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Pulled Pork, what is the secret to crispy bark?


Joined Feb 26, 2011
I made my first pork shoulder today and the meat was moist and tasty, but what is the secret to a crispy bark? I did foil them at 165, but when I was done I had a ton of liquid in the foil.

If I don't foil them, I am assuming that will crisp the exterior, but are there any other secrets?


Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
Joined Oct 18, 2007
Yea if you foil you are going to soften up that bark. A lot of people don't foil at all or you could wait until a higher internal temp before you foil and you should have more bark that way. I always foil mine at 165  but I don't really care for much bark.


Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Joined Jun 5, 2009
First SAVE those juices & put them back into the meat after you pull it. As for the bark I mist mine after it gets to about 140 IT with an apple juice & captain Morgan blend. Just a quick light glaze don't keep the lid up long. The sugar in the booze Carmelizes & helps create bark!!


Master of the Pit
Joined Mar 31, 2010
If you use a sugar base rub that will help with the bark as well.. good luck and happy smoking


Rest in peace. Lost but not forgotten!!
Staff member
OTBS Member
Joined Feb 3, 2009
I also use the mes and w/ the water pan it's a REAL moist smoke. then when you foil it it adds more moisture. Not going to get much bark doing it that way.

 thur i did 2 butts and didnt foil till i pulled the butts to rest them.

 didn't use an ice chest just an hour on the stove  and into the fridge

 warmed them in steam the nexrt day just enough to be able to pull .

 everyone here said my best ever.  alot better bark w/o the foil step .

also ,You can use sand in your water pan to distribute the heat w/o adding the steam factor that water adds.


SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
Staff member
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
Joined Jun 22, 2009
A lot of guys here don't foil their butts at all, and they get the best bark, also more sugar in the rub increases the bark. Personally I like the flavor of the bark, but I like it softer so I always foil at 165-170. It's just personal preference. Try several different methods & find what you like.


Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Joined Jan 23, 2010
I love the bark on pulled pork so I do not foil at all.  Try it both ways and make up your own mind as how you like it

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