Originally Posted by cliffcarter
Smoke flavor is dependent on the wood used, how much is used and the length of time the food spends in the smoke, not on the initial temperature of the meat at the time it is placed on the cooking grate.
No argument at all. I meant there's no smoke on the kitchen counter but there is smoke in the smoker. If there is smoke on your kitchen counter, you got bigger problems than the temperature of your meat.
Bringing meat to room temp works for thinner cuts of meat like steaks that cook quickly. It helps provide for a more consistent through and through finish. When I room temp a steak I use a metal thawing plate to transfer the available heat from the room more quickly to a cold steak. Then I sear the meat and finish the cook with indirect heating on a hot grill to give a nice consistent finish through to the center of the steak.
Room temping a butt or shoulder? Nope. It will take hours for even a 4 lb butt at 40F to absorb enough heat from a 70F room to reach thermal equilibrium. Anyone can conduct their own experiment. Let a butt or shoulder sit on the counter for an hour, then put a probe in it only 1/2" deep, read the thermometer. It MIGHT read 45F. Instead, throw it on the smoker cold and let it warm up safely in a 225-275F delicious hickory/pecan/apple/cherry smoke filled environment.