Originally Posted by Smoke_Chef
First of all.... Dang that looks good!!!!!! That ain't no Arby's roast beef. I mean Dang... Dang... that looks good.
Okay... now that the praise is over and the drool is whipped off my chin... I have a question.
I have a food saver vac pack... and the little booklet that came with it has long since disappeared. But, I thought for sure that when I first got it, it told me not to vac pack wet items. I think it said everything should be dry or frozen solid first? Do we just have different models maybe? Or, have I just been thinking wrong these last couple of years. Also, I guess the vac pack helps suck the juices in to the meat? Has anyone weighed in on the science behind that? I'm not saying it doesn't. I'm just not sure if it works that way? I look forward to your feedback.
Oh... and did I mention... Dang that looks good!!!
Thanks for the praise. It was really good.
As for your questions. We probably have different models, it is true that wet causes problems with sealing. Mine has a feature that lets me hit the seal button when the juice gets near the unit. An option if yours does not do this would be to freeze some icecube marinade (couldn't have too much salt) and chuck those into the bag. If your sealer won't work like this a ziplock will work just as well, see longer explanation below.
The science behind a salt rub or brine is this. The salt concentration wants to be the same (at equilibrium). When you add salt to the meat it first pulls water out of the cells so that the salt gets more diluted. The salt then starts to move back into the muscle cells through diffusion to make the salt concentration equal on the inside and outside of the meat.
Another way to think of this is to imagine a bag of water. Drop a spoonful of salt into that water. It will all settle to the bottom and then it will dissolve. But the dissolved salt will not just sit on the bottom it will spread all around until it is at equal concentration throughout the bag. It is the same with meat, given some time the salt will move into the meat and make it more flavorful, it will also denature (unwind) some proteins and allow them to bind to more water which makes the meat more moist. As the salt moves in so do other flavorful compounds from your marinade.
The problem is this. If you just rub salt on meat and put it on a plate it will pull out the water and it will pool up on the plate. It will have less chance of getting back in the meat and will make it dry. By sealing it in a bag it ensures that the salt will have the opportunity to move back in. So it is the surrounding the meat with the juices that helps not the vacuum. A ziplock bag will work just as well.
Sorry if that was too much of a tangent but I used to be a chemist and like this kind of stuff.
Originally Posted by Hidepounder
Your roast beef is beautiful! That may have to be my next project! Could you tell me roughly how long it took to get to 130* and did you keep smoke on it the entire time it was cooking?
I didn't smoke the whole time because my wife likes a lighter smoke. But it could handle smoke for most of it. I would say it was about 4 hours.