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No bark, dry meat - diagnosis?

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    No bark, dry meat - diagnosis?

    Amid many successful cooks, I have had a few occasions where I'm smoking something and it's just a disaster -- the bark never sets, the rub stays in dry/granulated form on the outside, and the meat comes out dry/tough. This has happened to me 3-4 times in about as many years -- previously with pulled pork and most recently on my first attempt with the pastrami recipe on the free site. The only thing I can point to is that the smoker (BGE) may have been running bit hot at least some of these times, but nothing THAT crazy (like 250-260 when I was aiming for 225-235). Thoughts on what might be causing this?

    #2
    How thick are you laying on the rub? Dry meat is dry meat, but too much rub will cause a granulated pile. I did that to a brisket flat once.

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      #3
      I take it from your question that maybe I'm laying it on too thick. You may be right, I hadn't considered that. I tend to apply generously and maybe these were the times when I crossed the line separating generous from excessive.

      But that wouldn't affect the moistness of the meat, would it?

      Comment


      • Jerod Broussard
        Jerod Broussard commented
        Editing a comment
        Nah, it doesn't rob the meat of its moistness potential. You want 100% coverage WITHOUT piling it up.

      • Cheef
        Cheef commented
        Editing a comment
        Jerod. Do you add any kind of oil or mustard before the rub or just go for it.
        I have had the same problem with a couple of rib cooks.

        every one else thinks they are good but to me a little dry on the surface.
        I just add the rub with no binder?

      • Jerod Broussard
        Jerod Broussard commented
        Editing a comment
        Cheef nothing, just rub. I have started applying the rub a little earlier (30 min 's) at times to allow things to dissolve a little.

      #4
      On Butts I always add yellow mustard or Mayo before adding the rub. I don’t recall ever having an issue.

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        #5
        Sounds like it's undercooked, imho. I lay the rub on pretty generously, and when I overdo it I just get thicker bark.

        Comment


          #6
          I always use plain yellow mustard as the binder before applying rub. Pork butt tends to keep more internal moisture after I get a good bark set then wrap in foil to finish the cook.

          Comment


            #7
            I certainly don't believe that you were running too hot. I cook pastrami at 275F regularly on a kamado. I do wrap my pastrami when it hits 180F and then take it on to 203F. On brisket I cook at 300 and don't wrap until it's ready to come off and rest in the faux Cambro. If your pastrami was a very lean flat the lack of fat could have been the culprit.

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              #8
              Yeah I'm chalking it up to a combo of over-applying rub and meat that was too lean.

              Comment


              • smokin fool
                smokin fool commented
                Editing a comment
                I have a problem with over applying rub too, more is better thinking where we al know more isn't always the way to go

              #9
              Are you using a water pan in the BGE? That will cause a steam bath in the cooking chamber. BGEs, and kamados in general, have very little airflow. If you are adding a water pan to the cooking chamber, this can really inhibit the formation of bark on the surface of the meat.

              You are not running it too hot. Not even close. Itypcially run my kamados at around 275 F.

              I would keep the water pan out (if you are using one) but more importantly, I would make sure to buy the highest quality meat you can.. The quality of the meat and the inter muscular fa are the keys to really having a moist brisket. You have to start with good ingredients.

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