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Can't get a good bark. Help??

Sdavidson0316Sdavidson0316 Posts: 2
edited October 2012 in Pork

Hi,

Long time reader but first time posting up and asking a question. Thanks in advance to anyone who helps.

Here's my problem: I have been working with my egg for over a year now and I feel like I've gotten pretty good at making pork shoulders. The taste, moisture, and consistency are all exactly what I would like them to be. The problem is that I just can't get a good bark. I LOVE bark, it's my favorite part of BBQ, so obviously this is a killer for me.

Here's what I do:

  • I typically use a brown sugar based rub that I sprinkle on heavily (or what I think is heavily)
  • Cook at 250ish with a PitmasterIQ for 8-12 hours (depending on how quick I need it to be done). I typically use the set-it-and-forget-it mode. The Egg usually only gets opened once or twice in the 12 hours.
  • Usually use a combination of Apple and Mesquite chips
  • I've tried mustard rubs and spraying with cider/vinegar, but not every time.

Here's a shot of what I normally get:image

Any thoughts on what I can do to get a better bark? Please don't assume I know anything, I'm mostly self-taught here so there may be something very elementary that I have missed.

THANKS!

Comments

  • wow- you need to use way more rub. Put it on so you can't see the meat at all. Also, try Dizzy Pig or another brand of commercial rub. I use dizzy dust and you litteraly cold crack the crust with a hammer. I have to be careful not to use too much or it's so hard you cant' eat it.
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  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 20,691
    put a rub on, then mustard, then the brown sugar and dont baste or spritz. dont wash off the rubs or sugars with a basting type liquid
  • SmokeyPittSmokeyPitt Posts: 9,185
    It looks like you are using a pork picnic there.  Nothing wrong with that- but the bark won't form as well on that part with the skin.  You could trim/peel off the skin which might help.   To get the best bark, I would suggest getting a boston butt and trim off the fat cap, then liberally apply your rub on all sides.  Happy smokin! 



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  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 20,691
    It looks like you are using a pork picnic there.  Nothing wrong with that- but the bark won't form as well on that part with the skin.  You could trim/peel off the skin which might help.   To get the best bark, I would suggest getting a boston butt and trim off the fat cap, then liberally apply your rub on all sides.  Happy smokin! 
     i didnt see that, get rid of the fat and skin

  • EggcelsiorEggcelsior Posts: 13,347
    The "tablespoon per side" guidelines is a joke. Slather on the rub, let it sit for a while to start to dissolve(it will look wet) and then add more rub. I usually rub, wait 10-20 minutes, rub, wrap in saran wrap and foil then refrigerate overnight. I then rub it one more time prior to putting on the grill. Be careful with some pre-made rubs using this, as they are typically salt-based and can overpower everything. If you stick with a sugar-based rub(as you stated) you will have yummy salty-caramel/bacon/spicy flavor......
       image

    Also, are you using a water pan or foiling at all? It just looks like a pizza stone on the grid in your picture. If so, this can increase humidity and decrease bark development. There is no real need for adding moisture to the egg as the ceramic retains moisture really well and pork can be really hard to dry out in it.
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 22,194
    edited October 2012
    More rub = more bark. 

    (early) basting = less rub = less bark

    foiling = more surface moisture = softer bark

    I don't use the girly-sprinkle holes on the rub jar.  I open the wolf-brand side, or just remove the lid entirely,  and dump it on, and pat it in/spread it with my hand. 
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  • I'll try to answer them all at once.

    • Yes that was a picnic, but that's not my normal cut, just the picture I had. I typically do a shoulder/boston butt. I have just recently started cutting off the collar...like within the past few.
    • I'm not using a water pan or foil. I go back and forth between the pizza stone (Pampered Chef, not BGE, since the temps are low) and just putting it directly on the grate.
    • I haven't ever seen the saran wrap thing before...that's a good idea.

     

    Keep it coming, I'm loving this! :)

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