Bark Question

Discussion in 'Pork' started by mkriet, Apr 5, 2016.

  1. mkriet

    mkriet Smoking Fanatic

    So I made my first butt this weekend, which was juicy and fantastic. However, like always, I'm looking for ways to make it better. One thing I would like to do is get that crisp, crunchy bark.

    1. I fouled my meat the last time. I'm guessing to keep a bark there is no foiling, correct?

    2. How much longer does it take to get to temp this way?

    3. Does anyone ever have trouble with the meat drying out this way?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    1. Yes

    2. 2 maybe 3 hours.

    3. No. Butts have enough collagen and fat to stay juicy.

    Another option for lots of bark is to cut the meat into 2 to 4 pieces. The smaller cuts cook faster with little stall and the greater surface area makes for greater bark...JJ
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2016
  3. cliffcarter

    cliffcarter Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    1. Yes, same as JJ.

    2. JJ is correct, but if you cook at 300° it will take the same amount of time as it does when foiling( or perhaps a bit less)

    3. No, same as JJ.
  4. mkriet

    mkriet Smoking Fanatic

    Is there any down side to cooking at higher temps?
  5. cliffcarter

    cliffcarter Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    IMHO there are none- the quality of the finished product is the same (or better), the cooks take less time and are more predictable as to when the meat will be done- ie. at the proper temperature. This means no more overnighters or those nasty "when is it going to be done" looks from the wife.[​IMG]
  6. mkriet

    mkriet Smoking Fanatic

    I know exactly what you mean. How hot are you talking? 300, 350?
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2016
  7. cliffcarter

    cliffcarter Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    I prefer 300°-325°.
  8. mkriet

    mkriet Smoking Fanatic

    Well, I'm going to give this a shot in about two weeks. I'll let you know how it goes.
  9. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Very interesting. Never cooked a butt hot & fast.

    I kinda like the overnight smokes.

  10. mkriet

    mkriet Smoking Fanatic

    All, I'm not sure what kind of snooker you have, but with that little vertical charcoal smoker I have, it needs attention about every hour, so an overnight smoke doesn't sound as appealing to me at the moment.

    However, I'm building a smokehouse right now, so I may try that when I get that thing rolling.
  11. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Caution, temps much over 300 will burn any sugar in the rub...JJ
    russell page likes this.
  12. mkriet

    mkriet Smoking Fanatic

    JJ, do you think if I put on a run with little sugar, and then used a spritz later in the smoke I would be okay? Our maybe a finishing sauce/glaze?

  13. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Sure, If you wish to add sweet at or near the end, that is fine...JJ
  14. mkriet

    mkriet Smoking Fanatic

    JJ, I've already learned in my short time on here that you sure know how to cook. Do you have any finishing sauce/glaze that you've used in the past that you wouldn't mind sharing?
  15. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Thanks for the kind words my Friend...Here are the two most popular Finishing Sauces of mine. One is sweet and one tangy. Both are adjustable to swing one way or the other and feel free to add Heat or a flavor you like. I will include a KC style BBQ Sauce. I regularly put the Tangy finishing Sauce "IN" the pork and then the KC Bubba Q Juice "ON" the sandwich. This combo gives Layers of sweet and sour...JJ

    Foiling Juice / Sweet Pulled Pork Finishing Sauce

    Foiling Juice

    For each Rack of Ribs Combine:

    1T Pork Rub, yours

    1/2 Stick Butter

    1/2C Cane Syrup... Dark Corn Syrup...or Honey

    1/4C Apple Cider...or Juice

    1T Molasses

    Optional: 2T Apple Cider Vinegar. Add 2T Mustard and 1/4C Ketchup to make it more of a KC Glaze.

    Simmer until a syrupy consistency.

    Allow to cool for 5 minutes, pour over foiled Ribs and

    run your 2 hour phase of 3-2-1. For the last phase return

    the ribs to the smoker BUT reserve any Juice remaining

    in the Foil. Simmer the Juice over med/low heat to reduce to a saucy thickness. Glaze the Ribs for presentation or service.

    For a Sweet Finishing Sauce for Pulled Pork:  Make a Double batch, skip the Butter.

    If you plan to Foil the meat, add 1/2 the batch to the Foil Pack or place it in a Pan with your Butt, when the IT hits 165*F.

    Cover the pan with foil and continue to heat to 205*F for pulling.

    At 205* rest or hold the Butt in a cooler wrapped in towels until ready to serve.

    Pull the Pork and place it back in the pan with the pan Juices and any additional reserved Foiling Juice to moisten, the meat should be shiny and juicy but not swimming in sauce. Serve while hot...OR... Bag and refrigerate until needed.

    If you choose to Not Foil or Pan the Butt. Add the Finishing Sauce to the pulled meat before serving. Add the hot Finishing Sauce a little at a time until the Pork is moistened, again the meat should be shiny but not swimming in sauce.

    When re-heating place the Pulled Pork in a Pan or Crock pot and add reserved Foiling Juice or Apple Cider, as needed to make up the Juice that was absorbed while the pork was refrigerated. Cover and re-heat in a pre-heated 325-350*F oven or on High in the crock pot to 165*F and Serve.

    I was AMAZED...No additional sauce needed. ENJOY...JJ

    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 Red Pepper Flake. Add more if you like Heat.

    1/2 tsp Grnd Allspice

    Combine all and whisk well. This is a thin sauce, bring just to a simmer and remove from heat. Adjust sweetness by adding Brn Sugar or additional Vinegar as desired...Makes about 2 Cups.

    For a Lexington Style Dip  add, 1/2C Ketchup and 1-3tsp Red Pepper Flakes...

    KC Bubba Q Juice

    2C Ketchup

    1/2C Brown Mustard (Gulden's)

    1/4C Apple Cider Vinegar

    1/2C Molasses

    2C Dark Brn Sugar

    1T Tomato Paste

    1T Your Rub

    1-2tsp Liquid Smoke

    1tsp Worcestershire Sauce

    Combine all and warm over low heat just until it starts to bubble. Simmer about 5 minutes, stirring very frequently, to combine flavors and to thicken slightly.

    Use or pour into a sterile jar and refrigerate for up to 4 weeks.

    Makes 3 1/2 Cups.
    joel11230 likes this.
  16. krusmoke

    krusmoke Newbie

    Side question related to temps. Is there a point where the meat stops absorbing smoke because of internal temp? I read that somewhere so I tend to smoke low and long to get the most of the smoke flavor.
  17. joe black

    joe black Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    All of the above folks have given really good tips. My smoker likes to run at 260-275* and that suits most of my cooking. I try to hold it down a little for a beef roast and try to push it closer to 300* for chicken. Also, I really like to use a good light finishing sauce, just enough to keep the meat moist and give it a little kick in the flavor dept. I don't like to spritz anything. It lets too much heat out. As for sugar, I use Turbinado sugar and it will take temps up to 400* or more.

    Good luck and good smokin', Joe.
  18. mkriet

    mkriet Smoking Fanatic

    Idk if it stops completely, but I have heard it takes most of the smoke at the lower temps
  19. mkriet

    mkriet Smoking Fanatic

    I'm going to get some tbs. I've heard a couple ppl talk about it now, and I agree I don't want to let out that much heat
  20. smokefever

    smokefever Smoking Fanatic

    Awesome tips from everyone. I personally like to stay between 275-300 when cooking buts. I never foil and always have amazing bark and super tender pulled pork. Experiment and see what works best for you. Good luck!

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