BBQ FAQ Section 8.2


8.2 To bark or not to bark


[When I smoke with a wood fire, should I leave the bark on or remove it?]

Beverly Collins--

I learned the hard way--ruining some good meat in my smoker by leaving on the bark. Now I save the pieces with the bark on and use for my grilled meat. Seems to work fine there where I am depending on burning the wood to coals instead of smoking.


Rick Thead--

I don't worry about the bark. I've read posts that said to take it off. It might depend on the nature of the fire. As I've said, I prefer a clean burn and can get away with the bark on since I have a large smoker. Under these conditions, I don't find that I have a problem with the bark. On other types of smokers, there might be a problem with bitter taste.


M. Bedouin--

To me it doesn't make a difference--bark on or off.


Harry Jiles--

IMHO, the bark can add a bitter taste to the meat. Someone else might know more about this and can correct me if I am wrong, but I was told this was due to the tannic acid which the bark contains. I remove all bark from the wood I use in my smoker.


Ed Pawlowski--

There was a discussion in 1996 on the List about bark giving the meat a bitter taste. If I recall, it was never completely settled. I leave the bark on the wood if it does not come off easy. Can't say as I ever noticed a taste difference, bark on or bark off.


Rodney Leist--

Like green vs. dry, this debate is never over. Most folks probably don't think too much about this one but some feel the burning bark can produce a bitter taste. You decide.

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BBQ FAQ Ver 1.0, 2.0 1997, 1998 William W. Wight. All rights reserved.

Thursday, November 25, 1999
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