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Unread 05-23-2009, 07:19 PM   #1
eagle697
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Default getting bark on a ceramic

I did a large cook last weekend and for the first time did a direct comparison between my ceramic cookers and my bandera. While the tast on both was good, i noticed a serious difference in the bark. The bark on the ceramics is very thin and relatively flavorless compared to the deep mahogony colored bark from teh bandera. I have been thinking this for a while, but this is the first time i have had a direct comaprison. I used the same rub on both. Made a bed of charcoal and burned oak and cherry in the bandera. In the primo and grilldome i had royal oak with 3-4 fist sized chunks of oak and cherry. Has anyone else noticed this? Is there a way to get a good, thick bark on ceramics? I love the ease of ceramics, and so far, this is the only drawback i see, other than the lack of excuse to sit out on the deck and drinking while i cook.
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Unread 05-23-2009, 08:45 PM   #2
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Were you cooking brisket, pork shoulder or ribs ??

Curious to see what others opinions are... Maybe there is more moisture retention with the ceramics ?
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Unread 05-23-2009, 08:53 PM   #3
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this time it was pork butts. I have noticed a softer bark on briskets in the ceramics as well. It does seem like the bark is very moist, to the point of being soggy.
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Unread 05-23-2009, 08:58 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MilitantSquatter View Post
Curious to see what others opinions are... Maybe there is more moisture retention with the ceramics ?
That would be my guess, similar to what occurs when you foil. I'd suspect it has to do with moisture. Dunno though.
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Unread 05-23-2009, 09:23 PM   #5
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Ramp up the heat a BIT in the ceramics - they retain moisture well enough to go to like 265 on a Pork Shoulder or a Brisket (only in the quest for Bark - unnecessary otherwise)
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Unread 05-23-2009, 10:47 PM   #6
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I don't own a ceramic, however, I experience the same thing with a Gravity-feed charcoaler. I have convinced myself that is the lack of air flow.

I have a much better bark on butts and briskets when using the stickburner compared to when I use the Gravity-feed. I figure it's the airflow. Much more airflow in a stickburner than a charcoaler. It's not soggy....just not as crispy.....and I LOVE the crispy bark.
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Unread 05-24-2009, 01:34 PM   #7
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it is the extra moisture in a ceramic cooker causing the softer bark. I agree with the air flow statement above also..when I had my pitts and spitts offset, my bark was great (I just got tired of tending the fire so much!). When I went to a Stumps, I think the overall quality of my que improved, but the bark was not as crisp for sure...now on my Primo, I think my que is just as good as on the Stumps (some food a lot better too), but the bark is definately a bit softer...I usually try and cook brisket, ribs, and butts around 250 in the Primo and I do NOT use any kind of liquid in the cooker (I do have a drip pan, but after trying it filled with liquid, I get better results from using no liquid).
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Unread 05-24-2009, 03:23 PM   #8
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I find that if I rub a very corse black pepper and a corse salt on the outside of my egg it ends up with a nice bark.
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Unread 05-25-2009, 07:29 AM   #9
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I think the point on a little higher temp for bark is the key. I found that out by accident the last time a did a butt on the dome.
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