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doctordun 11-04-2012 10:22 PM

Bark - On or Off
Just got some spit hickory. Some still has the bark on.
Will bark affect the flavor of the smoked product?
If so, the bark may be hard to remove.

Boshizzle 11-04-2012 10:27 PM

Bark on is fine!

centexsmoker 11-04-2012 10:41 PM

boshizzle is the nizzle. Bark is A-OK

jmoney7269 11-04-2012 10:47 PM

I say off, I only smoke with pecan wood that has no bark and is the pretty pink wood from the heart of the trunk. I have had wood with bark make my food bitter. It has alot to do with if there is any mold or fungus in it. I just don't take a chance. When in short supply of good wood, a sharp machete will take the bark off quick

Garyclaw 11-05-2012 12:08 AM

+1 bark off, at least most of it.

nucornhusker 11-05-2012 12:11 AM

Leaving the bark on is just fine unless it looks bad, then remove it.

Deep South 11-05-2012 08:21 AM

I pull off as much bark as I can. I threw some pecan wood in the smoker this weekend and the smell was great until the bark ignited. I had already foiled my ribs so it was not an issue but the smell was NOT very pleasant.

Daggs 11-05-2012 08:33 AM

Bark is much better on your food than your wood. Ive had a less than favorable experience with bark.

Boshizzle 11-05-2012 08:55 AM

Check out the bark at Smitty's. I didn't see a single place in Texas that removed the bark. I also know quite a few competition cooks and some of them have won national and world awards that don't remove bark from oak or hickory.

But, if you want to remove it, that's fine too. It won't cause a problem.

NickTheGreat 11-05-2012 09:14 AM

I find it ain't gonna hurt anything. Though I've never done a side by side comparison :becky:

jrn 11-05-2012 10:02 AM

Personally I think as long as the bark is dry, then it's fine. If its stored outside, especially if its on the ground, it can hold moisture under the bark. I'll then remove bark. If it has fungus or mold I'd remove it also. If underside of bark is dry though, I leave it on. Keep in mind that lump charcoal frequently has bark still attached also. :)

Trawlerdog 11-05-2012 10:40 AM

I use almost all hickory. I'm in the 'bark on' crowd. If it's dry and clean I notice no difference.

JS-TX 11-05-2012 01:17 PM

In my experience, the bark makes for thicker not so pleasant smoke. Perhaps if you had a bigger/hotter fire this wouldn't be an issue. So for my setup (bubba kegs & UDS) I avoid the bark.

Ole Man Dan 11-05-2012 03:16 PM

I don't think the bark makes as much difference as making sure the wood is dried and has no obvious growths on the bark.

If the wood hasn't dried a long time the bark may make the 'Q' a little bitter.
If in doubt take it off.
Me, I leave the bark on my wood, if I have some that's molded for some reason, I put it in the pile for my fire pit...

jfletcherMD 11-05-2012 03:30 PM

^^^ I agree with Ole Man Dan - if the wood has been well dried and seasoned, and there's no obvious mold or discoloration on the bark itself, it's fine to leave it on. Along with Boshizzle's example above, I can tell you that the legendary Skylight Inn here in NC uses split oak with the bark on. Most of the restaurants I grew up eating in back in GA also used Oak and/or Hickory with the bark left on.

Of course, no one's gonna fault you for taking it off, especially if you're concerned...but definitely relegate any wood with discolored/moldy/spotty bark to the woodpile for your living room fireplace or outdoor fire pit. :doh:

If you've got a good sized load of wood, why not do one cook "bark on" and one cook "bark off" and let us know your experience? :idea:

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