Last Updated on: 14th February 2023, 08:07 pm
Smoking pork is the best way to show your expertise in smoking. If smoked properly, its flavor can go beyond perfection.
However, there are numerous myths about smoking pork. One of these misconceptions is that when does pork stop absorbing smoke?
pork will continue to absorb smoke until it i placed inside the smoker. the inly way that pork can stop absorbing smoke while being inside the smoker is if it is wrapped inside a foil.
even then, some amount of smoke will seep inside and deposit on its surface.so it will continue to absorb smoke unless it is removed from the smoker or is finished inside an oven.
When starting out, I even found myself confused over this topic because different pitmasters have different opinions on this and there is no authorized platform for clearing up such misunderstandings.
But over time, I have researched a lot on this topic and experimented with it myself to tear apart the misinformation and know the reality.
pork is similar to brisket in terms of smoke absorption
In this blog post we are going to explain this briefly, and after reading this, you will be able to smoke pork more effectively.
So the black and white answer to this question is that pork doesn’t stop absorbing smoke and keeps taking smoke throughout the process.
Although it’s quantity and the site where the smoke is deposited can vary over time.
The only way that pork can stop absorbing smoke while being placed inside the smoker is when it is wrapped in foil.
In that case, smoke will not come into direct contact with the pork and the pork will be cooked only through heat.
These confusions about smoke absorption arise due to various misunderstandings about the basics of smoking.
One of these misunderstandings is that most of the pitmasters tend to relate the smoke ring to the flavor of pork.
But in reality, the smoke ring has nothing to do with the flavor of pork and can’t determine the flavor of pork in any way.
Myoglobin protein is present in pork due to a different chemical reaction between myoglobin protein present in pork and the gases of smoke.
It will be explained in more detail later in this article.
Does cooking method affect smoke absorption?
Yes, the smoking method can definitely affect the smoke absorption of pork.
There are two types of cooking methods in terms of heat: low and slow (smoking) and hot or direct heat method (grilling).
Both of these have different levels of smoke absorption.
When you are cooking pork low and slow, it will take a longer time for the smoker to reach 76 °C and stop the development of a smoke ring.
After that, the rub components will heat up, which results in the development of bark.
After the development of bark, the smoke will deposit on the bark rather than on the pork.
Low and slow cooking will allow pork to absorb more than enough smoke to give a delicious smoky flavor before the development of bark.
While in the case of high-temperature cooking, the rub will be heated quickly and form a crispy structure on the surface of the pork.
Due to this, the inner side of pork will not be able to absorb much smoke and will have a less smoky flavor.
Although low and slow cooking allows us to smoke pork for a longer time, you should keep this in mind to avoid over-smoking it.
Over-smoking pork is as dangerous as under-smoking it.
Over-smoking can usually result in a bitter flavor from the pork.
The pork will keep absorbing smoke as long as it’s placed inside the smoker.
But you should consider being careful about the time given for smoking and the composition of smoke.
To get a good smokey flavor, half of the smoking time is usually set aside for smoke absorption.
In our opinion, the smoke absorption by a piece of pork placed inside a smoker can be divided into two main types.
The smoke is absorbed by the internal side of the pork and the smoke is absorbed by the external surface of the pork while placed in the smoker.
How long does internal side of pork will absorb smoke
By the internal side of pork, we mean the deep part of the pork or simply the part below the bark.
It is our core part, and it should absorb enough smoke to give a universal flavor throughout the pork chunk.
It absorbs smoke until the development of bark.
After the development of the bark, it will not be exposed to smoke and thus will not be able to absorb smoke any further.
So, to maximize the absorption of smoke by the internal side of pork, you should consider smoking at a low temperature.
By smoking at a low temperature, the bark will develop later after the pork has absorbed enough smoke to taste better.
Furthermore, low and slow cooking also helps in getting a good smoke ring.
So it’s a win-win situation.
How long will the external side of the pork absorb smoke?
By the external side of the pork, we actually mean the bark rather than the pork surface.
Bark can absorb pork throughout the smoking process as long as the pork is placed within the smoker.
But you should consider being careful about over-smoking it.
Another thing to keep in mind is that bark will not absorb the smoke, but rather the smoke particles will adsorb to the surface of the bark.
Which means they will not penetrate deeper and just attach to the surface of the bark.
We have limited time to smoke the internal side, but the external surface of the pork can be smoked for a longer time to get your desired flavor.
However, you should keep in mind not to over-smoke it while smoking it for an extended period of time.
How long does pork absorb smoke for?
The black and white answer to this question is that the pork can absorb smoke throughout the smoking process while being placed inside the smoker.
Even when it will not penetrate deeper, it will still continue to deposit on the surface of the pork.
Smoke absorption by pork also depends on the smoking method.
After half of the smoking time, most methods prefer to wrap the pork in foil and cook it through heat.
So we can say that pork can absorb smoke for half of the smoking process.
When the temperature of the smoker reaches 150°F, the pork is usually wrapped in foil, which adds another dimension to how long the pork will absorb smoke.
So we can conclude that the pork should stop absorbing smoke after it reaches a temperature of 150°F.
But to ensure that the pork is smoked perfectly without over-smoking or under-smoking it, you should consider smoking it for the proper amount of time.
The smoke absorption time can usually range from 6–8 hours depending on the texture of the pork.
There is a misconception regarding smoke absorption that pork will stop absorbing smoke after 140°F.
It’s incorrect because the smoke ring will stop expanding after 170°F rather than 140°F, but the pork will still keep absorbing smoke.
To achieve the perfect smoky flavor, half of the smoking process time is usually dedicated to smoke absorption.
After that, the pork is usually wrapped in foil to avoid over-smoking it and is then cooked by heat.
The smoke absorption time can vary from pork to pork depending on the texture of the meat.
Lean and soft pork can be smoked for 2–8 hours, while hard pork like brisket can take more than 20 hours to be smoked properly.
Is smoke ring a determinant of smokey flavor?
Because smoke ring and smoky flavor are two completely different phenomena, the simple and straightforward answer is always “no.
“A chunk of pork without a smoke ring can sometimes taste better than a chunk with a smoke ring.
The reason behind this is that smoke rings develop from the reaction of gases present in smoke with the protein myoglobin present in pork.
Because myoglobin content varies from pork to pork, a pork with a higher myoglobin content can have a smoke ring with the least amount of smoke exposure.
Smoke contains different gases like CO and NO which react with heme present within the myoglobin.
This reaction gives a pink color to the pork known as “smoke ring.
” Myoglobin breaks down at 76 °C (170 °F) and the smoke ring stops expanding.
Red pork, like beef, has a higher myoglobin content than white pork, like chicken.
So beef pâté can develop a smoke ring quicker than chicken pâté despite being exposed to smoke for the same amount of time.
As a result, we can’t judge a pork flavor based on its smoked ring.
While the flavor of pork comes from its exposure to smoke, The longer a piece of pork is exposed to smoke, the stronger the smokey flavor.
So a pork chunk can be exposed to smoke for a longer time to produce a smoked flavor even without the development of a smoke ring.
A smokey flavor develops from the gases present within the smoke.
So it is affected by the wood being used.
So it’s better to choose the appropriate type of wood and use wood with mild smoke after some time to avoid the bitter taste.
Choosing smoky flavor from smoke rings is a common misconception, and it arises because of a correlation between smoke rings and smoky flavor.
The reason is that if a pork chunk has a good smoke ring, it means it took a lot of time to reach 76 °C for the breakdown of myoglobin.
which also means that the pork should have been exposed to smoke for a longer time.
So smoke ring is related to flavor to some extent, but it’s not the best determinant of smoky flavor.
You should consider smoking at a low temperature to get both a smoky flavor and a smoke ring at the same time.
tips for smoking pork
Here are some tips that you should consider following to increase your chances of getting a good flavor.
- First of all, you should consider smoking low and slow.
It is really helpful whether you are trying to get a smoke ring or a smoky flavor.
It will give the pork more time to be exposed to smoke and absorb enough smoke to taste better.
- Secondly, you should consider wrapping your pork in aluminum foil after some time.
It should help you avoid over-smoking it while allowing it to be cooked to perfection.
Over-smoking pork is as hazardous as under-smoking.
- Furthermore, you should consider sprinkling your pork with water or any other liquid to keep its internal temperature low.
If the internal temperature of pork is increased, then the smoke ring will stop and the pork will be overcooked on the outside while undercooked on the inside.
- Additionally, you should consider using appropriate wood for smoking your pork.
Wood type is the most crucial determinant of the smoky flavor of pork.
If you smoke with low quality wood, then it will have a bad impact on your pork flavor.
- Finally, you should consider using a wood type with mild smoke after a while to avoid over-smoking it.
You can use intense smoked wood at the start, but if the smoke is not monitored carefully, then it can result in a bitter taste.
How long will pork take smoke?
pork will keep absorbing smoke until it placed inside the smoker. although the amount of smoke it absorb will be decreased once it psses the stall .but even then smoke will keep depositing on its surface.
if the pork has stopped absorbing smoke or the quantity of absorption is decreased, then you can spritz it with som eliquid to allow to absorb more smoke .
What temperature do you stop smoking pork?
according to usda , pork is sdase to it after its temperature is exceeds te 160. at this temperature, the most of pathogens will be killed and pork will become safe to eat.
although for better flavor and increase the tenderness of pork , it is advised to smoke it until its temperature reached 190 degrees. at this temperature the meat fibers are broken and it becomes even more soft.
Does pork get more tender the longer you smoke it?
the simple and straightforward answer to this is no. like any other meat, pork also needs to be smoked for the right time at the right temperature to make it tender.
if pork is smoked longer than the set time, then it will dry out over time, which will make it stiff rather than softening it. you need to avoid smoking pork for longer time to make sure it remains tender.
a norml factor to keep in mind is that when the internal temperature of pork reaches 190 , it should have achieved the peak of tenderness
The Final Verdict
pork does not stop absorbing smoke throughout the smoking process .
Although smoke ring stops developing after the internal temperature of pork reaches 76 °C.
pork can only stop absorbing smoke if it’s wrapped inside a foil.
Usually the pork is smoked for half of the smoking process.
The pork smoking time can vary from pork to pork depending on its texture.
We hope that this blog post helps you clearing all the misconceptions related to when pork stops absorbing smoke during a smoking process.
if you are interested in learning more,than make sure to read our guide on When does turkey stop absorbing smoke
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