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Bark Question

HI all,  I have had my LBGE for almost a year and love it.  I have been lurking on the forum for a while and learned quite a bit.  My question is on creating a better bark.  I am smoking a butt (small one 4.5LBS) tomorrow.  The previous butts have turning our very flavorful but i like more of a bark.  Will the bark be better if the butt is placed higher up in the egg? 

Thanks in advance

Comments

  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 11,214
    More sugar/more rub will help.  Moving it up higher in the dome will make it cook faster (it's hotter).
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • 500500 Posts: 1,215
    Your rub needs sugar in it. I use turbinado. But any sugar will help create the bark. Then there's the technique you use. The rendering of the fat helps to carmelize and create bark.
    Large BGE; Midlothian, Virginia
    I like Pig Butts and I can not lie.
    "Barbecue is a journey, one meal at a time."
  • More rub. You shouldn't be able to see any of the meat at all.

  • Charlie tunaCharlie tuna Posts: 2,191
    I think it has more to do with the temperature in the beginning of the cook -- When i used to cook butts in an offset cooker(before i found out about eggs), our rubs had very little sugar in it and we spritzed with vinegar/apple cider throughout the cook.  We always had 1/2 to 3/4 inch of bark surrounding the outside of the butts.  
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 11,214
    I think it has more to do with the temperature in the beginning of the cook -- When i used to cook butts in an offset cooker(before i found out about eggs), our rubs had very little sugar in it and we spritzed with vinegar/apple cider throughout the cook.  We always had 1/2 to 3/4 inch of bark surrounding the outside of the butts.  
    apple cider is loaded with sugar
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • Charlie tunaCharlie tuna Posts: 2,191
    Well that might have been the cause...
  • Another fun thing I do (I think I copied Griffin) is to hash cut the top and bottom about 1/4" and get more rub surface.  I know sugar works, but this one has just Dizzy Dust on it.  I just threw the bottle out, so I'm not sure if it has much sugar in it.  See these pics...
    Jan-Feb 2013 019.JPG
    3264 x 2448 - 2M
    Jan-Feb 2013 037.JPG
    3264 x 2448 - 3M
    Lovin' my Large Egg since May 2012 (Richmond, VA) ... and makin' cookbooks at http://familycookbookproject.com
  • JayHawkEyeJayHawkEye Posts: 170
    Do you wrap during te cook? That will soften what bark you have considerably.
    "Take yourself lightly, but what you do seriously." - M. Martin
    XL BGE - Johnston, IA
  • Spray it down with apple cider vinegar during the cook
  • Apple cider is loaded with sugar.......

  • The Cen-Tex SmokerThe Cen-Tex Smoker Posts: 11,315
    edited March 2013

    Another fun thing I do (I think I copied Griffin) is to hash cut the top and bottom about 1/4" and get more rub surface.  I know sugar works, but this one has just Dizzy Dust on it.  I just threw the bottle out, so I'm not sure if it has much sugar in it.  See these pics...

    It's loaded with sugar too.



  • I think it has more to do with the temperature in the beginning of the cook -- When i used to cook butts in an offset cooker(before i found out about eggs), our rubs had very little sugar in it and we spritzed with vinegar/apple cider throughout the cook.  We always had 1/2 to 3/4 inch of bark surrounding the outside of the butts.  

    apple cider is loaded with sugar

    Ha! Didn't see this....beat me to it.

  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 11,214
    I'm guilty of posting without reading all the time ;)  mea culpa!

    There's a cooks illustrated study on apple cider vinegar.  The vinegars that people liked the best had the most sugar (they actually sent them to a lab).  I dunno if the vinegar (acetic acid) does anything to help build bark, but the sugar sure does.
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • Another fun thing I do (I think I copied Griffin) is to hash cut the top and bottom about 1/4" and get more rub surface.  I know sugar works, but this one has just Dizzy Dust on it.  I just threw the bottle out, so I'm not sure if it has much sugar in it.  See these pics...
    It's loaded with sugar too.
    Well, there you go!  thx, C-T
    Lovin' my Large Egg since May 2012 (Richmond, VA) ... and makin' cookbooks at http://familycookbookproject.com
  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 4,233
    Luke_dogs said:
    ...The previous butts have turning our very flavorful but i like more of a bark.  Will the bark be better if the butt is placed higher up in the egg? 
    The bark forms best when the outside of the meat has mostly dried out. During an indirect cook, the dome zone is usually a little hotter. There is a better chance of a good bark cooking there.

    Once a lot of the meat's moisture has cooked out, the surrounding hot air will slowly bake/fry the fat and sugary rub to make a crispy and delicious bark. All the smoke flavor will sit on the bark.

    The problem I have had w. smaller pieces of butt is that the core temperature of the meat get too hot too long while the bark is forming. The meat ends up very gumm/chewey and not nearly as moist as it should be. I  mop w. oil later in the cook to keep the moisture in. Ends up better than just letting the meat go longer w/o the oil coat.
  • SkiddymarkerSkiddymarker Posts: 5,740
    Bark is better with a low and slow, 250-275 temp than at turbo temps. I think it has more to form. Sugar is the answer.... I don't spritz, never found it needed in the egg. 
    Delta B.C. - Vee-Gan: old Indian word for poor hunter. 
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