No smoke ring, little smoke taste..

Discussion in 'Beef' started by stfron, Aug 9, 2009.

  1. stfron

    stfron Smoke Blower SMF Premier Member

    What happened?
    Smoked a brisket in hickory yesterday, GOSM @220deg. Smoked non stop for about 4 hrs before I foiled at 170- Pulled at 195 and rested. I had continuous smoke the entire non-foiled time. After slicing I immediately noticed there was a very small smoke ring, I mean less than 1/16th inch- and no smoke taste.
  2. beer-b-q

    beer-b-q Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    First how big was the brisket? 4 hrs seems like a very short time to smoke a brisket. It should have taken about 1.5 hrs per pound. Also I never foil briskets.
  3. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    That does sound a bit fast for a brisket. When you say you were smoking at 220 temp was that with the thermometer that came with the unit ? To me that thermo is way off to the low side. I have the same unit and my thermo is about 15-20 degrees off to the low side. Now as far as your smoke flavor you smoked it with hickory thats a strong smoke you should've had alot of flavor. Maybe someone else with more experance will have a better explaination.
  4. stfron

    stfron Smoke Blower SMF Premier Member

    I need to elaborate- I SMOKED for 4 hrs, then foiled for another 2.5 hrs. It was probably a 3-4 lb brisket.
  5. pignit

    pignit Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    6.5 hours to smoke a brisket to 195 still sounds really fast to me. I'm just throwin out a guess here but maybe your temp gauge is way off and you were cooking a lot hotter than you thought you were. This would explain the lack of smoke flavor and the lack of your smoke ring. Cooked faster taking on less smoke flavor and ring. Just a stab at a reason. I'd be checkin my actual smoking temp on the rack. I think it is one of the most important factors in turning out really good food. I always have a probe sittin on the middle rack of whatever I'm cooking and I know exactly what temp I'm smoking at. That's where I'd start on the next smoke. Check the exact temp on the rack.
  6. fourthwind

    fourthwind Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I would look towards lack of moisture in the smoker, and perhaps in combination of the wood being too dry. The smoke ring is a chemical reaction that requires water in the meat. If you live in dryer climates (like me [​IMG]) it is more difficult to get those rings.
  7. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Hmm........alot of very good analysis posted above.

    I would have to ask this: was the fat cap trimmed off pretty thin? Looking at the pic, it looks like you started out pretty lean...that should be a benefit when trying to achieve better smoke penetration.

    I'm not sure about the ambient humidity being an issue, as I live in a fairly arid climate, but always begin my smokes with a humid smoke chamber...and maintain water until all my meats are smoked and foiled.

    I have noticed with my briskets that the smoke ring does not form very deeply, but it has a very prominent color for about 1/8" to 3/16". I get very deep smoke rings with pork, but not beef.

    I do agree that a high chamber temp could very well be the culprit. If I have chamber temps of 250*+, instead of ~225* for the first couple of hours, my smoke penetration is not as deep and there is a noticable difference in flavor.

    With that, I would go with the advice above, and put a probe on your rack and double check the door gauge with that thermo, and possibly have a couple of oven rack therms in the chamber on a 2 other rack positions for a good reference.

    If your GOSM door therm is like mine, it has a a hex "nut" on the therm stem and can be calibrated...keep in mind that mechanical thermometers generally have their best accuracy in mid-range, so that's where you want to do the calibration checks/adjustments.

    Keep trying Ron, brisket makes a mighty fine meal when you can get it the way you like it...I know, 'cause I hooked on 'em now.

    Good luck & good smokes!

  8. hog warden

    hog warden Smoking Fanatic

    First off, the smoke ring isn't critical.....but since it takes some time to develop, folks use it as an indication that the piece was slow cooked over a long period of time, the implication being it will have a smoky flavor and be tender.

    But if want to see a ring, you are going to need moisture on the meat, so smoke plus moist surface will get it for you. Smokers with water pans help. Some guys "spritz it" or mop it during the smoke. The UDS drums tend to run "wet", so this is a plus for them.

    For reference........

    Note the part about the level of heat needed to form the NO2. A snuffed out , smoldering fire isn't going to cut it.

    Below.....nothing special here.....just 12 hours in the UDS:
  9. stfron

    stfron Smoke Blower SMF Premier Member

    Sounds like a lot of great info- Thanks to all-

    I'm pretty sure I've noticed the thermo being off before, so I'll start there.
  10. meat hunter

    meat hunter Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Just my .02 cents here, but Id say get yourself,(if you dont have one already) a good reliable accurate thermometer. Either a good probe or better yet, a dual probe like the one Maverick makes. Its all about temps, not about time. Also, like mentioned below, give your meat a spray about every 45-60 minutes of apple juice. If your meat is drying out, this will add a bit more moisture to it and help in getting the smoke ring your looking for.
  11. beer-b-q

    beer-b-q Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Woot! has the Maverick T-901 remote thermometers for $19.95 + $5.00 shipping. . I jumped on one at that price & probably should have bought 3. It is over half off retail price.
  12. ddave

    ddave Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

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