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Blue Smoke? What's the point?

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    Blue Smoke? What's the point?

    If we learned that smoke only hits the meat for the first 15 minutes, what is the point of trying to achieve Blue Smoke? With the Minion Method/Soo's Donut, the smoke that you get when you first start your cook, is white smoke. The whole point of the Minion Method is to start your cook right away. If we wait an hour or so, before the white smoke dies down and blue smoke appears, what is the point?

    #2
    I am under the impression that meat picks up smoke for the first couple of hours, then pretty much stops. I have never before heard 15 minutes. It'll be interesting to see how the pro respond to this, maybe I'm all wet.

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    • Meathead
      Meathead commented
      Editing a comment
      Just a little wet. You should read my article on wood and smoke or watch the video interview with Dr. Blonder on smoke, exclusively here in The Pit. Cool and wet surfaces attract smoke, so it never stops if you keep it wet.

    #3
    Guys...

    Meat doesn't stop taking smoke. That's why it is possible to OVERSMOKE food.

    http://amazingribs.com/tips_and_tech...n_of_wood.html

    See about halfway down... Smoke and Food....

    Start reading through there and it will explain the why's, show the science, etc.

    But in conclusion... Whomever said it only takes on smoke for 15 minutes is just plain wrong. As for the 3 hours, I'm guessing that came about due to the surface drying and not getting as much smoke as a wet surface (the science is in the article).

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      #4
      There's no smoke gate on the meat.
      Too much white smoke will getcha bitter food. I still waited for the smoke to die down when using the minion method.
      I stopped doing Minion method for <5 hour cooks after watching The good Dr Blonder. I now go with small fire with pre burnt wood.

      Comment


      • PaulstheRibList
        PaulstheRibList commented
        Editing a comment
        Ernest, I stopped doing Minion after watching that as well, and went to Fuse, and less charcoal in the ring, so I can keep those vents more open, about 30% open on all 3 on the bottom, and 75% on the top. Better smoke rings for sure, and more clean smoke.

      #5
      Cooked a pork butt with 3 foil packets of mulberry pellets (deliver about 15 minutes of smoke each packet). My dog wouldn't eat it! IMO, always go lightly on smoke.

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        #6
        15 min, ha ha. Let's stop that myth in its tracks.

        Comment


          #7
          Originally posted by Drbearsec View Post
          Guys...

          Meat doesn't stop taking smoke. That's why it is possible to OVERSMOKE food.

          http://amazingribs.com/tips_and_tech...n_of_wood.html

          See about halfway down... Smoke and Food....

          Start reading through there and it will explain the why's, show the science, etc.

          But in conclusion... Whomever said it only takes on smoke for 15 minutes is just plain wrong. As for the 3 hours, I'm guessing that came about due to the surface drying and not getting as much smoke as a wet surface (the science is in the article).

          This is what I was referring too, just used some lame nomenclature.

          Usually, late in the cook, the bark gets pretty warm and dry, and by then the coals are not producing a lot of smoke. Smoke bounces off warm dry surfaces

          Comment


          • Drbearsec
            Drbearsec commented
            Editing a comment
            Yes but if you mop it, it would start picking up more smoke

          #8
          I think I remember the smoke ring happening in 15-30 minutes, maybe that is where it came from.
          To answer the question, the white is caused by light scattering off of larger pieces of ash and particulates that are coming from the burning wood, these large pieces land on your meat and can taste very bitter. Once the wood has been burning a bit the big pieces are gone and the only smoke left has particles too small to scatter light much, this smoke doesn't have that bitter flavor. Once your fire is going, temps are reached etc you shouldn't have enough air to create the big flames necessary to burn wood so fast and hot that the big particulates are created, so you either pre-burn the wood somewhat or toss the wood in to where it won't catch fire right away.
          Last edited by _John_; May 20, 2015, 12:52 PM.

          Comment


          • JeffJ
            JeffJ commented
            Editing a comment
            Every time I've smoked either in my 14.5 WSM or the Performer with Sn I didn't generate any white smoke - just blue smoke and it was almost immediate.

          • scottranda
            scottranda commented
            Editing a comment
            How long should I pre-burn the wood in the pit to avoid the white smoke? I tried it for 10-15 minutes this morning, and it still had a white billowy smoke. I guess I should wait longer?

          • Ernest
            Ernest commented
            Editing a comment
            scottranda it takes long than that, depending on the size of the wood. Close to 45 - 60 minutes.
            You can speed it up by pre burning the chunks in a chimney, better airflow.

          #9
          Dang I'm confused..I read the article twice and still didn't see where smoke only hits the meat for 15 mins.

          Comment


            #10
            Here's another example. This is from the Perfect Pulled Pork Recipe. This kind of thing can be confusing to a new guy or someone new to smoking. The two examples I posted are just from this website. The iternet has a lot of conflicting information on it so it shouldn't be surprising that some weird ideas exit.

            Just check your cooker every hour or so to make sure the fuel is sufficient and you are holding at 225 to 250°F. If it goes up to 300°F, don't worry. Butt is forgiving. But try to keep it down under 250°F. Add additional doses of wood, 4 ounces at a time, every 30 minutes for the first two hours for a total of 16 ounces. No need to add more. After a while the meat just won't absorb it.
            Last edited by Usernamevalid; May 21, 2015, 06:00 AM.

            Comment


            • Meathead
              Meathead commented
              Editing a comment
              Thanks for pointing that out. I wrote it years ago. What I/we have since learned it that the meat surface warms and dries out so smoke won't stick. But if you keep it wet, it will. I will clarify that article. The latest info is in the video here in the Pit with Dr. Blonder, and in my article on smoke.

            #11
            In my (not so) humble opinion, perfect pulled pork is all about how long it takes to go from 170 to 203 degrees internal temp. The longer the better! You can mess with the flavor all you want, but texture and tenderness is what it is all about.

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              #12
              I think the comment comes from Dr. Blonder's seminar. I'll watch it again. Because the cold meat creates a different aerodynamic In the smoker the smoke adherence is fairly short at the beginning of the smoke. The idea is to get the smoker running smoothly at temp, thus getting the blue smoke, and then add the meat. I'll try to check it out more thoroughly later.

              Comment


                #13
                OK, I've reviewed the seminar again (4th time). Here is the link to the Dr. Blonder December '14 seminar: http://pitmaster.amazingribs.com/for...-the-smokering

                I recommend that everybody take the time and look at it in its entirety, but here are some key sections pertinent to this thread:

                At 21:06 They discuss "oversmoking" and what it really is - stick burners don't oversmoke, so how can wood chunks oversmoke?

                At :28:30 they talk about how smoke interacts with food and meat penetration.

                At 38:15 they discuss the timing of the adherence of smoke to the protein and how it happens - AT THE BEGINNING of the smoke.

                At 40:00 they discuss the smoke ring.

                At 48:00 why a smoldering fire wont give you a smoke ring - fire management.

                At 52:00 they discuss the impact the acidity of the protein and rubs have on the smoke ring.

                At 1:03:30 the meaning of the smoke color.

                At 1:10 they return to the smoke ring.


                But the seminar really needs, IMHO, to be viewed in its entirety; the subjects are so interwoven. IT IS FASCINATING, and seems pretty logical! It may be 1 1/2 hrs, but it goes quickly!

                Sounds to me like we'll be doing some testing in our backyards.

                Comment


                • David Parrish
                  David Parrish commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I'm copying this into the video thread. Great timeline info!

                • Huskee
                  Huskee commented
                  Editing a comment
                  richinlbrg I've wondered that for a good year now. I'd love one. Even Thermoworks' vast catalog doesn't have a high heat leave in hygrometer.

                • Meathead
                  Meathead commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Dr. Blonder is currently doing some tests on humidity, but that is one of the benefits of a water pan. It doesn't add humidity so much as water condenses on the meat and that attracts smoke.

                #14
                I will have to spend some time with the Dr. Blonder seminar - thanks for the link. To this point, I've always started my smokes with the meat on the grill while everything gets up to temp (I'm pretty sure I read on this site this is the preferred method, because the meat itself affects the temperature, and you also don't want to lift the top off the smoker to place the meat once you actually hit desired temp). But given the white smoke bitterness issue, I'm curious if anyone waits until the white smoke dies down before putting on the meat? Is there any noticeable difference?

                Comment


                  #15
                  R2-Meat2, I used to wait out the white smoke but have gotten lazy. This weekend I'll go back to my old ways.

                  I've made so many changes, mostly for the better, that while my results are better, they are likely not as better as they could be. If you lift the lid, yes, your smoker temp will drop, but it will recover very quickly (a few minutes for mine). Yes, the cold meat will drop the temp in the smoker, but not of the coals which are creating the smoke, or, more importantly, the wood that is providing the smoke flavor. So your blue smoke will not change to white smoke just because the smoker temp has dropped. So by waiting for the blue smoke and then adding your meat, the meat (because it is cold) will attract the blue/good tasting smoke, not the white less desirable smoke, At least that is how I am understanding it, at this point in time (enough disclaimers there?).

                  As for what might be conflicting info on the site, remember that the site has been here about a decade. It could be that what we thought we knew some years ago has been shown to be not the best that we can now figure out. That is why I'm thinking that there may be some testing going on in our backyards! We keep challenging what we "know".

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