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My Smoker Won't Bark!

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hey now! I'm in Omaha, Ne. and have been smoking meat for about 10 years. I got started by making jerkey for my hunter buddies. They'd all gotten tired of the labor envolved with making jerky, but me (not a hunter at that time) was new to it and didn't, and still don't mind the effort it takes. Only now I'm only doin my own game. I use a Brinkman PitMaster Deluxe which is deffinetly an entry level smoker, but she has served me very well over the last decade. My biggest gripe is that I cannot seem to get my food to "bark" like I've seen and eaten so many times. I love my food to have that burnyness (yes, I also like to make up my own vocabulary) and my grill only turns food red. What gives? Is it because this grill has no baffle? Am I not preparing my meat correctly? I even used Jeff's rub this weekend and had red spare ribs. They were good as hell, but still not what I want to achieve. When I've tried Brisket, I have the same results. I am currently in the market for a new smoker. I've been eyeballing a LandMann BlackDog 42". I've never seen this grill in person, only online but it looks pretty nice and has more room that the Cimmaron. I guess I'm particular to a horizontal smoker and it [b]HAS[b]to be charcoal. Anybody know much about this grill? AND WHAT HAVE I BEEN DOING WRONG FOR SO MANY YEARS? I love the Smoking-Meat Forum and have had a blast reading evryone's posts.
GLAD TO BE HERE! icon_evil.gif
post #2 of 12
Type of rub has alot to do with it. Also higher temps and no foil. I use to do my butts fat cap up, but it hindered the bark formation. Fat cap down and I am rockin and rollin. Rubs with more sugar in them tend towards better bark also. Wrapping in foil will hurt bark formation some due to steaming the meat. So try and let a good bark form before wrapping with foil.

post #3 of 12
A couple of questions..
What do you spray/ mop with? Sugars and alcohol mixes are great.
Also, after smoking low and slow for the first 2 hrs have you tried cranking up the heat to 350*-375*? I did this last week and had a beautiful bark on my brisket. I hi-heated to 160* internal temp then foiled to 180* then unfoiled to 195*. Then pulled it off and let it rest for an hour.
Also, I found that spraying is better than mopping because you don't mop the rub off, better bark.
My $.02
post #4 of 12
Welcome, its good to have another Husker in the Crowd.PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif
post #5 of 12
Gotta agree with Flash and Xtex.Good advice. How long do you cook those ribs? What is your grate temp? Water pan or not?

I would advise to not mop or spritz as often, to make a tougher/darker bark, or possibly mixing some brown sugar with your mop/spray to help darken the outer layer. Fat cap down for sure!

Flash, that pic is makin my tummy growl!
post #6 of 12
Welcome to the site...............Glad to have you here........Don't forget to post q-view of your smokes for us..............
post #7 of 12
Everyone else has allready answered what my thoughts are (sugar in juices and alchohol), so all I can do is say welcome to SMF and I look forward to your future posts !!!
post #8 of 12
Slather some mustard on that S.O.B. before the rub, and smoke, I usually wait to mop or spritz until 2 or three hours of smoke has hit it too. Is slather a word or did I just make up some new english too?
post #9 of 12
LOL...U go Harry!

Beat me to it!

Dammit POINTS!
post #10 of 12
well if you can get your smoker to sit and rollover your good to go LOL
post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the help!

Thanks to everyone for the advice. The mop I use is a vinegar base with not much sugar. There is brown sugar in the rub but not a lot really. I keep my grill running 220-250 and smoked the ribs for seven and a half hours mopping every 45 min or hour after the first two hours. I think I will try upping the sugar a bit and and possibly even an apple/burbon mop with a sprayer. This weekend isounds like a good time to try the changes. I'll post some pics when I can, but my camera got dropped and isn't feeling so well lately.
Thanks again. I appreciate the support!
post #12 of 12
Try some apple juice in your mop, it works well for me.
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