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Mad Science Experiment - Smoke Rings
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bigabyte
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 03 08 2:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm sure my camera can be adjusted, I just haven't spent the time to get beyond the basic features. It's a Kodak EasyShare Z650. I took some phtography courses long ago with non-digital type cameras, but somewhere over the years all the knwoledge whent away, and with digital I just pretty much want the camera to do the hard stuff for me. I know, what the hell am I thinking, but dang, how much time is there in one persons life anyway? Laughing
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BigAL
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 03 08 3:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks WD! I really thought moisture on the meat was very important compare'n my traeger to the Lou. I'm gonna have to try an experiment w/a keg, 2 briskets, one kept moist and one not. Not to argue your point, just to drink. Laughing

Thanks WD, great info! We all do appreciate it.
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Mitch-Cole
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 03 08 7:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting comments RE: cold meat make a bigger smoke ring. I'll experiment this one myself if Woodoggy doesn't run a side by side himself.
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Alien BBQ
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 03 08 7:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good stuff Chris.............. just put a piece of 3m magic frosted tape on the flash and it will diffuse the light.
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SoEzzy
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 03 08 8:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A great experiment Chris!

The other thought I had was about injecting then slathering and rubbing.

Have to test one butt against another the next time I cook. (Perhaps)!
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roxy
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 03 08 8:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As for the no smoke ring from a Gas oven...

I have seen it when I worked at the mission on turkey and pork. Now I am betting that the oven needed an adjustment and was probably not burning the fuel correctly but that is not to say that it can happen..
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bigabyte
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 03 08 9:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've heard from quite a few people that they have seen smoke rings from a gas oven, so there has to be some way that is possible. I have roasted meats in my gas ovens here in the KC area all my life and never once saw a smoke ring. I would be interested to know why some people get this when other people don't. I'm guessing it is somewhat rare that this happens. Maybe it is the type of gas that is burned?
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roxy
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 03 08 9:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am thinking that it is more of a air/gas regulation thing and there could be some thing in that..??
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Cal-B-Que
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 03 08 10:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the science experiment, Chris. What I want to know is how you plan to cook butts in the future (based on your results)? Will you brine or inject, or wouod you quarter you butts and brine for non competition? You will still rub, I assume?

Maybe i missed it, but what was the average cooking temp/cooking time for the quartered pieces?
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bigabyte
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 03 08 11:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I may experiment with the bark on butts some for the next few cooks due to how much I liked the bark from the brined piece with the slather, rub and spritz. I gave up slathers a long time ago, and stopped spritzing really when I went to foiling. I'll have to do a side-by-side with my standard method to see if i want to change that. I also gave up injects after foiling as I found injecting did not seem to improve moisture in foiled butts as much as non-foiled butts. So it is possible my regular method could get affected by this, but then, my methods are always open to improvement. I doubt I will ever find the perfect method that can't be improved somehow, but I can certainly enjoy the journey.

Also, I will probably quarter and brine a butt again in the future. The resulting meat was kind of hammy and when mixed with the regular pulled pork, the blend was really great. Considering that half of the pieces were basically cooked plain with no rub, I was surprised at how much I kept eating it up. It is all really good mixed together. What I would probably do is cook 2 butts, with one being quartered and brining 2 or 4 pieces and see which blend I liked best, half-hammy or quarter-hammy.
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bigabyte
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 03 08 11:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's a thought for the comp guys who want to try brining. Try crowning the butt like Alien did when brining. I bet you could get the brine to penetrate fully then, and it would be KCBS legal since you are keeping the piece of meat whole.

Heck, I want to try that. I wouldn't mind serving this blend at a contest and see what happens. I'm entered at the GAB this Memorial Day weekend. It's kind late, but I could work on this and maybe enter it. It's not like I have a tried and true contest method since I am still mostly a contest newbie! Laughing
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burgandy-smoke
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 03 08 1:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice Work! And thanks for the effort.

One thing that noticed was that the depth of the smoke ring had little relationship to the actual flavor. Hmmm......

Also, I have the same camera. The telephoto is great, but it sometimes has difficulty with "normal" pictures. When I take pictures of something important, and I have the time, I take the shot at least twice, both with and without flash. When taking pictures in low light without flash, try leaning against a wall or something to steady the camera. Ideally, use a tripod and the 2 second delay.

Another good experiment would be to correlate photo quality and beer consumption.
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bigabyte
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 03 08 1:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I have caught so much grief over the photos on the various forums that I actually went back to the camera to check the manual again and mess around with it to brush-up on it. I found I had done something thoroughly stupid. At some point I had switched it to night-time mode, and I never switch it off of Auto mode except when I am taking shots outdoors or something. So at some point, probably when hooking it up to the computer to download the pics the night before, I changed the dial and didn't check that I was still on auto when taking pics. Lesson learned, check everything next time and don't assume the camera is still set the same! Embarassed

Oh, also I was not really focusing on evaluating the taste of the meat in relation to the smoke ring. Initially, the only tasting I planned in this experiment was the piece cooked in the oven with the liquid smoke. All the other pieces were jsut to see the visible smoke ring and taste was not part of this test. However, someone on another forum predicted the bark on the pieces in the dry environment woudl be tastier than the ones in the moist environment, so I actually sampled the bark from each of the pieces with rub in both cookers to pass on the results.

I have future smoke ring experiments planned to cover some of the other myths I discussed in the openeing post. One is that the smoke ring indicates the level of smoky flavor in the meat, or that the smoke ring indicates the depth at which the smoky flavor also penetrated. For these tests the focus woudl be around making predicatable smoke rings of various depths and comparing the flavors. I needed to know the results of this test to do that.
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Hell Fire Grill
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 03 08 8:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Did you ever get drunk enough to try tasting the one covered in ash?
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bigabyte
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 03 08 9:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No! Laughing The pics before and after did not do it justice. It looked (and smelled) far less appetizing. It looked like it had fallen in the firebox, and smelled like ash. Someone would have to be really wasted to eat that.
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SmokinOkie
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 03 08 10:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

WoooDoggy wrote:
Here's a thought for the comp guys who want to try brining. Try crowning the butt like Alien did when brining. I bet you could get the brine to penetrate fully then, and it would be KCBS legal since you are keeping the piece of meat whole.


I've done lots of brining research, including butts. The speed of how fast a brine penetrates has 100% to do with the density of the muscle fibers (and how it denatures the proteins). Scoring will give a few more paths of the brine to penetrate, and that will work, but it won't get to the middle much faster.

Gotta love those camera problems. With all the switches on them, we've all got stories like that.

Good report.

What's next on Mad Scientist Theater?
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stlouBBQ
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 03 08 11:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

GREAT thread! Thanks for the info.
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mutha chicken bbq
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 04 08 9:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

American West wrote:
Did you ever get drunk enough to try tasting the one covered in ash?


How about a "Soot Rub"?

J/K Laughing Laughing

Chris Thank you for this experiment
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pafisher
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 04 08 9:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks for doing all that work , thats a great bit of info .. very nice job .
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Smoke on the Horizon
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 04 08 9:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That was a lot of work and thanks for sharing the results with us.

Some very interesting information you have posted and certainly answers some of my questions.
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