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How to minimize bark on a boston butt?

Discussion in 'Pork' started by bigdaddybama, Feb 1, 2011.

  1. bigdaddybama

    bigdaddybama Newbie

    My wife does not like the bark on the butts I smoke. I have been using my offset but I plan on trying my “new to me” Masterbuilt Electric smoker this weekend.

    Is there anything I can do to minimize the bark. I love the bark but my wife thinks it is bunt meet and that it is bad for me. (She is trying to take care of me)[​IMG]

    I usually use a “McCormick Grill Mate Barbecue Seasoning” rub and then I spray it with a mixture of apple juice and apple cider vinegar during the smoke. I smoke at 225 until I reach 195 internal.

    Any pointers would greatly be appreciated.


  2. waysideranch

    waysideranch Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Cut all bark off and save for you and your buddys.  Give her the crap in the middle.  Lol.  Bark is king here.
  3. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    When it hits 165,foil it and add some apple juice.

    Then on to your fav temp.

  4. What Craig said.  Only try it with a little dark beer instead of apple juice.  NewCastle Brown ale works great. 
  5. garyt

    garyt Smoking Fanatic

    is it the flavor or the color she dosent like, could be the rub or other thing making it bad
  6. les3176

    les3176 Master of the Pit

    Yep foil is a great way to stop the bark monster!!! In a electric smoker you will not get the same bark that you get from charcoal smokers anyway. so she might like that better.
  7. scarbelly

    scarbelly Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member

    I would cut it into two pieces and smoke one for her and one for you.  Like the others said, foil hers at 165 and add some liquid. That way you both get what you want   
  8. meateater

    meateater Legendary Pitmaster SMF Premier Member

  9. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Love the bark

    I would keep it foiled and others said, and keep the bark separate.

  10. SmokinAl

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

    PP is not PP without the bark, but foiling it will soften it up, and you won't get as much with the MES.. You can always do like Wayside said just cut it off.
  11. I would cut out the sugar. You may also have to wrap in foil before the internal temp gets to 160. Usually by that time, bark has already started to form.
  12. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Foil it at 165 and take it to 205 and see what she thinks if it. There will be some bark but it won't be so hard and thick as it is when you don't foil it. I bet she will like it that way. But like the others asked what part of it doesn't she like? Taste, texture, flavor of the rub on the outside?
  13. bigdaddybama

    bigdaddybama Newbie

    Thanks for all of the help. I will try the foil this weekend. My wife loves the pulled pork, but she thinks the bark is burnt meat which has been reported to cause cancer.

    Again thanks,

  14. Sounds like pure speculation to me. I don't think there has been any hard data to link cancer risk with smoked meats or burnt meat for that matter. Like others said smoke till 165 and wrap in foil with a bit of apple cider vinegar or liquid of your choice. The bark wont be quite as thick and noticeable then. If that doesn't shut her up then go with the MES, which will have allot less bark than a charcoal smoked PP.
  15. the dude abides

    the dude abides Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I'm sure others have said some of the same things.  But here's my advice to reduce the amount of bark...

    1) Reduce the amount of sugar in your rub.  Sugar burns and burnt sugar = crunchy bark

    2) Cook at a low temp (200-225) at that temp it'll be tough to develop a bark at a low temp

    3) Foil at 165 and take to a final temp of 200-205.  That'll make the meat tender enough to pull and soften any exterior "bark" you may have created.

    There are two other options...follow with extreme care

    4) Make it in a crock pot with BBQ sauce and liquid smoke

    5) Either find a new wife or tell her you'll be fine with a little bark every once in a while.

    Just my $0.02.  Good luck

    FYI  4&5 are not recommended.  That'll be worse for your health than whatever a little bark every once in a while will do to you.
  16. SmokinAl

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

    Dude you are brutal.   [​IMG]
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2011
  17. jjw

    jjw Smoke Blower

    take the sugar out of the rub.

    also, keep it away from the firebox.
  18. cole

    cole Fire Starter

    Spray it often, wrap it early, and finish in the oven.  That is my 2 cents.
  19. bigdaddybama

    bigdaddybama Newbie

    Thanks for all the help. Ya'll are great. I started the Masterbuilt electric at 3:00am and loaded the butt at 5:00am. I am going to foil at about 155 - 160. I will post an update when it is done.


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  20. bigdaddybama

    bigdaddybama Newbie

    The butts turned out OK. Very little bark (like my wife wanted) but a little dry. I did not take it off until 205 degrees which is a little more than usual. I also smoke some Mac and cheese and it was less than OK. Here are some pics.



    Again, thanks for all of the advice. I guess this is just part of the learning phase.