Blog: wet VS. dry post

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Meat Mopper
Original poster
OTBS Member
Feb 6, 2006
Hi Jeff,

I scoped out your blog today, very nice. However I have to say in the wet VS. dry post on wood chips I think you are off.

You stated...

"You want to apply smoke for about 1/3 of the cooking time or until the meat reaches approximately 140 degrees. This may require several foil packages of chips depending on how long it takes them to burn up."

True once the meat reaches 140 the smoke ring stops but I still use wood throughout the entire process as it, the meat, still draws in the flavor.

I don't mean to nit pick but for a newbie that statement might be miss leading.

Love the forums, love the blog, appreciate you taking the time to keep all this running as the admin.

Take care,


The reasoning for not adding additional wood after the meat reaches 140 degrees is twofold-

1) The smoke ring is formed by a reaction of the smoke and the nitrites/nitrates in the meat. Once the meat passes through 140 degrees this reaction stops.

2) Not adding extra wood chips/chunks saves you money. If you want to keep adding wood throughout your smoke session because you feel that it adds flavor -go for it-after all, it's your smoke or as I tell my kids "Whatever provides buoyancy to your aquatic vessel" (Whatever floats your boat) :P
I understand point one, I even mentioned it.

However I had/have been taught that the meat will still take in the smoke flavor pass the 140 point. While it does not add to the ring it still will add to the over all smokiness flavor in the meat.

Is this not true?


I think that this is one of those hotly debated opinions. Science tells us that it's useless to add more smoke as the smoke ring stops forming at 140 but there are those that swear you get a smokier flavor. If you like the level of smoke you get once the ring stops forming why waste any more wood? If you think that the flavor is week then by all means add more smoke (I think that it will still take on smoke flavor even after the ring stops forming). I suppose the best way to put it to rest is to get two smokers going, smoke two cuts of the same type and size with the exact same wood but cut the smoke off on one at 140 and smoke the other all the way till the end. Then blind taste test it to see which you prefer. It really all just comes down to opinion I think. If anyone trys out this little science project I'd love to hear what they have to say.
This is a very highly debated subject.. many people believe that meat will continue to take on smoke flavor past the 140 mark. I have yet to perform a scientific test on it myself.

I usually recommend that newbies stop at that point and then as they gain proficiency and want to push the parameters a little then by all means go for it.

I just about always stop at the 140 mark myself in anything other than my big wood smoker and it is usually just right on the flavor.. whatever works is my motto.

You guys feel free to comment on the blog as well.. I had to set it up where you type in a number to post a comment but if I don't then it will be spam heaven.

Just click on the word "Comments" at the bottom of any post to add your comments, then type in the numbers/letters that you see and that will prove to the server that you are a real human and not a spam robot.
A smokering is neat to see when you slice a brisket, but it means nothing. If all you want is smokering, use a lot of Morton's tenderquick and cook in the oven you won't have to bother with any wood and the ring is a sure thing.

There is NO coorelation between smokering and smoke flavor. You can repeatedly produce either one without the other. They have NOTHING to do with each other.

If you want to cook Q, cook with wood. Stop using wood when you wrap in foil (if you do that) or when you stop cooking. If you want to stop adding smoke at 140, remove the meat from the smoker and put it in a crock-pot, you're not Q'ing anymore.
It is actually much easier than that.. if you want to stop smoking the food at 140 just simply stop adding wood to the small charcoal smoker which is what over 90% of the populalation at SMF use based on the polls and statistics that I have gathered over the last few years.

In a small charcoal smoker, the charcoal provides the heat and the wood provides the flavor and while it is true that the smoke ring has nothing to do with flavor it has everything to do with Barbecue.

You take out the smoke ring and I for one will not look at barbecue the same way ever again.

It is a beautiful sign of the presence of smoke and while you can fake it with tender quick who would want to?

Smoking meat is almost a religious experience.. I said almost..
tulsajeff";p="7378 said:
while it is true that the smoke ring has nothing to do with flavor it has everything to do with Barbecue.


Jeff, you missed part of the point of my post. It is also very possible to cook great BBQ that has absolutely no, or very little smokering. Electric smokers and pellet cookers, and to a lesser extent propane and charcoal burning bullet smokers, can produce top quality, and in a lot of cases winning competetion (pellet and bullet cookers) BBQ that has weak to no smokering.
Although the ideal situation for me is to have a cooking situation that provides the environment to have both an impessive 1/4"+ smokering and clean solid smoke flavor, this isn't always how it works out. When forced to comprimise, it should be easier to understand that you can have great smokey Q without a fat pink ring.

Connecting the two (smokering and quality BBQ) is a disservice to those that cook on other than an all log burning pit.
I think I understand your point, Scott.. and I partially agree. I am not implying that the smokering has anything at all to do with flavor or quality of barbecue. It doesn't.

In saying that... it is still a coveted sign of the application of smoke and men (and women) still brag about the size of their smoke ring and if you go to places where barbecue is going on in a big way, you will hear it pretty regular.

Wood smoked bbq is the truest, purest form of the art and it is what I enjoy most but for the charcoal, electric, and propane smokers out there.. it is absolutely possible to get the best barbecue you have ever tasted from an old rusty brinkmann you bought at a garage sale for 3 bucks.

I still declare openly that the smokering is as much a part of bbq as pig meat and brisket.. it is expected and should therefore be present.

I don't know about anyone else but I consistently get a 1/4 inch smoke ring on charcoal, propane, electric and wood.. the smoke ring is not my goal but it does happen.

I try to apply the same amount of smoke regardless of what my heat source is.

It is a fact that wood smoking is the purest form of the art and should be experienced by all however, I understand the large audience that we are working with here and I have to try to be proficient at turning out great bbq on whatever they are using and my answers to their questions will portray that.
Wow, I struck a nerve :roll: .

I really like hearing both sides. I will try to smoke this weekend. I know how tmy butts normally taste from using wood through to the end. I will try the same Lbs. butt and cutt off at 140 with the wood and see what I get.

I posted here instead of the blog as I felt more people would see this one as the blog is semi new, I believe.

Take care,

When it comes to how much wood and how long you would use it will depend on three factors, the pit, the wood and your preference on the amount of smoke you like on your Q.

As stated smokering stop formings at 140 internal but if using a mild wood you can burn it longer. The dsign of the pit will also dictate the amount of wood used, a large offset can handle much more wood than a small offset or vertical cookers (has to do with the amount of air moving through the pit).

Hickory or Oak as your smoke supply would be much stronger in flavor than fruitwoods or alder as an example.

There is always more factors to take into consideration than internal temp.
Well I went ahead and cut off the wood at 140 degrees and let it finish up. I thought it had a less "smokey" flavor. I then pulled out last weekend pork and tried them side by side. I swear, to me at least, that the prior pork was more "smoke" flavored being the wood till the end batch.

I used the same wood, a mix of oak and hickory. I kept the smoke from the output damper a nice blue color for both. I am using a propane vertical smoker. Weather was pretty much a match both weekends.

Guess it comes down to what Jim said. Could have been psychological also I guess.

Take care,

You are putting on smoke as long as you have wood in the cooker. The smoke flavor and smokering are not connected, they are different functions.
Hi Jim,

Yeah, I understand this, whole heartidly.

The reason why I tried what I posted last is this...

and also this being on the blog (direct quote)...

I in turn took those two replies to mean "why are you adding wood after 140 degrees". So I tried it out to convince myself why I have always used wood until the end for the flavor.

If I miss interpreted what I was being told I apoligise. However I took it as don't put on additional wood after 140 degrees and I disagreed.

Take care,

It depends on the smoker and the wood used if you would want to add wood clear to the end. I don't use chips unless grilling. I use chunks in vertical smokers and logs in the offset I cook on. The stronger the wood (like hickory and oak) I would use less wood but that is personel preference. Lighter woods like fruitwoods I would use longer during the cook.
Your on the right track, just play with different woods and lenght of use till you get a good feel for your and your families preference.
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