Smoking wet/damp meat

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by rsnovi, Sep 20, 2014.

  1. I did some searching and only found threads about bacon.  I have been thinking about doing some bacon and it is clear that the meat needs to be dry to not get a foul creosote taste.

    I don't see anything mentioned about wet/damp meat when smoking other meats like ribs or pork butts.  What makes it different?  I dry my meat with a paper towel, but after the rub being on it will get damp again.
  2. wade

    wade OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The difference here is whether you are hot smoking or cold smoking. When you are smoking bacon you are usually cold smoking and this is done with the meat dry. If you do smoke it damp then this will still usually not be a problem as you still need a good air flow around the meat as it smokes. This will quickly remove any surface moisture anyway.

    Where you are going to get the hints of creosote is if you use billowing smoke in a smoker with insufficient ventilation. You could also get bad flavours when not using food grade pellets/sawdust/ shavings.

    With hot smoking (ribs or butts), whether you put the meat in damp or dry will make no difference as within a very short period of time the heat of the smoker will evaporate off any excess surface moisture anyway. You still need to ensure that the smoke you are producing is good quality though.
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2014
    oldschoolbbq likes this.
  3. I am a firm believer in forming a pellicle on meat before smoking. I like to dry the surface of whatever I am doing until it has a sheen to it and is mostly dry to the touch. One of the chef's on here might be able to explain the benefits of doing this better than I. Just how I do it and there are many ways to skin a cat.
  4. Thanks for the replies Wade and timberjet. The difference between hot and cold smoking does make sense.  I also burn wood in the winter and I know things like a cold chimney can cause condensation creating more creosote.  Also I have seen the black gunk of when trying to burn unseasoned wood.

    I always try to get my meat pretty dry before applying a rub.  Just today I rubbed down some bb ribs a few hours before putting them on the smoker.  I put them in the fridge for awhile and they were pretty moist from the rub.

    I have always had good luck with ribs, but I want to make bacon some day so it just got me thinking.

    I appreciate the insight.
  5. daveomak

    daveomak OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I dry all meat before smoking...... add smoke.... then add sauces and cut the smoke... If using something like mustard to hold spices, the meat will still dry.... just dry at around 180 with all vents wide open... takes about an hour then add smoke....

    Anyway, that's how I do it.... everyone has their own preference when it comes to smoking meats...
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2014
  6. All good advice , and will get you there. Use these helping hints and practice "Patience" .You'll be glad later.

    Oh, yes , and to level the playing field , keep a BBQ Record :
    a habit and a blessing...

    Have fun and . . .

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