How to get a good Bark on a Brisket

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How to get a good Bark on a Brisket

Postby Americana Cookers » Wed Mar 28, 2012 4:17 pm

Ok, after looking through alot of pics on here and having my stomach rumble over and over again I decided that my bark on my brisket isnt as deffined as others ive seen. Ive used the Worcestershire sauce and rubs with plenty of brown sugar and my bark is a very moist and light color. So im not sure how to get it a little darker for that well defined bark look. I usually cook around 225 never going over 250, i dont like the high temp cooking. So any tips you guys have would be great, thanks fellas......
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Re: How to get a good Bark on a Brisket

Postby js-tx » Wed Mar 28, 2012 4:42 pm

Using rubs (and enough of it) with course spices such as turbinado sugar, kosher salt, and course ground pepper help quite a bit. IMO foiling does not help in getting a defined bark. Your temp should be fine, although I would bump it up to 250* (grate level).
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Re: How to get a good Bark on a Brisket

Postby Boots » Wed Mar 28, 2012 5:00 pm

Ditto JS's comments on rubs, etc. Additionally, I have just a personal preference for taking my brisket out longer than most and using a lot of smoke (dry wood generated not wet) and I think that contributes to the bark - ideally, I run mine anywhere from about 17-22 hours, mopping every hour with my personal Evil Mop formula. I sometimes hit it real hard with mesquite over an oak base early (the mesquite smokes like an oil tanker on fire), and then ride the rest of the way with pecan. Temperature will wander up and down anywhere from 200 to 300 depending on how vigilant I am being or how lazy in watching my fire. I do foil with heavy foil about 1/2 way through to conserve the juice, and then open the foil full open on top with about 2 hours left in the cook to let the bark have a chance to firm and crisp. Mine usually always has a nice surface crisp but is very tender and juicy inside this way. Photo is my comp brisket from Taylor last year (first comp), but it's pretty representative of my typical. I don't think the photo really does it justice, was much more juicy than this looks.

I think you'll get 10 different answers on this and all will be different and all will be right individually. I think its very much a matter of individual method and taste, for example, I won't inject but don't condemn others for it (I dunno if that is costing me comp points or not, I just can't bring myself to use the needle, will bring my A game without it though and be happy with whatever the results are). Buena Suerte on your bark.
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Re: How to get a good Bark on a Brisket

Postby jtilk » Wed Mar 28, 2012 9:04 pm

Best thing you can do is trial and error... Cook a few briskets or cut one into pieces (just might be blasphemy) and try coating with mustard, A-1, Wooster and with nothing but rubs. Everyone has their own preference soas mentioned you'll get several answers. I for one do foil my briskets and it'll soften the bark, but I'll crack it open and cook for another 10-15 min's to firm it back up.
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Re: How to get a good Bark on a Brisket

Postby biggreeneggic » Wed Mar 28, 2012 9:12 pm

I usually do not foil my briskets, and cook them between 225-250 until the internal temp is around 180 or so. By then, I don't mind turning the heat up for the last part of the cook (around 300 or so) to get a nice bark to form. Of course, the things everyone said about the rubs is true, but I thought the bark formed because of lack of moisture on the surface (this is why all the foilers eventually take it back out of the foil?)
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Re: How to get a good Bark on a Brisket

Postby FR8 Train » Wed Mar 28, 2012 9:15 pm

Boots, that looks awesome. To the original poster...just do what he did
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Re: How to get a good Bark on a Brisket

Postby BluDawg » Wed Mar 28, 2012 9:53 pm

I don't foil & I don't mop and I never peek. I wet mine down with a little worcestershire apply my rub and let it smoke at 230-250 until it passes the poke test. My rub is K salt Black pepper, garlic powder and Mex Oregano.
This is not the same brisket as below but it sows how much rub I use.
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Re: How to get a good Bark on a Brisket

Postby FR8 Train » Wed Mar 28, 2012 10:14 pm

It's like a bark throwdown in here, well done bludawg
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Re: How to get a good Bark on a Brisket

Postby js-tx » Thu Mar 29, 2012 12:09 am

Here's a couple pics from this past weekend. Just kosher salt and course black pepper. Cooked @250-280* for about 8 hours total. Wrapped in butcher paper about 5 hours into the cook. I spritzed lightly with half water, half Worcestershire sauce just before wrapping.

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Re: How to get a good Bark on a Brisket

Postby el patron » Thu Mar 29, 2012 9:24 am

DAYUM !!!!

making me wanna go get some groceries !
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Re: How to get a good Bark on a Brisket

Postby backyard » Thu Mar 29, 2012 10:40 am

I personally don't really focus on the bark, aside from making sure it doesn't burn....Hint Hint. But if I were, about an hour before turn in, I would put the brisket back on the pit for 30 min. fat side down at a temp no higher than 200. If one is so inclined, this might be a good time to sauce the meat side of the brisket as well.......
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Re: How to get a good Bark on a Brisket

Postby Boots » Thu Mar 29, 2012 10:48 am

Thanks Train, and my compliments to JS and Blu, oustanding briskets. I think this illustrates the point that you can do it 3 different ways (or 300) and get results you like...

You know thinking about that throwdown comment raises a thought, how about an LSBS "brisket only" Open, maybe as a companion deal to the National? Redneck, you guys got anything like that already?

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How to get a good Bark on a Brisket

Postby atcNick » Thu Mar 29, 2012 12:59 pm

js-tx wrote:Here's a couple pics from this past weekend. Just kosher salt and course black pepper. Cooked @250-280* for about 8 hours total. Wrapped in butcher paper about 5 hours into the cook. I spritzed lightly with half water, half Worcestershire sauce just before wrapping.

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I've tried the salt and pepper and butcher paper, my bark looked nothing like yours. I really had no bark. I wonder why yours looks different


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Re: How to get a good Bark on a Brisket

Postby backyard » Thu Mar 29, 2012 2:04 pm

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No Bark. Cooked at 275, then 250. Done in 6 hours.
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Re: How to get a good Bark on a Brisket

Postby Davidtxs » Thu Mar 29, 2012 3:16 pm

js-tx wrote:Here's a couple pics from this past weekend. Just kosher salt and course black pepper. Cooked @250-280* for about 8 hours total. Wrapped in butcher paper about 5 hours into the cook. I spritzed lightly with half water, half Worcestershire sauce just before wrapping.

man thats A BARK LOL

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