barbecue meat reaction question

phatch

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I was reading Mike Mills Praise the Lard. He says that the meat absorbs smoke until 140 degrees. After that it just builds up on the outside and gets bitter. So put the meat on cold and cook it more slowly for maximum smoke flavor.

He offered no source or reasoning for this claim. It's the first I've heard of it. I can sort of see some reasons for it but I'm dubious of the claim still.

What say the rest of you?
 
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This gets debated on BBQ forums over and over with no real consensus either way...
 
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In my experience I have noticed that cold smoking imparts much more smoke flavor then hot smoke. I am not sure about the 140*F rule, but it does make some sense.
 
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Just my personal experience making BBQ at home - I've had bitter BBQ from smoking at too high of a temperature. and it's disgusting. The meat also dries out and won't pull properly if you go too hot (because it's not REAL BBQ if it's chopped;)). The bigger the cut of meat, the lower, slower and further from the heat you want to go. I don't know the science behind it, just lots of trial and error.
 
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In my experience I have noticed that cold smoking imparts much more smoke flavor then hot smoke. I am not sure about the 140*F rule, but it does make some sense.


I cold smoke salmon and it takes 4-5 days depending on the weather outside. You end up smoking for a longer time at a lower temperature (below 90 degrees), so I can see why there'd be more smokey flavor
 
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How about just smoking the meat however which way you want? ... If it tastes good ... You're doing it right. If it doesn't taste good ... Stop doing it that way.


I'm just sayin'.
 

phatch

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I enjoy knowing more than just the how, but also the why. Understanding why opens up new horizons of how to make something even better.
 
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Cold smoking isn't cooking so you don't have to pull your meat out when it's "done" temperature wise. You can add as little or as much smoke as you want. Hot smoking you are limited to the cook time.

About how much smoke something can absorb... I don't think it is temperature dependent. For me it's some combintion of
-time
-the quality of your smoke (dirty billowing smoke from a cold fire vs clean blue smoke from a hot fire)
-your amount of smoke - are you relying on lump charcoal to bring the smoke, did you add wood chunks, etc
-your wood types - mesquite, hickory, pecan are stronger than fruit woods of the same amount
-what you're smoking (is it fatty? fat absorbs more smoke flavor)
-the surface qualities. Did you use a rub, its it nekkid, did you air dry and let a pellicle form for adhesion

There is a limit to how much smoke I would want on something. I don't want to taste a campfire.
 
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There is a limit to how much smoke I would want on something. I don't want to taste a campfire.

Years ago when I still ate beef, we dined at an upscale restaurant in an upstate NY town. My fillet was so smoky, I almost gagged. I inquired as to the smoking method used. It was (a heavy handed application of) :eek: Liquid Smoke.
 
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