throw away aluminum pans for pork butt ??

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by smokey2, Jan 1, 2014.

  1. I've been smoking pork butts for 5 years now and was wondering if it would be a good idea to use throw away aluminum pans when doing a butt in my new smoker to help with clean up? Thanks.
  2. johgre078

    johgre078 Smoke Blower

    I use them on a rack below to catch the drippings.

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  3. dward51

    dward51 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Been using them for years.  I get them at Sam's Club. 

    I usually will use a full sized (the water pan version) to hold 2 to 4 butts while I trim and rub them. Otherwise I seem to end up with rub all over the counter.  I also use disposable pans when I pull them with the "bear claws".

    And of course they make great drip pans for smokers.
  4. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member


    I use them as drip pans even when I am not using the drippings.  They save a lot of mess in the smoker.

    On my offset, they actually help keep temps even across the grate when carefully placed.

    When not saving juices, I replace them every three or four smokes unless they get too "gunked up".

    Dollar Store stuff saves a lot of money!  And work?

    Good luck and good smoking.
  5. hambone1950

    hambone1950 Master of the Pit Group Lead

    One more yes vote....:grilling_smilie::sausage::sausage::sausage:
  6. I like them to. Costco is a good place to get them cheap.

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  7. I have used many Foil pans to smoke meat in.  I like using the shallower ones, the smoke does get around the meat, bigger pieces I rotate around for even smoking.  And they do make clean up super easy.
  8.   I usually start with butts on the rack with a foil pan beneath it to catch drips, then put the butt in the pan when I foil them about 165 or so and finish cooking in the pan.

    I often use a second used pan (washed of course) to put the new pan in for extra strength to be removed after cooking so the new pan will stay clean on the bottom.

  9. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I just started smoking this past August but I quickly figured out to use the disposable aluminum roasters to save on the mess and speed things up when wrapping the meat.  In a 9x13 "half pan" an 8x10 cooling rack fits perfectly in the bottom, lifting the meat off the bottom of the pan allowing circulation.  I always use a clean pan if I'm putting meat in it and I remove the cooling rack before I wrap mid-smoke.  I clean up then save the old pans to use as drip pans for ribs.
  10. Yeah, those are great.  Use them quite a bit.
  11. millerk0486

    millerk0486 Meat Mopper

    i use them all the time, saves time in clean up. Also, if I apply rub the night before, I have the meat sit in the throw aways then re-use them as the drip pan when I'm done.
  12. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I posted this in my "hot n' fast shoulder" thread, but it applies here too.

    I experimented with a new drip pan system.  I had an unused paella pan I received as a Christmas gift a few years ago hibernating in the kitchen cabinet.  Seeing the handles I got an idea.  First I looked to make sure I wasn't about to smoke an expensive pan.  I found the exact same carbon steel pan online for $22.  I looked elsewhere in the cabinets and found a 13.25" round cooling rack that fit perfectly inside it! (See pic below).  I suspected a 9x13 shoulder-filled, bourbon/apple cider charged aluminum roaster might bubble over during the wrapped part of the hot n' fast cook.  I put the wrapped roaster on top of the cooling rack in the paella pan and that's what went back in the smoker for the second part of the cook.  Sure enough the aluminum roaster did bubble over a little but the paella pan caught it all.

    The cool thing is that the 15" paella pan with the handles (handles not included in measurement) made moving the meat back and forth from the smoker to the kitchen a piece of cake!  The 15" pan fits beautifully inside the 22.5" WSM and the 22.5" Weber Kettle.  My brain is already filling up with ways to use that paella pan/cooling rack combo in the smokers so I don't have to worry about meat filled aluminum roasters collapsing while transporting meat from the smoker to the kitchen and visa versa.

  13. crvtt

    crvtt Smoke Blower

    I use disposable pans from Costco and they're good for everything but they scare me a little with the weight of a pork butt. I found a baking pan that fit into my smoker and I just line the bottom with a piece of foil, quick clean up and less wasteful. I like to put a rack on top of the pan to keep the meat out of it's own juices and to allow 360 degrees of smoke coverage on the meat.  The one time i actually put the pork butt directly in the pan I was disappointed with the results as the entire bottom of the butt had no bark and no smoke. 
  14. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I use them all the time. I don't place the meat in the pan though. I either put the pan on the rack below, or I put a cooling rack on top of the Tim pan and the meat on the cooling rack. Our dollar store has all kinds , usually two or three to a pack.
  15. ak1

    ak1 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Love them. I usually buy them at a local dollar store 20 at a time.
  16. gballison

    gballison Newbie

    Same question ... but a slightly different issue ... so far I always put the throw-away pan underneath the pork--to catch drippings and make clean-up easier ... but when I put the pork directly on the smoker grate, after 14 hours the pork sticks to the grate.  Even with silicone gloves, trying to pull the pork off the grate without bringing the grate along with it is a three-handed operation.  And if I just pull the whole grate, then the pork drips all over the deck and I need a HUGE work area to put the grate down.

    I don't want to leave half the pork butt on the grate, and I haven't heard anyone talk about using a pizza peel as the biggest-ever pork butt spatula. :)

    I understand that smoking the butt in an aluminum pan directly is gonna have the thing braising in its own juices.  And it keeps the smoke away from the bottom on the pork.

    I love Noboundaries' paella pan--especially the handles--but worried about overflowing the sides, and again, not much smoke on the bottom of the pork.

    Does anyone just put the butt on a separate small grate--one that can be easily picked up and carried to the work area?

    Any other solutions?


    And thanks!

    MES 40 gen 1
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2014
  17. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Hmmm, I've never had the roast stick to the grate or the cooling rack, but I always spray mine first with olive oil before I heat them up.  Our local grocer sells olive oil in a pressurized can just like Pam coating.  Cheap, easy, makes cleanup a breeze for the grate, cooling rack, and the paella pan/aluminum roaster.
  18. Now if you take your pan that the roast is going to sit in, and punch a few holes in the bottom and place a drip pan underneath, your good to go.  Putting holes in the pan with meat, allow smoke in from below and juices out.  This is not rocket science, and easy to do.
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2014
  19. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    I second that. dollar store pans aplenty!
  20. demosthenes9

    demosthenes9 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I hate the ones from the Dollar Store.  Way too flimsy for me (at least what they carry around here.)   Samsclub sells a 30 pack of them for about $7.00 and they are much sturdier.  Price is cheap at less than $0.25 per pan.  They also sell lids that fit them.

    When it comes time to pull, the pork goes right back into the pan and I cover it with a lid.
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2014

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