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Need More Bark

crunkcrunk Posts: 94
edited April 2012 in EggHead Forum

My last few Butts have been excellent as far as the taste goes but I dont feel like I am getting enough bark. My philosophy is "the more bark the better the butt"...so my question is what can I do to create a lot of bark on the butt???

Thanks in advance..

Crunk

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Comments

  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    Slather in mustard and coat with rub, brown sugar, etc.

    Dont foil, either

    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
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  • ChubbsChubbs Posts: 5,223
    Like stike said, no foil.
    Columbia, SC --- LBGE 2011 -- MINI BGE 2013
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  • boatbumboatbum Posts: 1,273

    scrape the fat - clean as best you can.   Last butt I brought home - thinking it weighed 8.5 - I probably took .5 to a lb off of the fat.

    My wife loves bark, crisp and cruchy.   So my cooking is optimized towards that.   I don't think rub sticks well to fat on the outside.

    After I clean all of the external fat I can off, I coat with my "favorite rub at the time" on top of a mustard coat, then wrap in plastic to marinate for a couple of hours in the fridge.

    When I take it out of the fridge - I put a bit more rub on - then take brown sugar, and rub in all over.   Probably a half a cup over the surface of the butt.    The sugar is what carmelizes with the rub and forms the bark.

    As said above - if you want to optimize bark - NO FOIL.   I put a butt on, don't open the dome till the maverick says 195 internal - then I start monitoring the tenderness, watching for the piece to be done.

    After the stall is complete, when I start moving out of the 170's - bump the heat, take it to 300 dome, put some heat in to crisp the outside and finish it off.

    I know what you mean - I am all about the bark when I am cooking butt's or brisket.....Hope my comments are useful - adapt to your own cooking style.

     

    Cookin in Texas
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  • Don't use the binder (mustard) you don't need it and it adds liquid to the bark, therefore softening it. There is plenty of moisture on the butt to hold the rub. no foil and don't rest it if you can help it. All these should help.

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  • Sorry Stike. Didn't see you wrote that about the mustard :). Thought he was using mustard already and was suggesting to stop an see if that helped.

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  • boatbumboatbum Posts: 1,273
    Don't use the binder (mustard) you don't need it and it adds liquid to the bark, therefore softening it. There is plenty of moisture on the butt to hold the rub. no foil and don't rest it if you can help it. All these should help.


    Cen Tex -- Have read your posts, and greatly respect your experince and knowledge.   Though I do not agree with your comment about the binder.

    The binder is necessary to accumlate the agents that will form the bark, the binder does not add appreciable moisture to the meat.  If you rely on the extenral fat to hold the rub/sugar - that will render and run off.  Mustard will render much slower than external fat and allow the rub/sugar to bind to the surface.

    I stand by my original reccomendation - three biggest problems with bark creation

    1.   Foil

    2.   Not cleaning surface fat

    3.   Not enough sugar in the rub to carmelize

     

     

    Cookin in Texas
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  • BotchBotch Posts: 3,198
    Weekend Assignment:  Everyone shall cook a butt, mustard on one half and none on the other.
    Report back here Sunday night.
    With comments.  And Photos.


    :D
    _____________________________________________
     
    Live fast, die young, and leave a well-marbled corpse.  
     
    Ogden, Utard.  
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  • No worries boatbum! Binders can add moisture to the RUB not the meat. Mustard is not normally and issue but was suggesting that if you are using a binder to stop and see if it helps. I use no binder and I get crazy bark (no runoff or rendering at all). Use dizzy dust (bark in a bottle) :)

     Thanks for the kind words and I know more than anyone that thaere are a lot of ways to get good results. i love reading it all and have learned a ton from all of you keep it comin'!

    I'm doing that brisket tonight (a week late!). I'll throw mustard on half @botch. I ain't skeared :))




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  • Mighty_QuinnMighty_Quinn Posts: 1,878
    Mustard guy here...I've done it both ways (although not simultaneously as a side by side comparison) and do believe there is a noticeable improvement in the bark when using mustard.
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  • Mustard guy here...I've done it both ways (although not simultaneously as a side by side comparison) and do believe there is a noticeable improvement in the bark when using mustard.
    Alright, alright, mustard users. Calm yer arses down! When people have soft crust, i tell them to skip the binder and see if that helps. I've had great crust both ways so I don't use any binders because I didn't see any benefit and I'm lazy. If mustard gives you big thick crust, by all means get after the mustard! 


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  • So I'll do mustard on half the top and half the bottom so some is on the fat cap and some is on the meat.We are gonna figure this out tonight!



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  • MickeyMickey Posts: 16,410
    @Mighty Quinn, are you sure we didn't have the same Mothers? We both cook "lazy" =))
    Salado TX Egg Family: 2 Large and a very well used Mini, just added a Mini Max (I'm good for now). 

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  • Mighty_QuinnMighty_Quinn Posts: 1,878
    I guess I'm not totally sure Mickey...


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  • That was actually me but I hit the "enter button twice" and it showed up a quinn. My bad, I'm the lazy one



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  • BTW Mickey- drove through your lovely town today. Rolled down the window to see if I could smell the good stuff :)



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  • horsefleshhorseflesh Posts: 204
    Sugar may improve the bark, but it certainly isn't necessary. I use Bad Byron's Butt Rub, which contains no sugar, and my bark is OK.

    Foil definitely reduces bark. However I find that foiling towards the end keeps any of the exterior from drying out. My yields are better with foil, even if the bark is a little lesser. 
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  • boatbumboatbum Posts: 1,273

    Sugar isn't "required" for bark ( though check your label, most rub's have sugar ).

    The question was improving the bark - just saying abou tmy experience.    rubbing that extra brown sugar on there will make it bark "better".   But the other factors are actually bigger impacts - foiling and not scraping the fat.   

    Cookin in Texas
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  • tjvtjv Posts: 3,324
    If you watch the meat, it will tell you some good things about where you are in the cook.  I've found the majority of bark development occurs when the meat gets near the plateau stage.  Not so much because this is the back end of the cook but because as the fat/collagens breakdown the meat sweats.  It's most noticeable with briskets packers.  Once I see this sweat, I know the best bark development is about to start.  

    Can see some sweating on the back side of the left butt.

    image   

    On the brisket below, you can see the top starting to sweat and not much bark but the sides where the meat is a little drier (sweating out), there is bark developing.  

    image

    Like others have said, extended use of foil during a cook can wash away bark.  Also, running a little hotter can help with bark.

    tom
    www.ceramicgrillstore.com ACGP, Inc.
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  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 17,106
    i buy the butts with no fat on the exterior. put rub on heavey, then mustard, then another coat of rub. rub the mess in by hand till the mustard turns dark. sprinkle on another coat of rub, i like this last rub to be a strong flavored rub as it seems to mellow during the cook. yes thats three coatings of rub. no foil, no fat, no basting, basted a butt once and no bark to speak of
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  • KingRoverKingRover Posts: 115
    edited April 2012

    @crunk

    I got a fantastic thick, crunchy bark using a coffee rub and laying it on thick. The butt was trimmed, no fat cap, no foiling, used mustard. http://eggheadforum.com/discussion/comment/1168481

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  • No binder. Just dry rubbed and smoked.............didn't trim the fat cap either

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  • @crunk

    I got a fantastic thick, crunchy bark using a coffee rub and laying it on thick. The butt was trimmed, no fat cap, no foiling, used mustard. http://eggheadforum.com/discussion/comment/1168481

    That looks awesome!

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  • MaskedMarvelMaskedMarvel Posts: 1,294
    I did a side by side a few weeks ago, and though the thread doesn't say - we couldn't tell the difference between the two.  Visually, nor otherwise.


    Large BGE -- Greensboro!


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  • Thanks MM. I haven't noticed a difference when I did it either so I bailed on it a few years ago because I'm lazy and that was one more thing to clean up. Sorry bout the dog. Lost ours 6 mo ago. Sucks but we move forward.

    Thanks for the insight.



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  • boatbumboatbum Posts: 1,273
    Nice looking brisket cen-Tex. My plan was to stop by the meat store after I land and pick up a packer to cook tomorrow. Given the weather forecast for north Texas this weekend, I think I will pass.
    Cookin in Texas
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  • That's actually a butt i did a few weeks ago. Brisket going on tonight to settle the great mustard debate (does it make a difference?). I see you guys are headed for bad weather this weekend. We look ok till Sunday so I'm knocking one out tonight.

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