Once the meat reaches 140 degrees do you need to keep adding wood for smoke?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by checkmarc, May 30, 2016.

  1. checkmarc

    checkmarc Fire Starter

    I've seen several places that after 140 the meat doesn't absorb any more smoke is that true?
  2. hardcookin

    hardcookin Master of the Pit

    I would think that meat would absorb smoke the whole way through the cook. But maybe not as much as in the beginning
  3. dward51

    dward51 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    The chemical reaction between the nitrogen dioxide from the wood burning ceases to form the pink "smoke ring" at 140*. Below that temp, the nitrogen dioxide dissolves on the wet surface of the meat, binding with the myoglobin in the meat to form the pink "smoke ring". That magic temp of 140* really has nothing to do with the absorption of smoke flavor.  You can continue to add smoke wood to your fire throughout the entire smoking process if you want and it will continue to build smoke flavor on the outer layer of the meat.  You just don't get any "smoke ring" formation above 140*.

    And yes, it is possible to over smoke meat.  That magic middle ground is part of the art of smoking (it's only a science to a point). 

    I am of the opinion that moist meat will continue to absorb smoke better.  This is why a lot of us "spritz" pork butts and other cuts later in the smoke.  It adds flavor from the liquids used in the spritz and helps bind more of the smoke to the meat and aids in the formation of a bark.  But you can overdo the smoke (and yes I have done this before, it is noticeable in the finished product).
    Last edited: May 30, 2016

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