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Unread 07-08-2009, 10:20 PM   #1
gtsum
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Default Bark and Smoke Ring Challenges - Need help from Ceramic Cooks!

Cooking on a Primo Oval XL with RO lump with hickoru chunks - I have been having a tough time getting a nice bark on my brisket in the Primo. As well, my smoke rings have been almost non existant. I realize the SR does not affect taste at all, but I like the appearance and have never had an issue before. The Primo seems to be such a moist cooker, that my bark seems to be mushy...it does not get set up like I like it. This has been with my own rubs (which I thought was the issue), and with commercial rubs. Same thing with my SR - thought it was my rub, but I cooked one today with some Dizzy Pig Red Eye Express and it was almost non existant. I never foil my briskets (until done..once they are at temp I foil them after I take them off the cooker). I have tried fast cooks and slow cooks with not much difference. I really expected the DP rub to get me a nice bark today with a good smoke ring, but that did not happen either (and I know it is not the rub, because DP is a very successful rub). I have tried cooking with d plates with pans under (no liquid), and with d plates with water in the pans. Same thing...too moist and bark is not what I am looking for. I need to get a CyberQ - maybe that will help with more airflow through the cooker and maybe help my bark setup? My next attempt at a good SR is going to be to add about 10 Kingsford briquettes, as they always gave me incredible SR's on my Stumps...

So, what are your secrets for great bark and SR on brisket? (my bark on butts and ribs is good, SR is slightly better, but still not what I am looking for)


Here is an attempt at a fast and hot cook with a 8lb brisket flat (tender, moist, good flavor), but the smoke ring was almost non existant and the bark was not as good as I would have liked...and this was cooked at about 325 degrees (and the bark was still a bit mushy)....

Last edited by gtsum; 02-01-2011 at 06:39 AM..
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Unread 07-08-2009, 10:24 PM   #2
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We have no ceramic cooks here. A few have been stoned, for sure, but none are ceramic...
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Unread 07-08-2009, 11:22 PM   #3
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I can't help with the ceramic cooking, but, I could help get rid of that brisket for you.
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Unread 07-09-2009, 01:08 AM   #4
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Here is a picture of one of my earlier hot-n-fast briskets cooked on my Egg. Bark was one of my issues too. This one was cooked at 350-375. HERE is a link to a thread in 2006 when I first started the higher temp cooks.

Now, after a lot of high temp cooks under my belt, in my Egg it seems like 325 degrees or so works better for controlling the cook and for the bark. Maybe the higher temps drive too much moisture to the surface?? I just can't say. You'll see a reference to Ed's advice about uncovering the brisket and ramping up the pit temp at the end which does work. Also take a look at this fast track brisket article on Old Daves site. I've gotten a lot of advice from him over the years and there is some good info here.

As far as a smoke ring goes, the key would be having the meat temp less than 140* for the longest time possible. A 300+ degree pit temp gets the meat above 140* pretty fast, so the ring will suffer. Now what I do is put a cold brisket on a 200* pit for a couple of hours, hit it with a little more smoke than usual, then ramp up the temp to 325*.
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Unread 07-09-2009, 02:13 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thirdeye View Post







Nice!
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Unread 07-09-2009, 02:20 AM   #6
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I saw this posted on the Primo forum, but no answer yet. I cook them on the egg and don't have an issue with the ring or the bark. Perhaps its the 325. Did you try 225-250?
I did have a ring issues on my drums once. Interesting.

I would not put Kingsford in the Primo. The ash will clog up the vents.
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Unread 07-09-2009, 06:19 AM   #7
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Good looking piece of meat there Thirdeye! I am going to experiment a bit more. I usually do not rub the meat and let it sit for a long time before throwing him on the cooker...I will try rubbing him down and letting sit in the fridge for several hours and see how that works. I have tried normal (230 degrees) and high temps (325) with the same result. I will try a heavier smoke early in the cook process with lower temps, and then ramp up the temp and see how that goes.
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Unread 07-09-2009, 06:27 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thirdeye View Post



Here is a picture of one of my earlier hot-n-fast briskets cooked on my Egg. Bark was one of my issues too. This one was cooked at 350-375. HERE is a link to a thread in 2006 when I first started the higher temp cooks.

Now, after a lot of high temp cooks under my belt, in my Egg it seems like 325 degrees or so works better for controlling the cook and for the bark. Maybe the higher temps drive too much moisture to the surface?? I just can't say. You'll see a reference to Ed's advice about uncovering the brisket and ramping up the pit temp at the end which does work. Also take a look at this fast track brisket article on Old Daves site. I've gotten a lot of advice from him over the years and there is some good info here.


As far as a smoke ring goes, the key would be having the meat temp less than 140* for the longest time possible. A 300+ degree pit temp gets the meat above 140* pretty fast, so the ring will suffer. Now what I do is put a cold brisket on a 200* pit for a couple of hours, hit it with a little more smoke than usual, then ramp up the temp to 325*.
good stuff, wayne. how about the salt content of the rub?
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Unread 07-09-2009, 07:29 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick's Tropical Delight View Post
good stuff, wayne. how about the salt content of the rub?
As far as the smoke ring? I've heard that some salts, especially sea salts may contain higher percentages of nitrates. I don't think it helps in formation, but wetting a brisket with Wooster a few hours before smoking does make for a darker ring.

Maybe I'll try a flat doctored with Tenderquick... it does work and I have no issues using it in brines and sausage.
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