Have you ever had to adjust your rub to a smoker? I have a new rig and I can’t get my meat to bark up–it’s cooked well but no bark. So I have gradually started reducing the amount of turbinado and adding brown sugar in place of the tubinado. I use the Big Time BBQ Rub. What do you think?
Yes I have adjusted my rub because of a different cooker and it’s the same situation you describe. Many of the modern BBQ cookers have very little airflow and because of that they create a very moist environment, kind of a steam bath. As you said the bark will be less or at least a lot different in these cookers. (It’s not a bad idea to open the door once or twice during the cook just to let the steam off.) My normal adjustment would be to add paprika or chili powder to help brown up the bark. Brown sugar instead of turbinado may help a little too. Of course if you were switching from a tightly sealed cooker to a hotter, dryer wood burner you would do the opposite and take a bit of the browning agents out.