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Who here doesn't foil?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
foiling your ribs and butts is cool and all. that's the way i've always done it. but i was wondering who never does and what their results were like. i think it'd be nice to just leave the meat alone; don't you?
post #2 of 17
Do it!!
Depends on what i'm cooking and the pit i'm using. Cooking on the drum, i rarely foil, and have excellent results!
Its a personal preference, there are no foiling rules. biggrin.gif
post #3 of 17
Some stuff I do, some stuff I don't and some stuff doesn't need it. I base my decision on if I have the time to smoke it without foil. Foiling speeds up the process.
post #4 of 17
For the most part I do foil but most of the beef I smoke I do not except brisket. I find that not only does it helps speed up the cooking time but also keeps the meat juicy. Not to mention the great gravy I can make from the leftovers in the foil.
post #5 of 17
The only things I've ever foiled are potatoes, onions, and sometimes a concoction of vegies. Oh, and pork butts (during the last 1:30 or so. I've been wanting to try foiling some ribs but I'm afraid I'll get caught! PDT_Armataz_01_04.gif

post #6 of 17


I don't foil my meat(anything ) until it is time for thier Nap in the holding cooler, wrapped a nice thick towel. It always comes out with good color and excellent smoke flavor. I'm basically a prist at heart and cook with a good coal bed and keep it steady as possible. My rule , keep yer lid shut until the alloted time for the cut or type of me is reached. I add no moisture since the juices I don't catch, evaporates and returns to the meat. If it ain't broke ,don't fix it!!!PDT_Armataz_01_36.gif
post #7 of 17
Good question Guv...i was wondering the same thing...gonna be interesting to see who does what...
post #8 of 17
The truth be told...I am so scatterer brained and disorganized and trying so many different things that I seldom do anything the same twice.

Now... There are times when I foil and times when I don't.

Foil will almost always help keep moisture in the food, help with tenderness, reduce the chance of burning and reduce cooking times.

The drawbacks might include less bark or crust on the food for both flavor and appearence, prevent/reduce smoke inclusion, cause undesireable texture or over tenderness (moosh) and is considered a sin by purist.

butts and briskets get foil about 90% of the time for me and ribs less than half of the time
post #9 of 17
Bugger I was really hoping there were some guidelines :-)
post #10 of 17
Strange cuz I was heading over here to ask a Q about foil.

I did some ribs this weekend (3rd time using the smoker) and decided to try the 2-2-1 on two of my three slabs. Turned out to be more of a 3-2-.75 though.

The one in the middle did not get foil and the two outside ones got foil and apple juice.

Middle one not foiled

The foiled ones were completely falling off the bone. I was using two tongs to move them and a chunk fell off.

The unfoiled ones were a bit tougher, but it seemed the meat did not shrink on the bones as much. Flavor wise there was not too much difference.

OK so now another foil question:

I made a simple rub for my ribs the night before smoking them.
garlic powder
brown sugar
cayenne / black pepper / bay leaf

I covered the ribs in foil and put them in the fridge over night.

The next morning the foil that was touching the ribs had dissolved. There were holes and it made a gray colored metal flake filled spot on the raw ribs.

Did the smoking and covered the ribs again with some foil in the same pan and the smoked ribs did the same thing to the foil.

Foil was renyolds non heavy duty. I am thinking there was some sort of reaction, possibly acidic that caused it. Also I failed to notice which side of the foil was touching the meat either time. Any clues?
post #11 of 17
Acidic reaction is the correct assumption. Depending on ingredients in the rub, etc. I have seen an episode of Good Eats on Food Network where Alton Brown covered a container of tomato sauce with foil and waited a day or two and the acidity of the toms dissolved the foil. He said something along the lines of "When you do this you are making a battery."
post #12 of 17
Alton Brown is my fave food network show. He has helped me a bunch.

Only thing I can think of being acidic would be the cayenne and the apple juice (apple juice was used during smoking, not before). I guess will use cling wrap as a barrier from now on. I cut off all the metalized bits.

I think I will foil my brisket next time 1/2 way through. I never got the falling apart and moist i was looking for.
post #13 of 17
Googled around and cayenne is acidic. FYI.
post #14 of 17
No foil here, except for resting. wink.gif
post #15 of 17
Sometime I do, sometimes I don't. Not 100% sold either way, I just keep testing every weekend ;)
post #16 of 17
Pretty much like BBQ Bubba said, varies on my mood and who's coming to eat.
post #17 of 17
Thread Starter 
thanks all,
so the general concensus is that you CAN smoke without foil and produce good, juicy 'Que, possibly with better bark? sweet... think i'll try that real soon!
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