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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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Old 05-02-2014, 03:26 AM   #1
shawnmcchesney12
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Default bark vs no bark

Just a quick question today, do you all prefer to debark your wood you are using to smoke with or leave the bark on. I have been told the bark can impart bitter smoke flavors. I use alot of apple and cherry and debarking can be a pain in the backside. Just trying to get the brethrens point of view. Thanks
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Old 05-02-2014, 03:34 AM   #2
sliding_billy
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Leave it on. No difference in smell/flavor that I can tell.
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Old 05-02-2014, 04:05 AM   #3
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I never noticed any bad smells or flavours from bark either
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Old 05-02-2014, 04:55 AM   #4
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I leave my bark on. I too use apple, cherry, and hickory debarking is a pain.
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Old 05-02-2014, 05:18 AM   #5
Garrett
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Only time I remove the bark is if it's already loose and easily comes off. That's because moisture can get behind it and cause it to mold.
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Old 05-02-2014, 05:43 AM   #6
IamMadMan
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I also leave the bark on unless it's wet, moldy, or has fungus on it.

Properly stored wood will have none of the above, but occasionally someone will drop some wood off that needs to be looked at before putting into storage...
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Old 05-02-2014, 07:15 AM   #7
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No difference in taste, leave it.
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Old 05-02-2014, 07:37 AM   #8
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I eat the bark. Best tasting part!



/wait.... you meant tree bark! Sorry, read that wrong.
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Old 05-02-2014, 07:58 AM   #9
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I had the same question when I first started smoking meat because I spent a lot of time a work getting the bark off of my hickory and apple. I asked the brethren here and they said leave it on (I had read in some smoking book it would cause bitterness). I did and cannot tell a difference in taste. The bark is fuel from the same tree. Maybe the author of that comment had an ole tomcat 'marking' his woodpile.
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Old 05-02-2014, 08:03 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shawnmcchesney12 View Post
Just a quick question today, do you all prefer to debark your wood you are using to smoke with or leave the bark on. I have been told the bark can impart bitter smoke flavors. I use alot of apple and cherry and debarking can be a pain in the backside. Just trying to get the brethrens point of view. Thanks
Bitterness on the meat is caused by poor fire management, not wood bark. It's also the culprit behind what some people term as "over smoked" meat. It's basically wood that is smoldering rather than fully igniting due to green / unseasoned wood or in most cases poor airflow or draft.
I've read posts about people who are afraid to use mesquite or even hickory because they're afraid of "over smoking" their food but the fact is that it can happen with ANY wood that you cook with if the fire is not burning cleanly.
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Old 05-02-2014, 08:36 AM   #11
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I have wondered about using the minion method in regard to clean burn. Would this method not be a clean burn as the charcoal and wood would not be fully lit?
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Old 05-02-2014, 08:37 AM   #12
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I leave it on and I have never had a problem with taste or smell.
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Old 05-02-2014, 08:51 AM   #13
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Leave it on. There are some brands of BBQ pellets that leave the bark in. When I stickburn or use chunks, I never worry about the bark. I only take it off if it is falling off as others said.
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Old 05-02-2014, 09:02 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by juno View Post
I have wondered about using the minion method in regard to clean burn. Would this method not be a clean burn as the charcoal and wood would not be fully lit?
That's a good question. I used the Minion Method on Wednesday night in the PBC, used Cherry wood and did not notice any bitterness or over smoking... I'm going to may use Pecan tonight with the ribs I'm cooking... I'll watch the wood to see if there is a problem.
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Old 05-02-2014, 09:46 AM   #15
oldbill
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Quote:
Originally Posted by juno View Post
I have wondered about using the minion method in regard to clean burn. Would this method not be a clean burn as the charcoal and wood would not be fully lit?
The minion works great in the proper cooker. A charcoal cooker such as a WSM, Egg or an insulated vertical will give you really long burn times and pretty good Q. It's really just being careful about the amount of wood that is added for the quality of the smoke.
Using the minion in a stick burner however is something that I wouldn't recommend because it would mean choking down on the intake and stopping valuable airflow through the cooker. This will lead to temp issues and dirty smoke from smoldering wood. A small hot all wood fire with open dampers is the way to go with stick burners.
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