Pork Butt and Foil???

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Original poster
Oct 6, 2006
Oklahoma City
I am smoking a butt tomorrow. I have only done it once before and the last time I did not use foil. It turned out really good, but everyone talks about using foil at some point during the process. At what point should I use foil and how???

I am assuiming that you want to pull the pork.

I would foil it at 165F internal temp. Use a double layer of heavy duty foil and add about 1/4 cup of apple juice to the packet before you seal it up. I actually use a 3 to 1 mixture of apple juice and bourbon. At this point you could finish the butt in a 250F oven or put it back in the smoker. Take it up to about 200F internal and then wrap the still foiled butt in a couple of old bath towels and let it rest wrapped for at least an hour in an insulated cooler before pulling. This lets the heat continue to break down the connective tissue in the pork. It pulls much easier after a rest. I have let some butts rest for 2 hours. The temp does not drop very fast.

If you want to slice it, you don't need to foil. Remove from the smoker at about 170F, rest and slice.

Hope this helps.


Thanks for the help!! Bourbon is kind of like bacon, it goes good with anything. I will try it tomorrow and hopefully will have a success story for Monday.


You don't have to foil, everything you do during the cook has an effect on the out come. It's is not a matter of right or wrong just cause and effect. If you foil you can't create bark that you get when not foiling. If you don't foil you can't get the effect of cooking time in apple juice/bourbon as suggested. You get to decide how you want the final product to turnout.
Jim is correct in saying that there is cause and effect. I've done butts without foiling and gotten great bark. Those butts were a little harder to pull. It is always a matter of personal preference. I tried the foil and juice/bourbon thing after reading about it here. Having done it both ways, I've decided that I prefer to foil. I do get some bark because I spray every 30 to 40 minutes while smoking with the apple juice / bourbon mix before I foil. The sugars in those liquids carmelize on the outside of the butt.

Nick, you wil have to experiment to decide what your personal preference is. The good thing is that you get to eat your experiments and they will all taste good.

Also, be sure to check out SoFlaQuer's finishing sauce that is a sticky at the top of this forum.

Hope this helps.

Take care, have fun, and do good!


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Iâ€[emoji]8482[/emoji]m curious…do any of ya think the old 3-2-1 would work here as far as defoiling and returning to the smoker for a hour to re-establish the bark after you have rested the butt in the cooler in an attempt to achieve the best of both worlds? :roll:
What we do is cook unfoiled till the internal hit 190 to 195, but how it feels when inserting a probe is the test, should feel tender when the probe goes in. At this point the butt goes into foil and into a dry cooler for 2 to 4 hours. The benifits are great bark and while the butt is in the cooler it continues to tenderize (without getting mushy).The bark softens some, will pull in moist chunks finger size.
You can also just pull the bone out and keep the butt together and make some of the best sliced pork BBQ sammiches that you ever tasted. Pull the bone and wrap in foil for a couple of hours and then slice. BBQ heaven 8)
I had never foiled my butt (anywhere else may not understand that remark) until the last time I did a few. The darn things sat at 160* for hours. They just would not cook. I finally foiled them and shortly after the temps went up. I still had a great bark, but these things had cooked longer than any other butts I had done before just to get to 160*.

I pulled out a food saver bag of pulled pork from the last smoke yesterday. I Dropped it in some boiling water for about 5 minutes and had mouth watering sammiches and tater tots in less than 20 minutes. I can't imagine life without my food saver. I'll probably have a leftover sammie for beakfast. Yummmm.....
To all,

I did just as most of you suggested and wrapped the pork butt in foil. Specifically, I followed Meowey's suggestions to a T, and the finished product was great. The best Butt I have ever smoked (only my second attempt). The stuff practically pulled itself. Also used SoFlaquers finishing suace.....Huge success! Despite the Sooner's loss in the football game, all of the guests were mighty impressed with the food. For the last few hours of the smoke, I threw in a bologna and some hot links for the last two hours. Plenty of great food, and thanks to all for your help.

Well done!

You know you did good when it falls apart.

What type of bologna did you smoke? I've been thinking about doing just that.



Thanks again for all of you help. I bought a 5 lb. bologna from Schwab's, a meat company located here in OKC that sells to grocery stores and restaurants. Standard looking bologna, wrapped in the red tube. I actually put the bologna in when I took out the butt and put it in the cooler. So, when I put it in I added more wood to the smoker. Left it in there for about three hours. I just took off the casing and put it in the smoker. I didn't season or use any rub on it. I guess I could have put mustard on it and then added rub, like jeff recommends for his butt recipe, but I didn't think about it. BBQ'ed bologna is pretty popular at most Q restaurants in Oklahoma, and I thought this one was very good.

I am about butted out after two in two weeks. Do you have any good brisket recommendations? Have you used that finishing sauce on anything but pork and if so, how was it?

Bentleyua, if you follow basically the same procedure on a brisket it will turn out great. I foil it somewhere between 165-180 depending on how the bark looks. Take it on up to 200 or so if you are wanting to pull it for a finishing sauce and sandwiches.

I haven't used SoFlaQuer's finishing sauce on brisket, but I cant recommend this one from Ranger72 highly enough. Make extra because it just gets better the longer it sits I think.

Brisket Finishing Sauce
Ultramag is correct that the smoking is just about the same as with butts. On the briskets that I've done I foiled at 180 and took up to 195F because I wanted to slice them. I made sliced brisket sandwiches with a little of my favorite BBQ sauce on them.

The great thing about this stuff is that you can do a lot of things, and it all tastes good.

Have fun, and do good.


Bentlyua, just FYI I took my brisket I pulled to 205 internal instead of 200 deg. after checking my records. It was far from dried out and pulled pretty well. It was the first time I had pulled brisket and a figured since they slice at about 190-195 it would need a little more than pork to pull as well. I may push it another 5 or 10 degrees next time and see what kind of results I get.

I'm sure I haven't re-invented the wheel here, but I haven't saw much info on pulled brisket so I am experimenting a little as I go.
Lol! I know, I am here to find out the very same thing! My moms neighbor completely covers the butt in foil and smokes it for a out 18 hours :grilling_smilie: and I've never tasted anything so good! :drool But it doesn't make sense to me how it can cook while it's sealed up where does the smoke go in and does anyone know!
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Lol! I know, I am here to find out the very same thing! My moms neighbor completely covers the butt in foil and smokes it for a out 18 hours
and I've never tasted anything so good!
But it doesn't make sense to me how it can cook while it's sealed up where does the smoke go in and does anyone know!
You do know this thread is 9 years old right? You are right a foil encased piece of meat is not being smoked it is being braised. I suggest you look at this process here. click on the link.http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/140055/boston-butt-pulled-pork-step-by-step
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