binder or not

TroyS

TVWBB Member
How many of you use a binder for rubs? Just curious if anyone thinks, don't laugh, the binder might inhibit the absorption of smoke or doesn't affect it at all?
 

Lynn Dollar

TVWBB All-Star
I've never heard of a binder ( or also called a schmear ) inhibiting smoke. I use mustard, worcestershire, olive oil, Louisiana Hot Sauce ... but mostly mustard. And actually, smoke adheres to the surface. Which is why its good to keep the surface of the meat moist. Smoke will stick to a tacky moist surface better than a dry surface.
 

Scott Shimano

TVWBB Member
That's an interesting question, and one that I wish I had thought of myself.

My gut reaction is to rule it out, but now I'm not so certain. I highly doubt that any liquid binder would have an impact, as the moisture would ultimately evaporate or dehydrate, and shouldn't act as a barrier. It may be possible that thicker application of mustard or mayo could act as a "smoke sponge", and not allow as much smoke penetration to the surface of the actual meat. Technically, if this is correct, I would also anticipate it having a similar effect to the flavor of the rub also.

This sounds like a good recommendation for Harry Soo to test on his YouTube channel
 

timothy

TVWBB Hall of Fame
Way back on the old forum there was a post from a member who experimented with different liquids /pastes to see how they reacted to bbg.
It was a good read, but sorry I can't find it.
And meat doesn't absorb smoke it adsorbs it, so as long as you keep laying on the smoke, you will keep adding smoke flavor.;)
edit: found it. http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=18492
Tim
 
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Lynn Dollar

TVWBB All-Star
Tomorrow, I'm using Parkay squeeze butter as a schmear on a couple of yardbirds that I'm cooking hot and fast.

Its a tip I got from Kosmos Q that adds flavor .
 

GaryP

New member
I have tried a few different types of binders when doing comp tests at home. The winner for me was olive oil. Never had an issue with lack of smoke flavor or color.
 

Bruce Bissonnette

TVWBB Guru
I use to use a binder all the time (light mustard slather on ribs and butts) now I use a combo of rubs. I apply the first rub and let the meat sit for approx. 20-30 minutes or until some moisture is drawn out and then I apply the second rub and let it rest for about 20-30 minutes, then on the cooker. Never had an issue with lack of flavor, color or smoke penetration.
 

TroyS

TVWBB Member
I just watched a video by Harry Soo as he was comparing a Costco brisket to a Sam's brisket. He does mention binders/schmears as he was applying rub. According to Soo any binder/schmear with oil in it or made of oil will "clog the pores" of the meat. Now I'm not sure if he is stating that this prevents anything from penetrating the meat OR prevents moisture, fat breakdown from being released during the smoking process. That part was not clear but he did state oil based products clog pores. For whatever that is worth just thought I'd follow up on my OP.
 

Lynn Dollar

TVWBB All-Star
Aaron Franklin says he uses water based slathers because they are " soluble " on long cooks. But he uses olive oil on steaks.

Meathead's PHD's say that marinades and smoke do not penetrate the meat enough to be a concern, if I recall correctly, they say only the top 1/16" will be penetrated. They say meats are not like a sponge. And smoke accumulates on the surface.

Me, I've not done the scientific tests :geek: , I'm no scientist, I don't even have a laboratory. But I only use olive oil on steaks and I only use the squeeze butter on chicken, which the skin on yardbird is pretty tought to penetrate, anyway. As I said above, mustard is my go to.
 

TroyS

TVWBB Member
Aaron Franklin says he uses water based slathers because they are " soluble " on long cooks. But he uses olive oil on steaks.

Meathead's PHD's say that marinades and smoke do not penetrate the meat enough to be a concern, if I recall correctly, they say only the top 1/16" will be penetrated. They say meats are not like a sponge. And smoke accumulates on the surface.

Me, I've not done the scientific tests :geek: , I'm no scientist, I don't even have a laboratory. But I only use olive oil on steaks and I only use the squeeze butter on chicken, which the skin on yardbird is pretty tought to penetrate, anyway. As I said above, mustard is my go to.
Harry Soo did say the oil based stuff was ok for grilling and his comment about clogged pores was for smoking only. Probably not much of anything but I was curious if this might be a big deal.
 

KE Quist

TVWBB Fan
I typically use yellow mustard. I have tried using soy sauce a couple of times just to wet the surface, and I kind of liked it. No overt soy sauce flavor, but just a little hint of something in there besides the rub and smoke.
 

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