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Bark??? can't seem to get it

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

ok.. I've been smoking a while now.. I've done bacon, briskets, pork shoulders to tenderloins, tri-tips to flank steaks.. the flavors are fantastic.. meat is always moist juicy and freaking delicious. But i never seem to get that nice dark bark on my briskets and shoulders. I have my own rub that consists of paprika, granulated garlic, onion powder, sea salt, ground black pepper, ground coriander, turmeric, cayenne pepper, turbinado sugar and white sugar.  i sometimes add brown sugar to the meat if needed on pork etc. i smoke with cherry and apple. smoker temp stays nicely at 250-275 on a gas smoker. Any suggestions? th_wsmsmile0ly.gif

post #2 of 15
Thread Starter 

this is the smoker I'm using

post #3 of 15

only thing i can think of is ,Elec an gas smoker cabinets cause a lot of steam , may be enough to stop bark formation? ,Try sand in water pan instead of water?

post #4 of 15

And stop foiling, if you do that.

post #5 of 15
Good info there....... No Foil and No Water makes for great bark..... and the sand in the pan makes for smooth, even temps in the smoker...
post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 

thanx all!!! never thought of the water and steam thing... ill give that a shot.. i only foil ribs for the most part.. i have foil wrapped brisket but it didn't turn out to be my best work... thanx again.. illl report the results this weekend.. got an easter brisket to smoke..

post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 

sorry it took so ling to come back... i tried a few things in the smoker since the advice.. definite improvement but still lacking a bit... i think i don't have enough sugar in my rubs to caramelize properly.. i try to post some pics today..

post #8 of 15
I couldn't get good dark bark either, I started using yellow mustard to hold my rub an my bark is a nice dark almost black color now. No change in taste either. It isn't burnt, just a change in color.
post #9 of 15
I have the same smoker and no problem getting bark using water pan. Use mustard and add more brown sugar.
John

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post #10 of 15
Hmmm I haven't used my gas smoker in a while, but I have never had a problem getting good bark. When using it I have sand in the water pan ( foiled to keep clean). I cook my butts at a bit higher temp 265*-285*. I do not foil and apply light smoke the entire cook. No spritzing or mopping. I don't use a binder (mustard or whatever) sometimes I use brown sugar in the run but for the most part I do not. I also don't rub my butts until right before I put them on the smoker.
post #11 of 15
I was having trouble getting a good bark on my stick burner and i changed two things that helped majorly:

1) Use an elaborate amount of rub. I wasn't using nearly enough

2) Cook at higher temp. I never cook below 275 now.

These two things helped me greatly.
post #12 of 15
Albannach-What temps are you smoking at? The reason I ask is that turbinado sugar has a higher melting point vs. white or brown sugar. When I use turbo sugar, I ramp my cooking temps to 275°.
post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dutch View Post

Albannach-What temps are you smoking at? The reason I ask is that turbinado sugar has a higher melting point vs. white or brown sugar. When I use turbo sugar, I ramp my cooking temps to 275°.

ranging from 250-275 depending on the sun.. its in the 90s all week this week.. i did some beef ribs yesterday and it was hard to keep it below 275.... needles to say the were pretty fatty cuts and the melted away to nothing.. not very good

post #14 of 15
so sand makes for even cooking.
1. what about having the same issue on a pellet smoker?
2. what type of sand? white sand, gulf sand, aquarium sand, sanitized sand? boiled sand? paving sand? serious question, trying not to sound sarcastic.

3. by not foiling would the meat not likley dry out?

thanks for the reply, since i have a cheap Cabelas smoker, i'm currently getting no dark bark on my meat. it comes out mahogany looking, tasts great. but i want that dark tx bark.
post #15 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by goblin42 View Post

so sand makes for even cooking.
1. what about having the same issue on a pellet smoker?
2. what type of sand? white sand, gulf sand, aquarium sand, sanitized sand? boiled sand? paving sand? serious question, trying not to sound sarcastic.

3. by not foiling would the meat not likley dry out?

thanks for the reply, since i have a cheap Cabelas smoker, i'm currently getting no dark bark on my meat. it comes out mahogany looking, tasts great. but i want that dark tx bark.


Any sand.... Play sand would be a good start... I would rinse it with water/vinegar solution to "clean it"... All it is used for is thermal mass to reduce temp fluctuations....
With good air flow, the meat will "seal", like it would in a convection oven.... All dampers wide open to achieve the good air flow....
If you add water, the meat will not seal... All you are doing with water is steaming the meat....
Moist meat is best obtained from meat that has not been frozen.... Freezing ruptures cell walls and allows internal cell moisture to escape...
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