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Originally posted by AZScott:
What are you using to get that smoke ring? Charcoal pellets? My smoke ring is always about a 1/4" but never like that.

I would tell you what I do but since I have my FEC 100 now I would have to deny you of beer if I told you since we go heads up in comps. Big Grin
Originally posted by GaryT:
I have a question; When is the smoke ring created?

My understanding the chemical reaction between the wood and the meat takes place up to the meat temp reaches 145 degrees. That is why a lot of people put the meat on as cold as they can. Once the meat hits 145 the chemical reaction stops.
Originally posted by WayneB:
I have only used Fast Eddies 100% Hickory and have never not had a smoke ring on my FEC100.

Wayne B

I love cooking with Hickory myself. When I had my traeger I would add some cherry to the mix. I have heard that cherry is a good wood for improving the smoke wood. Still playing around with my new 100 so haven't tried it yet.
Thanks....that's what I was thinking, but thought some others may not.

I have a friend that will (now wair for it) a heavy stadium cup, cut the bottom out of it, shove it down into the pellet hopper clear to the bottom over the auger. Then he will pour cherry or whatever flavor pellets into the cup and then surround with his FE Hickory. Pull the cup out and it will feed the flavor first. Now he says that doing that, the flavor pellets will last a couple of hours at low temps and cause a smoke ring and flavor.
Haven't tried it but he says it works. Roll Eyes
For a really deep and rich smoke ring just rub with Morton's Tender Quick and allow to set for about 30 seconds and then rinse. Follow your normal injection, rub, marinade, whatever and then smoke or bake or use a propane grill. Just make sure there is lots of moisture in and around the meat.

Another way is to burn green chunks of any type wood during the first few hours of the smoke cycle.

Another way is to use propane gas during the first part.

All of these methods will give you a rich deep smoke ring. That's why it means jack weather it, the smoke ring, is there or not. It can be created in a kitchen oven or a conveyor oven similar to a well known brisket manufacturer. Just my .02
Thanks Mack, but the point of the thread is about getting a better on. Telling the artificial methods for getting a Smoke Ring doesn't help people who want to achieve it normally.

As the OP said, "see" you can get a SR. So I think people are wanting to get one like David (and I'm sure David didn't use TQ).

For me, I can sometimes tell a TQ SR by the color and shape, it tends to be more uneven and a more purple color.

As for the temp 145. I've heard for years and years that "the SR stops forming at 140" but have NEVER seen someone prove it. The 140 temp is what used to be the danger zone so I think people just pulled that temp out. I've asked food scientists and they haven't been able to specifically provide me details.

Key is put it in cold. Keep it at low temps for the SR. Type of wood and density of the rub will affect it.
Russ, I will attempt to show that I did answer the question.

What is a Smoke Ring?
A smoke ring is a combination of nitrogen, oxygen, moisture, and myoglobin.

The use of high temperature combustion to produce nitrogen dioxide along with the moisture and myoglobin will produce nitrous acid which creates the smoke ring. Wood, which contains a large amount of nitrogen, when burned at high temperature, will cause the formation of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) which is water soluble. This NO2 will bind with the moisture on the surface of the meat and create nitrous acid which will migrate inward to form the smoke ring. The use of green wood or wetted wood chips will enhance the smoke ring as it produces more nitrogen dioxide and increases the moisture level. The same effect can be obtained by using propane or gas, as they form a large amount of NO2, and a water pan to increase the surface moisture.

A low, smoldering fire will not produce as much of a smoke ring as an indirect fire as not as much NO2 is generated.

My suggestions were, use TQ, use green wood, use propane or any combination to enhance the SR production. Of course, if it is for competition, then gas is normally not allowed but the others are. A pellet cooker by nature of the method of burning does not produce a large amount of NO2 so what we have to do is either increase the moisture content of the smoker and meat surface or increase the production of NO2 by burning green wood chunks or wetted wood chips or a combination of both. THESE ARE ALL CHEMICAL REACTIONS which produce the SR.

As far as the temperature at which the production of a SR ceases, it could be argued that it does not stop until the chemicals necessary for the production of nitrous acid on the surface of the meat no longer exist.

Depending on the method used by the manufacturer of the meat being smoked, the SR could be more pronounced. A lot of the packers use carbon monoxide in the packing process to artificially create the rich redness that consumers expect of fresh meat and this will also produce and enhance the coveted SR. This color has been proven to last at least a year after production.
Originally posted by Harpo:
I love cooking with Hickory myself. When I had my traeger I would add some cherry to the mix. I have heard that cherry is a good wood for improving the smoke wood. Still playing around with my new 100 so haven't tried it yet.

Cherry wood has lower BTU's, so it takes more wood to produce the same amount of heat, which in turn causes more nitrates to be in the air. I think Mack just pointed out that nitrates are one of the ingredients of a good smoke ring.

So it makes sense to me that Cherry wood produces a nice smoke ring, in fact, it works for me!

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