Smoke on the Meat at the end?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by bauchjw, Sep 25, 2015.

  1. bauchjw

    bauchjw Master of the Pit

    It's almost midnight and I am baby sitting 20 pounds of brisket  (2x10pnds) absorbing the 275 degree heat inside my offset. I started to wonder why, when using charcoal, putting wood in to get smoke flavor on the meat is always recommended at the end of the cooking process? It seems like wood smoke on the meat would be more effective at the very beginning of the process because the bark hasn't formed yet, the tissue is still fully exposed. I've been digging around SMF pretty extensively for about a month now and I have not noticed any other recommendation then at the very end.

    Does anybody have some insight?
  2. I'm using a WSM instead of an offset, but I would be adding chunks/splits all the way through on a brisket. From the first time it hits the grate, I want to see the TBS. Until the time I pull it out and get ready to consume it. [​IMG]

    Are you planning on foiling, paper wrapping or just running it naked all the way through? 

    It won't be long and those on the left coast will on the boards to answer any of your questions... [​IMG]

    Have fun and hope it turns out great!!
  3. fpmich

    fpmich Smoking Fanatic

    I've never heard of only adding smoke at end of cook.  Are you misunderstanding something maybe?

    "At the end" may pertain to after foiling a meat to crisp up the bark again.

    Most smoke is absorbed at the beginning of cooking in smoker.  You want your meat dried, some what, on the outside, so smoke will adhere and penetrate.   In my offset smoker I usually pat meat dry and then put into smoker with just heat (no added smoke) for between 1/2 to 1 hour.  Depending on moist it is.  THEN add smoke wood to the mix.

    From what I've read and understand, most smoke is absorbed while meat is under 140* internal temp.  Some say it will not take any more smoke flavor after that, but I have found that when I keep smoke on the whole way, it is indeed smokier.  I don't always do this, because of tired of tending, laziness and what have you.  But my best meat come from smoke all the way without foiling.

    Hope this helps you.
  4. bauchjw

    bauchjw Master of the Pit

    Thank you Prankster. I have been putting chunks the whole way through and Im starting my first pot of coffee to keep track of TBS! I was planning on keep these naked the whole way through unless I hit a stall. I promised chow to a group by 1130, which is why I punished myself on a work night, and so if 0900 hits and I still have a ways to go I may have to try foiling for the first time. I had always used smoke the whole way through too, but in my tired mind I was remembering threads where people where advising to go with wood last 4 hrs of smoke. Thanks again!
  5. bauchjw

    bauchjw Master of the Pit

    Maybe I was mistaken. I have always put wood on the whole process and then when I got on SMF when people where advising to put smoke on in the end it stuck in my head. I could have interpreted/remembered wrong. So I was really just posting out  of curiosity. I think your answer makes sense, it has something more quantifiable that I can link to my late night curiosity. Thank you for the reply! It did help!
  6. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    All I can say is I try to put Light to Medium Smoke on everything the whole time it's in my smoker, except if it is in the foiling stage.

  7. bauchjw

    bauchjw Master of the Pit

  8. stickyfingers

    stickyfingers Smoking Fanatic

    Think you have misread that recommendation. The usual recommendation is that after 4 hours of smoking or 160 degrees the meat, supposedly, can no longer absorb additional smoke flavor. Personally, I don't buy it. 
  9. paul6

    paul6 Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    It has always been my understanding that after about 5hrs meat stops taking on smoke ??
  10. krex1010

    krex1010 Smoke Blower

    I don't know how anyone can say with certainty that a piece of meat won't take smoke flavor after a certain point, i generally only hear that from people who foil the meat. Personally I find that the longer that meat is exposed to good clean smoke, the better the final product is. Yes I know the smoke ring will only penetrate so far, but the exposed meat and fat will continue to benefit from that smoke exposure, from a flavor and texture standpoint.
  11. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member


    Exactly!----As long as the smoke isn't too Heavy (Thick).

  12. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Here is one of the many posts I wrote on the subject to another members similar thought on smoking...JJ

    "  I have always been told that meat will take all the smoke it will get in 4 hours. "

    So Cold Smoking Bacon for 10 to 20 hours is a total waste? Smoking Country Hams for 3 Days accomplishes nothing?

    What you have been told is a common misconception and is based on confusion between " Taking " Smoke and " Absorbing " Smoke. You undoubtedly have been told that you are looking for a Good Smoke Ring in the meat. This happens because of a chemical reaction taking place between the moisture in the meat and the Nitrogen in wood/charcoal generated smoke. Since the surface of the meat will stay moist for about 2-4 hours during a smoke at 225*F, longer if using a Water Pan or Spritzing/ Mopping the Smoke will be absorbed and the Ring will form during this time and will stop after the meat surface is fully cooked and dries out, forming a Bark. 

    Smoke is made up of a variety of Gases and Flavorful Particles. When smoke is being generated these Particles stick to the meat flavoring the surface based on type of wood used. As long as smoke is being generated these Particles will continue to settle on the surface of the meat and increase the flavor. So essentially, as long as you generate smoke the meat will Take Smoke...

    I did get to test the validity of this info...
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2015
  13. joe black

    joe black Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I have to agree with fpmich. Since I cook with wood (oak) through the entire process, I guess some smoke might be getting into the meat. But after a good bark is set, I would think that the smoke would stop at the bark and not much would penetrate into the middle. The flavor that I add is in the form of chunks and is at the very first of the cook. I have never known anyone to add flavor at the end of a cook.

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