room temp or not?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by pighog, Jun 6, 2014.

  1. pighog

    pighog Fire Starter

    Having debatable issues on if I should let meat come to room temperature or straight from the fridge to the smoker. Here lately I haven't been getting a good smoke ring on the meat I've been smoking and have wondered if there is any difference in the two? Any suggestions?
  2. tonybel

    tonybel Smoking Fanatic

    I would just leave in the counter while setting up your grill. It will take to long to get a steak or meat to a room temperature.
  3. tonybel

    tonybel Smoking Fanatic

    My fridge is at 35 to get to room temp will take a long time.
  4. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I pull the meat out of the fridge then fire up the smoker.
  5. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    If your finished meat is good?

    Why the concern with the smoke ring?

    Good luck and good smoking.
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2014
  6. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    From a food safety standpoint it is much safer to go from fridge to smoker this reduces the time spent in the danger zone 41-140

    You don't taste the "smoke ring" but many people desire a nice smoke ring. The smoke ring stops forming at about 140 degrees the meat will continue to take in smoke but the smoke ring will stop forming so it makes sense that the longer it has at temps below the 140 mark the deeper the smoke ring
    foamheart likes this.
  7. pighog

    pighog Fire Starter

    Venture, I like the meat a little smokier with predominant ring. I have seasoned cherry and apple wood from local farms and don't seem to get a lot of smoke flavor, so didn't know if it made much difference if the meat was cold or near room temp. Thanks for the help!!
  8. Cold food takes smoke better.  Pure and simple.  I never let mine sit out.  I go from fridge to smoker all the time. 

  9. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I fire up my smoker, prep the meat from the fridge, then throw it on the grate when the smoker is ready.  The meat usually sits on the counter 20-30 minutes after prepped until the smoker is ready.  The IT of my meat is usually 40-45F when it goes on the smoker.

    As far as the smoke ring and flavor?  Cherry and apple are both woods that should give you a good smoke flavor and decent smoke ring.  No idea what equipment you're using but try laying down more smoke at the start of the smoke and for a longer time.  Sometimes the smoke can disappear after an hour or so, especially if using chunks with charcoal.   
  10. pighog

    pighog Fire Starter

    I have a Brinkmann smoking pit my wife bought me, that leaks EVERYWHERE and use lump charcoal with chunks of apple and cherry from the local orchards as stated earlier. But all in all it does a fairly good job. Just looking for more smoke flavor, but if I try for more smoke flavor I get white smoke which I do not want.
  11. geerock

    geerock Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Like already said, smoke ring has no impact on taste, but I don't understand why lump and chunks aren't getting you there...especially cherry. You might need to get more aggressive with the smoke production. You may be misinterpreting the "white" smoke, especially with all the leaks. Lay it on a bit heavier, especially in the beginning.
  12. jarjarchef

    jarjarchef Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I basically do the same.

    Some woods give a better smoke ring. Try adding oak into your mix with apple or cherry. If you want a dark ring I have foumd mesquite does the best, not a good one to mix with apple or cherry becasue of the strong flavor it has. Also it really depends on the meats you are smoking. I find that beef gets a dark ring, wile chicken and fish not so much.

    Ring does not mean good BBQ. It is only a reaction of the chemicals in the meat and the chemicals from burning of wood, not smoldering.
  13. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    pighog, if not using water try using a water pan in the smoker on the grate next to the firebox.  A moist environment helps more smoke stick to the wood, a proven fact. 

    If you want more smoke flavor than the water pan offers, you can throw another fist sized chunk on the fire every two hours or so.  It will burn white or grey for a little while right after it is added but not like in the beginning when the fire is just getting started, so no worries.  For those stuck buying bags of wood like me the bags of "chunks" I buy often aren't much bigger than golf ball size, and by the end of the bag the chunks are not a whole lot bigger than chips.  They carbonize into charcoal rather quickly.  I toss in a handful every so often if the exhaust whiff of my hand doesn't reveal much smoke aroma.

    Finally, if that's not enough wood flavor, try adding some of the strong woods to the mix like hickory or mesquite.       
  14. pighog

    pighog Fire Starter

    Noboundaries, I do have a water pan directly between the firebox and the grate. I'm beginning to think I'm just expecting more! As my wife says "you expect way too much, your a perfectionist and it's all in your head". She may be right. Maybe I am!
  15. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Repeat after me, "Hi, I'm pighog, and I'm a smokaholic."  Welcome to the obsession!

    Ask your wife what she's tasting at dinner and see what she says.  25% of the human population are super-tasters, blessed with an abundance of taste buds.  25% are non-tasters, cursed with the fewest taste buds in the population.  50% are medium tasters.  Cultures around the world often have greater densities of taste bud distribution in one of the groups and that can be apparent from the types of foods they eat.      

    I'm a medium-taster and my wife is a super-taster.  When I think a table offering needs more wood or seasoning flavors she'll often say it is too much already. That has been an interesting challenge for my cooking for the last 34 years.  Smoking meat has been a fun trip down that taste bud satisfaction highway.   
  16. pighog

    pighog Fire Starter

    That my friend is hilarious!!!!
  17. I run into the same thing. My wife is also a super taster. Didn't think that was a real thing until I saw it on TV one night. It is a challenge finding the balance that satisfies us both. So far into the smoking adventure she's liked everything I've smoked thankfully. She even said my smoked meatloaf was the best she'd ever had!
    pighog likes this.
  18. Fridge temp to smoker. The only way to go.
  19. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    There is no useful advantage to allowing meat to go from fridge to room temp on the counter, then to the smoker.  Bacteria thrive at 40° to 140°, this is why it is called "The Danger Zone".  Unless you want the possibility of an ER visit and lawsuit, don't ever do it!
  20. pighog

    pighog Fire Starter

    hahahaha I typically go to smoker from the fridge because of that reason. Just wasn't sure if there was a significant difference.

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