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Left overs are more tender then fresh off the grill?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Ok, I might be crazy but my leftovers are more tender than the day I cooked them. I had some pork loins left overs in the fridge 6 days and they were softer and more tasty than the day I made them. The smoke was more infused and all around better.


Am I crazy? Or was I just sick of smelling the fire the day I cooked them?



post #2 of 6

There are couple things going on. Your sense of smell gets desensitized to the smoke from repeated/long-term exposure, so the smoke flavor doesn't taste as strong and may seem a bit off if eaten the day of the smoke. Add to that, your clothes, hands, hair and everything else exposed to the smoke is carried around with you all day until you remove it and take a shower, so you really can't escape the smoke by just walking away from the rig...it escalates the desensitization quite a bit. While refrigerated, the smoke can equalize/penetrate deeper into the food, giving a mellower but deeper flavor. I've aged smoked potatoes for a few days, and yes, you can definitely tell the difference...much, much deeper smoke with a better overall flavor than straight off the grates. Cheese is the same...smoke it, then age it...far superior to freshly smoked.


If they seemed more tender, that can be effected by conditions during cooking, storage and reheating, but specifically for this discussion: how fast and by what method, humidity present in the cooker, actual internal temp when reheated, etc. If they were cooked to med/rare, they should have been quite moist (again, depending on methods for cooking), then when reheated to a safe internal temp of 165* (for leftovers), if a good method for reheat was used most (not all) of the interior moisture should have remained. Moisture can directly contribute to tenderness, in a roundabout way...drier will become more of a chewy texture.


That said, whatever you did for cooking, storage and reheating could be duplicated, if you liked it...hopefully you recorded pertinent info or can remember it to do so now.


Just so you know: http://www.foodsafety.gov/keep/charts/storagetimes


Enjoy the smoke!!!




post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 

Makes sense on the sense of smell. If you have ever done the vinegar / blind fold trick you know how the nose starts to shut off smells that are around all day or if you visit a town that has a paper-mill you know it too!


This was strange, no reheat just out of the fridge and sliced goodness!


I was wondering if I could crack the code and incorporate it into the original serving.

post #4 of 6

Ah, I see...sliced and served cold, now that does change things. You likely still had the bulk of the original moisture present in the meat when it hit the fridge, especially if tightly wrapped, and, to conserve even more moisture, wrapped while still warm/hot (meat may absorb the water vapor and condensed vapor as it cools)...anyway, that aids in maintaining a tender chew. As for smoke taste, there's little you can do to experience the full flavors when it's fresh out of the smoker, short of having someone else do the smoke for you, just so you aren't exposed to the smoke...how much trust you have in their abilities could be tested at some point during the cooking....and test your patience...:biggrin:




post #5 of 6
I agree, I always take a shower and change clothes after a long cook like brisket when it is resting. Definitely makes a difference.
post #6 of 6
Yep! The long rest is always good! I feel the same way about pulled pork and just about every other smoked meat except poultry. I like it better right off the smoker!
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