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#6169423 - 02/04/16 10:54 AM Smoke Rings Overrated?
wacorusty Offline
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Registered: 06/09/10
Posts: 7850
Loc: Six Shooter Junction
The Science of the Smoke Ring

And why it has no bearing on the quality of brisket.

http://www.tmbbq.com/the-science-of-the-smoke-ring/
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#6169459 - 02/04/16 11:24 AM Re: Smoke Rings Overrated? [Re: wacorusty]
bill oxner Online   content
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Registered: 11/03/09
Posts: 37434
Loc: Richmond
I'm not much of a brisket fan either way.
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#6169518 - 02/04/16 12:16 PM Re: Smoke Rings Overrated? [Re: wacorusty]
bigbob_ftw Offline
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Registered: 07/26/08
Posts: 14581
Loc: White Settlement, TX.
it's not a factor in judging a competition.
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#6169562 - 02/04/16 12:50 PM Re: Smoke Rings Overrated? [Re: wacorusty]
PMK Online   content
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Registered: 09/10/12
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Loc: Central TX (Gtown/Austin)
good info as I have wondered about that. I grew up with my dad & several buddies doing BBQ catering for large groups, mostly volunteer work as appreciation for the group (meat provided). They had some of the best smoked brisket I have ever eaten but little to no smoke ring. Those that I have cooked over the past several years is hit or miss with the depth of the smoke ring ... never thought much about the science behind what causes it. Per the article, using greener wood produces more NO which in turn will give a deeper and/or darker smoke ring.
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#6169580 - 02/04/16 01:06 PM Re: Smoke Rings Overrated? [Re: wacorusty]
garrett Offline
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Registered: 01/19/06
Posts: 10302
its just a chemical reaction that can be accomplished in the oven with no smoke at all

a little tender quick will blow some minds when you cut into a brisket and have a 1/2" smoke ring clap
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#6169591 - 02/04/16 01:12 PM Re: Smoke Rings Overrated? [Re: bigbob_ftw]
redchevy Online   content
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Registered: 10/25/04
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Loc: Texas
Originally Posted By: bigbob_ftw
it's not a factor in judging a competition.


I cooked in a few small cook-offs and the reason I quit cooking in them is they take volunteers to be judges. People who have no idea what constitutes good bbq judging it. Also cooked in one where my uncle cooked on a different team and his wife, sister, SIL and nease were judges... I just bbq for me and a cold brew now and its much better.
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#6169635 - 02/04/16 01:47 PM Re: Smoke Rings Overrated? [Re: redchevy]
wacorusty Offline
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Registered: 06/09/10
Posts: 7850
Loc: Six Shooter Junction
Originally Posted By: redchevy
Originally Posted By: bigbob_ftw
it's not a factor in judging a competition.


I cooked in a few small cook-offs and the reason I quit cooking in them is they take volunteers to be judges. People who have no idea what constitutes good bbq judging it. Also cooked in one where my uncle cooked on a different team and his wife, sister, SIL and nease were judges... I just bbq for me and a cold brew now and its much better.

Some of the unsanctioned comps do have amateur judges. I've heard smoke ring thrown around for years in competition circles.
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"The arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and assistance to foreign hands should be curtailed, lest Rome fall." Cicero

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#6169834 - 02/04/16 04:45 PM Re: Smoke Rings Overrated? [Re: wacorusty]
decook Online   content
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Registered: 08/26/09
Posts: 1543
Loc: Montgomery, TX USA
All the above answers are right. But yes, to me is is rated. That's what brisket is supposed to look like and it is purely visual.
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#6170674 - 02/05/16 11:09 AM Re: Smoke Rings Overrated? [Re: wacorusty]
DuckCoach1985 Offline
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Registered: 10/09/13
Posts: 1414
Loc: SMTX
I've heard Franklin himself say the smoke ring "really shows the judges you know what you're doing". I guess if it's put in at the right temp, smoked for the right time, and no cure is used, it should provide a pretty good bearing on the skill of the cook.. that's not to say a delicious brisket HAS to have one though!

They also say you should have a clear bite-through on your ribs and they're overcooked if they fall off the bone. Maybe in the pro's world but I do enjoy a good fall-off-the-bone rib!


Edited by DuckCoach1985 (02/05/16 11:10 AM)
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#6170677 - 02/05/16 11:10 AM Re: Smoke Rings Overrated? [Re: DuckCoach1985]
garrett Offline
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Registered: 01/19/06
Posts: 10302
Originally Posted By: DuckCoach1985
I've heard Franklin himself say the smoke ring "really shows the judges you know what you're doing". I guess if it's put in at the right temp, smoked for the right time, and no cure is used, it should provide a pretty good bearing on the skill of the cook.. that's not to say a delicious brisket HAS to have one though!


Franklin says a lot of stuff I wouldn't put much stock in
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#6170678 - 02/05/16 11:11 AM Re: Smoke Rings Overrated? [Re: wacorusty]
DuckCoach1985 Offline
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Registered: 10/09/13
Posts: 1414
Loc: SMTX
see my edit above up
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#6171282 - 02/05/16 06:28 PM Re: Smoke Rings Overrated? [Re: wacorusty]
bigbob_ftw Offline
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Registered: 07/26/08
Posts: 14581
Loc: White Settlement, TX.
I agree on the ribs. I need a tug.
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#6171288 - 02/05/16 06:31 PM Re: Smoke Rings Overrated? [Re: bigbob_ftw]
udamdan Offline
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Registered: 09/02/04
Posts: 5946
Loc: Dallas & Young Counties
Originally Posted By: bigbob_ftw
it's not a factor in judging a competition.


Wrong bs

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#6171471 - 02/05/16 08:32 PM Re: Smoke Rings Overrated? [Re: garrett]
MacDaddy21 Online   content
Pro Tracker

Registered: 08/19/11
Posts: 1944
Loc: CO
Originally Posted By: garrett
Originally Posted By: DuckCoach1985
I've heard Franklin himself say the smoke ring "really shows the judges you know what you're doing". I guess if it's put in at the right temp, smoked for the right time, and no cure is used, it should provide a pretty good bearing on the skill of the cook.. that's not to say a delicious brisket HAS to have one though!


Franklin says a lot of stuff I wouldn't put much stock in


I don't hear everything the guy says, but I do know that he does sell a TON of meat every day and people keep coming back for it and wait in line for hours so he is obviously doing something right. I'll add that I've tried several of his seasoning recipes and now strictly use those combinations and his methods almost exclusively, with great results. Salt and pepper really is all you need on a brisket.

As for the smoke ring. I definitely agree that it is not the determining factor between a good brisket and a bad brisket. I've had a few that didn't have much of a smoke ring and they were still awesome. Salt, pepper, good oak wood and a properly trimmed brisket is all you need.

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#6171596 - 02/05/16 10:48 PM Re: Smoke Rings Overrated? [Re: udamdan]
skinnerback Online   content
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Registered: 05/30/11
Posts: 11616
Loc: Rockport, Tx.
Originally Posted By: udamdan
Originally Posted By: bigbob_ftw
it's not a factor in judging a competition.


Wrong bs


Have to agree. People eat with their eyes too. Especially those who believe a smoke ring is a sign of a good pit master. Most folks don't realize what that smoke ring is, they just think it's a sign of a properly cooked brisket and if it's not there they question why and think less of the product.

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