What does it mean to smoke food for "X" amount of hrs?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by merlin, Apr 23, 2015.

  1. Alright I figure I go ahead and ask this even though I feel like a total noob but I hear food being smoked for 8 hrs 12 hrs 24 hrs crap like that.  I was wondering did this mean it was on the pit for that time before wrapping? or was it actually being exposed to smoke with wood chunks for that whole duration?

    Im confused.. help?[​IMG]
  2. bmaddox

    bmaddox Master of the Pit

    Usually the time given is the total time on the heat. Since everyone's setup is different that is the only way to track it. Some people apply smoke the entire time because the burn wood, others only for a short time because they are in an electric and the foil after a few hours.
  3. mr t 59874

    mr t 59874 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Unfortunately, it can be very confusing.  Some describe cooking time as smoking time while others  only describe the actual smoke time.  To add to that, rarely do they describe the color or density of the smoke being used, let alone the type or amount of wood.

    This is where personal experience and keeping good notes pays off.

  4. Yeah good point there Tom.  I know I don't use near as much mesquite as I would hickory or apple.  I could be wrong but I don't think anyone would want to smoke something for 12 hrs or so on straight mesquite.
  5. bmaddox

    bmaddox Master of the Pit

    It just depends on the setup. A "stick burner" will be generating smoke the entire time. Plus, everyone has there own desired level of smoke "flavor" and some people like it to be really strong.
  6. kihler

    kihler Smoke Blower

    When I smoke meat, the time on the smoke depends on when the cooking item is at the temp I want. I think meat get dry if left on the smoke and heat to long. I know some real good smokers can leave a meat item on the smoker for a long time without drying out. But my smoker is the back yard model.  If I'm smoking / cooking a pork roast, bacon or ham I get the internal temp to about 160. Beef less and chicken more. I like to use a temp gage that goes into the meat and the read out is outside the smoker. My smoker will give a good supply of smoker for about 3 hours.
  7. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    A good post will differentiate between total cook time and time spent applying smoke to meat...... but as pointed out many do not. Also as pointed out it all comes down to pref. on how much smoke you like on your meat. Me personally I throw in a few fist sized chunks of whatever wood every 2-3 hrs. for the entire smoke..... but that's how I like to do it.

    Main thing to remember is you always cook by internal meat temp. not by time.
  8. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Everybody uses different flavors & different thicknesses of smoke.

    I personally use Hickory Pellets & Dust nearly 100% the time, and I keep the smoke going from beginning to end, unless it's in foil, like Step #2 on Ribs, Butts, etc. Plus I don't use any smoke at the beginning of Sausage, Bacon, Ham, etc, if I'm working on finishing up the Pellicle.

    However I use what I call from TBS to what I call Medium Smoke most of the time.

    I know what that means, but it's hard to describe, and if I open the door to get a good picture it would mostly be gone before I can get a picture of it.

    All I can say is I go from as light as TBS, where can can just barely see anything coming out of my top vent to as heavy as what I call Medium, which is a little less then half as thick as you would have to make it to not be able to see through it. Never any thicker than that. IMO, if you can't see your meat through the smoke, you wouldn't want to eat it either.

    To me it's not Rocket Science---It's just keep it light & keep it as long as you want.

    Note: I do not use Mesquite---Hickory is strong enough for me.


Share This Page