is the Maillard reaction achieved without searing?

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viper

Smoke Blower
Original poster
Dec 6, 2010
122
10
my last brisket was seared but as I was asking on the pork area, it seemed as though my meats did not have as much smoke flavor as I would prefer.  maybe I want more than can be achieved.  The question was raise if my sear before smoking locked up the outside of the meat where it would not readily accept smoke.  I would prefer to sear but may end up having to make a decision here.  is the chemical reaction known as the Maillard reaction achieved at low temps in the 200s? 
 
When you sear the outside of a brisket like that, at the start of the cook, you seal the outer pore layers shut making it harder for the smoke to penetrate. Kinda like wind blowing on the window - window open it comes right through the screen nice and easy, window closed... not so much.
biggrin.gif
 
I am curious to hear from someone that has smoked both ways.  I know several people that sear and never heard of this thus making me wonder if I have other problems.  
 
When you sear the outside of a brisket like that, at the start of the cook, you seal the outer pore layers shut making it harder for the smoke to penetrate. Kinda like wind blowing on the window - window open it comes right through the screen nice and easy, window closed... not so much.
biggrin.gif
That is the same thing I told him in his other thread

 
 
As far as I know, the Maillard reaction happens around 310 F. 
Here is what is says on Wikepedia confirming your temp
 

High temperature, low moisture levels, and alkaline conditions all promote the Maillard reaction.[sup][5][/sup] In cooking, low moisture levels are necessary mainly because water boils into steam at 212 °F (100 °C), whereas the Maillard reaction happens noticeably around 310 °F (154 °C): significant browning of food does not occur until all surface water is vaporized.

The rate of Maillard reactions increases as the water activity increases, reaching a maximum at water activities in the range of 0.6 to 0.7. However, as the Maillard reaction produces water, further increases in water activity may inhibit Maillard reactions.[sup][6][/sup]


When you sear the outside of a brisket like that, at the start of the cook, you seal the outer pore layers shut making it harder for the smoke to penetrate. Kinda like wind blowing on the window - window open it comes right through the screen nice and easy, window closed... not so much.
biggrin.gif
That is the same thing I told him in his other thread

 
 
Viper the way I understand what you are trying to accomplish is this. You want a crusty bark. Am I misunderstanding or do you think you can't achieve bark without searing? The bark will form at low temps. I'm not trying to shoot your idea down but you are saying you want good smoke flavor. That is something you are not going to achieve if you sear before smoking. How can you expect good smoke penetration with a chastity belt on your butt?
 
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