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Dealing with the Pink Color in smoking and BBQ'ing

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by bigcbbq, Jan 19, 2011.

  1. Ok Everyone. I am an advit smoker. But I was challenged and tested this weekend by a non committed BBQ person in my city. I slow and low smoked 6 Slabs of Pork Ribs, Chicken, and Tri Tips. Wood Fire, with steam pan. Indirect heat. Maintained 200 - 225 tempurature. The problem was explaining that after smoking the meat is pink, and I was challenged that the meat was not done completley. So I had to put the meat in the oven to get a brown color throughout. which compromised my taste and slow cooking.

    What can I do to handle this pink situation and insure that the meat is cooked throughout. And another quick question; How do you deal with fatty chicken leg quarters flaring on the grill? Want to achieve a nice golden brown and fully cooked pieces of chicken without having to put in oven for final cooking.

    Big C

    California Griller and Smoker
  2. biteme7951

    biteme7951 Smoking Fanatic

    Forget the pink color...the nay-sayer is the problem. You can show them the finished temperature of the meat and after that if they don't like it you can boil them up a hot dog while you dine on ribs. I have never forced anyone to eat anything out of my cooker but I don't compromise my cooking for those that don't know either.. For the chicken, start by grilling them over the heat source until the fat starts to render and then move them off the heat source and finish over indirect heat.
  3. Thanks Biteme7951, very informative.

    Would heating the ribs in foil at the end change the color and keep them moist?
  4. ecto1

    ecto1 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Once the smoke ring is formed it is there even if you foil.  Sounds like they are the ones missing out.
  5. Verify all your temps with a probe therm, and that's about it.  Tell your people that that color is a sign of properly smoked food and it's normal.  Drive the point home by eating 3 or 4 ribs while you are pointing this out. You are a better man than me, because i never would have put that meat in the oven. 

    On the leg quarters, either smoke them or set your grill up for indirect grilling so they aren't dripping directly onto the coals.  Also helps to have your lid down to control the amount of oxygen getting to those flare-ups. 
  6. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I agree show or tell them them the finished temp. As long as your thermometer is accurate the temps won't lie. You will have a pink color because of the reaction with the smoke. Its suppose to be there. But I know where you are coming from especially when serving poultry. I have had a few people bite into it and see pink and say its not done because it pink. I assure them that I have checked the temp several times and it is done and the slight pink color is because of the smoker. I guess some people just need to be educated.
  7. ol' smokey

    ol' smokey Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

  8. I have used an electric smoker for most of my smoking and can't get the pink color. I would take the advice from above and show them the finished temperature of the meat with an instant read thermometer, then whip out the Joy of Cooking ":bible" and show them what "finished" or "cooked" temp is per type of meat.  

    I had some neighbors that cooked the living tar out of everything - if there was juice it wasnt done!  Some people will never change their ways or their tastes...so please don't compromise YOUR standards to try to please them.  If they want something done more, hand them the pirce of meat and a set of tongs and show them the grill.  I have actually done that for people, saying "I wont ruin a piece of meat I have put my love and talent towards, but here you go..."  They thanked me. One person got pissed off, but he was a jerk anyways.

    Just my opinions - I don't know your situation at all just stating how I have dealt with a similar issue. 

    Oh, and back to the friend/neighbors that over cooked everything.... when i would go there for a meal they would hand me the tool and ask me to do the grilling - my way. The wife still nuked the brats or burgers to hockey puck-like status, but the rest of us ate good.
  9. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    As far as the chicken flaring on the grill, you can trim out some of the fat.  There are usually large chunks of fat that are very easy to get to and are easily removed.  I use the extra flame to put a sear on chicken then move over to a space out of the direct heat.  You can also remove the skin before cooking but at some point you remove so much flavor you have to marinate it before cooking.

    I agree with everyone else but if you are going to run the oven anyway you can always throw a piece of tritip in the oven with some onions and chopped bell pepper.  Sometimes it's just not worth fighting with them.  Stay true to your passion and cook how you want but it doesn't hurt to be nice and try to accommodate everyone else.

    Good Luck,

  10. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Al..you are a true gentleman and it's a privilege to know you.

    I wouldn't know how to act if someone said something I spent a lot of time cooking said it was not cooked.

    Probably close to what jjwdiver would do. Maybe a little less politely. hahahahhaha

  11. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Thanks for making me laugh Craig,  you just caught me on a good day.  I'll be off the medication tomorrow so we'll just have to see how things change then [​IMG]
  12. SmokinAl

    SmokinAl SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I've had the same reaction when we had guests over for pulled pork. They watched me pull it & their first comment was "It's not done". I explained to them that the pink smoke ring is what we look for, and went through the whole meat/smoke reaction thing. They were fine with the explanation, and the proof was they ate like pigs.
  13. beer-b-q

    beer-b-q Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member

    Just tell them that it is called a SMOKE RING and if they keep running their mouths that the hot dogs you feed them are also pink...[​IMG]
  14. chefrob

    chefrob Master of the Pit OTBS Member


     + 1.............................
  15. LOL-Laughing out Loud! I got it now. I was a nice guy; and Nice guys finish last. I am armed with the knowledge I will go out defend this beautiful cooking process. So many are uneducated it is not

    funny. The problem is I sometimes prepare food at public festivals, and the average person is uneducated to this. So I will have definitions, photos, and Ol Smokey, your paper definition as well on hand. I guest when you are the best at what you do, people try to knock you off your perch or throne. Thanks for the reinforcement. This is a very informative website, which has assisted me tremendously. I have grown in leaps and bounds. The west coast, Southern California is a very underrepresented city for smoked meats. My smoked turkey legs are winners everytime I introduce them. Keep the knowledge flowing. I love this.

    Big C

    I will put my grill type in correctly when I learn how to edit my profile correctly but for now:

    I have one El Cheapo Brinkman; 2- Custom 65 gallon Barrells; and custome built vertical smoker, (previous life was a traffic light control box-6ft tall) coverted to a 8 rack, dual door Smokin Machine.
    I blend various woods to achieve that lovely smoked cooking. The West isnt ready for me and the SMF.
  16. ak1

    ak1 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I only had this issue come up once. I told the person that the meat was cooked properly, explained why, and then said if you want to eat it go ahead, if you don't, it's your choice.
  17. pit 4 brains

    pit 4 brains Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    When I do chx thighs and legs for b-day parties and the like, I mix some simple bbq sauce with water and simmer the chicken in it just until it's cooked, then onto the grill it goes for that grilled look and taste. I get compliments from men and women alike and I have never had anyone complain about raw chicken near the bones.
  18. bassman

    bassman Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Maybe you should ask them this question;  "how in hell did I get the meat done on the inside and raw on the outside!?"[​IMG]
    smokey mo likes this.
  19. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The reaction to the smoke is the same as in cured product; bacon, ham, etc.  When cooked lo and slow nitrates form from the smoke and cure it.  Ask them, ".. you wouldn't throw ham away because it's pink, would you? .."
  20. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>custome built vertical smoker, (previous life was a traffic light control box-6ft tall) coverted to a 8 rack, dual door Smokin Machine.

    Please post a few pictures of this smoker.