Getting an offset quality bark on a WSM


Scott P.

TVWBB Super Fan
I live in Texas and brisket is king. I have an 18" and 22' WSM and usually cook my briskets on the 18 since it's the one on my back porch and it uses so much less charcoal. I do the simple Texas seasoning with liberal salt and pepper (1:3 ratio by volume), but also add a bit of Garlic of Lowry's. No slather/binder or injection. I just can't get the hang of an injection. My brisket is well received among friends and did finish 13th (out of 110+ teams) once at the one cook off I do each year.

But, I just can't seem to get that nice bark that an offset can give you. I use Kingsford Blue or Professional. I have a Cyber Q running the smoker. I do a two oak to one mesquite ratio of wood chunks (softball size) in the smoker. I bury a few chunks in the charcoal and will top the lit coals with three to five chunks once the fire is going. I pull the meat around 165 or so. I then put it either in foil, a foil boat or butcher paper. The first two give me a lot of juice, but the latter gives me a nicer bark.

I just don't get that nice bark that you see coming off an offset. I don't know if I need more or larger pieces of wood, a boner or add something like sugar to the rub (not really wanting to do that). I don't sauce or glaze by brisket either. I don't spray it throughout the cook.

Any thoughts?
Spritzer with a juice (apple is my go to) get a nice bark and a little flavor to boot
What temp you cooking at?
Usually a overnighter with temps around 225 gives you a nice black meteorite looking brisky.
Scott... Try waiting until the bark is set before wrapping, etc. The bark should not peel off when scratched with a fingernail.
I agree with Tim and Bob. Cook at 225…250 and wait till the bark is set before wrapping. Sometimes I’ve gone to 170..175 then wrap. When Bark is set and wrap with butcher paper. Foil give me a softer bark.
I cook mine overnight about 250 spread with beef broth throughout the cook once it reaches 160 I wrap it with butcher paper that will allow your bark to set 😎