Bark question.

Discussion in 'Beef' started by reardenreturns, May 2, 2011.

  1. reardenreturns

    reardenreturns Smoke Blower SMF Premier Member

    Ok, need some guidance here. Can someone explain the key factors that contribute to a good tasty bark on brisket? You all have seen stuff that I've posted here and for some reason, I'm not getting the tasty bark. What is on the outside is tasty, but not what I would consider "bark".

    A few initial thoughts:
    1. Could it be because on some occasions I've foiled the brisket during the last part of cooking?
    2. Is it a matter of rub (quantity, coverage, etc)?
    3. Is it a time/temperature thing?

    Any help here is greatly appreciated.
     
  2. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    I do not shoot 100% when making brisket so take what I say as just my observation.

    If you want brisket with bark dedicate the point to making burnt ends and cook to develop a great bark.  Don't foil the point after cutting it into chunks.  Return it to the smoker with a bit of sauce in an aluminum pan but let it dry a bit, it has more fat then the flat anyway so it should still be moist and develop the bark you are looking for.  

    The flat should be foiled and cooked till tender not necessarily emphasizing the bark.  The flat should be less fatty once the point is removed so you want to emphasis the cooking with liquid technique a bit more. 

    I am sure there are people on this board that can get a great bark on a moist flat but they are the very best brisket cookers.
     
  3. reardenreturns

    reardenreturns Smoke Blower SMF Premier Member

    [quote name="alblancher" url="/forum/thread/106023/bark-question#post_626565"]
    I do not shoot 100% when making brisket so take what I say as just my observation.



    If you want brisket with bark dedicate the point to making burnt ends and cook to develop a great bark.  Don't foil the point after cutting it into chunks.  Return it to the smoker with a bit of sauce in an aluminum pan but let it dry a bit, it has more fat then the flat anyway so it should still be moist and develop the bark you are looking for.  



    The flat should be foiled and cooked till tender not necessarily emphasizing the bark.  The flat should be less fatty once the point is removed so you want to emphasis the cooking with liquid technique a bit more. 



    I am sure there are people on this board that can get a great bark on a moist flat but they are the very best brisket cookers.
    [/quote]

    Interesting. I've only done a packer (flat plus point) once, but usually I only do the flats... This is helpful, thanks.
     
  4. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    You can still begin with a packer, just seperate the point from the flat when they reach about 170.  Should be pretty easy to do, the fat line between the two pieces of meat will allow you to basically pull them apart or use a dull knife to follow the fat line.
     
  5. smokinal

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

    To get good bark on a brisket you need to leave some fat on the outside, and if you really want nice bark, don't foil it. Here's a photo of a flat with some pretty good bark. I smoked this one without foiling it.

    [​IMG]

    As you can see it was still plenty juicy.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. reardenreturns

    reardenreturns Smoke Blower SMF Premier Member

    [quote name="SmokinAl" url="/forum/thread/106023/bark-question#post_626590"]
    To get good bark on a brisket you need to leave some fat on the outside, and if you really want nice bark, don't foil it. Here's a photo of a flat with some pretty good bark. I smoked this one without foiling it.
    [/quote]

    Looks awesome Al.. Can you tell me if you rubbed that, and if so, how thick did you put the rub on?
     
  7. smokinal

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

    The rub I used was just Brown sugar, onion powder, garlic powder, CBP, & Montreal steak seasoning. I really don't measure, but I would say that it was about 1/2 cu brown sugar & about 1 Tbs of each of  the other ingredients. I gave it a good coating, but I wouldn't call it thick.
     
  8. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    [​IMG]

    Now I have smoked with Al and he knows what he's talking about. More bark is easy add alittle more sugar to your rub and don't foil.
     
  9. reardenreturns

    reardenreturns Smoke Blower SMF Premier Member

    Thanks for the suggestions, All.. (and Al) :)
    I'm going to try that out this weekend. I'll give an update when I have one.
     
  10. africanmeat

    africanmeat Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Reardenreturns thanks for the    question Al thanks for the answer 

    every day you learning  something    new here at MSF[​IMG]

    Ahron[​IMG]
     
  11. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Also if you want tha balance of moisture and bark you can use a trick I discovered:

    1. Smoke brisket till it hits 165° internal temp.

    2. Wrap in foil or put in foil pan with a bottle of beer.

    3. When the internal temp. gets to 190º take it out of the foil/pan and put it back onto the grates. The temp. will drop to about 180° real fast, then let it sit till it gets to 200°, roughly 4-5 hrs.

    During that last 4-5 hrs. the bark sets back up, but you also had the added benefit of the extra liquid during the cooking process. You end up with really tastey bark that isn't mushy, but also isn't like eating charcoal.
     
  12. Johnny's idea sounds like the lick. You're all over it today Johnny. Ain't ya.[​IMG]
     
  13. hardslicer

    hardslicer Smoking Fanatic

    learn something everyday on this site......I love it!
     
  14. reardenreturns

    reardenreturns Smoke Blower SMF Premier Member

    Thanks for all the advice. I'll give some of those hints a try next weekend!
     

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