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Competition BBQ *On Topic Only* Discussion regarding all aspects of Competition BBQ. Experiences competing or visiting, questions, getting started, Equipment, announcements of events, Results, Reviews, Planning, etc. Questions here will be responded to with competition BBQ in mind.


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Unread 09-20-2012, 01:49 PM   #1
Wampus
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Default Brisket BARK......opinions requested

So I have to ask those that are willing to answer....

Bark on brisket: is yours typically hard (barky) or softer? Our brisket it damn good. We like it. We have great luck with perfectly cooked flats and really good burnt ends. If there is one thing that I do NOT like about our brisket, it's that the bark is always very soft. The smoke ring is always top notch, but the bark is always soft and I literally leave prints in it while slicing the flat. The end product is always nice in color, but not in texture (or at least it's not what I'd call "barky").

We foil our brisket after the color gets to where we want it and I'm sure that this is part (or all) of the problem. I've wrapped both butts and brisket at home in butcher paper. I was wondering if anyone every uses paper at comps or not, and if so....do you notice a difference in bark?

I guess the other question is how does a "barkier" bark score?

Judges?


We don't struggle in brisket necessarily, but we're just not scoring as high as we do in other categories. We've gotten 3rd or 4th place overall like 4 times out of our last 6 cooks and we feel we just need to tighten SOMETHING up and not leave points on the table and since brisket is typically our lowest scoring meat (albeit not BADLY scoring) we're jst kind of stuck.



Thoughts?
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Last edited by Wampus; 09-20-2012 at 06:11 PM..
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Unread 09-20-2012, 02:05 PM   #2
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Are you wanting bark that is like hard caramel candy?

TIM
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Unread 09-20-2012, 02:16 PM   #3
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I'd kill for results like that........dont change what's working........
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Unread 09-20-2012, 02:17 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Kapn View Post
Are you wanting bark that is like hard caramel candy?

TIM

I don't know what we're wanting really. Not something hard and tough that will fracture during slicing, but what we have now is almost like a paste. It's like the consistency of rub sitting on the meat....like we could wipe it off.

I wouldn't even call what we have now "bark". I guess I'd just like something with a little more definition.


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Originally Posted by Big Ugly's BBQ View Post
I'd kill for results like that........dont change what's working........
Oh I get you and we've said for weeks now that we're real happy with where we've been as compared to last year, but as great as our average is.....it's pretty darn frustrating when you're THAT CLOSE to RGC or GC and miss by only a few points. Last week we ended up tied for 3rd and our score was only 3 farkin points lower than the GC. AGAIN. RGC isn't as good as GC, but it sure pays more than 3rd place does.

We're just trying to squeeze SOMETHING enough to get us that ever elusive grand. Our chicken, ribs and pork have been really consistent and up there (all are in the top 100 TOY rankings) but not brisket. Just trying to close the gap is all.
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Unread 09-20-2012, 02:20 PM   #5
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our bark is the same.
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Unread 09-20-2012, 02:27 PM   #6
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this is a good question. in comps i think you look for tender but to tell the truth i dont like meat after it has been foiled from the 165*-170* range. i think from there to 200* you end up with poached meat and not bbq. i would like also to hear from judges how they feel about barky bark as opposed to tender.
http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/sh...ckhawk+brisket
the above thread helped me to get a nice bark on my brisket (thanks guys! )
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Unread 09-20-2012, 02:31 PM   #7
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Hey Wampus, I know you are no rookie at this, but, have you tried doing a competition run with a brisket and removing it from the foil just as it starts to probe soft, giving it an extra hour in straight heat might dry that paste right up.

That being said, I have noticed that a lot of box pictures of winning or close to winning brisket doesn't seem to have a lot of bark, the bark seems thin, soft and tender. I think there is a huge move to soft tender on everything BBQ, as opposed to a more traditional slightly chewy tender.
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Unread 09-20-2012, 03:18 PM   #8
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My first thought is to allow the brisket to get darker before you wrap. Are you wrapping meat(bark) up or down? If you are wrapping meat down you could try to turn it over so the bark isn't swimming in juice.
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Unread 09-20-2012, 03:22 PM   #9
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Shig alert...
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Unread 09-20-2012, 03:35 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wampus View Post
it's pretty darn frustrating when you're THAT CLOSE to RGC or GC and miss by only a few points. Last week we ended up tied for 3rd and our score was only 3 farkin points lower than the GC. AGAIN. RGC isn't as good as GC, but it sure pays more than 3rd place does.

We're just trying to squeeze SOMETHING enough to get us that ever elusive grand. Our chicken, ribs and pork have been really consistent and up there (all are in the top 100 TOY rankings) but not brisket. Just trying to close the gap is all.
I'm not trying to bash ya or start anything, just trying to reason thru what you said, and I have a better understanding now, thanks!

There have been a couple of suggestions (and believe me, I will be trying them, hehehehe), but I would also suggest looking at your application of rub.

If you are getting the flavor you want on the surface (ie, where the rub is), dont change it, BUT maybe look at your rub ingredients. If you are using an already prepared rub, its difficult. If you are mixing it yourself, look at what's going in there, what spices are drawing moisture out of the meat, and/or what could be soaking up liquid and just laying on the surface creating that paste. Do you apply alot of rub prior to placing on the smoker, then apply it again in the foil?

Maybe you need to add or take away from the amount of rub you are applying to meat........just my .02 cents......

I would also like to hear what any judges might have to say on bark.......
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Unread 09-20-2012, 03:44 PM   #11
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So we have gone back and forth with the Brisket bark question too. We typically pour some liquid and wrap the brisket at 170. We have tried returning the brisket to the smoker to firm up the bark after the tenderness gets close to where we want, but then when you rest the meat it gets mushy again. We have tried to return the brisket to the smoker after resting right before slicing after removing the point for burnt ends, but then I have found that the meat tends to dry out. Any suggestions?
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Unread 09-20-2012, 04:25 PM   #12
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My brisket is the same as yours. My opinion is that as long as we wrap, that is the way it is going to be. The only way to get true bark is to not wrap and not hold. My burnt ends have awesome bark. But, everytime I cook a brisket and not wrap it, it is just not quite as juicy as I want it for a competition.
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Unread 09-20-2012, 06:20 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by landarc View Post
Hey Wampus, I know you are no rookie at this, but, have you tried doing a competition run with a brisket and removing it from the foil just as it starts to probe soft, giving it an extra hour in straight heat might dry that paste right up.
Jimmy and I were discussing this just yesterday. Only concern is that it would dry it out. Plus.....as said above if there's much hold time it will probably soften right back up.
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Unread 09-20-2012, 06:22 PM   #14
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Out of curiosity, what type of smoker are ya'll using?
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Unread 09-20-2012, 06:28 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scottie View Post
Shig alert...
Har har har........shig away!

I don't think I've said or revealed anything that most of the teams that I've seen are doing (rub,foil,slice). Plus we're pretty open with most all we do anyway. As you know, Scottie, I could flat out post every single thing we do and it doesn't necessarily mean that someone can duplicate our results!



........or are suggesting that I'M shigging by inquiring!?!
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