Smoke ring

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Meat Mopper
Original poster
OTBS Member
Feb 6, 2006

I used to use a ECB pitmaster deluxe. I, for the last year, have been using a GOSM wide body (Non stainless steel. Bought at Home Depot).

I love the ease of using the propane/wood scenario. However my wife mentioned on the last smoke (I have been feeling this since I bought it) that the smoke ring is much "lighter"/not as deep. I always shoot for thin blue smoke, not the yellow heavy. I have tried several "wood boxes" being the cast iron one that came with it, coffee can, and also baking pan. Normally I add more wood every 1 1\2 hours. I use a combo of wood chips and chunks as I think the chips start smoking faster while the chunks kick in when the chips are breaking down.

I also have tried using the shelves at different levels thinking that maybe the smoke "pools"/collects more at one level than another.

I looked through my picture as I always take snapshots of every smoke. I have before, during, and after. The after pictures tell the whole story. With the ECB I can see a nice smoke ring in the pictures. With the GOSM I see the smoke ring but it is very less pronounced. I used the same camera for all pictures.

I am stumped. I do not get a lot of "leakage" from the smoker.

Any thoughts or advise? It is really getting me bummed out as I take pride in what I produce.

Take care,

Great Great question, I also have been struggling with this same issue though slightly different, when I use to do Brisket's on my brinkman smoke- n- grill (propane) I would almost allways get a very nice pronounced smoke ring, then I bought the GOSM and while I still get a smoke ring it is not as dark or deep as the one's done on the brinkman.

Soooooooo, let's consider that a smoke ring only forms when the meat is between 40*-140*, I thought to myself am I doing anything different than before?? The only thing I can think of is I have been letting my brisket sit out at room temp while I get the smoker ready(about 30-45 min)and usaully running my smoker at about 230*240* when I put the brisket in.

All that being said, gonna smoke one tommorow but try it a little different.... I'm gonna shoot to keep the smoker close to 210*-220* and put the brisket on staight from the fridge..... the thought being that the meat will stay in the 40*-140* range longer thus maybe a better smoke ring???? If that doesn't work than I like you are "stumped".

Will let you know what happens.
Add a charcoal briquet to the smoke box (along with your wood) and you will find that you will again have a good smokering.

Very cool jminion
really respect your advice!!! Will do.
Charcoal too, eh? I'll have to try that. I too have just been using wood, and the smoke ring isn't as pronounced. (Although the fatty I did last week had a huge ring)
I was doing some research and found this, NO2 is the gas that creates smoke ring, you won’t get as pronounced a smoke ring in a gas fired smoker. However the taste is the same.

“A high temperature flame is needed to create NO2 from nitrogen and oxygen. A smoldering fire without a flame does not produce as much NO2. Consequently, a cooker that uses indirect heat generated from the burning of wood typically will develop a pronounced smoke ring.”
Thanks Carl
, if this worked that was going to be my next the idea being that that charcoal briquet will help to produce a bit more N02, can't wait to see!!!!!
It may just be coincidence but ...

I find my pork has a deeper smoke ring than my beef does. I've also noticed that based on my smoke log when I do pork I have less meat in the smoker ...

My fatties always have a deep smoke ring but again they are mostly pork.

(I use an ECB with charcoal and wood chunks)

Wow, I was away for the weekend, thanks for the responses.

My que has the taste I am not saying it does not. However my ego/pride/? wants to see the ring when done. It is a feel good type of thing.

I have been doing the log tracking thing also.

I have concentrated on the initial load up to 140 degrees. I have gone heavy on wood smoke in that tempature range, to the point (Just below) of (YUCK) yellow smoke.

Most time I have the same amount of meat on (pound wise). I have also noticed my fatties never have an issue with the ring but brisket and pork butt does.

I have also tried straight out of the fridge thinking the meat being colder and taking "longer" to reach 140 degrees would help the smoke ring form better. I remember reading that this is not a good thing to do but forget why.

Jim, I will have to try that out. I will make sure to use lump charcoal. I will use one lump per "wood load" and see what happens. It makes sense as that is the one of two elements that has changed. The other being the smoker.

It will be a while until my next smoke but I am hopeful as this means a lot to me.

Take care,

Glad to see ya again jminion. I have had the same issuses w/tri-tip, brisket, fatties, and b.butt. I've read the scientific reasons behind the smoke ring, but I also really believe that each piece of meat is different. I also believe that what you put on the meat makes a difference, and how much you put on.

I've found that paprika &/or chili pwdr help make a more pronounced smoke ring. Not covering meat w/bacon(or other fat) makes a big difference. Smoke flavor all tastes the same, but the desired smoke ring will be different.

I haven't really "tested" it to figure it all out, since the smoke ring is kinda just "the sprinkles" "on top of the cake". I don't compete, except w/applebees' ribs(son likes applebees ribs......he has been grounded until he changes his mind/attitude) the smoke ring is not that important to me. Don't get me wrong, makes me puff out my chest when I have a nice ring.

Just my $.02, keep the change
Well I didn't get the smoke ring I was looking for, but maybe I changed up to many things like the smoker temps...ect...ect.. It still tasted very good though.

I understand the smoke ring is purely a visual thing.......but I still like rings of all sorts.
I have noticed the same effect since I started using my GOSM. When using my Silver Smoker or Brinkman, the smoke ring was evident. This has been a very informative post. I will try the "straight from fridge on my next smoke, and the charcoal in the wood chips. See what happens.
Glad to see I am not the only one, as I thought I was.

Some good ideas have been floated out here.

I will definitely post my follow up, please all feel free to do the same. It sounds like a community win once figured out.

Take care,

You do not have to go any heavier with the smoke to get a good smokering and you risk an off flavor by doing so early in the cook.

Take the meat straight from the frig to the cooker and let the meat take it's time reaching 140 internal and you should be fine.

Also briquets work better than lump in an electric or gas cooker to produce smokering, at least that is what I have found.

Thanks Jim, I appreciate that follow up. I always went with lump due to the "charcoal fluid" taste sometimes found when using briquettes.

Assumption that I guess I should ask...

When reloading the wood "box" you stated to throw in one briquette, would/do you get it "ashy" first or just throw it in unlit with the new wood? I am assuming latter as that would produce more NO2?

Thanks again everyone for the thoughts, I appreciate it greatly.

Take care,

Brian -

Don't use charcoal fluid! Yuk! If you have a fire going just throw it on there. I usually wait til my coals are all red and dusty but all I use is charcoal with wood chunks. At some point I have to add more charcoal and it's just covered with hot coals.
Never would Deb...not even on the grill.

I had stated I don't use briquetes as I thought they produced a lighter fluid type taste. That is why I always used lump in my ECB.

Take care,

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