A pink (or red) color in meat usually indicates the presence of myoglobin. Myoglobin’s reddish pigment is usually lost when meat is cooked because the heat causes it to denature and turn brown. The center of a rare steak remains red because it never reaches a high enough temperature to denature the myoglobin. However, the outside of smoked meat gets extremely hot over the course of cooking, so cool temperatures can’t be the cause of the pink color in smoked meats. What else might cause myoglobin to stick around, despite the heat?