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Pork butt bark

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
When I smoke a pork butt I end up with a thick, hard, dry bark on my smoked pork butts. Normally, I'll pull out the biggest chunks during pulling. I am using a mustard on the meat then covered with rub. I spray the butts down with apple juice during the smoking process.

I didn't really know anything was wrong until this weekend when we stopped at a local BBQ joint. The pulled pork was moist and delicious. I didn't care much for the rub cause it was way salty (i.e. chewing on a salt lick salty). What struck me was the bark was thin and moist. Excusing the saltiness of the rub, it was actually edible.

So what am I doing wrong?
post #2 of 7
Some would say you are doing everything exactly right! Many people like the bark to be somewhat dry and crunchy i.e. "bark". However, good Q is an individual thing. If you like it moist, then that's how you should have it. Are you foiling your butt? If not, I guarantee that a few hours of foiled cooking will soften that bark right up for you, as you are trapping the cooking juices in the foil and braising. Foil when the temp reaches around 165, then continue to cook until temp hits about 195 to 200. Let it the foiled wrapped meat rest at least an hour before pulling. Most do this by wrapping it in an old blanket or towel then putting it in a cooler. Give it a try.
post #3 of 7
What he said ^ and also maybe trim the fat a little closer down. I like less than 1/8 inch fat cap.
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
Foiling..... Hmm I foil the butts when they hit 205 then wrap them in towels and store in a cooler until service. I'll have to try foiling at 165 to finish at 205. Thanks.
post #5 of 7
Foiling at 160 - 165 with some moisture = softer bark.
Smoking without foiling = crunchy thicker bark.
One of those preference things. I have actually done 2 butts at the same time... foil one.... let the other one go... then mix the two. I love the crunchy bark cut up and hiding in my sandwich.
post #6 of 7
Putting on a mustard slather will also help create a thicker bark. I've taken to skipping the mustard slather on mine since I like a thinner bark, though definitely want it crispy.

What the folks above said about foiling vs non-foiling is the gospel, so you can take that advice to the bank.
post #7 of 7
You are waiting to long to foil. Try Mule's advice and you will be happy.
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