how much bark is too much?

Discussion in 'Pork' started by echarleston, Apr 9, 2015.

  1. echarleston

    echarleston Newbie

    i did a quick search and didn't see anything that related to this question very much so ill just ask!

    i consider myself an intermediate smoker and have done ribs, made my own bacon, fish, homemade sausage, meatballs, chicken, and quite a few butts.

    My question is how much bark is too much on pork butt? i find that beyond 4-5 hours of good smoke (applewood) the bark starts to get a little bitter and muddy tasting. usually what i do when the pork butt reaches about 160 degrees i take it out, wrap it in a thin layer of foil (fat side down) and put it back for the next few hours until it reaches 190 degrees. what are your thoughts on this process?

    If you have a better way to prevent the bar from getting bitter please tell me because i am afraid that when i wrap it in foil the bark losses some of its crisp meaty texture and becomes a little chewier and unlike good bark should be. 

    thanks for any help!!
  2. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    It's mostly up to personal taste. Some folks can't get enough bark. The thicker and blacker, the better. Personally, I'm not a fan of the black, bitter crust. I started off foiling like you do, and got decent results but, like you, found the crust went from crispy and flavorful to chewy. Then I tried cranking my smoker up to 300°. Who knew? A 7-8 lb butt gets done in 6-7 hours, there is no stall, no messing with foil, no staying up all night, no irritated dinner guests, no drama. The meat is incredibly tender but not mushy. It's also as juicy as can be. And the crust? It's perfect for me. Mahogany and crispy with just the flavor of the rub and smoke. No charring, no bitterness. Only other step is wrapping it and resting it for at least an hour after it comes off the smoker.
    Long story short, I can start a butt after breakfast, go about my day and have delicious pulled pork for dinner that very same day!
  3. seenred

    seenred Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    Agree with Boatbum...its a personal choice, and there's not really a wrong answer. Whatever bark you like is the the right amount. Myself, I like a little bark, but its not that important. If I'm in the mood and am not under a deadline to get it done, I'll leave a butt in the smoker, untouched and unfoiled the whole way. This certainly leads to a thick, crusty bark, but it takes longer to get done. If I'm more impatient, or if I have to have it done by a certain time, I pour the smoke to it until it gets to the stall (160* IT or so) then foil it until finished. This obviously leads to less bark.

  4. smokerterp

    smokerterp Newbie

    Kind of on a related note.... If I am smoking the pork shoulder all the way to the 195-205 range without wrapping, should I wrap before I place in a cooler to rest?

    Thanks in advance!:grilling_smilie:
  5. waterinholebrew

    waterinholebrew Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Yes, and wrap in a couple old towels as well... It'll say nice & warm during the rest !
  6. boykjo

    boykjo Sausage maker Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Welcome to SMF Echarleston and were glad to have you aboard. Can you swing over to roll call in introduce yourself so we can give you a proper welcome

    Thanks and happy smoking

  7. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    Double wrap with FOIL and add some liquid like apple juice or even whatever ale you might have on hand. Then towels in the cooler. 2 hour rest is preferable but how ever long you can wait. Patience is key.
  8. smokerterp

    smokerterp Newbie

    Thanks for the quick replies!
  9. inkjunkie

    inkjunkie Master of the Pit

    225 for as long as it foil. In the cooler for a couple of hours. No drama here. Stall as long as you like. It will be done when it is done, not a minute before. Too much bark? Pick it out....whiney guests? How far away is The nearest fast food joint? There is always a solution....
  10. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    If it tastes bitter you are doing something wrong. I helps to include details like what kind of smoker you are using and how you are using it. We are not mind readers but we do like to try helping out. So, if you really want an answer to this 1 post question come back. Lets shoot the breeze. By the way welcome. I see this is your first and only post. 

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