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Mopping the meat, blocks the smoke to adhere,, yes/no?

Discussion in 'Messages for All Guests and Members' started by cmayna, Mar 1, 2018.

  1. cmayna

    cmayna Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    It is my belief and understanding that if you apply (mop) a glaze before and during the smoke, it will block the ability of the smoke adhering to the product.

    I do realize that many will lightly coat the beef with a thin based sauce or whatever to help the rub to adhere, like in doing a chuckie, brisket, etc, but I think most do this well before they start smoking and the amount of juice used is minimal.

    Maybe this is more related to doing fish, when you have first dried it in order to form the pellicle which helps the smoke adhere. Once you start mopping (many use a diluted honey or maple syrup for fish), does smoke really cling to the meat? Maybe the amount of mop and frequency of mopping has a different effect.

    Food for thought.
    HitManQ likes this.
  2. indaswamp

    indaswamp Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Mopping meat is done to keep the surface moist. Meat takes in smoke below 140* so the longer you smoke low and slow the deeper penetration of the smoke you will get. Once the surface is above 140, smoke penetration slows down. But on the surface, smoke continues to accumulate, but what slows it down is a dry surface. To keep the smoke adhering, you need to keep the surface moist, thus the mop. I've read where some competition cooks

    mop every 15 minutes...
    zwiller and HitManQ like this.
  3. Yeah that's what i know too, smoke sticks to moisture. Spraying helps in flavor, i don't believe it matters when it comes to keeping the meat from drying out.

    Now the thing that really puzzles me is why most use vinegar. I've read somewhere that vinegar actually prevents a smokering from developing. Haven't tested that theory yet though. I've used to spray with apple cider vinegar mixed with water, now i think i'll just use water alone and see if it makes a difference. (Tried apple juice before and didn't like the smell as it was a bit too strong)
  4. Rings Я Us

    Rings Я Us Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    Meat takes on smoke in till you stop smoking. The liquids slow down cooking and increase time in the smoker.
  5. zwiller

    zwiller Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    This matches my understanding with the possible exception that mopping has more to do with the prevention of bark burning rather than to encourage smoke adhesion.
  6. indaswamp

    indaswamp Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Simple experiment...Take a dry and a wet cotton ball and put them in your smoker next time you fire it up. the wet one will be covered while the dry one will not.
    SonnyE likes this.
  7. Rings Я Us

    Rings Я Us Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    Prevention of bark that is crispy is more like it.

    I have spritzed one time and not sure I ever needed to or should have. I would do it for flavor only now.
    zwiller likes this.
  8. SonnyE

    SonnyE Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I dunno Craig.
    I'm new to this sites form of smoke cooking, where smoke is introduced into an oven box that is primarily operating as a low temperature oven.
    I recently tried the 3,2,1 method for Baby Back Ribs (225°). My own dry rub + 3 hours of smoke. 2 hours sauced with my sauce and wrapped in foil. And 1 hour of finish unwrapped which caramelized the wet cooked on sauce for a nice tasty finish. They were fall off the bone wonderful!

    My normal way is to put naked ribs on my gas pipe BBQ. After 7 minutes bones down, and 7 minutes bones up, I begin painting. Every 7 minutes my phone timer tells me to turn and paint. I put on thin layers that dry and caramelize on. Eventually, the sauce builds a nice dark glaze. And they all love to gnaw them bones.
    (Temperature wise, 250-325° at the finish.) But every-bodies cookers run different.

    I have a sauce the family just loves! It's Sweet Baby Rays, doctored with a bunch of stuff I love the tastes of.
    Montreal Steak Seasoning, Granulated Garlic, Garlic Powder, Black Pepper, Lawery's Seasoned Salt, and lately I've been sneaking in some Cyan Pepper. But don't tell anyone... ;) (I'm an Oak Tree surrounded by pansy's. :D )
    I usually add a good pile of Sage Honey and mix. I love the taste of it by itself, let alone cooked on meat.

    But I'm the only one around here that likes smoked food. Yep, surrounded by pansy's. ;)
  9. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    Exactly! Dry it first.
    Same with Bacon. We get the pellicle first so Smoke sticks to it & penetrates, and it won't be the bad tasting smoke sticking to a wet surface, and turning into something I wouldn't want to eat.

    SonnyE likes this.
  10. SmokinAl

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

    The last rack of STL's I did, I mopped them with a mix of apple juice & bbq sauce every half hour or so. Judy & I both like the taste & crust on the ribs. May just keep doing it this way.
  11. daveomak

    daveomak Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    IMO, you are tasting the smoke that has accumulated in the sauce... Meat absorbs smoke FULLY, in a dry cool surface... it penetrates deeper into the muscle... Then, sauce can be applied after the meat has achieved your personal preference in smoke... That being said, when BBQ'ing, like most folks do, there's not an easy way around this...
    meat-smoking-cold.gif .. meat-smoking-hot.gif
    zwiller likes this.
  12. gmc2003

    gmc2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Personally I think if your mopping or spritzing during the early stages of the cook only the mop or spritz is getting the smoke flavor. If I mop or spritz it's usually towards the end of the smoke. That way the meat is getting the smoke flavor I want.

  13. zwiller

    zwiller Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    What temps or range is cold and hot in that diagram?

    Jealous of many of you that get such good bark. I am getting better (pellicle) but still no where like I see posted. Mopping without bark seems a fools errand if you ask me but would happy to mop if I had to keep the bark in check. Someday maybe... Not sure if authentic (and don't really care) but we like ribs like Al's. Finished on a hot grill. Only difference is that I spread the smoke and sear over a day or 2 for convenience.
  14. cmayna

    cmayna Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Everyone, I truly appreciate your feedback.
    I fully agree with Bear's and daveomak's thoughts on this matter. What I like is smoked meat, not smoked sauce. When I do fish, I sometimes apply a diluted honey mop but only at the end when I'm done smoking just to give it a slight visual shine and a little bit of sweetness. Most fish has a very delicate flavor. With the amount of smoke some people add to it, it covers up the fish's flavor all together. This concern also applies to all meats actually. When I do smoked chicken wings, I'm only mopping at the very end when I'm ready to do a quick sear moments before removal. I see so many who keep mopping well after the product's meat has absorbed smoke. If it's to add the flavor of the mop, ok, but if it is to add more smoke, you're adding the flavor of smoked mop, not the meat.

    OK, I'll step down off the milk carton crate and go have a cup of coffee. :p
  15. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I never gave much thought to how the mop impacts the flavor of smoke on the meat. I mopped initially to impact the flavor profile, but saw too much of my rub in the drip pan. Spraying had much the same effect, washing rub off the meat. I no longer mop or spray, with one exception, a double smoked ham. I spray DS hams with a seasoned, simple syrup. It definitely helps make a candy coating crust when applied VERY lightly.
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2018
  16. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    That's funny---Double Smoked Ham is the only thing I baste too, except I just cut most of the fat off the Ham & put it in a pan with drip holes in it, above the Ham. Then the heat melts the Fat in the pan, and it drips down on the Ham, basting the Ham as it smokes.
    Like in this Thread:
    Double Smoked Ham

    wbf610 likes this.
  17. myownidaho

    myownidaho Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    I used to spritz pork with apple juice every hour or so but I don’t anymore because I’m lazy. I really don’t notice any difference in smoke levels. I do like some sauce on my ribs so when they get to the doneness I’m looking for, I brush them with sauce and let them smoke for another 20-30 minutes. Evaporation drops the temperature enough that the extra time doesn’t overcook the meat.
    HitManQ likes this.
  18. cmayna

    cmayna Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I remember your ham thread. Nice reminder to myself to do one again.
    HitManQ likes this.
  19. SonnyE

    SonnyE Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Everybody do, what everybody do.
    I was disappointed when I was told, "Don't change a thing about your ribs."
    This Family is about as adventurous as spaghetti plain.
    I liked the 3,2,1 ribs.
    What's a Muther to do? LOL!
    HitManQ likes this.
  20. daveomak

    daveomak Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    If anyone said, "Don't change a thing".. They couldn't eat at my place.. Every smoke, every cook, I don't follow a recipe.. I change up every recipe just to try something different..
    AllenRR, HitManQ and noboundaries like this.