PDA

View Full Version : Brisket Bark


Kanco Connection
07-07-2017, 12:13 PM
First post here. Brisket question. I'm known for steak, pulled pork, and ribs (in that order) and haven't done very many briskets--maybe only 6 ever. I did a whole packer on July 4 and the meat was great, and the bark was flavorful, but it was moist--almost mushy--from the wrap. So it was just a double instead of the home run it could have been.

Do you guys unwrap and let it sit naked after wrapping to reconstitute the bark? If so, how long? And do you take it all the way to probe tender before doing that?

Thanks.

BillN
07-07-2017, 12:15 PM
Did you wrap in foil or paper?

mikemci
07-07-2017, 12:23 PM
No wrap at all will give you the best bark. Wrap in un-lined butcher paper will give you 2nd best bark.

BillN
07-07-2017, 12:24 PM
No wrap at all will give you the best bark. Wrap in un-lined butcher paper will give you 2nd best bark.

I prefer going nekid as well :mrgreen:

Stlsportster
07-07-2017, 12:33 PM
Did you let it cool unwrapped for 5-10 minutes before holding? Need to make sure the temp comes down enough to stop cooking.

m-fine
07-07-2017, 12:54 PM
Did you let it cool unwrapped for 5-10 minutes before holding? Need to make sure the temp comes down enough to stop cooking.

That is a fallacy I often see repeated here. Even at 130* the meat will keep "cooking" as in the fibers and connective tissue will continue to break down. The process is slower at lower temps, but if it is cool enough to stop cooking you are in the bacteria danger zone.

As for the OP, what kind of cooker? Why did you wrap in the first place?

As has been said, the best bark will come from cooking end to end unwrapped. If you have to wrap to speed things up or to protect the outside, butcher paper will harm the bark less than foil but will also not help with those issues as much as foil.

If you keep sugar out of the rub, keep the cooking temp from getting too high, and your cooker is fully indirect heat, your bark may turn very dark but should not burn and will not need wrapping.

Cmikes
07-07-2017, 12:55 PM
Anyone that says you can't get a good bark cause your wrapping in foil is wrong. Cook normal, wrap to color, finish to feel. When your brisket is done, vent the brisket. Then place back on the pit for 30-40 mins to reset the bark.

Kanco Connection
07-07-2017, 12:55 PM
Foil. I've hear paper can be good but never tried it.

Kanco Connection
07-07-2017, 12:57 PM
Did you let it cool unwrapped for 5-10 minutes before holding? Need to make sure the temp comes down enough to stop cooking.

nope. I didn't know that's the thing to do, but sounds good.

Kanco Connection
07-07-2017, 12:59 PM
That is a fallacy I often see repeated here. Even at 130* the meat will keep "cooking" as in the fibers and connective tissue will continue to break down. The process is slower at lower temps, but if it is cool enough to stop cooking you are in the bacteria danger zone.

As for the OP, what kind of cooker? Why did you wrap in the first place?

As has been said, the best bark will come from cooking end to end unwrapped. If you have to wrap to speed things up or to protect the outside, butcher paper will harm the bark less than foil but will also not help with those issues as much as foil.

If you keep sugar out of the rub, keep the cooking temp from getting too high, and your cooker is fully indirect heat, your bark may turn very dark but should not burn and will not need wrapping.

I used the PBC (which, I understand usually causes an uproar of one kind or another). I like the idea of no wrap--just trying to make sure it was done in time and was moist since my previous efforts were often dry.

m-fine
07-07-2017, 12:59 PM
Anyone that says you can't get a good bark cause your wrapping in foil is wrong. Cook normal, wrap to color, finish to feel. When your brisket is done, vent the brisket. Then place back on the pit for 30-40 mins to reset the bark.

Anyone who says you have to wrap to color is also wrong.

Kanco Connection
07-07-2017, 01:04 PM
What is "wrap to color"?

boomers bbq
07-07-2017, 01:06 PM
I don't wrap mine either, love the bark I get each time.

pjtexas1
07-07-2017, 01:06 PM
What is "wrap to color"?

Making sure the bark is set.

m-fine
07-07-2017, 01:08 PM
I used the PBC (which, I understand usually causes an uproar of one kind or another). I like the idea of no wrap--just trying to make sure it was done in time and was moist since my previous efforts were often dry.

Not sure why the PBC would cause an uproar. If your setup exposes the brisket to the glowing coals, you may need to wrap to protect it from charring. If you have a deflector or barrier, you shouldn't have to wrap.

Wrapping won't necessarily make it more moist. It does reduce evaporation which allows the meat to heat up faster and therefore cook faster, but hotter meat also means more moisture squeezed out of the muscle fibers. If I am not behind schedule, I don't give a hoot about a stall and I don't wrap briskets. If it looks like getting it done in time for dinner is in question, I wrap and up the temp to speed things along. It is a tool that can help you but is usually unnecessary.

m-fine
07-07-2017, 01:11 PM
What is "wrap to color"?

Some people feel the need to wrap after the outside hits a certain color such a mahogany brown. They cook until the outside has the color they want and then wrap to keep it from further darkening. The fallacy is that a brown bark is better than a darker bark or that a dark bark is burnt.

Kanco Connection
07-07-2017, 01:12 PM
Not sure why the PBC would cause an uproar. If your setup exposes the brisket to the glowing coals, you may need to wrap to protect it from charring. If you have a deflector or barrier, you shouldn't have to wrap.

Wrapping won't necessarily make it more moist. It does reduce evaporation which allows the meat to heat up faster and therefore cook faster, but hotter meat also means more moisture squeezed out of the muscle fibers. If I am not behind schedule, I don't give a hoot about a stall and I don't wrap briskets. If it looks like getting it done in time for dinner is in question, I wrap and up the temp to speed things along. It is a tool that can help you but is usually unnecessary.

Sounds like solid advice. I'm going to try again without the wrap. Thanks.

smoke ninja
07-07-2017, 01:15 PM
This thread is full of absolutes

the best bark is the bark an individual prefers. Maybe i dont like it hard and crispy

Also some things work for people and cant be explained why. Wrapping, venting, resting we do what works......my brisket comes oit best when i flip them.....so i do.

jasonjax
07-07-2017, 01:20 PM
This thread is full of absolutes

...the best bark is the bark an individual prefers. .

Is that an absolute? :)

Agree. Do what you and your family/guests like the most.

I personally cook to the color I like, vent for a few minutes during the wrap, and finish in foil. I also vent a few minutes after it is at the texture/temp I am happy with.

Kanco Connection
07-07-2017, 01:21 PM
My previous brisket attempts were just flats from Walmart of unknown quality, and my bbq skills weren't honed. But it was enough to make me brisket-shy for a couple years. So I resolved to get quality brisket from Costco and wrap. Better result but not perfect.

cowgirl
07-07-2017, 01:29 PM
Another non wrapper here. It's just a matter of preference.

Bill-Chicago
07-07-2017, 01:36 PM
If you are using Kingsford and a majority of the "K's" are facing downward left, that can also lead to a mushy bark.

Upward right facing K's will produce a hotter heat source and allow the sugar in your rub to bark up better.

GrillBillie_D
07-07-2017, 01:43 PM
I used to put way too much seasoning on a brisket and when I wrapped, it always got mushy. When I learned to put the right amount of seasoning and let the bark set, I never have a problem with mushy bark when wrapping. That's my $0.02.

Sidd Finch
07-07-2017, 02:05 PM
If you are using Kingsford and a majority of the "K's" are facing downward left, that can also lead to a mushy bark.

Upward right facing K's will produce a hotter heat source and allow the sugar in your rub to bark up better.

And make sure you buy only left-handed briskets, right?

:-D

Jrogers84
07-07-2017, 02:22 PM
Some people feel the need to wrap after the outside hits a certain color such a mahogany brown. They cook until the outside has the color they want and then wrap to keep it from further darkening. The fallacy is that a brown bark is better than a darker bark or that a dark bark is burnt.

Some prefer a brown bark. Some dont. Its a personal thing. Were not here to tell what is right or wrong on a personal preference, were here to help.

As for the bark I suggest going with paper or giving a proper amount of time after the foil to let it set back up. I personally love butcher paper to the point I dont use foil very often anymore

Kanco Connection
07-07-2017, 02:30 PM
Butcher paper interests me but kind of expensive isn't it? Where's a good place to get some?

Jrogers84
07-07-2017, 02:47 PM
I grabbed mine at gordon food service. It is a fraction of the cost of foil. If you bbq as a hobby and not a living I think the roll will last you about a decade

Kanco Connection
07-07-2017, 02:55 PM
OK thanks. Guess I was wrong.

McSpazatron
07-07-2017, 03:23 PM
I also prefer mine nekid. As long as you keep temps low enough to prevent burning, you will have good dark mahagony to black bark and it shouldnt get get burnt/charred. Some edges of these the flat might get dry, but that you can just add that to any chopped brisket you end up making.

Did you let it cool unwrapped for 5-10 minutes before holding? Need to make sure the temp comes down enough to stop cooking.

I agree that letting the brisket vent off some of the heat after before pulling it from the smoker helps. Because if you keep it wrapped after pulling it, you run a good chance that the bark will stick to the paper/foil. This is especially important if your bark is built on a thin fat foundation (like mine). Like m-fine said, it will still keep cooking during the hold, and that is a good thing.

Rockinar
07-07-2017, 04:42 PM
Butcher paper interests me but kind of expensive isn't it? Where's a good place to get some?

Grocery store paper bags, or the paper bags from Home Depot in the trash bag aisle do the same. That way you an try "paper wrap" without having to buy a whole roll of butcher paper.

pjtexas1
07-07-2017, 04:45 PM
Another non rapper here. It's just a matter of preference.

i can see that. i would be surprised to hear you drop some lyrics.:becky:

seriously. you can achieve the bark you desire nekkid, foiled or BP'd. you just need to do a few cooks and take notes. i used foil for years and never had mushy bark after i figured out to let the bark get a little harder before foiling.
"Doowutchyalike"

Kanco Connection
07-07-2017, 04:54 PM
Thanks. I think I made some mistakes. Foiling and putting straight in the cooler may have been a problem, and I had wrapped it pretty tight so the juice was bathing almost all of the bark for the entire 2-hour rest. Still, it was my best effort on brisket, and the crowd went wild and it was good enough to make me look forward to trying again with some tweaks.

Bob C Cue
07-07-2017, 06:09 PM
Another non wrapper here. It's just a matter of preference.

But i hear you're one heck of a rapper!

Pitmaster T
07-07-2017, 06:13 PM
First post here. Brisket question. I'm known for steak, pulled pork, and ribs (in that order) and haven't done very many briskets--maybe only 6 ever. I did a whole packer on July 4 and the meat was great, and the bark was flavorful, but it was moist--almost mushy--from the wrap. So it was just a double instead of the home run it could have been.

Do you guys unwrap and let it sit naked after wrapping to reconstitute the bark? If so, how long? And do you take it all the way to probe tender before doing that?

Thanks.

I released a rub technique long ago that did this exact thing. paper wrap made it even better. I see that bark pop back within minutes of placing it on the board... sometimes even after I slice it.