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My Bark Had No Bite
August 11, 2008
10:13 am
beltwaybbq
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July 10, 2008
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Ok.  At least I know what happened with that part of it.  That was my first time with foil.  Next time, I will check temp sooner.

As for the rub, I used the "Mr. Brown" rub recipe referenced here on the site under the recipe link.  I used a pretty liberal amount I thought.  I rubbed it the night before as I said as well as again in the morning.  If I have to add more next time, I will.  And if you think I need to kick up the brown sugar portion, I can do that too.

I learned the hard way about temperature and where it's being read from.  I have a temp. gauge installed almost level with the handle of the cooking chamber side of my Chargriller making it very close to grate level.  It is dead on accurate and I have seen much better results having added it to my rig.

I had heard somewhere that adding a water pan provides a moist environment.  If water pan doesn't really do anything or may even detract from getting a good product, I will nix it right away.

That's a shame it came out mushy.  Oh well, practice makes perfect.  Plus, now that I am a contributing member of this community, my chances of future success are so much better.

I welcome tips, hints or suggestions.

Thanks for the help!

JAC -beltwaybbq

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August 14, 2008
5:16 am
homebbq
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IMO its controversial at best what a water pan will do for you. Read my "Smoking Techniques" article under Articles/BBQ Essentials. I wrote that article back in 2002, but my opinion today is the same on a water pan. 

You also might want to try bumping your heat up a little bit, maybe 235 to 250. In my current cookers I cook butts and briskets at 250.

Kevin
HomeBBQ.com

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August 14, 2008
9:23 am
beltwaybbq
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I just read that paragraph regarding water pan.  I see what you're saying.

The bottom line is I need to try a few things.  I want to do another butt without foil or water pan and see what happens.  With that one, I may try and give it more heat as you suggest.  I will also do it fat side down and then try turning it after 155-165 internal.  The butt I did after my modifications (which I posted about) was pretty darn close to perfect for me.

After that, I need to do a butt with foil again.  What happened on my recent one was I didn't want to puncture the foil pouch or wrap with my polder so I just left it alone looking at time as a guide.  I realize that earlier temp checking, until I get the hang of it, will ensure the meat isn't overdone.  I rarley throw away pork butt but that one is already in the garbage.

Lastly, I am thinking about tackling a brisket soon.  I certainly see the value in using foil for that cut to help keep moisture in as well as break down tissue.  Speaking of cut, I know now from your article, what to look for.  I have a Kosher market near me that sells untrimmed, whole brisket.  I will certainly go back there and talk to the butcher to make sure I get a cut that works best.

Regards,

JAC -beltwaybbq

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August 14, 2008
6:32 pm
Big Dan
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June 26, 2008
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Sorry to be so late in posting in this thread but better late than never, I guess.

I always use the Reknown Mr. Brown recipe for pork butt -- it makes the most delicious bark imaginable.  I follow the recipe to the letter only I will double it.  I have made it both with dark brown sugar and with turbinado sugar with identical results.  I like to apply the rub 24 hours in advance then wrap the butt tightly with plastic wrap and keep it in the fridge.

I try to buy a pork butt with a thick layer of fat on one side (I've found that generally, a thick layer of fat is indicative of more internal fat as well which makes for a moister final product).  Many excellent barbequers will disagree with me, but I've had my best results when cooking with the fat side up -- it produces an incredibly most final product and a very crisp bark.  I do not mop/baste during cooking.

I cook at 220-225 for 2 to 3 hours per pound (I use a meat thermometer and remove it from the smoker wihen the internal temp reaches 190-192).  I do not wrap and I do not use a water pan.

I always allow for 3 hours per pound but it usually is done early so I pull the pork, miix in some sauce and put it all in a crock pot put on low -- it says wonderfully warm, flavorful and moist until its time to eat.  One of the most important steps is to let the pork butt rest for about 30 minutes after removing from the smoker before shreding.

This produces such a great tasting bark that when I'm pulling the pork for sandwiches everyone keeps stealing the pieces of meat with bark attached.  Indescribably delicious.

Keep on cookin'!!

Big Dan

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August 14, 2008
8:05 pm
beltwaybbq
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Thanks for chiming in Big Dan!

I appreciate your take on the topic.  Your approach to doing pork butt is really the same as mine for the most part.  I am not a pro like you and homebbq and some others in this community, but I am not brand new to this game either.  If I am doing anything at this point, it's trying different things to see how the results change, something I didn't really feel I had the skills for before.

Maybe I will try fat side down, maybe I'll do it fat up.  I guess I will decide right before the meat goes on.  I appreciate you sharing your results and your enthusiastic endorsement of the Renown Mr. Brown rub.  Reading that made my mouth water.  I can't figure out how the competitors get their butts to come out almost black on the outside with that great bark.  I will certainly take your pointers into account the next time.  I like your tip about wrapping in plastic the night before with the butt rubbed in.

I will report back when my next project is on the table.

Cheers!

JAC -beltwaybbq

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