoke flavors in the meat.

But adsorption will continue to enhance the smoke flavoring if the meat is left to continue cooking in the smoker.

SmittyJonz
10-17-2015, 10:16 AM
False

Fwismoker
10-17-2015, 10:26 AM
Yea i hate it when people associate smoke flavor with smoke ring. Smoke ring doesn't even need smoke as it's a chemical reaction that takes place. Smoke flavor only collects on the surface of the meat.

Just like i think many people look at a great smoke ring using only charcoal and think they got a bunch of smoke flavor. Nitric oxide which briquette charcoal puts off a ton of has ZERO to do with smoke flavor.

Agree with Iam but have seen where smoke ring formation can go on towards 160*

bigticket1
10-17-2015, 10:58 AM
If you wrap at some point during the cook you definitely don't take on any added smoke. With a pellet grill I often finish in the oven after wrapping.

qman
10-17-2015, 11:21 AM
False: IamFatMan explained it well. As long as the meat is in the smoke, it will take on smoke flavor.

Q Junkie
10-17-2015, 11:25 AM
False: IamFatMan explained it well. As long as the meat is in the smoke, it will take on smoke flavor.

:boxing::rofl::rofl:

Doug Crann
10-17-2015, 11:44 AM
To the folks saying false....got proof? To the other side of the fence....got proof? I have read very little on this, but both sides seem to have a valid arguement. I can say this...I know nothing lol....

Soybomb
10-17-2015, 12:10 PM
There's a lot of "well I think" when it comes to cooking. Why not test it out yourself? :becky:

I suspect a few hours in smoke is enough to make a food clearly taste smoked and the taste may not change significantly past that if you're doing it right but....

https://edemore.files.wordpress.com/2015/06/you-dont-have-to-takec2a0my-word-for-it.png

Smokey Lonesome
10-17-2015, 12:33 PM
I thought, perhaps na´vely, that smoke favors were from smoke particles that were adsorbed onto the meat and therefore would continue to layer over time. If the meat surface dried during the cook, these particles might 'fly by' and not stick but a light spritz could help the smoke adhere again.

No expert here, just made sense to me.

Q Junkie
10-17-2015, 02:48 PM
To the folks saying false....got proof? To the other side of the fence....got proof? I have read very little on this, but both sides seem to have a valid arguement. I can say this...I know nothing lol....

Can you prove that? :razz:

qman
10-17-2015, 02:53 PM
False: IamFatMan explained it well. As long as the meat is in the smoke, it will take on smoke flavor.

:boxing::rofl::rofl:

Thanks Q Junkie. LOL
Sorry, IamMadMan, nothing personal, just a clumsy fingered typo.:icon_blush:

qman
10-17-2015, 02:56 PM
To the folks saying false....got proof? To the other side of the fence....got proof? I have read very little on this, but both sides seem to have a valid arguement. I can say this...I know nothing lol....
Empirical proof, no. I based my answer strictly on my personal observations. I have a few years experience dealing with this addiction is all.

Demosthenes9
10-17-2015, 03:36 PM
To the folks saying false....got proof? To the other side of the fence....got proof? I have read very little on this, but both sides seem to have a valid arguement. I can say this...I know nothing lol....


Sure. Smoke 2 butts for 4 hours or 160 degrees then wrap one in foil to finish. Leave the other butt in the smoker and continue to apply smoke.

The one that sat in the smoke for the entire cook will have a more pronounced smoke flavor.

VoodoChild
10-17-2015, 06:25 PM
Being a retired Firefighter I would say yes ! It will continue to take on smoke Flavor, But my previous profession was not pit master either !

IamMadMan
10-17-2015, 06:53 PM
Thanks Q Junkie. LOL
Sorry, IamMadMan, nothing personal, just a clumsy fingered typo.:icon_blush:

None taken, you have it right on both accounts...

qman
10-17-2015, 07:30 PM
None taken, you have it right on both accounts...
Thanks, we may be twins.

krex1010
10-17-2015, 11:53 PM
Meat will continue to take smoke as long as it is exposed to smoke. If it stopped taking smoke at say 150-160 degrees then it wouldn't make sense to smoke something longer than and hour or two since the outter portion of the meat hits that temp pretty quickly. Burnt ends are typically so delicious because of their strong smoke taste, well they are cut up chunks of brisket that long since passed the 3-4/160 degree mark, then they are put back in the smoker to smoke longer. The longer smoke time would be a waste if meat won't take smoke past a certain temp. I think the reality of this topic is that after 3-4 hours most meat will have taken enough smoke to taste "smoked" after they are finished in foil or an oven.

Bludawg
10-18-2015, 10:48 AM
False!!!! It stops when you remove it from the atmosphere in the pit either by wrapping in foil or hitting the cutting board.

WildeMan
10-18-2015, 11:42 AM
While smoke flavor may continue to build as long as it's exposed to smoke, I believe the smoke flavor will not penetrate any deeper after it hits a certain temperature. If you wanted to test this, do one wrapped and one unwrapped as mentioned, but after slicing, cut the slices into cross-sections and start tasting from the inside, and see when the flavor starts to kick in.

Melissaredhead
10-18-2015, 11:45 AM
I'm not good at true/false tests.
I'll go with "C," final answer.

VoodoChild
10-18-2015, 01:39 PM
False!!!! It stops when you remove it from the atmosphere in the pit either by wrapping in foil or hitting the cutting board.


Perfect !1 :clap2: :clap: :thumb:

Enrico Brandizzi
10-18-2015, 02:14 PM
Not true..... I think you are confusing the smoke ring formation with smoke flavor.

I have heard in that meat will only absorb smoke until it reaches 135 - 140 degrees internal temperature, but never by a specific time frame like the 4 hours you mentioned. It seems that there is a certain amount of confusion about the amount of "smokiness" imparted to the food in a smoker, with regards to time and temperatures.

The 135 - 140░ mark may the point where the protein myoglobin will denature, and will no longer change color with the nitrous oxide present in the smoke, thus stopping the formation of the smoke ring.

Neither time or temperature will stop the ability of food to take on additional flavor from the smoke. But moisture in the initial phase of the smoking process may increase the rate of smoke ring formation (not flavor). The smoke ring may stop forming, but the meat will continue to keep taking on flavor and making bark form. Below is an article on the formation of the smoke ring.


http://www.smokingpit.com/info/smokering.pdf



While it may be true to some degree that most absorption occurs up to an internal temperature of about 135 - 140 degrees, the meat will continue to take on smoke flavor past that point by a process called adsorption (not "absorption"). Also note that smoke flavor and "smoke ring" are completely different. This seems to be the subject of much confusion among BBQ enthusiasts. However smoke ring formation will diminish at or about 140 F when the proteins begin to coagulate. There is not a necessary connection between smoke ring appearance and smoke flavor.

http://montanasbestbbq.teddybearbbq.com/askpitmaster.htm


But i have heard of people having problems with their smoker after four hours or reaching the 135 - 140 degree mark, they have finished the meat in the oven and still have some smoke flavors in the meat.

But adsorption will continue to enhance the smoke flavoring if the meat is left to continue cooking in the smoker.

I can't get to the second link

Joe Black
10-18-2015, 03:15 PM
I don't claim to be a smoke expert, or an expert on anything for that matter. I don't know how much smoke is enough, not enough or too much. He'll, I'm just glad to get good tasting, moist meat that I like and my friends and family like.

I cook with oak and use chunks of flavor wood for about the first hour on everything. After that it's just the oak. As far as I can tell the oak has some smoke, but not much flavor. My smoker always gives me good TBS, so I'm not too sure if there's much smoke anyway.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it............. Joe

IamMadMan
10-18-2015, 05:26 PM
I can't get to the second link


You are right, it is not working today....

Demosthenes9
10-18-2015, 08:24 PM
While smoke flavor may continue to build as long as it's exposed to smoke, I believe the smoke flavor will not penetrate any deeper after it hits a certain temperature. If you wanted to test this, do one wrapped and one unwrapped as mentioned, but after slicing, cut the slices into cross-sections and start tasting from the inside, and see when the flavor starts to kick in.


Smoke won't penetrate very deeply no matter how little or how much you hit the meat with.


Smoke flavor is all about the molecules sticking to the exterior of the meat. The colder the meat is, the more readily the molecules will stick to it. Additionally, the wetter the meat, the more the molecules will stick. Lastly, the rougher the texture, the more surface area for molecules to stick to (in all the nooks and crannys).

As the surface of the meat warms up and dries out, molecules won't stick as readily, but some will still stick adding more flavor to the meat.

oldbill
10-19-2015, 11:21 AM
Smoke won't penetrate very deeply no matter how little or how much you hit the meat with.


Smoke flavor is all about the molecules sticking to the exterior of the meat. The colder the meat is, the more readily the molecules will stick to it. Additionally, the wetter the meat, the more the molecules will stick. Lastly, the rougher the texture, the more surface area for molecules to stick to (in all the nooks and crannys).

As the surface of the meat warms up and dries out, molecules won't stick as readily, but some will still stick adding more flavor to the meat.Correct!:thumb:

oldbill
10-19-2015, 11:52 AM
When I prep a brisket I use oil as a base for my rub, not only does the oil help wake up the spices in my rub but it also provides more surface moisture and a longer lasting surface for smoke accumulation. The real flavor of a brisket is actually in the bark and the method that is used for prepping the meat before the cook will go a long ways in what the final product will taste like.
I trim the fat down to about 1/8 to 1/4 of an inch, slather with oil and then season heavily with S,P&G. During the cook smoke accumulates first on the oil and then on the greasy moisture that is generated when the thin outer fat layer begins to render down. The end product is a bark that is a sticky, crunchy, spicy and smokey layer of goodness.
For the purpose of smoke accumulation a spritz can be helpful as well! I don't usually do it but Aaron Franklin uses a 50/50 solution of water and worcestershire sauce to mist the meat during his cooks and the added moisture helps with the smoke accumulation and flavor of the bark.:-D