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Mar 25th, 2012
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Bark on brisket #5219724 07/26/14 08:24 PM
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Being a native Texan, being able to smoke a good brisket is a necessary man skill. I've smoked briskets for years. I've gotten many compliments. It's dang good. One thing though that has always evaded me is getting a good, delicious bark that you find on the best of the best.

Any tips?


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Re: Bark on brisket [Re: Palehorse] #5219805 07/26/14 09:36 PM
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Most of my experience is that people trim briskets wayyyyyyy too much..Ive always had a good Bark with briskets that have at least 1/8 inch of fat..If I ever have more than 1/4 Ill trim it a little...Also I cook my briskets for the first hr at 350...I tried cooking at lower temps and didnt get that bark I needed...

Re: Bark on brisket [Re: Palehorse] #5220685 07/27/14 03:27 PM
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I smoke mine at 250 until internal temp reaches 160 then wrap in foil until 200 works great for me. I think low and slow works best but I also rub with brown sugar and it seems to put a good bark on.

Re: Bark on brisket [Re: Palehorse] #5222682 07/28/14 08:29 PM
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What kind of rub are you using? The rub is the key to great bark. I personally don't foil mine because I like the bark to be a little crispier. Another key is to buy good briskets. Places like walmart and most grocery stores inject their brisket with a saline solution to make them look better in the case. However, if you're going to do anything but cook it down to mush in the crock pot it's not what you want. I have good luck with costco briskets.

Here's how I cook mine.

Trim the brisket well. flavor doesn't penetrate the fat. And the fat cap usually gets taken off after cooking, taking the bark with it.
Rub with whatever rub you choose. I make my own but the guy who makes Texas Pepper Jelly has some fine rubs for sale.
Let sit in fridge 12-24 hours so the meat draws in some of the rub flavor.
Recoat with rub.
Place on smoker pre-heated to 225-250 that is lightly smoking. Too much smoke is not good. I use pecan wood or hicory for brisket. Fat side up or down probably doesn't matter. I do fat side up so the fat runs over the meat as it renders.
Cook to internal temp of 160-165. If you're going to foil this is when to do it. The meat won't absorb any more smoke after it reaches 165. As I said I don't foil so I continue cooking to internal temp of 190.
At 190 I pull it off the smoker, wrap in foil, wrap in a towel and place in a cooler that is lined with towels. Cover with more towels on top, close the cooler and let it rest for NO LESS than 1 hour. I rest mine for a few hours if I can.

The cooking process will continue during this rest period and the internal temp should get to around 195-200 before it peaks.

After resting, unwrap, slice and serve.

Last edited by soonerdg; 07/28/14 08:32 PM.
Re: Bark on brisket [Re: easton1025] #5222712 07/28/14 08:49 PM
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Originally Posted By: easton1025
Most of my experience is that people trim briskets wayyyyyyy too much....



i have cooked hundreds of briskets and have NEVER trimmed one.....i dont understand the reasoning behind cutting off the natural meat baster it makes absolutely no sense to me.....i read all the time about people over-cooking their briskets and one of the most common sources in their cooking analogy is they always trim their briskets and they cook the hell outta them on high heat for way to long.....making briskets isnt hard its wading thru all of the BS people try to throw out there on the proper way to do them...your not going to make a good brisket in a few hours its takes time and not rushing the process....when people learn to slow down and not try to rush everything it will all come together and until folks actually start doing that we're gonna keep on hearing the same ole same ole...

Re: Bark on brisket [Re: Palehorse] #5222751 07/28/14 09:04 PM
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^^^ yep, a whole lot of truth there NewGulf!!! I trim mine but still leave a healthy 1/4-1/2 inch of cap fat. I mainly trim so there isn't a huge glob of nicely barked fat that gets cut away before most people will eat it yet still enough to baste while cooking.


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Re: Bark on brisket [Re: PMK] #5222837 07/28/14 09:54 PM
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Pmk, that's right. I trim for about 3/8 to be left. That way you get all the bark on the slice. By the way, I can't find the bark at Hard 8?

Re: Bark on brisket [Re: Palehorse] #5223773 07/29/14 12:58 PM
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I don't trim and never wrap. Start fat side down for 3-4 hours then flip and leave. Quit stoking fire at 195 internal and pull it at 200 internal. Let it rest for 2-3 hours on chopping block then slice. Great bark and brisket IMO. It is a labor of love


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Re: Bark on brisket [Re: Palehorse] #5223857 07/29/14 01:47 PM
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for those of you that do wrap, do you know what the difference between wrapping in foil vs butcher paper?

Re: Bark on brisket [Re: Palehorse] #5225394 07/30/14 03:42 AM
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I am a renegade on this! Will trim to 1/4 inch fat cap. Smoker set at 250 on the spot. Smoke for 6 hours, turning brisket twice. Spritz with juice, normally Apple, on the turn. After 6 hours of slow cook, the natural fats and connective tissues have infused the smoke, but at this point have not broken down enough. I pull the meat off the smoke to firm, then wrap in a double wrap of foil. For a 12 pounder I will sit in the oven at 200 for 6 hours. The bark happens during the initial smoke when you spritz. The key I have found is the rub needs to soak in overnight in the meat, this is tougher on a beef brisket than on a pork shoulder, but regardless I will let rest with a thick rub overnight. To me the key are the natural clear juices, when the flow you are done. Don't ever use a meat thermo, just eye it. When those juices flow, pull the brisket from the oven or smoker, vent it for 30 minutes, then wrap again. Flip the wrapped meat so the juices then marinate the meat again. We like chopped brisket, and not sliced, so this works great for sandwiches, burritos, enchiladas, nachos, etc. a dab of Head Country sauce added to the chop seals the deal. Final step is to let rest at least 2 hours uncovered to release heat. Remove meat and slice or chop and add drippings which are now mingled with sauce. Low and slow, smoker and oven. Smoke ring first, so cold smoke on indirect heat. Second for bark, spritz and move closer to heat, turning occasionally. Lot of fun, I have finished off well smoked and barked briskest in the oven for years. A lot of times I just set the oven at 170 and let it break down overnight. Good luck, each to their own!


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Re: Bark on brisket [Re: ijohnston] #5225734 07/30/14 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted By: ijohnston
for those of you that do wrap, do you know what the difference between wrapping in foil vs butcher paper?

I tried a few with paper. It still holds moisture, but it's a loose wrap so not as good as foil. It also still allows a little smoke in.

fyi, I don't think wax butcher paper is a good idea because of the chemicals

Last edited by wacorusty; 07/30/14 01:42 PM.

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