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Joined Jul 28, 2001
OK, I've been a little intimidated towards posting this week.
I have seen a post on the risks of smoke by seasoning pans which leads me to a question that has been lurking in my head.
In the South we smoke a lot of products. Over the years it has become popular to the point of abusing the smoke. Some view the more direct smoke the better. Are there as many health risks in eating heavily smoked products with the carcinogens and such as I'm imagining?
This also brings up an old theory(just mine) that I can taste a dozen dishes prepared by different chefs and I'm usually able to pick out the ones prepared by chefs who smoke. I'm not a supertaster or anything but have always believed that smoking cigerettes dulls the taste so much that most chefs who smoke over compensate in most of the seasoning process especially sodium. Old wives tale or myth?
Thanks soo much for being here,


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Joined Mar 29, 2002
I enjoy smoke cooking in the barbecue style. This is not what I would class as a direct smoke as in grilling. My reasoning is that in barbecue, any fat and drippings fall into a pan and not the fire. The pan is also not over the fire, or if it is, it is full of water and so the drippings never burn. To control the temperature, usually the food is not over the fire in barbecue.

I understood the main carcinogen threat to be from burning grease dripping from the food. In barbecue, that shouldn't happen. It does happen in grilling.

As to the smoke's content, the wood burned in barbecue is almost always a hardwood, rather than a resinous pine softwood. Pine smoke produces inedible food because of the noxious smoke.

Lots of other questions in your post I can't answer.

Joined Dec 4, 2005
Yes, I’m afraid that wonderfully aromatic hardwood smoke itself does contain carcinogens, so the more heavily smoked a food, the more carcinogens it carries. Fat falling into the fire will generate even more.

The studies that I have found on taste and smell in smokers are inconclusive—many say that smoking decreases sensitivity, but some find that it has no effect.

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