I've made pork shoulder a few times now (4-5) and I can't seem to get that blackened bark that I always see in pictures and videos. Now I don't use sugar, but I see a lot of youtube videos where they don't either and they still get that blackened crust.
I cook on an Akorn with a big water pan beneath my shoulder (using an 18" Weber grate underneath to support the pan) and just throw the shoulder directly on top of that. That's it. I cook at 250ish grate temp (measured with a Maverick) the whole time and go till it's at just about 200 IT. The outside got so dry the first time I started foiling the cooks after that which resulted in juicier meat but obviously missing more bark. It pretty much stays a pink color and just starts looking dry...
I rub with a bunch of spices, but not sugar (not appropriate with my current diet)
I feel like I'm missing something here...