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Beginner Question...

jayno

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Joined Dec 10, 2019
I just got a Camp Chef PG24ZG on Black Friday. Burned the coating off and proceeded to smoke a 10.5 lb. bone-in shoulder roast that weekend. Took about 13 hours and it was absolutely HEAVENLY. Some of the best pulled pork I've had. (I live in Minnesota, so we don't have a glut of great BBQ options up here.)

But, I have a couple of questions:
1.) Can I wrap the drip tray in foil? It has slats in it, and some of the grease dripped through that and ended up caked on the ash removal tray and on the bottom of the grill in general, making for a pretty arduous cleaning process. I'm worried that if I cover the slats, I will affect the smokiness of the meat, or does it not make much of a difference at all?

2.) I used the foil method of wrapping it tight at 160 degrees to finish it off to 205 degrees. I have now read that pink butcher paper makes the pork even better, which doesn't even seem possible at this point lol. Does the butcher paper affect the timing in a negative or positive way in relation to foil? I understand that I'm cooking to a temperature, and not a time, but I'd like to know if I should plan for more or less time for my next smoke?

I ask because I'll be smoking 30 pounds of shoulder roast for a family Christmas in a couple of weeks and I probably won't have a chance to test the butcher paper prior to the smoke and I don't want to leave myself too short of time if the butcher paper speeds anything up. I plan on getting this batch done about three hours before serving time and double wrapping it in foil off the smoker and putting all 30 pounds in a Yeti cooler until it's ready to be pulled.

Any tips/suggestions/corrections would certainly be welcomed and appreciated!

Thanks guys, and look forward to getting some great info from this forum!

Jeff
 

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jcam222

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I am not familiar with the drip tray set up so can’t comment on that. Relative to foil vs peach paper my opinion is it really only impacts the bark. You tend to get a firmer bark with the paper because it “breathes”. For me with pork since I am pulling it all bark firmness doesn’t matter so I foil. Actually usually I put a couple of them in a full disposable pan , 1/2 cup to cup of liquid ( I use broth many use apple juice). And foil the pan tightly. I throw that in the cooler for a half hour or hour after pulling from the smoker and then pull away. Now when you do brisket you may want that nice firm crunch to your bark, that’s when to break out the paper. Now that said everyone has their preferences so it’s good to experiment too. Welcome to the forums! This is a great place to learn and share.
 

kruizer

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I would recommend using a disposable aluminum pan with a little water directly under your meat. That will let your cooker do it's job and clean up will be easy.
 

noboundaries

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Jayno, welcome to SMF, and congrats on a successful shoulder roast

1. Can you wrap the drip tray? I've looked at pictures and diagrams of your smoker. That's not just a drip tray. It's mainly a heat baffle angled in such a manner to direct the drippings toward the catch bucket. If you wrap it in foil you are going to significantly alter the performance of the unit, possibly causing damage if the foil melts. Find another solution, like putting the shoulder IN an aluminum pan to catch all the drippings.

2. Wrapping in foil cuts your time by about 25% compared to an unwrapped shoulder from start to finish. Butcher paper smoke time is similar to an unwrapped roast. BUT, you're back to a bigger dripping issue because butcher paper, once drenched, allows the drippings to flow on by.

Since you are happy with the taste results of your first shoulder roast, you can pretty much duplicate it by putting the roast in an aluminum drip pan. When you hit your wrap point, just seal the pan, which is a bit easier than removing the shoulder and sealing it in foil.

Keep your diners smiling. Holidays are no time to experiment for a newbie.

Edit: One more thing. If you use an aluminum pan, put the shoulder roast in fat side down, toward the heat. That way the meat gets smoke.
 
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jayno

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Joined Dec 10, 2019
Jayno, welcome to SMF, and congrats on a successful shoulder roast

1. Can you wrap the drip tray? I've looked at pictures and diagrams of your smoker. That's not just a drip tray. It's mainly a heat baffle. If you wrap it in foil you are going to significantly alter the performance of the unit, possibly causing damage if the foil melts. Find another solution, like putting the shoulder IN an aluminum pan to catch all the drippings.

2. Wrapping in foil cuts your time by about 25% compared to an unwrapped shoulder from start to finish. Butcher paper smoke time is similar to an unwrapped roast. BUT, you're back to a bigger dripping issue because butcher paper, once drenched, allows the drippings to flow on by.

Since you are happy with the taste results of your first shoulder roast, you can pretty much duplicate it by putting the roast in an aluminum drip pan. When you hit your wrap point, just seal the pan, which is a bit easier than removing the shoulder and sealing it in foil.

Keep your diners smiling. Holidays are no time to experiment for a newbie.
Thanks a ton for the pointers everyone! Good idea to not experiment too much for the masses.

So when putting it in a foil pan, should I put a cookie rack underneath it so let the smoke reach the bottom of the roast?
 

eddiememphis

Smoke Blower
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Joined Jun 22, 2019
1. Can you wrap the drip tray? I've looked at pictures and diagrams of your smoker. That's not just a drip tray. It's mainly a heat baffle angled in such a manner to direct the drippings toward the catch bucket. If you wrap it in foil you are going to significantly alter the performance of the unit, possibly causing damage if the foil melts.
That model has a deflector that sits above the fire box, and a drip tray that is above the deflector.

There is no problem covering the drip tray with foil- sprinkle a few drops of water on it then after laying the foil on it, wipe it with a towel. It will leave a nice smooth surface for the grease to run down to the bucket.
 

thirdeye

Meat Mopper
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Joined Dec 1, 2019
I can't offer any advice on pellet cookers, but at my house (5400' elev.) foil performs better than butcher paper for the tenderizing step Here's the deal, butcher paper breathes, which is good for bark if you are sold on firmer bark. BUT, the choice is not one, or the other. Sometimes you can make a foil/paper sandwich if you are worried about leakage.

Make a double layer of foil for the BOTTOM half of your sandwich then after you add liquids, cover the top with butcher paper and fold up the foil incorporating the paper as you go. . Now, your butt or brisket can breath while you are cooking it tender. Here are photos of ribs using the sandwich wrapping method. Lay down the foil, add ribs and liquid, put the butcher paper on top, then fold both both together.... sealing the pouch.

Before going on the smoker for the wrapped step:


The finished product is pretty awesome.
 
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jayno

Newbie
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1
Joined Dec 10, 2019
I can't offer any advice on pellet cookers, but at my house (5400' elev.) foil performs better than butcher paper for the tenderizing step Here's the deal, butcher paper breathes, which is good for bark if you are sold on firmer bark. BUT, the choice is not one, or the other. Sometimes you can make a foil/paper sandwich if you are worried about leakage.

Make a double layer of foil for the BOTTOM half of your sandwich then after you add liquids, cover the top with butcher paper and fold up the foil incorporating the paper as you go. . Now, your butt or brisket can breath while you are cooking it tender. Here are photos of ribs using the sandwich wrapping method. Lay down the foil, add ribs and liquid, put the butcher paper on top, then fold both both together.... sealing the pouch.

Before going on the smoker for the wrapped step:


The finished product is pretty awesome.
That does look wonderful. I may just stick with the straight foil method for this one since I’m new to this and it worked so well the first time and this is for a large group of people and not just myself.

I am already learning a bunch of stuff though that I can’t wait to try out! Already ordered a roll of butcher paper for the future!
 

noboundaries

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Thanks a ton for the pointers everyone! Good idea to not experiment too much for the masses.

So when putting it in a foil pan, should I put a cookie rack underneath it so let the smoke reach the bottom of the roast?
I've done that. Doesn't make any difference.
 

mike243

Master of the Pit
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Joined Feb 25, 2018
Allow xtra time for the large cook, 30lbs of meat will be a a lot of heat getting cooled for a longer time than say 10-15lbs , wrapping at some point will help speedup finishing time, I have been known to kick the temp up 50 when I wrap also. ymmv
 

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