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Unread 01-22-2013, 05:44 PM   #1
ryanfx
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Default Dry Bark?

Hey all,


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...
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Unread 01-22-2013, 05:49 PM   #2
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Maybe too much moisture or water. Dryer heat and sugar will help but I would try with dry heat first.

Just to add, I have heard of people using Splenda to substitute sugar. I have no idea what it would do to bark but it may be worth a shot in sauces.
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Unread 01-22-2013, 05:52 PM   #3
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Lose the water pan if possible.

You GOTTA cook with wood to get that black crust.
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Unread 01-22-2013, 05:52 PM   #4
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Try it next time without the water pan. You may be surprised!
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Unread 01-22-2013, 06:10 PM   #5
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Does the charcoal make a huge difference? I am not using lump, I'm using blue bag.
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Unread 01-22-2013, 06:32 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryanfx View Post
Does the charcoal make a huge difference? I am not using lump, I'm using blue bag.
Lump gets hotter and may produce more dark bark, I use kingford blue bag to get a nice mohoghany color.
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Unread 01-22-2013, 07:26 PM   #7
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The other advice is sound... if that is what it is.

I wrote a thread called brisket and your rub... the principle on rubs is, George Clinton is crucial. Every time you add another spice, you reduce the ratio of Funk (Clinton). There is a stark difference between my briskets or butts made with Just seasoned salt (darker crust), and seasoned salt and butt glitter, and the tri level process, which is the last two applications PLUS my dirty dalmatian final rub. Lots have also expressed tremendous success with a lemon salt/montreal seasoning final rub.
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Unread 01-22-2013, 07:31 PM   #8
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This is the color I am going for before I wrap more or less
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Unread 01-22-2013, 10:43 PM   #9
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I also use an Akorn. I don't use a water pan or wrap in foil. I do put a pan under the butts to catch grease. I get an nice color on mine. You may want to try a higher temp at the end of the cook.
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Unread 01-22-2013, 10:52 PM   #10
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Listen To "T" he speaketh the truth!
9 lb butt Salt.. er I mean Geogre Clinton and Hickory
No water is ever present in my pit.
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Unread 01-22-2013, 11:02 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bludawg View Post
Listen To "T" he speaketh the truth!
9 lb butt Salt.. er I mean Geogre Clinton and Hickory
No water is ever present in my pit.
Tear the roof off that mutha!!
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Unread 01-23-2013, 08:38 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bludawg View Post
Listen To "T" he speaketh the truth!
9 lb butt Salt.. er I mean Geogre Clinton and Hickory
No water is ever present in my pit.
Was sugar added? Cooked with mainly wood or charcoal?
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Unread 01-23-2013, 08:48 AM   #13
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I never use sugar in my rubs, rarely foil, and never use a water pan. I always get a nice dry bark. Hasn't been noticeably different with the KBB or lumps.
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Unread 01-23-2013, 09:54 AM   #14
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Try it once w/o a water pan...
Your smoker will also come up to temp quicker w/o the water pan.

(Salt also helps make a great 'smoke ring'.)

Follow the advice of Pittmaster 'T'...
He's BTDT.
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