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I Want More Bark On My Butt


Gebo
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After several Boston Butt cooks, I have determined that foil wrapping at 160 produces the most delicious moist meat.

My cook temp is 250 with hickory chunks and FOGO and iKamand 2 (Rock solid performance!)

 

I am using mustard and John's Dry Rub recipe with the Cinnamon and Cloves.  Absolutely delicious!

 

My question is this.  How do I produce more bark?  I have done 3 without wrapping and they are a little too dry.

I have done 4 with wrapping and they are much more moist.  Six of these I cut the fat off and my last one (yesterday) I left the fat on and I won't 

do that again.  Too Yucky for my family.  LOL!

 

Any suggestions for more bark?  I didn't google.  I just came here to the experts.

 

 

Edited by Gebo
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If you want more bark then don't wrap based on IT. You can check it at 160, but if you don't like the way the bark looks then don't wrap until you see what you like. When I cook butts overnight I usually put them on around 11pm at 265. By the time I wake up the next day there is a dark bark and the IT is around 180. Then I wrap and it softens up the bark some. I would also suggest a finishing sauce to add flavor and help with moisture if that is a problem. 

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Go hotter and don’t wrap. I’ve started cooking butts @ 325-375° and no wrapping. (Except for the rest, the. I wrap it up.) Never had an issue with dryness. Don’t need to wrap to get through the stall at the higher temps. I started this awhile ago because I was pretty crunched for time and the results were great so I haven’t went back.  The last one I did I fed to my sister in law and she doesn’t really like pork, but she said it was excellent. 

 

Rest is as important as the cook so if you aren’t putting it in a cooler for a couple hours to rest after finishing you will have dry meat, it needs to redistribute that moisture from the edges back to the center. 
 

 

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Based on what you said, I like DMFs advice. Wait until you like how the bark looks, then wrap in foil to soften it a bit.

 

i don’t usually do much trimming on pork shoulders. If there’s excess fat, sure.

 

If that rub doesn’t have any sugar, try adding a tablespoon and see if that helps.

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"Everybody" says to wrap at 160.  I noticed it wasn't barky enough as it looked a little "soupy."  I still wrapped it.

 

Yesterday was the first time I actually rested the BB 2 hours.   Sugar is in the rub.

 

My takeaway is to cook at 300 and give it at least a 3 hour rest if possible.  And if I wrap, wait until the bark

is barky enough by my own sight.

 

Sound good?

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I've held butts in a cooler for several hours and other times I let them rest on the counter for about 20 minutes before shredding them. I didn't really notice a difference between the two. I personally don't see why it would matter if you had sugar in the rub, some of the best pulled pork I made came from using kosher salt only on the meat. Texas brisket has awesome bark and I don't see many people putting sugar on them. 

 

I think that part of the fun of this hobby is finding out what methods work best for you. You said that you have done them both wrapped and unwrapped. You said you prefer the wrapped so I would stick with wrapping since that is what you like. You can adjust the other variables like cooker temp and when you wrap to get a final product that you really like. 

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I do a rest for brisket. Not necessary for pork shoulder, imo.

 The sugar was just a thing to try. Not a necessity.

 

 If you aren’t salt brining ahead of time, you could try that (never done otherwise, so not sure of impact on bark formation). Sprinkle 1/2 tsp per pound of Morton’s kosher all over 8-24 hours ahead. When ready to cook, rub your mustard on and apply rub (remove any salt from the rub recipe).

 

It occurs to me that a kamado is supposed to be a more moist environment than a pellet smoker, so perhaps that is why. Higher heat makes sense in that regard.

 

On 9/6/2020 at 1:19 PM, DrunkenMeatFist said:

 

I think that part of the fun of this hobby is finding out what methods work best for you. You said that you have done them both wrapped and unwrapped. You said you prefer the wrapped so I would stick with wrapping since that is what you like. You can adjust the other variables like cooker temp and when you wrap to get a final product that you really like. 

 

this, 100%

 

from my pellet smoker:

B3275F89-E91E-49BB-8158-EFE1D29412D8.jpeg

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On 9/6/2020 at 7:22 AM, Gebo said:

After several Boston Butt cooks, I have determined that foil wrapping at 160 produces the most delicious moist meat.

My cook temp is 250 with hickory chunks and FOGO and iKamand 2 (Rock solid performance!)

 

I am using mustard and John's Dry Rub recipe with the Cinnamon and Cloves.  Absolutely delicious!

 

My question is this.  How do I produce more bark?  I have done 3 without wrapping and they are a little too dry.

I have done 4 with wrapping and they are much more moist.  Six of these I cut the fat off and my last one (yesterday) I left the fat on and I won't 

do that again.  Too Yucky for my family.  LOL!

 

Any suggestions for more bark?  I didn't google.  I just came here to the experts.

 

 

 

I would never even consider trimming off all the fat or any fat for that matter. I think the issue is the result of not mixing / pulling the meat thoroughly. If not done thoroughly, whether pulled pork or chicken, you can wind up with globs of fat. That also, that lack of fat is a major contributor to dryness. Well that and being totally committed to a done at 'x' temp approach as opposed to a done when done approach.

 

I consider dryness to be synonomous with overcooking, period.

 

On 9/6/2020 at 9:45 AM, KamadoChris said:

Go hotter and don’t wrap... Never had an issue with dryness. Don’t need to wrap to get through the stall at the higher temps..

 

 

This... Hotter, not necessarily, 300°+ but hotter. Don't wrap, I never do as well, so "Everybody" says to wrap, is not correct. And heavier application of rub. Or just of additional paprika to cover... Heavier rub is much easier to do when cooking savory instead of sweet.

 

For instance, this pic of the St. Louies I cooked today is an example of what I mean by heavy rub. A big piece of meat can take it and, I can do it because my rub is not a 'canned' rub so, I can control salt and sugar (of which I use zero). The bark was fantastic

 

IMG_5194.thumb.JPG.4a19c5ad104a84086265e8256ae16909.JPG

 

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1 hour ago, CentralTexBBQ said:

And heavier application of rub.


good point.

 

 And just realized I got confused with what we’ve been talking about, because OP said the bark was tough and my brain went to brisket at that point. I’ve been wrapping brisket recently. I don’t wrap pork shoulder. Sorry for any confusion. I’m honestly not sure how a pork shoulder could wind up dry.

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I just want tougher bark and more of it.  Something to chip a tooth on. Dental floss required.

 

I probably used 1 cup of rub over a mustardized base. I could not see any meat or fat.

 

When I wrapped it the "bark" was too moist.  I probably should have waited longer.

Just going by what I heard.  Wrap at 160....

Edited by Gebo
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When I switched from foil to butcher paper I noticed an improvement in the bark.  I typically cook at 225-250, wrap when the temp holds for about 30 minutes, anywhere from 160 to 180 in my experience.  Take off when probe tender, then rest in a towel lined cooler for at least an hour.  I leave about 1/4 inch of fat cap on the butt, trim off almost all the rest, would rather have the smoke penetrating the meat instead of the fat.  Everyone has their techniques and opinions, you are just going to have to keep experimenting to see what works best for you, it's a tough job but someone has to do it!

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On 9/8/2020 at 8:05 PM, Gebo said:

I just want tougher bark and more of it.  Something to chip a tooth on. Dental floss required.

Try one unwrapped for the whole cook then if you are truly after a hard and crispy bark.  Seriously, don't look at it, don't peak, don't open the lid until it gets time to start probing for tenderness.

77A7554D-6718-42A3-8F66-1C8B574939DD.jpeg

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Foiling a butt has 2 effects ! it kind of steams the meat and helps to keep moisture in plus if you add a cup or so of liquid you will have some juice to add to the pulled butt or for use with the left overs.wrapping may reduce the stall time . 2 when wrapped you are steaming or braising the butt and the moisture WILL soften the bark. I do butts both ways and each way has its pros and cons. BBQ is a personal thing and we do what we like. About the sugar in the rub it can burn when on the grill, i always use raw sugar, once again a personal choice. 

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