Meat protein starts to set or cook at 120 degrees F internal temperature and is completely cooked at 140 degrees. As I understand it, once the protein sets it can not and will not absorb any more smoke flavor. Especially the leaner meats. The fat in less lean cuts, such as butt or picnic, can take on more smoke flavor. So... smoking cured meats can take on much more smoke flavor because of the length of time it can stay in the smoke without spoiling. Now.... I'm not sayin I'm right, but this is how I understand the smoking process from what I've read and discussed. I would think that the smoke would certainly be effecting the outside flavor of the meat being smoked, but it isn't being absorbed past the 140 degree internal temp.