age old question, to foil or not to foil

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Original poster
Feb 28, 2010
Hello Everyone,

I have spent the last few days searching around and reading and have no firm answer to this question, do I foil or not foil a pork butt?

I am planning on doing my first pulled pork, and first overnight, on christmas eve onto christmas day on my WSM.  I am planning on cooking starting at around 11 PM christmas eve and then having some good eats around lunchtime christmas day.

The big question though is do I foil or not foil?  I am looking to get a good bark, but have seen that in some posts the bark when foiling at 165 turns to a texture similar to the meat.  But not foiling I have seen can make things take a LOT longer.  I am leaning more towards the not foiling at this time.  If I do not foil should I put a pan under the top grate for drippings?  I am planning on using the finishing sauce in the stickys.  Also if I do not foil during the cook with foiling and putting it in a cooler to rest take away any of the crispier bark?

Thanks for any advice you can offer.
You well never get a firm answer on weather to foil or not. Some do and some don't its all a personal preference as they both work. If you are a really crispy bark guy then not foiling could be the way to go but if you are like me and don't care for the crispy bark then foiling is the way to go. Is this your first butt? The best advice I can give which probably won't help you out this time is to try it both ways and see which you like better. Or an even better idea is if you are doing one butt for Xmas run out and grab another one and do one each way and see what you like. Nothing better than having them side by side for comparison. That would be the best advice I would give you as what I personally like you may not like at all. I personally foil mine around the 165-175 range and take it to around 200 then put in the cooler with towels to rest. Good luck.
rbranster has got you covered. When I first started I foiled but now I prefer not to. I find I get a better bark and overall better product to my taste without foiling. You couldn't get better than a side by side comparison. Sam's sells butts in two packs for around 20-25 dollars depending when you go in. Try both in the same smoke and freeze your left overs or give some away to family and friends, they will love you for it.
I'm with RB too if you want a hard crispy bark don't foil if you want a soft chewy bark foil. You will need to try both ways and see which you like best. Personally I foil most of the time but not always. I don't bother to catch the drippings if I'm using a finishing sauce
What RB said. I also catch the drippings in a foil pan with beef or chicken broth & a couple of onions quartered in it. I de-fat that mixture, add a little bbq sauce and toss that with the pulled pork before serving. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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