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Anyone not foil pork butts?

Discussion in 'Pork' started by voldaddy, Jun 16, 2011.

  1. voldaddy

    voldaddy Meat Mopper

    I got my AMNS from Todd today and have it in the smoker now getting seasoned. I'm going to smoke 2 butts for pulled pork for a get together on Saturday. They are about 7-8 pounds. My plan is to put them on about midnight with the AMNS. Depending on where they are when I get up will determine if I foil or not.

    Does anyone smoke butts w/o foil? I have smoked ribs w/o foil and they turned out great. However, I just read through 14 pages of Meowy's sticky on a basic butt smoke, and only saw 1 person that didn't foil.

    I'm thinking of putting the butts in disposable aluminum pans and leaving as-is until they get to 205, then foiling for several hours in the towel filled cooler before pulling, defatting the pan juices, and adding back into the meat.

    Thanks for any and all suggestions!
  2. raptor700

    raptor700 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I have smoked butts without foiling.

    If you don't foil you better be ready for a long smoke.

    No foil makes for a nice bark but it takes longer .

    Foiling at 165º will help speed up the cook time but will soften the bark.
     You can do that but you won't get all the smoke flavor into the butt.

    I (as most) foil at 165º then continue to smoke till the 205º you refer to.

    That way you get the smoke penetration in the meat and have the Au Jus too.

    Hope this helps.
  3. solaryellow

    solaryellow Limited Mod Group Lead

    I don't foil but I don't use an AMNS either.
  4. adiochiro3

    adiochiro3 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Raptor700 X2.  Nailed it.  Ya gotta ask yourself: How much bark do you want in your bite?  It's a personal preference thang. 
  5. meateater

    meateater Legendary Pitmaster SMF Premier Member

    I foil at 160* .  I really don't care for the bark myself. 
  6. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I like butts better when foiled.

    Done both ways and in an electric with AMS and charcoal with hickory or mesquite.

  7. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I started the no-foil butt smokes a few months ago...bark is to die for with a no-sugar powdered fruit based rub (cherry/apple/red bell pepper were the main ingredients) and so were the times it takes to reach finished temps. Figure 2.5 hours/lb plus your resting time, or you won't be eating PP for dinner that night. I had a 9lbr take 25 hours (if I recall correctely) @ 230-235* chamber temps, but I am 4,900 ft elevation, which is like running a smoker @ about 220* @ sea-level. Foiling is something of a compromise if you like bark...you develop the bark before foiling, then soften it when foiled. The upside is you cut at least 1/3 off the total cooking time. I used to foil anywhere from 160-180* depending on time, and how much bark I wanted. Without foil is a very long ride, but worth it if bark is your game.

    Last edited: Jun 16, 2011
  8. sharonazamboni

    sharonazamboni Fire Starter

    I haven't foiled my butts yet. One 12-pounder took about 22 hours at 230*. I will be foiling this weekend, though. I'm happy to hear that it will cut down the time a bit!
  9. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Best I can tell, some foil and some don't.  I do foil for the usual reasons.

    Having said that, I don't believe in many rules unless they involve food safety.

    Try it both ways and let us know what you think.

    Good luck and good smoking.
  10. SmokinAl

    SmokinAl SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Used to foil, but don't anymore. The bark is to die for.
  11. shooter1

    shooter1 Smoking Fanatic

    I'm in the no foil group. I grew up cooking whole hogs and we never foiled so when I ventured into smoking butts and other cuts of meat I used what I knew. Everything always came out great so no need to do anything different. With that said I don't think there is anything wrong with foiling, its personal preference. The only way to find out is to try it and see what you think.
  12. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    My suggestion would be to do one each way and see what you like the best because that's the real thing that matters. I have always foiled as I am not a big bark fan. I have been meaning to give the no-foil a chance so I can give the two processes a fair chance but I just haven't gotten around to it yet.
  13. like everyone is saying matter of choice.. I have done both..   My last but I cooked in throw away pans... got it to 180, wrapped in foil and stuck in a lined cooler for 4 hours. Pulled out and let rest another hour.. Still had great bark just kind of soft.  but the meat was my most tender yet
  14. dasmoke

    dasmoke Newbie

    I just did 2- 10 lb butts from sams last week.  I did something different this time.  I trimed off most of the fat cap( left 1/8 inch or less.  I like the bark and don't foil.  Doing this I think cooks and renders faster and you have more bark for your meat.  I used the AMNS for the first time in the MES 30 and put them on at 9pm at 235.  Woke up at 5:30 am and starting spritzing the meat until done at 10am with it at 200.  Foiled it and let it rest in the cooler.  I changed some of my ways to enjoy smoking more with the AMNS and smoking at night and triming some of the fat cap off first. 

  15. I've cooked 6 butts so far & I've only foiled once because the stall was really loooooong on that particular butt. As the others have said, the bark was not as nice. If you have the time don't, if you're in a hurry to get it ready on time, do. Either way, it will be delicious.
  16. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Bark Lover...I Don't Foil.

    I do use pans but place them on the reverse flow plate under the grates.

    I like my BUTT completely EXPOSED!!   [​IMG]
  17. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    What Raptor said---+ 1

  18. voldaddy

    voldaddy Meat Mopper

    Thanks for all of the replies. I'm planning on putting them in my MES about midnight. I'll see where the temps are in the morning and make my decision from there. It sounds like I will have to foil these if the unfoiled butts take 2.5 hours per lb to smoke. That's a 20 hour smoke... [​IMG]
  19. i love bark, and never foil, mine is still juicy but i like some crunch!
  20. I never foil the butt's.Turn out just fine