Rib Bark

Discussion in 'Pork' started by vision, Sep 10, 2011.

  1. Ok, I just finished another rib smoke (3,2,1 with 2,1 in covered pan) and my bark is black again. A couple questions...

    What do I have to do to get the classic rich mahogany color on ribs?

    What causes black bark? Why is it sought after sometimes?
  2. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Sugar and thick white smoke will cause dark bark.  I like a bit of dark bark, developed by a little while on the hot smoker after removing from the foil.  Maybe your temps are too high for the last hour on the smoker.  Eman just said to use no sugar cherry koolaide in your rub if you are looking for the mahogany color
  3. rp ribking

    rp ribking Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

  4. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I'd agree with Al, your temps are too high. At 225˚, you shouldn't be caramelizing the sugar in the hour on the smoker after the foiling. What exactly do you mean by this "(3,2,1 with 2,1 in covered pan)"? What kind of wood, rub, smoker and ribs are you using? Are you saucing? Are you sure of your temps?
  5. roller

    roller Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    All the above...
  6. I smoked some spares by Myron Mixon's method in his book. 3 hours on smoke, 2 hours in foil, then sauce and 1 hour back in foil. Ran at 275. Used pecan and apple.

    So is the blackness caused by burned sugar? There were times where I had a lot of thin smoke but it wasn't thick and white.
  7. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    I normally run 225-240 untill the last hour when I try to tighten them up.  Are they black before you foil them?  If so you may be running temps to high.  I wouldn't expect sugar to carmalize when wrapped in the foil and not exposed to the dry heat.
  8. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Most of us cook ribs at 225-250, maybe 275 is a little too high and your burning the sugar.
  9. Why do all the pro's smoke at 275?
  10. flash

    flash Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Alot of us are pros and we don't. [​IMG]
  11. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I think a lot of times it's because of time constraints.
  12. cliffcarter

    cliffcarter Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    So are you cooking on one of those big water smokers like MM does, too?

    I think we're only guessing at this point about the sugar as the cause of the black color because we don't know what was in the rub that you used. The high temp combined with the 3 hr unfoiled phase may be causing your coloration issue. How did they taste? Burned or OK?

    I cook ribs on a CharGriller at temps between 235°-245° and I usually stick to the 3-2-1 method for spare ribs with the last hr unfoiled. My rub is turbinado sugar based with paprika next most by volume. The mahogany color you are looking for comes from the paprika and smoke IMHO.

    Is this the color you are loooking for?-

  13. I'm using a wsm with water.

    They didn't taste burnt but were black as midnight. Yes no paprika in the rub. Yep, that's the color I'd like...
  14. uhmgood

    uhmgood Smoke Blower

    i know we " eat with our eyes first " BUT, how bad could your ribs look ?  i have never seen a bad looking slab . if your cooking for friends and family all i'd be worried about is taste , all i'd be going for is moist and tender, just because they didn't make the cover of bbq monthly who REALLY cares . IMHO
  15. realtorterry

    realtorterry Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    What sugar are you using?

    Have you checked you gauges?
  16. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I'd have to agree with too high of temps. With chamber temps of 275*, that would cut the cooking time by about 20-30% compared to the 225* that most of us smoke them at. With what would be considered an extended cooking time, you're probably scorching the sugars, and likely overcooking the ribs. Also, note that foiled or panned/tented cooking speeds up cooking quite a bit (as well as keeping it moist), so additional time in the foil may not be the best, either.

    I don't sauce, so I can't say for sure what else may be happening, but the additional sugars of the sauce can easily cause scorching issues at higher temps. It may not taste burnt, but the looks sure can fool you.

    If you're current process isn't producing what you want, I'd step back towards a simpler process...(sometimes the KISS method is best)...I'd definitely drop the chamber temps back and go from there.

  17. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I am with the 225 folks.

    I use Brown sugar in my rubs and have never had black ribs.

    all these were done 3-2-1

    250° on GOSM 3405


    250° on GOSM 3405


    225° ON GOSM BB


    225° on GOSM BB


    These were the darkest ribs I have had to date

    225° on GOSM BB


    225° on GOSM BB, SAUCED


    225° on reverse flow "Frankensmoker"


    225° on reverse flow "Frankensmoker"


    for the reverse flow, temp goal is 225° and hoovered between 220 and 240°, sometimes peaking at 250 -260°

    And like I said, NEVER had black ribs.

    Here is my rub:
    • 1/3 cup coarse salt (kosher or sea)
    • 1-1/2 cup (packed) Sugar in the Raw (brown sugar is ok) don't use sugar in the raw anymore
    • 1-1/4 cup paprika
    • 1 Tbsp freshly coarse ground black pepper
    • 2 Tbsp garlic powder
    • ¼ cup dried onion flakes
    • ¼ cup onion powder
    • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
    • 2 tsp chili powder
    • 2 tsp coriander or Ginger
    • 1 Tbsp rosemary
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2011
    sierra likes this.
  18. Thanks for the suggestions, I'll let you know what happens. SQWIB, thanks for the pictures and recipes.
  19. roller

    roller Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    I have only smoked BB for yrs. now and I smoke them at 225* and only use BP and a little garlic power...they never turn black...
  20. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

       Vision,may I suggest you do some Chicken(cheaper than wasting good Ribs) and tweak and learn your Smoker,then gather all your Patience and offer gifts to the smoke gods(small letters).May save you a bunch of frustration[​IMG].

    Have fun and.....

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