Smoke Ring

E.Martinez

New member
I recently purchased a Weber Smokey Mountain 22.5. My question is how do i go about getting a smoke ring on my brisket. I smoked a brisket this weekend at 250 for 8 hours with kingsford charcoal and mesquite chunks. I wrapped it after 5 1/2 hours. The brisket came out great but was missing the best prt of look and taste which is the smoke ring.
 

Chris Allingham

Administrator
Staff member
E,

Celery seed is a common rub ingredient that's a natural source of nitrite, and when applied to brisket and combined with spritzing after the crust has set will contribute to a smoke ring.

Here's a neat video from our good friend Harry Soo on some smoke ring test he's done:

 

Dustin Dorsey

TVWBB Honor Circle
That was a great video. I had kind of suspected the celery seed thing, because you see it in a lot of rubs. I think his spritzing technique has a lot to do with it.
 

Dustin Dorsey

TVWBB Honor Circle
I was reading something the other day about smoke rings and that the smoke ring still forms after 140 contrary to popular belief. I believe Harry Soo waits until his bark has set and then starts spritzing periodically. That would happen after 140. I may try it on my next cook. I know that water in the pan definitely contributes to a smoke ring. If you are like me, and you use Dalmatian rub on your brisket, don't use water, and don't spritz, the smoke ring won't be that great.
 
Last edited:

Chris Allingham

Administrator
Staff member
From http://virtualweberbullet.com/smoke-ring-basics-what-you-need-to-know.html

Q: At what internal meat temperature does the smoke ring stop developing?

A: It is commonly thought that 140°F is the temperature at which the smoke ring stops developing in beef. However, the website AmazingRibs.com states that smoke ring development stops at 170°F because that's the temperature at which myboglobin breaks down in beef and loses its ability to react with NO and CO. It's not clear if 170°F also applies to pork and poultry, but it is clear that smoke ring formation is arrested in all meats at some point.
 

Vincent Carrocci

TVWBB Super Fan
Judging the quality of a finished brisket, or any other meat, by the presence or appearance of a smoke ring makes about as much sense as a competition judge determining tenderness/texture by how well the meat pulls apart. I've cooked multiple briskets that had little or no smoke ring and didn't pull apart all that easily and yet still took 1st Place in KCBS sanctioned contests. What matters most is how it feels in your mouth (tenderness/texture) and how it tastes. Getting caught up on something as insignificant as a smoke ring on a piece of meat that feels and tastes like shoe leather is much like fawning over the beautiful paint job on a car that has no engine or transmission.
 

Doug D Calif

New member
I was told by a local winning cook to keep the meat cold until putting in the cooker, I found that if I followed his advise I got better smoke rings. In the past I used to take the brisket out about an hour before cooking, know I keep in on ice up till the time to start cooking. My wife is a big fan of the tv show Americas Test Kitchen and a couple years ago she showed me one that talked about how a smoke ring is formed. They get into the science of food and explain how things happen while cooking food, anyway they explained that why cooking the meat cold helps form the smoke ring.
 

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