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Brisket bark too hard? | Here’s What To Do

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Brisket bark too hard

One of the most frustrating things when smoking a brisket is having a bark that is too hard. When the park is not that soft, and is way too to hard, it could be very difficult to slice through it and enjoy the smoked meat that you have prepared. Often times, when you have a bark on a brisket that is way too tough, it is the result of having smoked it at too hot of a temperature and placing it too close to the heat source. 

Placing the meat too close to a heat source at too hot of a temperature will certainly dry out the bark and make it way too tough. Despite all of this, there are several ways around it. In other words, even if you suspect this is happening, there are methods around it to ensure an adequate brisket after cooking.

How to get a good bark on brisket

If you want to get an excellent park that is not tough, there are a variety of mechanisms that you can employ to ensure that the bark is nice and crispy. Having a crispy bark is a great type of outer shell for the meat. It taste amazing and gives plenty of texture satisfaction.

Getting it to crisp

Getting a park to Chris rather than to become way too hard, is an interesting task. A great way to do it is to ensure that you don’t smoke the brisket past 350°F. Anything past that will certainly render the meat almost way too hard like a shell.

When the brisket is smoked at too hot of a temperature, the rub ingredients will start to firm up way too much and cause the crispiness to go away. In order to get a crispy bark, just smoked brisket at a temperature range of around 250°F and 300°F. This in my opinion is one of the best temperature ranges to smoke a brisket at for multiple reasons.

Things that give brisket good bark

Things that give brisket a very good bark that is not too tough or hard, can be a reasonable temperature that is less than 350°F, and some form of wrapping. Although rapping will certainly steam and destroy brisket if left on too much, it can be a great way to ensure that the bark on a particular brisket does not become too crispy or tough.

Using the right type of wrapping at the right time is certainly one of the easiest ways to manipulate and consciously control the seasoning profile of your meat.

So to give a brisket a good bark, just make sure to smoke it at around 250°F in 300°F while wrapping for at least several hours. Don’t wrap too much, but just ensure that whenever you notice the bark becoming way too crispy that you would like, go ahead and wrap it for a couple hours. This will help tame it back some and allow you to further control it going forward.

Length of Time to get a good bark on a brisket

The length of time to get a great bark on a brisket can vary. Every brisket is different. However, an average cook time for a 12 to 15 pound packer style brisket, is around 12 to 15 hours. As you start to crank out the temperature, this timeframe starts to decrease rapidly. So take this into consideration when planning ahead and attempting to get a great bark on your meat.

The bark on a particular brisket can start to form around the point at which it starts to stall. In other words, this is around 150°F in internal temperature. This is the point at which the moisture starts to excrete on top of the meat, thus cooling it down and rendering the internal temperature stable for several hours. 

At this point in the cooking process, the ingredients in the rub well I’ve had plenty of time to absorb all of the heat and smoke from the heat source. It will also start to begin the process of crisping up.

As you start to leave the brisket unwrapped for longer after this point in time, you will certainly notice that the rabbit ingredients will start to become more tough. Be very conscious of this, and never let it become too tough for your liking. And as mentioned above, if you noticed this happening, just go ahead and wrap it to start diminishing the way to crispy bark.

Is brisket bark supposed to be crispy?

A crispy brisket bark is certainly a preference of many Pit-masters. That’s because it allows for the perfect combination of having crispy fat on the outer edge of the meat with the soft and tender and juiciness of the actual meat and slices themselves. Frankly, having a crispy bark makes a brisket slice melt in your mouth.

Despite what many will say, a brisket is yours to consume and enjoy. If you don’t like it crispy bark then don’t worry about it. Go ahead and wrap the brisket at the stall and call it a day. This will ensure that the brisket never gets too crispy of a bark and will become a little more pot roasty than usual.

How do I make my brisket bark better?

Making your brisket bark even better is very simple. First, just consider exactly what you want out of your brisket and your bark. If you want it more crispy, then don’t wrap it, but smoke it at a reasonable temperature that is not way too hot. This will make sure that it does not become too tough to eat.

If you don’t want the brisket bark very crispy at all, then as mentioned above, just wrap it at around 150°F in 175°F, and enjoy a more steamed type of brisket with not that much bark.

Why am I not getting a good bark on my brisket?

If you find yourself not getting that great of a bark on brisket, consider leaving it unwrapped for a period of time and make sure to season the meat very well before starting to cook. Barbecue in general requires tons of seasoning to be applied on to the meat.

This is a very common problem, and often times I see a lot of people actually under season they’re made rather than overseas in it. So, if you are wondering why are you do not have a great bark, consider placing a lot more seasoning than you would normally expect to.

Does brisket get tough if overcooked?

Brisket does not get tough if over cooked.  An overcooked cooked a brisket will generally be rather crumbly and will actually fall apart with great ease. The only thing that make it tough if you happen to over cook the brisket, is the bark itself. This is a direct result of leaving a brisket on for too long and too close to the heat source, while also smoking it at a very high temperature.

Having a tough bark on a brisket is very frustrating, so just be sure to not overdo things and place the meat too close to the fire box.

Play sit just far enough to where it is around the center of the smoker chamber, and make sure the temperature reading is around 250°F and 300°F for optimal smoking.

How long should dry rub be on brisket?

You should generally put rub on a brisket several hours before placing the barbecue onto the smoker. This just helps allow you to gather all of your supplies and actually apply enough seasoning that you deem fit. It also lets the seasoning start to seep into the meat itself first creating a greater tasting piece of barbecue.

This doesn’t really have any affect on whether or not the bar will come out tough, but will certainly help ensure that you form a nice thick bark that tastes amazing.

Do I put brisket fat up or down?

If you are concerned about the brisket bark being too hard and tough, you may want to also consider where and how you place your barbecue on the smoker. If you put the fat Down, you will certainly be able to get a crispier park then if you were to put it facing upwards. This is because the heat rises and will directly hit the underneath portion of the brisket, Which will then further heat up the fat and caramelize it.

Having a caramelized fat layer coupled with all of the ingredients and the rub you put on it will certainly make the bark I have a propensity to come out nice and crispy. But like anything else, if you ever do things and smoke the brisket too long and at too high of a temperature, it will come out to tough to even slice through.

Brisket bark looks dry

If the brisket bark is not that hard, but looks too dry for your liking, consider spritzing it with apple cider vinegar or apple juice. This helps to add more moisture to the barbecue itself, and will allow for the ingredients to obtain more moisture. Having more moisture all around your brisket just helps it taste better, come out better, and produce a better looking park that is not too tough for dry.

You should also consider wrapping the brisket if you think the brisket is looking too tough and dry. Wrapping the brisket help steam the barbecue and retain just about all of the moisture that is excreted. The excreted moisture, one wrapped, will fall back and rain onto the meat making it look a lot more wet than usual.