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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 03-25-2013, 06:24 PM   #1
luberconn
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Default the darkness

i am new to this forum and smoking in general. i just got my first smoker this past january. i got hooked by watching some pitmasters on tv and then some reading on the internet. anyhow, i picked up a cheap Char-Broil Double Chef and have used it 4 times now. i have been pretty satisfied with just about everything i've made (ribs, whole chicken, pork butt), but i am NOT getting the dark bark that i've seen on videos and tv. mine is just dark in a few spots but mostly reddish and it looks like the rubs i use havent "carmelized" as they seem to do in the videos. is it because my smoker isnt doing its job? is it the sugar content in the rubs? or is it because im a huge noob salad?


my smoker


my very first cook. some baby backs and a whole chicken. both just have weber chick n rib seasoning.


my first boston butt. the discoloration is where i stuck the probe and the juices leaked.


my last butt done this past weekend. used some bone suckin seasoning and some pork rub from the local meat market.
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Unread 03-26-2013, 11:12 AM   #2
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at what time are you foiling that butt. looks like you just foiled way before the bark was ready
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Unread 03-26-2013, 11:22 AM   #3
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What temps are you cooking at? Also some sugar in the rub will aid in bark formation. BTW welcome to camp!
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Unread 03-26-2013, 11:43 AM   #4
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Use less rub you have more rub on that little Butt than I use on 20. Just so your aware you don't even need rub to get bark
This but was cooked on my UDS with a hearty application of Kosher salt. IMO BBQ rub is a total waste of money on large primal cuts. Once it looks like the picture below you can't taste it.


What temp are you cooking at?? If less than 250 there is a large part of you problem. I don't cook anything below 275 and most of the time 300-350.
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Unread 03-26-2013, 11:54 AM   #5
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I did not see you using foil, but if you did and it was to soon it will lighten it up.
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Unread 03-26-2013, 12:12 PM   #6
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One trick to foiling is to foil more when the appearance is what you want as opposed to foiling at a specific temp.
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Unread 03-26-2013, 12:15 PM   #7
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I'd rather have the color you have than have it black. Those ribs and chicken look good.
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Unread 03-26-2013, 12:50 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MisterChrister View Post
What temps are you cooking at? Also some sugar in the rub will aid in bark formation. BTW welcome to camp!
kept at 250 for the majority. i think sugar is probably right. the rubs i used have some sugar content but taste more savory than anything. thanks for the welcome!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bludawg View Post
Use less rub you have more rub on that little Butt than I use on 20. Just so your aware you don't even need rub to get bark
This but was cooked on my UDS with a hearty application of Kosher salt. IMO BBQ rub is a total waste of money on large primal cuts. Once it looks like the picture below you can't taste it.


What temp are you cooking at?? If less than 250 there is a large part of you problem. I don't cook anything below 275 and most of the time 300-350.
thats the darkness im used to seeing. i kept my cook from 230-280. sat at 250 probably 90% of the time. temp monitored by maverick et-732. i did coat my butts pretty heavily with rub.

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Originally Posted by Mo-Dave View Post
I did not see you using foil, but if you did and it was to soon it will lighten it up.
Dave
i foiled both times. the first but i posted i wrapped right after i took taht pic. i just stuck the probe in it and you can see the discoloration from the juice that leaked out. i didnt have the maverick at the time. on the 2nd but which is even lighter, i wrapped it 7hrs into the 10hr total cook.

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Originally Posted by bigabyte View Post
One trick to foiling is to foil more when the appearance is what you want as opposed to foiling at a specific temp.
i think im learning this now. thanks for the input. these are the little type of things im looking for so i can become more consistent.

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Originally Posted by nucornhusker View Post
I'd rather have the color you have than have it black. Those ribs and chicken look good.
i havent really had a really dark one. mine actually do taste good and havent gotten any complaints yet. but from what ive seen from the majority of vids, they just seem to have the darker bark. so if figured i was now doing something right.


how about wood content? would that effect the bark? or does that come mostly from the charcoal? i only used about 6 chunks of hickory the entire cook. the meat had plenty of smokey flavor...
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Unread 03-26-2013, 12:58 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Untraceable View Post
at what time are you foiling that butt. looks like you just foiled way before the bark was ready
hey UT, fancy seeing you here. finally took the plunge and joined the site. i foiled this one around 7hrs into the 10hr cook if i remember correctly. my cooker is holding temps suprisingly well. i wonder if having the water pan on the shelf right below the meat instead of below the 2nd rack is creating too much steam and not allowing the bark to darken? i saw a vid where the dude wrapped his butt after only 4hrs or something crazy like that....

i know my temps are ideal and cook times are long enough
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Unread 03-26-2013, 01:01 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nucornhusker View Post
I'd rather have the color you have than have it black. Those ribs and chicken look good.
I totally agree, the ribs look damn good to me and chicken doesn't look good when it gets black.
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Unread 03-26-2013, 01:11 PM   #11
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Quote:
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I totally agree, the ribs look damn good to me and chicken doesn't look good when it gets black.

thanks man. next year i hope to get a WSM. i picked up that char-broil for $50 on craigslist and it had been used only once. figured it would be good "first car" type rig. i am actually pleasantly surprised by this thing. it held temps like a champ in 15-20 degree weather without any blankets or shielding. the fuel efficiency is not too shabby. i just wish it had a deeper charcoal chamber. i can cook for about 6 hrs before i have to add more coals.
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Unread 03-26-2013, 01:11 PM   #12
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I'm not seeing any issues with the color of the ribs or chicken. I prefer that nice red mahogany color that you have over really dark bark for those two cuts.

Like Bluedawg said, for the butt it looks like you have way to much rub on there. My trick for applying rub is as follows.

Dry the meat really, really well with paper towels. Sprinkle the seasoning on and give it a few pats with your hand to rub it in. Get it rubbed like this all over then give it a little shake. Anything that hasn't stuck to the meat already and falls off is excessive.
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Unread 03-26-2013, 01:17 PM   #13
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yah, i coated that second butt big time. wrapped it overnight. then when i threw it on the cooker i sprinkled some more rub on it. in my head, i thought the rub was why i wasnt getting the color. thanks for the tip!

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Unread 03-26-2013, 01:25 PM   #14
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300-350, don't lift the lid period till it hits 205-210 internal and I mean it lol, the less you care about BBQ and the less you baby it the better it comes out.
This one is just 1/2 cup salt & peppa, 1 tbs chipotle cook till done. No water in the pan.

For not such a dry bark wrap in BP @180

Remember that the malliard reaction happens @like 310 which gives that color, any less temp, you just spinnin yo wheelz. Good luck man!
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Unread 03-26-2013, 01:31 PM   #15
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i like the looks of that. i might try sand in the waterpan next time. its crazy that ive eaten pulled pork the past 4 days in a row and a picture of it can still make my mouth water.
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