Orion smoker smoke ring

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by kjbrown20, Oct 1, 2013.

  1. Has anyone been able to get a smoke ring out of the Orion cooker? It makes great food just no smoke ring, I'm asking to be able to use this in competitions, I know they are not supposed to judge that but might as well make it look good, the food speaks for itself. Thanks, Kevin
  2. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    If it's electric you won't get a smoke ring, unless you add lump or briquettes for additional heat, or to supplement the heat. The smoke ring isn't from the smoke itself, it's from the burning of organic matter to produce heat, which creates Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) at temps above 600* (if I recall, which is why it typically doesn't come from smoke wood). NO2 reacts with the hemoglobin in surface of the meat to form a temperature stable pigment...the smoke ring, that everyone so lovingly refers to it as.

  3. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I don't think you will get the smoke ring, since the heat source is outside the cook/smoke chamber. Corrected if I'm wrong, is the Orion you have the one that has oil pan (as reference for shape) and the chimney (smoke chamber) running up the middle? Briquettes go in the oil pan?
  4. cliffcarter

    cliffcarter Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Almost. The NO2 reacts with myoglobin, not hemoglobin which is an essential part of blood. Myoglobin is what gives meat it's color, beef is redder and darker than pork and thus contains more myoglobin.

    Wood smoke contains nitrogen which combines with oxygen in the heat of a cooking chamber to form NO2 which in combination with the myoglobin in the meat forms the smoke ring. The smoke ring is formed by burning wood, lump charcoal and gas grills(propane contains nitrogen). I find that wood smoke forms the best smoke ring FWIW.
  5. It's not electric its charcoal but its a convection type cooker that you put wood in around the drip pan, just wondering if anyone figured out how to get a smoke ring. My guess is you won't but just thought I would ask. Thanks
  6. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    That would be correct...if the meat is not being exposed to the combustion gases, then there's no way for the NO2 to cause the reaction which produces a smoke ring. A really heavy amount of smoke for an extended period of time would produce a smaller than normal amount of smoke ring at the expense of having inedible food. If you could find a way to add burning charcoal into the actual smoke chamber, on bottom of course, it would aid in producing a smoke ring, but smoke wood alone does not burn hot enough if it is producing smoke.

    Last edited: Oct 3, 2013
  7. dward51

    dward51 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Yes, I have on ribs, but it was not as pronounced as in the "regular" smoker.  I used cherry chips and they looked like charcoal when the ribs were done due to the lack of oxygen.  

    I picked up an Orion as a novelty items when I found it on clearance for $25 at Home Depot one time (floor model, but it had all the parts).  I've used it a few times and could see it being very useful at the beach or somewhere else you want to smoke but don't have time for the traditional method.  It works on the same principal as the dutch oven would in an open fire with charcoal on top.  But it has the ability for you to add wood chips to generate smoke.

    Hardest thing for me in using an Orion is cooking purely by time.  There is no way to insert a thermometer into the meat and leave the cooking chamber sealed.  If it's not sealed, it's not going to work as designed.

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