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Pulled this off the old cookshack site, wanted to post some of the "best of".
Please add your information that you've learned so others may learn.

This post is a compilation of posts from:
Gene,Julie,SmokinOkie,Oscar,Stuart, Donna

How come, when I cook in my cookshack, the meat doesn't get a pink smoke ring like I do in my other smoker?

According to Stuart Powell, I'll quote Mr. Powell here:

"Smoke rings are actually caused by the meat being cured. When you burn whole logs of wood they turn into charcoal and produce nitrates which cures a lay of the meat. This can be produced in a Cookshack Smoker by placing charcoil in the wood box along with your wood. If you want a deeper ring than this produces, try rubbing the meat with a nitrate before cooking."

So if you're wanting to "fool" your friends, tell them they're eating nitrates and you'll be happy to help them...

The smoke ring is actually a chemical reaction to Nitrites normally present in charcoals. You do NOT have to have a smoke ring for the meat to properly be "smoked". In fact, according to the Kansas City Barbecue Society, the ring is not allowed as a criteria for judging because it can be chemically reproduced.

I saw the "rub meat with nitrates" before somewhere. What would be a proper nitrate other than burned logs. (I have tried that also). What chemical nitrate is available for cooking meat?

Gene: get Tenderquick or Instacure. These are salts which cure the meat before smoking. These will give you the smoke ring. But a whole lot simpler method is just like smokin said was just put a piece of lump or processed charcoal like kingsford into your wood pan along with you regular unburt wood and this will produce a ring on the meat.

Be careful with the brining or salt as it is so easy to over do it. The instructions on the bag is for brine not a dry salt cure so you must rinse off the brisket and the dry it off throughly or your brisket will be like eating solid salt, YUCK!! So be careful. I screwed up a 6lb batch of fresh sausage I wanted to smoke. thought I had to cure it first, some you do. However. i took a little tiny smidgion of a bite because it just smelled salty and WOW I thought my eyes were going to blow out of my head from the intense salt. The garbage can was where it all ended for that lesson. Oh well, make a few mistakes you learn fast.

You can get a smoke ring in a Cookshack by applying dry Morton's Tenderquick to the surface of the meat for just a few minutes. Rinse, dry, and smoke as usual. Donna
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