why smoke after foiling any meat?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by fpmich, Aug 26, 2015.

  1. Just a question I've been wondering about for some time.

    A lot of foiling goes on, after some meats are smoked to temp, or time.  Then we foil it and put it back in the smoker for X amount of time.

    Then we un-foil and still using the smoker, with or without smoke, to finish it. 

    My question is:

    Why do we put meat back in the smoker for an hour or so, after foiling,  rather than just finish in oven uncovered, to firm up the bark or sauce. 

    Is anymore smoke really added to meat after foiling?  Or is it just added to the rub or sauce? 

    Why not make your sauce, if you use it, in a shallow pan to absorb smoke, "in the smoker" as you smoke the meat? 

    Or for that matter, smoke your rub mix, if you have no sugar in it yet?  Then you can foil in oven, and finish un-foiled in oven after saucing, and still have smoky flavor throughout?.

    How far off the mark am I?  Or am I on a right track?  Not the only track, just "a" right one.  LOL

    Reason I asked  is that I am going to try Jeff's single cut ribs from his newsletter, today or tomorrow.  I seldom use sauce.

    Smoke naked 2 hours, rub, foil and cook 1 1/2 hours, remove foil, rub again (sauce if wanted) and cook uncovered for 1 1/2 to 2 hours until done.

    Would I achieve the same result, if I did everything after the initial two hour smoking naked, in oven?

    If I can achieve same flavor with using oven after initial smoking time, it will save me money over continuing burning charcoal for an extra   for an extra 3-4 hours.

    I use a COS so coal cost is a concern.  Meat may be cheap, but add in the charcoal, it get to be a high priced dinner sometimes.

    If no experienced replies, for or against, then I will just follow Jeff's recipe and burn the extra charcoal.  LOL 

    I can use your experienced input.

    Thanks guys and gals.
  2. wade

    wade OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Hi Frank

    Once you have foiled the meat it will not take on any more smoke flavour until the foil is removed. You are just letting the heat of the smoker continue to cook the meat and so would make little difference if this step was done in the smoker or a kitchen oven. The benefit of the foil though is that the meat will no longer lose moisture and it will effectively start to steam itself in its own juices inside the foil. A lot of people don't foil so whether you do or do not is personal preference.

    The hour back in the smoker is to crisp up the bark on the outside of the meat as after being in the foil it can become quite soft.

    I have no scientific proof of this, but from experience after the first 3 hours or so in smoke, additional time spent in the smoke seems to make little difference to the final smoke flavour.

    Yes you can smoke your sauce as you say (I sometimes do) but the amount of smoke flavour that the smoked sauce alone will impart on the meat is likely to be a lot less than the meat will absorb by itself.

    Combining the smoker for the unfoiled stages and the oven for the foiled stages may not be seen as being true to some BBQ purists, however the end result would be the same.
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2015
    resurrected likes this.
  3. Wade has you covered here.

    I think most people (whether they will admit it or not) have used their ovens at some point for smoked foods. I know I have used mine when the rain was too bad to keep cooking outside or when I needed to push something to the finish at 350 dgrees. 
  4. No smoke after you've foiled.  I used my over a couple of times when foiling, but I found the MES 40 BT is so energy efficient, that its actually cheaper to run than natural gas.  Hard to believe.  I just use my MES now.
  5. chewmeister

    chewmeister SMF Premier Member

    To add some of that smoked flavor to your sauce, add some of the pan drippings to your sauce. Like Wade said, foiling helps to steam cook the meat and break down the connective tissue. It helps a larger cut of meat get through the stall quicker.
  6. noboundaries

    noboundaries OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I don't unfoil, defoil? meat until I'm ready to eat it, consequently there's absolutely no reason to keep using the smoker after foiling the meat...........unless........

    It's Summer: why heat up the kitchen with the oven?  Foil it and put it back on the smoker. 

    It's Winter: foil, shut down the smoker, put it in the oven and heat up the kitchen.

    For me it's that basic.   
  7. This is me.  I am in South Texas and we have 10 months of summer.  I HATE to use the oven when I have a perfectly good smoker going and already at temp.
    boboso likes this.
  8. Atlanta is no South Texas but warm enough that there's benefit to doing the cooking outside.

    Plus there's a pretty good chance I have something else smoking at the same time anyway.  
  9. I think Wade nailed it.

    In some circumstances, additional ingredients are added when the meat is foiled. Ribs come to mind. In the 3-2-1 process the ribs are smoked for 3 hours then taken off and wrapped - usually with the addition of apple juice or a concoction of choice (Captain Morgan comes to mind) - then placed back in the smoker for cooking and absorbing the juices added and native juices for 2 hours. The final hour is without the foil and the juices and serves to bring to final temp and to add a bit of hardening finish so the meat won't be soggy.

    At least, that's the way I understand it. I've read where other chefs do similar things with other cuts of meat. Watch Guy Fierri on triple D and you will see lots of chefs and see lots of different treatments. I learn from all of them.
  10. I agree... There is no shame in finishing in an oven when you're foiling or simply not concerned with smoke. Especially if you have been cooking outside all day and it gets hot, cold, buggy, rainy, late etc. If you are using a smoker that doesn't have easy temperature control and life gets in the way, why wouldn't you put it in the oven?
  11. Yes, all true, but don't tell the missus that else how will we keep avoiding household chores?  
  12. Touché my friend! Hahaha
  13. Thanks everyone for all your replies.  I'm happy to know I was on a right track.

    1.  Yes I know no smoke reaches meat while foiling.  I was wondering if it, or the sauce, actually took on very much smoke at all, after foil was removed or not.  My idea of smoking sauce or rub was just thinking maybe it would put a little smoke in it, and then when I cook in oven to finish, the sauce or rub would still have a little extra smoke flavor as if you continued cooking it in the smoker.  I don't often use sauce so I'm not real concerned about that.

    2. My thinking was in line with you Wade on 3 hours of smoke being enough for ribs.  By then the ring is pretty much all the way to the bone, unless really thick ribs.

    3. Using oven to finish cooking, set bark/sauce, etc. would save considerable fuel usage with my smoker.

    My wife favorite saying is "You Need MORE charcoal?  What?  Again?"

    4.  The reason I'm foiling this time is I'm going to try the single sliced ribs from Jeff's newsletter.  I think if I didn't foil, they would dry out too much, being cut into singles like that.

    Thanks again for all your replies.  My questions were answered well, and I feel better knowing I wasn't too far off base with my thinking.
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2015
  14. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    For many reasons above, I mix it up, Smoker to Oven, all Smoker, whatever suits the situation. Summer, all smoker. Winter smoker to oven. Big parties, all smoker, 2x the size of my oven. Long cooks, all smoker, $.15 /KwH is way cheaper than gas, but I can see where Charcoal is even more expensive. No one will seriously give a member a hard time for using an oven to finish, maybe some teasing but all in fun. Biggest reason here for all smoker? Gets me out of the house, when everybody is around, and nobody counts how many Beers I throw down...[​IMG]...JJ
    boboso likes this.

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