Big Green Egg - EGGhead Forum - The Ultimate Cooking Experience...
Welcome to the EGGhead Forum - a great place to visit and packed with tips and EGGspert advice! You can also join the conversation and get more information and amazing kamado recipes by following Big Green Egg at:

Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Instagram  |  Pinterest  |  Youtube  |  Vimeo
Share your photos by tagging us and using the hashtag #EGGhead4Life.


In Atlanta? Come visit Big Green Egg headquarters, including our retail showroom, the History of the EGG Museum and Culinary Center!  3786 DeKalb Technology Parkway, Atlanta, GA 30340.

Disappointing bark results/remedies?

I have tried over and over to get decent bark when cooking on my egg and just cannot get anything close to what I would like to achieve or have been able to achieve using other smokers.

I've added more smoke wood, used chips sprinkled throughout, spritzed with cider vinegar, cooked turbo, low and slow, put meat on cold, put meat on after letting it sit out, tried multiple types of rubs and increased and decreased the amount of rub and just cannot get good bark color.

Any other thoughts as to why this is happening? Most of the time I end up with a dark mahogany color rather than a dark black. The taste is always good but I'm just stumped. I know it's achievable on the egg because several of you folks have done it, I've seen the pics so I know it did happen.  What say you?

Rockwall, Tx    LBGE, 36" Stainless Blackstone Griddle, Contemplating which size Egg to get next. Cast Iron Hoarder.

"You may all go to Hell and I will go to Texas"- Davy Crockett

«13

Comments

  • 510BG510BG Posts: 125
    edited September 4
    I'll be watching this thread. I have the same issue.  I'm guessing it has to do with how the egg was assembled. 
  • ColtsFanColtsFan Posts: 2,126
    510BG said:
    I'll be watching this thread. I have the same issue.  I'm guessing it was to do with how the egg was assembled. 
    Come again?
    Two large BGE, KJ Jr, 36" Blackstone, FlameBoss 300
    Follow me on Instagram @ hoosier_egger
    Bloomington, IN - Hoo Hoo Hoo Hoosiers!
  • ColtsFanColtsFan Posts: 2,126
    edited September 4

    I have tried over and over to get decent bark when cooking on my egg and just cannot get anything close to what I would like to achieve or have been able to achieve using other smokers.

    I've added more smoke wood, used chips sprinkled throughout, spritzed with cider vinegar, cooked turbo, low and slow, put meat on cold, put meat on after letting it sit out, tried multiple types of rubs and increased and decreased the amount of rub and just cannot get good bark color.

    Any other thoughts as to why this is happening? Most of the time I end up with a dark mahogany color rather than a dark black. The taste is always good but I'm just stumped. I know it's achievable on the egg because several of you folks have done it, I've seen the pics so I know it did happen.  What say you?

    Have you tried using a binder and really laying on the rub... Like 1/8'' thick? I've never had an issue getting bark
    Two large BGE, KJ Jr, 36" Blackstone, FlameBoss 300
    Follow me on Instagram @ hoosier_egger
    Bloomington, IN - Hoo Hoo Hoo Hoosiers!
  • lkapigianlkapigian Posts: 3,695
    You just don't like the color or texture, or both? do you wrap or go naked? Water in a pan or not? I don't spritz on the egg, its wet enough in there already , rarely lift the lid until the end.........Pics? 
    Visalia, Ca
  • TEXASBGE2018TEXASBGE2018 Posts: 1,324
    edited September 4

    @ColtsFan, Yes usually I layer it so that you cannot see any exposed meat around 1/8" or so. My binder is typically just wetting everything down with water and letting it sit in the fridge for 30min or so while I get the egg temps stabilized.

    @lkapigian, The texture is fine and the taste is always good. It's just the color. I'm used to Texas style which is usually dark black with lots of pepper but has a sheen, not dried out like a meteorite. But instead I'm getting to quote Ron Burgundy "A Rich Mahogany" with sections of it the dark black I'm looking for.

    Rockwall, Tx    LBGE, 36" Stainless Blackstone Griddle, Contemplating which size Egg to get next. Cast Iron Hoarder.

    "You may all go to Hell and I will go to Texas"- Davy Crockett

  • lkapigianlkapigian Posts: 3,695
    I'd skip the spritzing and leave it to smoke with chunks - leave it closed- 
    Visalia, Ca
  • Photo EggPhoto Egg Posts: 8,207
    1st, I missed the type of meat you are working with.
    2nd, In my mind, Bark and Color are 2 different things.
    Color is Color. Brown is good, Black is good, depending on what you are cooking.
    Bark, to me, is the amount of crisp/crust on the outer layer of the meat.
    Adding more of a certain type of wood can give you deeper color but will not change the Bark. Spritzing will wash away your rub and not help your Bark.

    Opening your top vent more and controlling your heat primarily with your lower vent will reduce the moisture level in the Egg. Also assuming that you are not using some kind of a water pan. 
    Easier to help with one cook at a time than trying to generalize but the EGG will hold more moisture than most other cookers. Getting a good crust or crispy skin is harder because the Egg retains heat so well and takes so little airflow to maintain temps compared to other styles of cookers.
    Thank you,
    Darian

    Galveston Texas
  • TEXASBGE2018TEXASBGE2018 Posts: 1,324

    Maybe if I can borrow from one of my previous cooks and an image(not mine) from the internet.

    This is what I keep getting over and over (My Image)

    And this is what I want to achieve  (Not my Image)


    Rockwall, Tx    LBGE, 36" Stainless Blackstone Griddle, Contemplating which size Egg to get next. Cast Iron Hoarder.

    "You may all go to Hell and I will go to Texas"- Davy Crockett

  • lkapigianlkapigian Posts: 3,695

    Maybe if I can borrow from one of my previous cooks and an image(not mine) from the internet.

    This is what I keep getting over and over (My Image)

    And this is what I want to achieve  (Not my Image)


    IMO it is wet in those spots, your spritzing is doing it....washing away the seasoning 
    Visalia, Ca
  • 510BG510BG Posts: 125
    ColtsFan said:
    510BG said:
    I'll be watching this thread. I have the same issue.  I'm guessing it was to do with how the egg was assembled. 
    Come again?
     Edited my original post. I'm guessing the issue might be how each egg is assembled. 
  • TEXASBGE2018TEXASBGE2018 Posts: 1,324
    edited September 4
    The meat hasn't really made a difference in the color I end up with. Pork Butts, Ribs, Brisket, they all end up the same as my top image. A Mahogany color. Again, the taste is fine. This is more about aesthetics to me. Yes, yes I know I know, who cares how it looks if it tastes great. I CARE. I have as of late been serving more and more to large groups and I hate the idea that even though I get compliments about how great it tastes. I know personally that the color is off and it bugs me. I may eventually try to enter comps for fun if I can get this nailed down color wise. I've been a judge at several comps and automatically I know if I turn in a brisket that mahogany color, it will be knocked before anyone's even taken a bite.

    Rockwall, Tx    LBGE, 36" Stainless Blackstone Griddle, Contemplating which size Egg to get next. Cast Iron Hoarder.

    "You may all go to Hell and I will go to Texas"- Davy Crockett

  • TEXASBGE2018TEXASBGE2018 Posts: 1,324
    edited September 4
    lkapigian said:

    Maybe if I can borrow from one of my previous cooks and an image(not mine) from the internet.

    This is what I keep getting over and over (My Image)



    IMO it is wet in those spots, your spritzing is doing it....washing away the seasoning 

    I would agree with you but maybe I wasn't clear. I have tried spritzing, but I've also mostly done it without spritzing.  In the image above, this was done without any spritzing at all. Also given that most BBQ spots in Texas spritz and still obtain the dark black color I don't think its doing much to remove the rub.

    Rockwall, Tx    LBGE, 36" Stainless Blackstone Griddle, Contemplating which size Egg to get next. Cast Iron Hoarder.

    "You may all go to Hell and I will go to Texas"- Davy Crockett

  • lkapigianlkapigian Posts: 3,695
    lkapigian said:

    Maybe if I can borrow from one of my previous cooks and an image(not mine) from the internet.

    This is what I keep getting over and over (My Image)



    IMO it is wet in those spots, your spritzing is doing it....washing away the seasoning 

    I would agree with you but maybe I wasn't clear. I have tried spritzing, but I've also mostly done it without spritzing.  In the image above, this was done without any spritzing at all. Also given that most BBQ spots in Texas spritz and still obtain the dark black color I don't think its doing much to remove the rub.
    They likely cook on stick burners, not a Kamado...I spritz on my stick as well. Do you add a water pan or wrap? You need to pan in a Kamado
    Visalia, Ca
  • TEXASBGE2018TEXASBGE2018 Posts: 1,324
    edited September 4
    lkapigian said:
    lkapigian said:

    Maybe if I can borrow from one of my previous cooks and an image(not mine) from the internet.

    This is what I keep getting over and over (My Image)



    IMO it is wet in those spots, your spritzing is doing it....washing away the seasoning 

    I would agree with you but maybe I wasn't clear. I have tried spritzing, but I've also mostly done it without spritzing.  In the image above, this was done without any spritzing at all. Also given that most BBQ spots in Texas spritz and still obtain the dark black color I don't think its doing much to remove the rub.
    They likely cook on stick burners, not a Kamado...I spritz on my stick as well. Do you add a water pan or wrap? You need to pan in a Kamado
    True they do. I don’t add water but I do put a drip pan. That’s the one thing I haven’t done yet is add water. I’ve always been under the assumption based on opinions in here that the kamado doesn’t need a water pan. Also, I usually don’t wrap at all. I just let them ride until done I only wrap in butcher paper once removed and letting it rest.

    Rockwall, Tx    LBGE, 36" Stainless Blackstone Griddle, Contemplating which size Egg to get next. Cast Iron Hoarder.

    "You may all go to Hell and I will go to Texas"- Davy Crockett

  • Mattman3969Mattman3969 Posts: 8,260
    What are you using for rub? 

    -----------------------------------------


    2008 -Large BGE. 2013- Small BGE and 2015 - Mini. Henderson, Ky.
  • TEXASBGE2018TEXASBGE2018 Posts: 1,324
    edited September 4
    What are you using for rub? 
    I’ve been using Meat Church Holy Gospel. But I’ve also used just salt and pepper and the results are the same either way

    Rockwall, Tx    LBGE, 36" Stainless Blackstone Griddle, Contemplating which size Egg to get next. Cast Iron Hoarder.

    "You may all go to Hell and I will go to Texas"- Davy Crockett

  • lkapigianlkapigian Posts: 3,695
    Most important, it tastes good,and from where I sit they look fine!
    Visalia, Ca
  • WoodchunkWoodchunk Posts: 651
    My egg does not give the same results as a stick burner but it's fine with me. Increase your temp, works great for me on longer cooks like a butt. If you smoke at 250, go to 300.
  • TEXASBGE2018TEXASBGE2018 Posts: 1,324
    Ya on pork butts and ribs I cook at between 275-300 but briskets are at 250. 

    Rockwall, Tx    LBGE, 36" Stainless Blackstone Griddle, Contemplating which size Egg to get next. Cast Iron Hoarder.

    "You may all go to Hell and I will go to Texas"- Davy Crockett

  • For pork butt, I'd smear some yellow mustard on as a binder.  I don't use anything fancy; just cheap grocery store yellow mustard.  If you like the flavor of your existing rub and don't want to stray too far from it, try sprinkling on some brown sugar on top of your rub, as well.  If you want to continue spritzing, try something like apple cider or apple juice.  The caramelized sugars should help with create more bark.

    I've only done a few briskets with just traditional salt and pepper, but if you're alright straying from traditional Texas brisket, you may try to add a little sugar here, as well (blasphemy to some, but I say cook it to your own preference).

    Keep in mind, the sugars may get a little too black if you try the Turbo method.  I've never had any issues, but I'm usually cooking between 250 - 275.
    Indianapolis, IN
  • HeavyGHeavyG Posts: 5,301

    Maybe if I can borrow from one of my previous cooks and an image(not mine) from the internet.

    This is what I keep getting over and over (My Image)


    Do you slice your brisket with a hacksaw? :)
    Camped out in the (757/804)
  • TEXASBGE2018TEXASBGE2018 Posts: 1,324
    HeavyG said:

    Maybe if I can borrow from one of my previous cooks and an image(not mine) from the internet.

    This is what I keep getting over and over (My Image)


    Do you slice your brisket with a hacksaw? :)
    Haha that time a little bit.

    Rockwall, Tx    LBGE, 36" Stainless Blackstone Griddle, Contemplating which size Egg to get next. Cast Iron Hoarder.

    "You may all go to Hell and I will go to Texas"- Davy Crockett

  • Photo EggPhoto Egg Posts: 8,207
    edited September 4
     Also given that most BBQ spots in Texas spritz and still obtain the dark black color I don't think its doing much to remove the rub.
    Most BBQ spots in Texas are not cooking on a ceramic cooker. You can strive to achieve what a skilled pit master turns out on a larger cooker. But don't fool yourself by comparing this to Ceramic Grill coking.

    It's not just 1 thing but maybe smaller combinations of a few things that help or hurt.
    For both briskets and butts, I trim almost all the fat off. Rendering fat on the outside means less bark on the meat. The rendering fat also pools in the low spots. Butts, I take down to the meat on all sides. Brisket, no more than 1/4", and most of the time less.
    I do not pre season and wrap in fridge before I cook. Makes the meat wet.
    Wet meat, harder to get good bark.
    I like to keep the daisy wheel dialed open and slightly slid open if I can and control the temps with lower vents. This lets out as much moisture as possible.
    I'm far from a brisket expert compared to many on this forum and just follow the above basics and I get black color on my brisket and it's still full of juice.
    Cooking briskets with an offset stick burner is completely different. The Egg is a very versatile cooker but they are not winning the majority of trophies in serious brisket cooking comps. Heat created from a smoldering fire is never going to produce the same flavor and bark obtained from an off set cooker.
    Keep notes on what you change and what you do. You will find the best combination for what you like. Just be open minded with some of the advice given.
    I used to spritz my ribs when I fist got my Egg because that was what I did with my larger off set. The moisture it left on the surface of the ribs gave the outer crust a boiled texture. Much better results after I stopped. I also trim the larger spots of fat off my ribs. This also helped.

    Thank you,
    Darian

    Galveston Texas
  • Photo EggPhoto Egg Posts: 8,207
    edited September 4
    lkapigian said:
    lkapigian said:

    Maybe if I can borrow from one of my previous cooks and an image(not mine) from the internet.

    This is what I keep getting over and over (My Image)



    IMO it is wet in those spots, your spritzing is doing it....washing away the seasoning 

    I would agree with you but maybe I wasn't clear. I have tried spritzing, but I've also mostly done it without spritzing.  In the image above, this was done without any spritzing at all. Also given that most BBQ spots in Texas spritz and still obtain the dark black color I don't think its doing much to remove the rub.
    They likely cook on stick burners, not a Kamado...I spritz on my stick as well. Do you add a water pan or wrap? You need to pan in a Kamado
    True they do. I don’t add water but I do put a drip pan. That’s the one thing I haven’t done yet is add water. I’ve always been under the assumption based on opinions in here that the kamado doesn’t need a water pan. Also, I usually don’t wrap at all. I just let them ride until done I only wrap in butcher paper once removed and letting it rest.
    lkapigian, I believe, made a typo. No water pan in the Egg. I have also seen some people add apple juice or other liquid to their drip pan. I would advise against this as well.
    Thank you,
    Darian

    Galveston Texas
  • OhioEggerOhioEgger Posts: 480
    Not sure if you've considered this, but I would increase the amount of smoke. That seems to do good things for the bark.
    Cincinnati, Ohio. Large BGE since 2011. Still learning.
  • TEXASBGE2018TEXASBGE2018 Posts: 1,324
    OhioEgger said:
    Not sure if you've considered this, but I would increase the amount of smoke. That seems to do good things for the bark.
    I thought that would help so this last time I put 6 fist size chunks in there. Didn’t help. 

    Rockwall, Tx    LBGE, 36" Stainless Blackstone Griddle, Contemplating which size Egg to get next. Cast Iron Hoarder.

    "You may all go to Hell and I will go to Texas"- Davy Crockett

  • TEXASBGE2018TEXASBGE2018 Posts: 1,324
    Thanks everyone for the suggestions. Im
    gonna try and pick up a brisket this week for Saturday football and try a couple of these suggestions to see if they work for me.

    Rockwall, Tx    LBGE, 36" Stainless Blackstone Griddle, Contemplating which size Egg to get next. Cast Iron Hoarder.

    "You may all go to Hell and I will go to Texas"- Davy Crockett

  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 6,049
    I stopped spritzing and mopping a year or 2 after starting w. the Egg. Just not needed. As above, it washes off the rub and the smoke. Also, never use any fluid in a drip pan unless the drippings are starting to burn black.

    I looked over my photo archives, and there are somewhat more shots that look like what you are getting, and fewer than what you want.

    I found one pic from about 10 years that was nice. I've forgotten a lot of what I did. It was a bison heart, and it was brined for about 48 hours to get the blood taste out, then fridge dried for another 24. The rub was more sweet than salty, as I'd read recipes serving bison w. fruit sauces.

    For a piece of meat that special, I'm fairly sure I would have used post oak for smoke, which is rather hard for me to find, and so is saved for the best.


  • DondgcDondgc Posts: 410

    @ColtsFan, Yes usually I layer it so that you cannot see any exposed meat around 1/8" or so. My binder is typically just wetting everything down with water and letting it sit in the fridge for 30min or so while I get the egg temps stabilized.

    I'm not sure I understand what you are doing here? When do "wet everything down" and why? I have the opposite issue. Bark is very heavy and dense  
    New Orleans LA
  • TEXASBGE2018TEXASBGE2018 Posts: 1,324
    Dondgc said:

    @ColtsFan, Yes usually I layer it so that you cannot see any exposed meat around 1/8" or so. My binder is typically just wetting everything down with water and letting it sit in the fridge for 30min or so while I get the egg temps stabilized.

    I'm not sure I understand what you are doing here? When do "wet everything down" and why? I have the opposite issue. Bark is very heavy and dense  
    Some times I’ve wet the brisket or pork butt down with water and then put the rub on. The why is because I’ve heard that it helps with bark development, It didn’t. 

    Rockwall, Tx    LBGE, 36" Stainless Blackstone Griddle, Contemplating which size Egg to get next. Cast Iron Hoarder.

    "You may all go to Hell and I will go to Texas"- Davy Crockett

Sign In or Register to comment.
Click here for Forum Use Guidelines.