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grilling24x7 07-02-2012 07:02 PM

High Sugar in rub and injection - black bark- am I the problem?
So I complained a while ago here about not liking sugar in rubs and injections because the bark turned so black, almost shiny, for pulled pork and brisket that I did. (pork was on top grate brisket was on bottom)

Then last night on BBQ Pitmasters I see people injecting like crazy with apple juice and all sorts of sugar stuff.

Does anyone know what I mean when I say that a sugary rub or injection will put a blacker bark on the meats? Or am I doing something wrong with smoke intensity and duration?

The last pork shoulder I did tasted amazing (it was injected) but the bark was just too black.

The best pic I have to show the black is within the pulled pork. It was great, as I said, but the bark was too black IMO.

I get concerned because I want to do briskets on the bottom grate but I don't want them this black.

Should I stick with my protest of sugar or what?


dfaarc 07-02-2012 07:05 PM

What temp are you cooking at? What does the bark taste like?

landarc 07-02-2012 07:06 PM

Yep, temperature and taste are the key indicators. I use at least a small amount of sugar in all of my rubs and don't get a dark, black, shiny bark.

grilling24x7 07-02-2012 07:07 PM


Originally Posted by dfaarc (Post 2118868)
What temp are you cooking at? What does the bark taste like?

Standard 250, give or take a fluctuation or two. Pork shoulder cooked to the 190ish range. Nothing out of the ordinary.

I don't recall it tasting bad at all. It seemed normal tasting but it just looked burnt.

When I drop the sugar from the rub/injection it's totally not black.

Then I see the guys on TV injecting with sugar and they don't have the black?!

IamMadMan 07-02-2012 07:07 PM

My rub has a lot of sugar and I keep the temp between 250 -270 to prevent the sugar from burning. I also inject with apple juice.

Someone recently posted that they have been to 290 without burning the sugar.

That would be my opinion

grilling24x7 07-02-2012 07:07 PM

Also, I used that Apple Juice and sugar injection (chris lilly's). So I think it was high in sugar.

porkingINpublic 07-02-2012 07:13 PM

Do you foil ur meat?

grilling24x7 07-02-2012 07:16 PM


Originally Posted by porkingINpublic (Post 2118882)
Do you foil ur meat?

No I don't

Pyrotech 07-02-2012 07:21 PM

My Rub also has alot of sugar in it.

This was from this past weekend, I did foil at 150*

porkingINpublic 07-02-2012 07:43 PM

I use to not foil and I always got dark bark.... Try foiling @ 160*.

gooose53 07-02-2012 07:47 PM

One way of not getting the bark to dark is to foil when you get the bark the color you want. Try it and see if that helps.

Toast 07-02-2012 07:56 PM

I use Turbinado sugar aka Raw sugar. It does not burn as readily as refined sugar.

grilling24x7 07-02-2012 08:01 PM


Originally Posted by Toast (Post 2118942)
I use Turbinado sugar aka Raw sugar. It does now burn as readily as refined sugar.

I assume part of the problem is the apple juice, though.

Bbq Bubba 07-02-2012 08:22 PM

Believe it or not, bbq should be dark colored, not that red crap on Pitmasters.

Its not your sugar or juice, its your fire. What are you smoking with?

Q-Dat 07-02-2012 08:27 PM

To the untrained eye, bark can be just plain ugly. People think its burnt, because they don't understand the process.

Some of the best Q I have ever had looked like hell but tasted like heaven :thumbup:

By any chance do you soak your wood before putting it on the coals? That can cause dark bark.

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