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post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

I am a Senior in high school and am working on a senior project, I have come to the conclusion that I want to learn to smoke meat for my project. I am looking around for a research topic that deals with smoked meats, but when I Google 'smoked meat research topic' it comes up with cancer studies from cigarettes :(. I am posting here to see if any of you could help me out with an interesting topic and a statement of controlling purpose because I am really stumped on this. (statement of controlling purpose would more than likely start with 'this paper is meant to analyze...(fill in the dots))



Troy Hinkle

post #2 of 22

Hello Troy. I am a retired Culinary Instructor and taught for several years. What type of equipment do you have to work with? What is your Budget? Have you ever cooked or smoked meat before? Where do you live and do you have easy access to assorted cuts of meat, herbs, spices and some room in Mom's Refer to store product?...JJ

post #3 of 22
Sounds like a good project. You get to eat your research and learn to cook.

As the Great Chef Jimmy asked. What is budget, equiptment and other the other aspects?

I would also find out from the teacher diffrent areas you need to cover for your project. My daughter is in IB and she has very spacific things needed to get credit. There are many on the forum that are educated in the Proffesional side of cooking and there are even more who are very knowledgeable on spacifics like curring, fabrication and even the science side of things related to smoking meats.
post #4 of 22

yeahthat.gif I see this is your first post. When you get a chance will you drop by roll call so everyone can give you a proper SMF welcome?

Happy smoken.


post #5 of 22

Post the parameters you need to follow. What ideas have you come up with?...JJ

post #6 of 22

Troy Welcome to SMF you have some, very good cooks getting ready to help. Good Luck in your future education. 


post #7 of 22

Welcome to the board, Troy! One subtopic you could address is the chemistry of the "smoke ring" and the reasons why smoking meat is a preservation technique that's centuries old all around the world.


Maybe as a sort of "why is the sky blue" subject, you could compare the chemistry of thick white smoke vs. thin blue smoke (look for "TBS" in the board's Search).


How about comparing cold smoking vs. hot smoking vs. grilling?


And of course if you bail out of the project, you can say the dog burned your homework.

post #8 of 22
Thread Starter 
So the parameters of this project are extremely broad, I need to do a hands on project for 15 hours total. I also have to do a research topic (paper) that consists of 5 pages, my only issue is when I google smoked I get cigarettes in the results page so I thought I would try here. I have up to $5000 to spend on this project ( I also need a recommendation of what smoker to get) and want to include making lunch for seniors one day.
post #9 of 22
Sounds a bit broad.

There are a ton of things you can focus or experiment with. So what class is it for? The class would determine for me what direction to go in.

As for the budget. $5000 is a lot for a school project, but it will cover a lot. For the smoker it will depend on how much you want to be involved with the cooking experiance. Electric is very little more then turn it on and wait. Propane burner ones are about the same, but need a little more baby sitting. Stick burners or charcoal smokers take a lot more interaction to maintain temps.

Just an idea. Maybe look at fuel consumption and what style is the most green or environmentally friendly.
post #10 of 22
Thread Starter 
This is not for a specific class, that's why this projects parameters are as broad as it can be. I only have 5000 because I was in foster care for 6+ months so I get what are called etv vouchers (edu. And training) which this would go under. I just don't know what research project I want to do because I don't know much about smoking meats and smokers .
post #11 of 22
So putting my Dad Hat on with a senior and sophomore in high school. Spend some time looking at the site and the web. Find a part of smoking that really gets you interested and then you have a subject. All you need to do then is find a way to make it into a project. Lots of way to do that. Then you will know what equiptment to buy. $5000 is way more then what you will need for your project. I wish I had that to put into a project nowadays.

Look I was able to help one of my kids figure a way to turn an air cannon into a science project. The teacher was excited to see the tests and results, but my daughter scrapped it to grow a couple plants. So we can figure out a way to help, but you have to make the decisions.
post #12 of 22
Thread Starter 
I'm not looking for the project aspect of it, I'm more looking for suggestions on the research paper, I don't know much about smoking meats so I came here. I got the project part figured out.
post #13 of 22

As stated above, you can talk about TBS vs. thick white smoke.


You could also talk about:


-how the chemical reaction creates a smoke ring

-low and slow vs. hot and fast

-to mop or not to mop

-food safety (40-140 in 4)

-different types of wood, and what woods you can't use

-should you soak the wood, or not?

-thermometers, and how to do a boiling water/ice water bath

-why chicken is so dangerous compared to other meats when not cooked properly

-why SMF is the best forum on the web??


All that stuff could be tied up into a nice paper.  And as far as 15 hours of hands on -- well, that's just one 11 lb packer smoked between 200 and 225*, my friend.


Welcome to the forum!

post #14 of 22
Originally Posted by Troy Hinkle View Post

I'm not looking for the project aspect of it, I'm more looking for suggestions on the research paper, I don't know much about smoking meats so I came here. I got the project part figured out.

Troy you should update your profile, location especially this will give us better understanding of, type smoker would be the best. Also when is this due? You may have someone from the site thats close to you.


post #15 of 22
Thread Starter 
I live in Caldwell Idaho, just out of Boise. I have to go down the road for internet until Monday when I have computer access to update my profile and do the roll call. I guess I should have included that, sorry.
post #16 of 22

If you plan to serve " Seniors ", are you talking Students or Senior Citizens and how many? The guys are right. The average Rib smoke is 6 hours, Pork Butts (upper shoulder of a pig) will go 16 hours, so putting the time in is no issue. As far as Smokers go, type of Fuel/Electricity make a difference. Here we make comparisons all the time. Should I smoke Straight Through or Foil (wrap in Foil with a liquid to speed the cooking process) and which makes a better product. What wood gives the best flavor? What give more moistness, Brine or Injection? An interesting Test is, " If Smoke is a Preservative, does a Refrigerated Smoked Rack of Ribs stay fresher than a Baked Rack of Ribs? " Take a look at the different Forums here, there is one for just about every type of Smoker, Meat and Cut of Meat. Then there is the topic of Bacon with Nitrites vs. Nitrite Free Bacon. Which is better?...You came here for info on Smoking but you need to be more specific about what you want to do, prove or compare...JJ

post #17 of 22
I agree with what the guys are saying for subjects. Lots of things to reaserch and write about. A 5 page paper will be easy to get. Only thing I would caution on is when it comes to food safety. Use documentation to back what you say or use. I would suggest the USDA site for that. There are many guidelines on this and other sites that are very good guidelines, but they are not actually a USDA rule/law.
post #18 of 22
post #19 of 22

So is your budget really five thousand dollars or is it fifty dollars and you just forgot the decimal point?

As for the research paper you should probably search "low and slow barbeque" or "how to smoke meat" or some other variation of those terms, IMHO you will get better results.

post #20 of 22
Thread Starter 

No it's really 5000 ($5,000), its a big budget but its under education and training from the state for being in foster care for over 6 months. I personally think that is a nice budget. :)

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