Getting the best bark on your butt?

Discussion in 'Pork' started by texaspescado, May 9, 2014.

  1. texaspescado

    texaspescado Newbie

    Hey guys, new to the forum; I look forward to learning and contributing to this community!

    I'm going to be doing my 2nd butt on my Weber kettle on Saturday. It's a 9Lb'r. I plan on putting it on 20 hours before the planned eating time, so I think I'll be fine, and if it finishes early I'll double foil/towel wrap and throw in the cooler. My question is about how to get the best bark. I've heard use water in drip pan/use drip pan without water, foil at 150/don't foil at all, spritz or mop/don't spritz or mop. Does letting it rest in the foil/towels for an hour or so affect the bark? Also, should I trim away some fat and remove the skin? If so, how much? 

    Like I said, this is my 2nd butt. My first one came out great but I wasn't too happy with the bark. I didn't foil through the stall but used water in the pan. I really want to hit this one out of the park, so what say ye professionals of smoked meats?  
  2. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I don't foil, and don't use water. I prefer a dry smoke chamber. Get great bark nice moist meat. I also run my smoker at 265-285.
  3. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    No water or foil here. Rub it and cook it. I cook butts at 250 - 300. All depends on how fast I want it done. Hotter cooks you don't even notice the stall.
  4. worktogthr

    worktogthr Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    I'm with dirtsailor. No foil, higher temp, no water pan. I even cook them at higher temp...300 or there abouts. Also, any butt over 6 pounds or so I cut in half. Cuts down on the cook time and most importantly, more of that delicious bark!
  5. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    If you want, only add about 2 Cups of Water to the pan. This will keep things moist, about 3-4 hours, for good smoke penetration then evaporate and set the Bark. If you want firm Bark, no foiling and smoke straight through. Your 2 hour per pound plus a rest is solid for temps in the 225-250° range. At temps 275 and up, 1.5 hours per pound will get the job done.Don't foil for the rest just tent with foil. It will stay hot 30-60 minutes and allow steam to escape. Definitely remove the skin and expose the meat. Butts have plenty of internal fat so the surface fat is not really needed. Use a Rub that contains Turbinado Sugar (Sugar in the Raw). This will contribute to a good bark without burning. Below are a couple of Recipes you may like to try...JJ

    Mild Bubba Q Rub  (All Purpose)

    1/2C Sugar in the Raw (Turbinado)

    2T Sweet Paprika (Hungarian)

    1T Kosher Salt

    1T Chili Powder (contains some Cumin and Oregano) Ancho Chile is same without cumin, oregano etc.

    1T Granulated Garlic

    1T Granulated Onion

    1tsp Black Pepper, more if you like

    1/2tsp Grnd Allspice

    For more heat add Cayenne or Chipotle Pwd to taste, start with 1/2tsp and go from there.

    Other additions you may like are, 1 tsp each Cumin and Mexican Oregano...

    Tangy Pulled Pork Finishing Sauce

    This is more of an Eastern North Carolina style Finishing Sauce...

    2 C Apple Cider Vinegar

    2T Worcestershire Sauce or more to taste

    1/4C Brown Sugar

    1T Smoked Paprika

    2 tsp Granulated Garlic

    2 tsp Granulated Onion

    2 tsp Fine Grind Black Pepper

    1 tsp Celery Salt

    1 tsp Cayenne Pepper or Chipotle powder. Add more if you like Heat.

    1/2 tsp Grnd Allspice

    Combine all and whisk well. Let rest, at room temp, a minimum of 30 minutes for the flavors to meld together. Or bring just to a simmer and remove from heat...JJ
    Last edited: May 9, 2014
  6. texaspescado

    texaspescado Newbie

    Thanks guys! I think I have a game plan now! 

    JimmieJ, Thanks for the recipes. I just bought some more Dizzy Pig course grind Dizzy Dust that I'm going to use for this cook, but I'll try yours in the future. Also made up some finishing sauce tonight that is a very similar recipe to the one you posted.

    Thanks for all the quick responses; I'll post some pics of the final product on Sunday. 
  7. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Pescado. Hello and a big TEXAS welcome to our forum. [​IMG]

    I have been smoking without foil for years ( except for those occations when curiosity overwhelmed me and I tried a wrapped Spare Rib ) last time for that, it was loose and the meat fell off the bones.  Myron Mixon . . .POO[​IMG]

    Here's a shot of my Ribs and Butt :
    Cracked when picked up , had a nice bite(no tug) and were an absolute hit with the Father in law.

    Butts come out with a rich Mahogany color and the Bark excellent.

    In my honest opinion , naked is best.
    a shot of the Bark...this one came out and all I had to do to shred it , was press down on it, juicy.

    Have fun and . . .
    Last edited: May 15, 2014

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