When is it smoked enough

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by stevnjohn, Jun 10, 2013.

  1. stevnjohn

    stevnjohn Newbie

    I was wondering if you can over smoke meat?  Or if there is a point when smoke will not penetrate the meat anymore?

    I smoked a couple of whole chickens this weekend and the smoke flavor was GREAT and so was the chicken but to get them to that point the chicken skin looked dark as night.  People who didn't know what they were loking at would say it looked burned. 
  2. bruno994

    bruno994 Master of the Pit

    Yes, you can oversmoke meat, but for the msot part it's a personal preference as to how much smoke you get on and into a pice of meat.  Some prefer a heavy helping of smoke, some much less.  I am of the much less group, I don't like my fingers smelling of smoke 4 hours and 6 hand washes after eating smoked meat, I prefer more of a kiss of smoke.  If the chickens were good in your opinion, then they were good. 

    Smoke will penetrate the meat as long as it is in smoke, the smoke ring in meats will only form until the meat reaches a certain IT (around 140 or so).  Typically blackened bark or outer surface of meat, occurs when there is too much sugar in the rub or sauce used on the outer layer of the meat or if you had too much bad, heavy, white smoke which comes form a poorly managed fire.  But like I said eqarlier, if the food was good to you, then it was good, smoke is like any other flavoring, it's a personal prefernce as to how much you put on it.
    stevnjohn likes this.
  3. bruno994

    bruno994 Master of the Pit

    Ooooppps, I double posted for some reason...
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2013
  4. so ms smoker

    so ms smoker Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

      Bruno has you covered. If you like it, it was done right!

  5. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Yeah sure you can over smoke meat. Like Bruno said, it's like any other flavoring. Just like you can use way too much garlic, you can easily overdo the smoke.

    As for the black skin, I'm gonna guess you were running at a lower temp for at least few hours? This combined with a lot of smoke (adding chips to the pan throughout the smoke, using more than a few chunks of wood etc...) can really overdo it. The blackness kinda turns me off, and renders the skin pretty much inedible, so I try to avoid it. I run much hotter temps (325˚+) for poultry and use a stronger flavored wood like hickory or mesquite for a shorter time. I also, when time permits, give my birds at least a few hours uncovered in the fridge to dry the skin. The result, in most cases, is a nicely browned, perfectly edible skin and meat that's well smoked.

    As for white, billowing smoke, I'll agree that can cause black skin and an acrid taste. However, to point out the exception to every rule, I once had gone a little too lightly on the smoke. The bird was approaching it's final temp and still looking quite pale. In a panic, I brushed the skin with butter and tossed 3 or 4 large chunks of wood into my coal basket. White smoke immediately began to billow in Biblical proportions, filling the entire block. Within 20-30 minutes the target temp was reached, and when I opened the smoker I discovered the most beautiful chestnut brown skin I've ever seen!! It hadn't had enough time to ruin the flavor with creosote, but the smoke flavor was definitely really strong and the color was perfect.

    My point is, like anything else, a little or a lot is your preference. Sometimes you also have to break the "rules" to get the result you want.
    stevnjohn likes this.
  6. roller

    roller Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    You sure can and you want like it..Just make sure that you are producing Thin Blue Smoke and I usually cut mine off 3/4 way through the cooking time...
  7. stevnjohn

    stevnjohn Newbie

    That is all good advice, I will have to pay more attention to my smoke color. I found the article on “Smoke Management,” it seems to be filled with some good information. Thanks all I enjoy getting answers from the experts!!!

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