Resting Meat

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by smalltownsmoker, Jul 21, 2013.

  1. Still new to the smoker and curious - if I have a perfect bark when I'm done smoking, will wrapping it in foil and putting it in a cooler to rest ruin that?  

    After my first great bark I was afraid to ruin it so I just let it rest still uncovered in the smoker at 100 degrees, but then the meat didn't seem as moist as the meat I let rest in foil in the cooler.

    Any other tips and techniques on resting are greatly appreciated.


    Small Town
  2. jarjarchef

    jarjarchef Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    If you want a crisp bark, yes it will get ruined.

    If you put it in a pan and make a tent out of foil to cover it. Then put a hole in the top of the foil it will allow a small amount of moisture out and at the same time help preserve some of the crispness of the bark. It will soften some, how much depends on how long you hold it for. Place in your smoker set at 150-170 to hot hold it. You want to make sure the meat stays over 140IT.
  3. s2k9k

    s2k9k AMNPS Test Group

    I have been using Eric's resting method to preserve bark and it works very well.
    Here is an excerpt from this thread (post #12):

    Resting method:
    So, now that my pork has reached my desired finished temp and is tender for pulling, it's time for a rest, but do I want to foil it? NO, NO, and can I get another NO. I've pushed the limits quite a bit to get a moist and tender pulled pork and a GREAT bark with my picnic shoulder using the wet-to-dry smoke chamber method, and now, I need to finish it up so I can keep what I've worked for. Keep what I've worked for??? I added several hours to the cooking time by not foiling, and possibly another few hours due to using the dry smoke chamber about 1/3 of the way through to the end of this this smoke, so yes, I need to protect my investment in time, fuel, and smoke wood, don't you think? That's where this resting method comes through with shining colors.

    I use an elevated grate (2" rise, but it doesn't bottom-out in the roasting pan I'm using today, so it's nearly flush with the lip of the pan...could be a bit lower and be fine also) to place the pulled pork subject onto, then into a 4" high roasting pan or similar receptacle, and cover with a clean towel or paper towels. I prefer towels over paper, as they provide some insulation while still allowing evaporated moisture to escape through the towel, whereas paper just breathes well without insulating. Why do I do this? Because if I wrap it in foil to rest, the bark will soften due to the small amount of moisture evaporating from the meat while it's may not be much, but with what the bark went through to get to this stage using the dry smoke chamber to bring it all together for the finish, I don't want to loose any of that crispness, so, I'm preserving the bark until it's pulled for serving by allowing it to breath on top, sides and bottom, while the pork is cooling. If served immediately after pulling, you will likely experience a pulled pork bark like you've never seen or eaten before...unless you've already used a similar method for smoking and resting, that is.

    This resting method works like a charm, but it also brings a challenge to overcome: You need to get your pulling subject up to finished temps in a smaller time-frame if your on a schedule for meal-time, because this meat will cool about 2-3 times faster than if foiled and insulated with multiple layers of towels and placed into a insulated cooler. When foiled/towel-wrapped, I can rest for 5-6 hours with an average butt (8.5lb), I have 11lb precooked weight, and only about 2 hours to get it pulled after it comes out, or, it will likely be into the danger zone. Tip: I leave my temp probe in while resting so I know if I need to get it pulled earlier than planned and can monitor temp drop rates, as well.

    That said, it does require a bit more control towards the end of your smoke so you get it out to rest on time. When using a foiled resting, you have a lot more time to play with, and if the pork is done too early, you can rest for much longer than you can using a breathable method such I use. For me, the added benefit is more than worth the extra effort it takes to to get the pulling subject out on time, +/- 30-45 minutes, as the dining is like no other pulled pork you'll eat, ANYWHERE. The bark, if well-developed and hardened, will retain that texture throughout resting, and will be there for you when you dine on your masterpiece pulled pork. I have not found a better way to accomplish pulled pork with a great bark than using the wet-to-dry smoke chamber along with this resting method. If you like a heavy, hard bark on your pulled pork like I do, it just doesn't get any better than when I use the methods described here.
  4. jarjarchef

    jarjarchef Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    That way sounds to be spot on. Just make sure as mentioned to keep an eye on your temps.

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