This is a membership forum. As a guest, you can click around a bit. View 5 pages for free. If you would like to participate, please join.

[ Pitmaster Club Information | Join Now | Login | Contact Us ]

There are 4 page views remaining.


No announcement yet.

Better bark on kamados

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Better bark on kamados

    It took me while, but I have now figured out the correlation. We all know kamados are reknowned for not drying out the food. And logically that would also play into a less firm bark. My results have been mixed.

    Today, when I switched my ribs around (at the 4 hour mark) I could see the bark was damp and probably would not be crispy at the end of the cook. So I opened the top vent to the full open position (I have a medium BGE with smokeware cap). And 40 minutes later the bark is firming up.

    I have always been of the opinions that have the upper vent mostly shut could help with getting a smokier flavor. So I will probably continue to keep the cap closed for the first 4 hours and open it up later to firm the bark.

    For long cooks with Pastrami or Pork Butt I would probably keep it relatively closed till the last 1 to 1.5 hours. I will continue to experiment but the top vent does seem to be the factor.

    Interesting, I smoke on the BKK and get great bark IMHO though not having owned another brand of smoker I have nothing to compare too.
    Pork butts I get my best bark, even after wrapping it’s still right there.
    Beef brisket/roasts are not far behind.
    Ribs I usually sauce but even if I leave some dry the bark is still hard.
    My Keg I find the bottom damper has the most effect on my cooks


    • LA Pork Butt
      LA Pork Butt commented
      Editing a comment
      I cook on a Large BGE and I give smokin fool a + 1 on bark. It has never been a problem even though I wrap after the cook and hold of a couple of hours. It is still plenty firm.

    I agree that the top damper has little effect on the temperature. But I have learned that it does have an effect on the dampness factor. I will continue to experiment with leaving it mostly open.


    • smokin fool
      smokin fool commented
      Editing a comment
      On my Keg it does so I try to keep it at a 1 or a 2 out of 5, if I open it more than that it lets more air thru fanning the flames so to speak. I've managed to learn to control temps using the bottom damper.
      Depends on the winds too, a windy day throws my calculations right out the window.

    How thick do you apply your rub? I cover in yellow mustard and put as much rub as it will hold.


      Originally posted by LA Pork Butt View Post
      How thick do you apply your rub? I cover in yellow mustard and put as much rub as it will hold.
      I put it on and let it sit over night and then put on more. The problem isn't lack of rub, but sometimes it is sort of damp. I opened up the top vent and it dried within and hour. Part of learning the the smoker for sure.


        I have a (discontinued) Bayou Classic Cypress Grill kamado, about the size of a large BGE. I have not had a problem with bark, I have had a few cooks that seemed a little dry so when smoking I use the plate setter (BGE - fits perfectly) and, if doing a pork butt or brisket, a pan with some water. The top vent will affect the temperature when cooking, I have to set both the bottom and top vents to regulate the temperature. If I move one or the other the temperature changes.

        I bought a triple tier BGE stainless cooking rack, the smoke sweet spot in this cooker is the top rack which is where I cook briskets and pork butts, unless I'm doing more than one.
        Last edited by 58limited; September 6, 2021, 04:35 PM.


        • RolfTaylor
          RolfTaylor commented
          Editing a comment
          Interesting. I guess YMMV applies!

          I have improvised a system with two layers in a medium. The bottom layer cooks faster, so I have to switch things top to bottom mid cook.

          The ribs tonight came out quite well. Tender enough to pull right off the bone. Bark crispy, but except for the ones on the end not too crispy (a bit hard to cut, but not hard to chew).

          The grate temperature was under 210 most of the cook, but the dome temperature was about 250-260 so I left it alone.

        I have a kamado joe. I had a terrible time getting the bark I wanted when I first started learning to cook on it. What I discovered was I needed to cook at higher temps. A brisket at 225F came out without much bark at all. I settled on 300F as the right temp for brisket on my cooker. I get great bark and flavor plus they cook quicker. It’s much the same with pork butt, 275-300F and ribs at 250 to 275F. The low air flow lets you use higher temps with out drying the food. I use a Smobot temp controller so my top vent settings are done for me. If it ever fails I’ll order another one immediately.


        • RolfTaylor
          RolfTaylor commented
          Editing a comment
          Interesting info. Thanks


      No announcement yet.
      Rubs Promo


      These are not ads or paid placements. These are some of our favorite tools and toys.

      These are products we have tested, won our top awards, and are highly recommend. Click here to read how we test, about our medals, and what they mean.

      Use Our Links To Help Keep Us Alive

      A big part of this site is our unbiased equipment and product reviews. We love playing with toys and we have no problem calling them the way we see them. Some companies pay a finder’s fee if a reader clicks a link on AmazingRibs.com and buys a product. It has zero impact on our reviews, zero impact on the price you pay, and the sites never tell us what you bought, but it has a major impact on our ability to keep this site alive! So before you buy, please click our links. Here’s a link that takes you to a page on Amazon that has some of our favorite tools and toys: https://tinyurl.com/amazingribs

      The Good-One Is A Superb Grill And A Superb Smoker All In One

      The Good-One Open Range is dramatically different from a traditional offset smoker. By placing the heat source behind and under the smokebox instead of off to the side, Open Range produces even temperature from left to right, something almost impossible to achieve with a standard barrel shaped offset.

      Click here to read ourcomplete review

      Compact Powerful Sear Machine For Your Next Tailgater

      Char-Broil’s Grill2Go x200 is a super-portable, fun little sizzler made of heavy, rust-proof cast aluminum. The lid snaps shut. Grab the handle and you’re off to the party! Char-Broil’s TRU-Infrared design produces searing heat while reducing fuel consumption. A 16 ounce LP gas canister is enough to keep you flipping burgers for hours.

      Click here to read our detailed review and to order

      Bring The Heat With Broil King Signet’s Dual Tube Burners

      3 burner gas grill

      The Broil King Signet 320 is a modestly priced, 3-burner gas grill that packs a lot of value and power under the hood. Broil King’s proprietary, dual-tube burners get hot fast and are able to achieve high, searing temps that rival most comparatively priced gas grills. The quality cast aluminum housing carries a Limited Lifetime Warranty.

      Click here to read ourcompletereview

      The Cool Kettle With The Hinged Hood We Always Wanted

      Napoleon’s 22″ Pro Cart Charcoal Kettle Grill puts a few spins on the familiar kettle design. In fact, the hinged lid with a handle on the front, spins in a rotary motion 180 degrees. It’s hard to beat a Weber kettle, but Napoleon holds its own and adds some unique features to make the 22″ Pro Cart a viable alternative.

      Click here for more about what makes this grill special


      Comprehensive Temperature Magnet With 80+ Important Temps

      Amazingribs.com temperature magnet
      Winner of the National BBQ Association’s product of the year award. This 8.5″ x 11″ magnet contains more that 80 benchmark temperatures for meats (both USDA recommended temps as well as the temps chefs recommend), fats and oils, sugars, sous vide, eggs, collagens, wood combustion, breads, and more. Although it is not certified as all-weather, we have tested it outdoors in Chicago weather and it has not delaminated in three years, but there is minor fading.

      Click here to order.

      The Efficiency Of A Kamado Plus The Flexibility Of The Slow ‘N Sear Insert

      kamado grill
      Built around SnS Grill’s patented Slow ‘N Sear charcoal kettle accessory, this 22-inch kamado is a premium ceramic grill that brings true 2-zone cooking to a kamado.

      Click here for our article on this exciting cooker

      GrillGrates Take Gas Grills To The InfraredZone

      GrillGrates(TM) amplify heat, prevent flareups, make flipping foods easier, kill hotspots, flip over to make a fine griddle, and can be easily moved from one grill to another. You can even throw wood chips, pellets, or sawdust between the rails and deliver a quick burst of smoke.

      Click here for more about what makes these grates so special