• Team Blue PK100 Power User

    Okay, I’ll admit I was trying to post this just to the PK 100 group, but I have no clue how to do that…so this is a good question for electric smokers in general. Why am i not getting any smoke ring on my ribs using my PK100. I think they are getting good flavor, like the smoke taste/profile but when i cut them open it’s just brown pork. I’m used to seeing a nice deep red ring when I used propane with wood and same with my WSM bullet so why not now??
    I’m wondering if it’s something to do with the temp? the PK seems to run lower even on high heat with thermostat set at 250F it’s not hitting 225F. Thoughts, BBQ season is about to be in full swing and I can’t have ribs with no smoke ring!!!

  • Regular Contributors

    Parksider I always thought the smoke ring had to do with the salt in the rub

  • Regular Contributors

    Here’s what I found, maybe they where old ribs?

  • Team Blue PK100 Power User

    seems to happen whenever i use the electric smoker. They were frozen ribs that i just got a few days ahead. I really don’t think it was the ribs. I also have an idea that maybe it was the ribs weren’t completely thawed??? That could be possible but i had them out for a while, then put the rub on. I typically put them out for 2 hours before going into the smoker. So many questions for a monday…

  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee Power User

    Parksider So a “smoke ring” is actually a cure ring and you get it when you don’t use a cure because the smoke is actually curing the meat. So, if you used a seasoning with a cure then it is possible that it cured all the way through? Unlikely but the only thing I can come up with. What was your smoke schedule? https://youtu.be/TMg0NDjSDUk?t=265 cuts right to the ribs being cut and you can see that there is a smoke ring but it isn’t huge by any means.

    Also, need to make another rib video!

  • Power User Canning Team Orange Regular Contributors Veteran Masterbuilt

    I have a brinkman propane and a masterbilt electric on the propane I get a smoke ring and not on the electric with the same season and cooking schedule but the flavor is the same on both

  • Team Blue PK100 Power User

    craigrice huh…no i have no idea why. Guess I’ll just have to keep making ribs in the PK until i get it perfected!

  • Team Blue

    Parksider I have yet to get anything I’d call a smoke ring out of hundreds of electric smoke sessions. Yesterday while using using the pitboss I managed to get one on a beer brat somehow. lol

  • Team Blue PK100 Power User

    Joe Hell There is something about fire that meat just likes…

  • Team Blue

    Parksider Correct!

  • Team Blue Power User Traeger Primo Grills PK Grills Canning Sous Vide Community Moderator

    Parksider just type @PK100 and that should tag the group.

  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee Power User

    Once we can get meat again I will do a side by side on a pork butt or something with the small propane Weston vertical and the PK100. Actually, I guess I could probably get a pork tenderloin today from our local grocery store.

  • Regular Contributors

    Parksider I went back to wood/ charcoal for my ribs. When using electric smokers I have used a little cure in the rub or celery seed to get the color.

  • Team Orange PK100 Sous Vide Power User

    I’m strongly thinking about a PK 100, and I was wondering about that. I’ve seen the same thing with electric smokers that are basically ovens that also generate a bit of smoke from chips or sawdust. One thing that is for certain is that, since the PK 100 does not depend on wood combustion for heat, you aren’t getting all that NO2 that you normally get from the wood combustion, and it’s that NO2 that creates the smoke ring. I’m sure you get a little, but not nearly as much as you get from a stick burner, pellet cooker, or even charcoal.

    You still get plenty of the other smoke goodies from the sawdust, so that’s why the flavor and outside color still work out.

  • Power User PK100 Regular Contributors Team Grey

    The “smoke ring” as people call it does not actually provide more or less smoke flavor as people are thinking. All the color change is, is nothing more than a chemical reaction from nitrogen oxide when wood or charcoal is used. Dont let the hype of a ring make you think that meat has a better flavor, it is nothing but merely a visual affect

  • Team Blue

    TexLaw I will say that my PK100 puts out more smoke than any other unit I’ve ever used, by far. I’ve had a couple Masterbuilt electrics as well as a Camp Chef pellet grill. No comparison the way the PK100 rolls smoke!

  • Team Orange PK100 Sous Vide Power User

    Brianh I have no doubt at all that it puts out all sorts of visible smoke, but not all “smoke” is the same. By smoldering a bunch of sawdust or chips, the smoke you get has a lot of the stuff that gives a “smoky” flavor and also the stuff that colors the outside of the meat. However, you don’t get as much of the invisible NO2 that creates the smoke ring and that is produced from burning wood.

    The opposite thing happens when you burn logs or sticks. The “smoke” you get from doing that has a lot more NO2 (so more smoke ring) but not as much of the “smoky” flavor and color. That all works out, though, because you burn a lot more (in weight) of those sticks for the same cook.

    twilliams The smoke ring does have a flavor, but it’s not a “smoky” flavor. It’s a cured flavor, like you what you get from corned beef, ham, or a cured sausage. It’s a pretty subtle difference because there’s (usually) a bunch more meat that’s not “smoke ring” than is “smoke ring,” so it’s not like you think you’re eating corned beef or ham.

    Parksider If you just must have a smoke ring and you aren’t getting one from your PK 100, there are a couple tricks that I’ve seen used by some folks. It’s often called a “TQ ring,” since it uses Tender Quick or some other cure. One trick is to rub your ribs (or whatever you’re cooking) with a little bit of cure, wait about an hour, rinse it all off, and then prep your meat the way you normally would. Another trick is to add a very little bit of cure to your rub. I’ve not done either one, so I can’t give you any more details than that, but I know guys that have done both. Personally, if I were to try one of those, I would try the first option as it seems a safer way to go. If you do anything alone these lines, be safe–don’t serve up an unsafe amount of cure.

    Having seen the results of these tricks, I can tell you that the ring you get from either will not look quite the same as a true smoke ring. It’s usually not as even, and it doesn’t have that same, clean, hard inside inside edge that a true smoke ring has. If you look at a “TQ ring” and a true smoke ring side by side, it’s real easy to tell which is which. However, if you gotta have something like that, it’s an option. Just be safe.

    I know a brine cure also can get you there, but I have no idea at all how long you would need to brine something to simulate a smoke ring. The only time I’ve done a brine cure is for corned beef or pastrami, and that goes on for days to make sure you get the cure all the way through the meat.

  • Team Orange PK100 Sous Vide Power User

    I got off about how burning wood produces all that NO2, but then I got to thinking about how Parksider mentioned that he got a smoke ring when he used propane. It turns out that propane combustion produces around 3 times the nitrogen oxides as wood combustion. Now, I didn’t poke around enough to see how much of that may be NO2, but you pretty much have to figure that it’s got to be -some- of that.


    Go figure. You learn something new every day!

  • Team Orange Power User Veteran

    Never given it a thought but have always gotten a smoke ring with my LP smoker.

  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee Power User

    TexLaw We love the PK100, it is by far the smoker I use the most and I find that when you do something big like a ham, bacon, brisket or pork butt I actually think it gives better color than the big Pro Smoker 500T we have here! I know Austin agrees with me as he is the one who pointed it out. Now, that probably had more to do with us being able to properly set up the PK and not being all that skilled with all the functions of the 500T! The PK100 was already nicely broken in by the time I started working with it…anyone has thoughts on if a smoker needs to season before it gets going? That doesn’t make sense from just looking at it but maybe there is a reason that someone else has thought of. The cure ring will absolutely work, TQ and sure cure aren’t the same thing as the TQ has both nitrates and nitrites BUT you can get a similar cure ring with sure cure but I’ve never tried it after just rubbing it and letting it sit for an hour.

    Doing a brisket totally sous vide (what? the sous vide cooker was new and we wanted to play!) with a cure ring was eye-opening. And not something I am thinking of repeating, way better on the smoker, at least for a few hours to start!

    Glad to have you here man! Houston had the second best food of any city I have ever lived in but man you’ve got a LOT of people down there!

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