These will be my first butts...a few questions

Discussion in 'Pork' started by papad, Sep 25, 2009.

  1. papad

    papad Smoke Blower

    Is it nessesary to foil them? If not, How many of you do it anyway? What are the pros and cons of each way?

    These will be my first ones and I want to get it right.
    Thanks for your help.
  2. danbury

    danbury Smoking Fanatic

    You're going to get mixed answers to this one. Personally I do not foil until I am completely done and take off pit to rest.
  3. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I always brase after reaching 165-170* I/T.

    Pros are: faster cooking time; reduced risk of drying; added flavoring with the selection of brasing liquid; capturing more of the natural meat juices; use of the post-brase liquid for a finishing sauce.

    Cons are: softening of the bark, which can be firmed up if desired by placing back onto bare cooking grates just prior to reaching the I/T for pulling (like doing 3-2-1 for ribs).

    Foiled or not, bring them to 200+* I/T, wrap or leave in covered steam pan and rest to allow I/T to slowly come back down...insulating with towels and putting into a cooler is the preffered method. 2 hours rest is a good time to go by, but they will stay hot for several hours if you need to do them early and then wait for pulling the meat.

  4. pignit

    pignit Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    This is one of those things your gonna have to decide for yourself. I suggest that if your doing a couple of them... do one each way. They are both gonna be excellent but you may end up with a preference. I do them both ways according to time element and when I get them in the smoker etc. etc......
  5. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Like they said foil softens the bark and no foil makes for a darker bark. I usually like to wrap mine butts. To me they come out better but it's like everyting else here it to your own liking.
  6. tasunkawitko

    tasunkawitko Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    do one each way and decide what you like best. that's really the only way to answer the question.
  7. ellymae

    ellymae Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I foil after the butt reached the internal temp I am looking for just before I out it in a towel lined cooler for a long rest.
    Like the others have said - you should try ot both ways and find out what works for you - that's the great thing about BBQ - there is not just one way to do it.
  8. fire it up

    fire it up Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I have tried them both ways and liked them both even though I usually wrap mine.
    What I love most about foiling at 160-165 is the amount of juice you have leftover that you can add back into the meat, some juices, some bark and a nice finishing sauce added to the pulled meat, you can't get any better than that.
  9. papad

    papad Smoke Blower

    Thanks, everybody,

    Looks like I will probably try the suggestions to do it both ways and see what happens. I just wanted to be sure that if I didn't foil I wouldn't be doing it wrong. Appears it is more a matter of preference than a nessessity, so I'll do it both ways and not say anything to anyone and see if anybody notices a difference or expresses a preference.

    Again thank you all.
  10. chefrob

    chefrob Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    are you slicing or pulling the butt? when i slice it i don't wrap it.....make two and try it both ways.
  11. papad

    papad Smoke Blower

    I was planning to pull these this time.
  12. rickw

    rickw Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I foil at 165F and then take it to 205F for pulling.
  13. chefrob

    chefrob Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    then do what he said^^^^^^^^
  14. papad

    papad Smoke Blower

    Now that my questions have been answered about foiling, I have another. I found a web page about preparing and cooking butts. Most of you have probably seen it before:

    Anyway, now my question is, how many of you trim the fat cap and other exterior fat before cooking. If you do, does it speed up the cooking process or does it not really make a difference?

    Just asking because I can't recall seeing any discussion about it before.
  15. rivet

    rivet Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Trimming a heavy fat cap will certainly reduce cooking time. With a butt, I never trim, barbecue fat-cap-up and let the juices cook in and around.

    As folks have said, this is a matter of preference and you have to decide what you prefer.

    That's half the fun of learning, bud....have at it and keep us posted! Good luck to you and don't forget the pics.

  16. pignit

    pignit Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    If I'm just doing a couple I trim them. No need to smoke what your not gonna eat. When I'm doin a bunch of them I leave it on.
  17. rickw

    rickw Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I don't trim butts and shoulders. I do em both ways, cap down and cap up, can't really say I've noticed a difference. YMMV.
  18. ronp

    ronp Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I leave a thin fat cap, and are you ready for some confusion? I SEAR them before smoking. Makes for a nice bark.

    Works for me. The pic in my signature was done that way.
  19. papad

    papad Smoke Blower

    Boy, it's all as clear as mud now!

    No, really, I appreciate the suggestions and assistance.
    Thanks, all.
  20. chisoxjim

    chisoxjim Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I dont wrap the butts until they are done 195-200. Then they get double wrapped in foil with a couple tbsp of apple juice, and some honey. Then wrapped in a towel, and tossed in a cooler for a few hours before pulling.

    I dont trim any of the fat cap, and I smoke fat side up so the fat melts into the meat as it smokes.

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