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Smoke Vault Manual Say NEVER Smoke Dry - Why? - Page 2

post #21 of 31

Wood smoke contains fine particulate matter, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, sulfur dioxide and various irritant gases such as nitrogen oxides that can scar the lungs. Wood smoke also contains chemicals known or suspected to be carcinogens, such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and dioxin.

 

 

IMO, if there is moisture on the surface of stuff inside the smoker, and the smoke absorbs into the moisture, you have just created "acid rain".. 

The flavor is a stinging, bitter, acrid taste on the tongue...   I don't care for it......   I have never had that taste from a piece of meat that had a proper pellicle formed while smoking in a moisture free environment.... 

post #22 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveOmak View Post
 

Wood smoke contains fine particulate matter, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, sulfur dioxide and various irritant gases such as nitrogen oxides that can scar the lungs. Wood smoke also contains chemicals known or suspected to be carcinogens, such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and dioxin.

 

 

IMO, if there is moisture on the surface of stuff inside the smoker, and the smoke absorbs into the moisture, you have just created "acid rain".. 

The flavor is a stinging, bitter, acrid taste on the tongue...   I don't care for it......   I have never had that taste from a piece of meat that had a proper pellicle formed while smoking in a moisture free environment.... 


Wow, I'd better give up smoking (meat), especially since there is no way to remove moisture from the surface of the food (since it sweats).

 

You're right about the bitter stinging taste. That's really awful stuff.

post #23 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnmeyer View Post
 


Wow, I'd better give up smoking (meat), especially since there is no way to remove moisture from the surface of the food (since it sweats).

 

You're right about the bitter stinging taste. That's really awful stuff.

 

Placing the meat in a smoker, no smoke, at a temp about 120 ish with good air flow, will dry the surface and form a pellicle...   Then smoke application will result in sweet tasting meat... 

 

 

.... Salmon with a dry pellicle prior to smoking......                      ...Turkey that was dried prior to smoking.......

.. ..

 

 

 

...Pork ribs with a pellicle ......                 ...Pork loins ... pellicle and smoke...  Nice clear smoke layer...

.. ..

 

 

 

If you noticed the clarity of the smoke on the meats....  No creosote....   Water is not meats friend, when it comes to smoke..... 

 

 

 

 

 

.....  Dave

post #24 of 31
Dave,
Can you create this pellicle in the refrigerator?
Randy,
post #25 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by REMSR View Post

Dave,
Can you create this pellicle in the refrigerator?
Randy,

  In my experience, a pellicle can be formed in a smoker at 120 ish in an hour or so with lots of air flow....   or in front of a fan on a wire rack at room temp, once the meat has warmed up to room temp.....    Meat that is refer temp, will form condensate which dissolves the water soluble protein based pellicle or at least, makes it difficult to form......  There are no health concerns leaving meat out at room temperature, once cured, for several hours or even a day to form a pellicle...   Meat that has been cured and then cold smoked, will often sit at temps in the 50-70 degree range for weeks with no ill effects....

 

Pellicle formation

Before cured foods are smoked, they should be allowed to air-dry long enough to form a tacky skin, known as a pellicle. The pellicle plays a key role in producing excellent smoked items. It acts as a kind of protective barrier for the food, and also plays an important role in capturing the smoke’s flavor and color.

Most foods can be properly dried by placing them on racks or by hanging them on hooks or sticks. It is important that air be able to flow around all sides. They should be air-dried uncovered, in the refrigerator or a cool room. To encourage pellicle formation, you can place the foods so that a fan blows air over them. The exterior of the item must be sufficiently dry if the smoke is to adhere.

 

As noted in the pictorials below from Marianski, cold smoke penetrates farther into cool meat than hot smoking....   So, cold smoked products will "appear" to have less smoke...  In my experience here also, the flavor is deep into the meat and a rich depth of flavor not experienced when smoke is applied hot...

 

.. ...

post #26 of 31

Thanks Al.  Boiling water does have a lot of convection currents at play.  The sticky surfaces under water may add a little turbulence which could aid the steaming, which you seem to say you're convinced is an empirical fact. Have you tried letting a few stick out above the surface?  Might help even more.   

And John mentions a frequently under-appreciated benefit of steam--it has far greater heat content than dry air so helps maintain uniform cooking temperatures in a smoker.  

post #27 of 31

This "page 2" discussion which I initially overlooked points out the great unknowns in the ideal "time profile" of humidity in cooking.  Blonder has a nice article on the application of humidity in cooking,and he's quite a believer in its benefits and that it's the next great frontier in cooking science.  

 

I'm working on an outer autofill system for my water tray, also adding a filament on the bottom of the tray to control the amount of steam generated, but as to what is the best humidity-vs-time profile for actually cooking, I haven't a clue, although Dave makes a good case for starting dry and others make a case for ending dry.    

post #28 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by bill1 View Post
 

This "page 2" discussion which I initially overlooked points out the great unknowns in the ideal "time profile" of humidity in cooking.  Blonder has a nice article on the application of humidity in cooking,and he's quite a believer in its benefits and that it's the next great frontier in cooking science.  

 

I'm working on an outer autofill system for my water tray, also adding a filament on the bottom of the tray to control the amount of steam generated, but as to what is the best humidity-vs-time profile for actually cooking, I haven't a clue, although Dave makes a good case for starting dry and others make a case for ending dry.    

 

 

Humidity in a home smoker is different than steam....   Steam is dry... there is no water in steam....   Steam is used in commercial smokers as a heat source to cook the meats etc.... 

 

Some articles try to represent moisture like it was steam and don't define the differences...  or, some folks that read about steam cooking translate it to humidity not knowing the difference....

 

Humidity at the start of a smoking cycle will kill the pellicle formation, or erase the pellicle as it is made from water soluble proteins....  

 

Anyhow, some so called internet experts, when it comes to smoking meats, are always allowed their opinions and wet smoking has been discussed Ad nauseam .... Ad nauseam is a Latin term for disgust that has continued so long that it has continued "to [the point of] nausea".[1][2] For example, the sentence "This topic has been discussed ad nauseam" signifies that the topic in question has been discussed extensively, and that those involved in the discussion have grown tired of it.[

 

The above relates to "classical" meat smoking as our forefathers have done at temperatures below 170 degrees F....  Currently smoking meats have come to encompass grilling and adding smoke at higher temps...  Methods for smoking meats has become twisted into many different applications such that it is unrecognizable...

 

You may choose to "smoke meats" as some manufacturer has deemed appropriate using their equipment, and that's OK....  There are many on this forum, including myself, that attempt to replicate "Olde World" methods to recapture the flavors and textures of the past...  You are welcome to come along for the ride.......

post #29 of 31

High humidity combination cooking is nothing new. Combi-Ovens and Water Smokers have been around several decades. They are just not often used Low and Slow. Myron Mixon made his fortune with his Water Smokers and banging out Brisket and Butt in a few hours at 300+ degrees. Chain Restaurants have used gas and electric Steamer Oven/Smokers a long time to keep up with the volume they do of a few smoked items as opposed to a NC Smoke House that sells only Whole Hog Pulled Pork. These high humidity cookers are just a faster and different method of getting the job done compared to the age old low and slow dry Wood Pits used in the Southern States. It would make sense that if Steam speeds Smoking and keeps meat moist at high temps it would be great at low and slow smoking as well but the concept does not take into consideration that the bad tasting components in smoke accumulate on wet meat faster than dry meat and over a long slow smoke can result in bitter tasting food...JJ

post #30 of 31
Thank's Dave,
That answers my question.
post #31 of 31
I know this is an old thread I am posting on, however, I have a MES digital smoker, I have smoked with water in the pan, without water in the pan, let the pan go dry and even put water in a foil pan right beneath the meat. Honestly, I cannot tell the difference between any of them.
Happy smoking 🐷🐷🐷🐷🐷
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