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Hambone-Hambone

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Jun 9, 2020
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So I smoked my ribs for 6 hours, got a great smoke ring, no pellicle formed, I fixed the issue and it won't happen again.
My question is this-

Can a pellicle form @ 250° in a standard oven?

(I know I can get it to form if I throw it back on the grill, but I was hoping to just do this the easy way as the weather doesn't permit at the moment.)

Or does this only occur on my grill when I'm smoking?

EDIT: I DO mean PELLICLE. my bark (flavor crust + pellicle) is an additional. The flavor crust will form no question. But the pellicle is a complex series of chemical reactions that make a polymerized meat encasement layer. This is my question. Will the maillard reaction take place in an oven NOT a smoker.
 
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thirdeye

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Do you mean bark? I've always referred to a pellicle as the surface you allow to form on things like cured salmon before it's cold smoked. It basically lets the smoke adhere better.
 

SecondHandSmoker

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Well, you can get a pellicle to form on meat at around 90-100 degrees for an hour or so BEFORE you bump up to 225-250 degrees.
Does your smoker go that low?
OR
Do you mean bark formation?
 
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Hambone-Hambone

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Well, you can get a pellicle to form on meat at around 90-100 degrees for an hour or so BEFORE you bump up to 225-250 degrees.
Does your smoker go that low?
OR
Do you mean bark formation?
I had it on the smoker for 6 hours and it never went above 180 because I ran out of time. I cut it in half for space reasons and saw a good pink smoke ring, my flavor crust was a pit soupy and I didn't see a pellicle. So I know my soupy flavor crust will dry out in the oven, I just wanted to know if the pellicle (the polymerized meat encasement) would form in the oven.
 

chef jimmyj

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Please post the info you are using to describe a Pellicle as polymerization.
My understanding is, a Pellicle the recombinant and binding of dissolved Meat Proteins, on the surface, as water evaporates. This Glue allows smoke to adhere to the surface more readily. Once the meat is cooked, proteins a denatured, they cannot combine to form a possible...JJ
 

Hambone-Hambone

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Jun 9, 2020
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Please post the info you are using to describe a Pellicle as polymerization.
My understanding is, a Pellicle the recombinant and binding of dissolved Meat Proteins, on the surface, as water evaporates. This Glue allows smoke to adhere to the surface more readily. Once the meat is cooked, proteins a denatured, they cannot combine to form a possible...JJ


"Turns out bark is a byproduct of complex chemical reactions: The Maillard reaction and polymerization chief among them."
 

SecondHandSmoker

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I had it on the smoker for 6 hours and it never went above 180 because I ran out of time. I cut it in half for space reasons and saw a good pink smoke ring, my flavor crust was a pit soupy and I didn't see a pellicle. So I know my soupy flavor crust will dry out in the oven, I just wanted to know if the pellicle (the polymerized meat encasement) would form in the oven.

180 degrees on the smoker is a little too low in my opinion.
At that temp, the cook will take longer and you run the risk of actually dehydrating the ribs instead of breaking down the fats and collagen.

Yes, you will get bark formation in a 250 degree oven or a 250 degree smoker for that matter as the sugars in your rub caramelize and harden and a thin layer of meat loses moisture to form the bark.

I hope this helps.
 
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thirdeye

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Well, yes and no, I mean, the bark is just the flavor crust PLUS the pellicle, I know I have the flavor crust but I didn't really have that hardened outter layer of meat polymerization that I read is called the pellicle.
Please post the info you are using to describe a Pellicle as polymerization.
My understanding is, a Pellicle the recombinant and binding of dissolved Meat Proteins, on the surface, as water evaporates. This Glue allows smoke to adhere to the surface more readily. Once the meat is cooked, proteins a denatured, they cannot combine to form a possible...JJ

Polymerization. Hmmmm..... That's a new term for my Barbecuist Dictionary. Thanks guys.

So, in Hambone's description of what he's after, does (or when does) Louie Maillard's reaction come into play with this barky, polymerization, pellicle action going on, on those ribs?
 

Fueling Around

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180 degrees on the smoker is a little too low in my opinion.
At that temp, the cook will take longer and you run the risk of actually dehydrating the ribs instead of breaking down the fats and collagen.

Yes, you will get bark formation in a 250 degree oven or a 250 degree smoker for that matter as the sugars in your rub caramelize and harden and a thin layer of meat loses moisture to form the bark.

I hope this helps.
The goal of ribs (or shoulder) is around 200° saturation temperature to melt all the connective tissues of fat, collagen, etc.
...
"Turns out bark is a byproduct of complex chemical reactions: The Maillard reaction and polymerization chief among them."
I am not a bark seeker.
I do not use sugar in my rub. Sugar is the primary ingredient to produce a bark.
I use a fridge dry to form the sticky pellicle that aids in smoke penetration.
A 250° smoker (or oven) will form a (sugar) bark, but not a Maillard reaction.
Maillard is from searing your meat at high heat well above smoking temperatures.

I have not a clue what "polymerization" means to you.
 

chef jimmyj

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"Turns out bark is a byproduct of complex chemical reactions: The Maillard reaction and polymerization chief among them."

Yes. Bark is what you are looking to improve. The Pellicle is as described above and associated with Raw Meat that will be smoked at low temps, <180°F...JJ
 

bill1

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Some of you guys are making me nervous. Pellicle is sticky, and the idea is that helps smoke molecules adhere better. It forms from the proteins of the meat itself and air--no smoke involved. But most pellicle-growing aficionados are fish smokers who start with very salty meat. They'll let stuff hang out at room temp to form the stickiest pellicle, counting on the salt to prevent spoilage and bacteria in the air from growing really nasty stuff. Then they smoke.
I'd be very leary about trying to form pellicle on beef or pork. (The original poster spoke of ribs.) It sounds like a recipe to get very sick. If done at all, I'd make sure it's only done on unwrapped meat in a normal refrigerator and maybe put in a small fan to accelerate the process. Then out and into a smoker of at least 140 F. Spending more than a few minutes (to apply rub etc) in the Danger Zone of 40-140F doesn't sound like a good idea to me.
I think when people speak of "aging beef" at >40F, it's done in a controlled environment with strong UV lamps to mitigate the health hazard, similar to salted fish when it's "left hanging".
Now some of you seem to be thinking of pellicle as "early bark" but like ChefJimmyJ says, that's not quite what most cooking chemists would say. As long as you're putting your meat from 'fridge to smoker (over 140F) I'm not concerned but if you're trying to grow a true pellicle, which typically involves long periods in room-temp air, I'd discourage it.
 

thirdeye

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Hey Bill, pellicle in my world is related to fish, and it does start out sticky or tacky because I've just rinsed off a dry, salt & sugar based cure (no TQ or Cure #1), but after 12 to 15 hours in my beer fridge (never at room temperatures for me) it has matured into a glazed over-like finish. My fish is only mildly salty because refrigeration is in my technique. Here is an example of the pellicle I develop, before smoking these trout fillets.
12x0Y3q.jpg
I'm totally behind your logic about forming any kind of pellicle (as we've all defined it) on whole muscle pork or beef cuts. Although I've had some wickedly good Mexican and Chinese marinated meats that bordered on that philosophy and were delicious.

Does one actually "grow" a pellicle or allow it to develop under controlled conditions?
 
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