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Bark vs Juiciness: Can you have it all?

Discussion in 'Pork' started by smokeyjoenj, Feb 4, 2018.

  1. Hey guys. Been a lurker here for a long while and have learned so much from you all. Looking for some help with my pork butt technique. Over the years I've gone back and forth between leaving the butt on the grate for the entire cook and foiling at around 160 degrees. In my experience I've found that I get a much more moist and juicy finished product when I foil, at the expense of a nice crusty bark. Lately I've shifted to leaving the butt on for the whole cook. My family raves about the bark, but I see them reaching for the sauce more this way.

    I've tried to put a foil pan just below the grate to catch some of the drippings to mix back in when pulling, but they tend to cook off and become unusable due to the fact that the drip pan is sitting just above the heat deflector. For reference I'm cooking on a GMG Daniel Boone pellet cooker.

    I generally do a 12 hour brine beforehand, and then coat in Jeff's original rub for the crust.
    Any tips on retaining some more moisture in my finished product when cooking on the grate for the duration would be much appreciated!!
    IMG_20180204_113510_405.jpg IMG_20180204_122238_402.jpg
     
  2. radio

    radio Smoking Fanatic

    I have had success with foiling, adding a bit of Apple juice, then reserving that liquid. Unwrap and put back on the grates uncovered to tighten the bark up a bit more.
    Pretty much the way a lot of folks do ribs
     
  3. motocrash

    motocrash Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Try smoking it in a foil pan,unwrapped the whole time.
     
  4. petehalsted

    petehalsted Smoking Fanatic

    I don't do a lot of butt, but one thing I would add to your list of things to try to see what the results are would be to inject instead of brining. Or perhaps both. One of the great things about our obsession there are so many ways to get to a great final product.
     
  5. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    You can foil at 180F instead of 160F internal temp, and only use about 1 cup of additional hot liquid when you wrap. You won't get a crispy bark, but you it will be much firmer than wrapping at 160F, which gives no bark at all really. You still get plenty of jus you can add back to the meat too. Until I went exclusively "no wrap," I found the 180F wrap was a nice compromise.
     
  6. motolife313

    motolife313 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    IMG_7309.JPG I did a butt last night. I never foil anything. I pulled the temp probe and juices were coming out real good. The bark was good too
     
  7. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Epic Pitmaster Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    If you want useable drippings, add Apple Juice to the pan and add that to the pork. Finishing Sauces work magic too...JJ
     
  8. SmokinAl

    SmokinAl SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    You might try smoking it in a foil pan, I've done that many times.
    I leave it sitting in it's own juices & incorporate them into the PP, when pulling it.
    Al
     
  9. smokin vegas

    smokin vegas Smoking Fanatic

    Have you tried putting a pan of water inside your smoker while smoking your meat? My smoker has a pan built into for just that and I use 1 to 2 cups of water depending on how long I plan to smoke my meat.
     
  10. Thank you all for the prompt feedback and ideas. Looking forward to trying some of these out on my next cook!