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Unread 04-26-2007, 12:56 PM   #11
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Join Date: 04-08-04
Location: Marianna, FL
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I get really confused about bark and descriptions.
Never really sure what the descriptive terms mean to different folks.
Here is what little I think I know.

For thick bark, I use lots of rub. For less bark, I use less rub.
I have even got a "bark" on brisket using just salt/pepper/sugar for a minimalist sort of rub. That was nice.
For a bit of firmness in the bark, I add more sugar.
If I want it even firmer, I add even more sugar.
If it is "crisp" or "hard" and tough to bite--I use less sugar.

I foil when the color is right and cook till tenderness is (hopefully) correct then cooler. I take it out of the foil and slice or pull as desired.
I describe my bark as "firm" but it not "hard" or "crispy". I do not feel like I will chip a tooth eating it.
I have never produced bark I considered "Mushy". I may be just lucky.

For ribs, I have tried a lot of sugar in the rub/glaze.
That gives a shiny smooth finish that looks really good.
But, when I slice, the caramelized coating has a tendency to chip or break off and does not give a clean professional looking cut. This is especially true if I have put them back on high heat to "set the glaze"--becomes like a "hard candy" if I am not careful.

I guess it is a matter of balance.
And, there is more to it than just the sugar amount. I just focused on one piece of the puzzle.

Just my thoughts from my limited experience.

"Flirtin' with Disaster" BBQ Team (RETIRED)
FBA and KCBS Cook and Judge.
Former owner of a WSM, a Smokey Joe, a Charbroil Commercial gasser (junk), the legendary "StudeDera", a Fast Eddy PG500, and Sherman.
Now cooking with a Yoder YS640
Proud Pellet guy cooking on real wood.
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