To Wrap a Pork Butt or To Not Wrap A Pork Butt

Discussion in 'Pork' started by grange, Feb 8, 2012.

  1. grange

    grange Fire Starter

    I'm hoping the Big Green Egg I ordered last week will come it this week and I will be able to pick up this weekend.  I'm thinking of making a pork butt for my first smoke and am trying to decide if I'll want to wrap it when it hits about 160 degrees F or just let it sit until it makes it up to the full internal temp.  I like to wrap beef, but I've never smoked a pork butt so I'm at a loss as to what I want to do.  Right now I'm leaning toward using the Chris Lilly recipe that is floating around on the internet and I don't think this recipe calls for wrapping the pork butt.

    My question is what are the plusses and minuses to wrapping?  Right now I'm thinking if I wrap the pork butt it may be more moist, but I may compromise the bark.  I do wonder though how much of an issue could moistness be for an unwrapped pork butt?  I mean I'll be injecting it.  Does wrapping get the butt up to temperature quicker?
  2. terry colwell

    terry colwell Smoking Fanatic

    The last one I did turned out to be my best one yet. I cooked it at 225 for about 6 or 7 hours before I even opened the smoker, was real close to 165 degrees and a solid bark. let it go for about a hour more and wrapped it dry, no juice or beer at all. Took it to 210 I.T. and it was fall apart good with a good hard bark in places. I didnt lose all the bark . Oh ya,, I served it right away without resting it .
    stone1221 likes this.
  3. jrod62

    jrod62 Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    The + to wrapping will get up to temp faster.
    The + to not wrapping you will get a real nice bark on the butts
    If you have the time to wait it out i wouldn't foil it.
    I put my in pan on the smoker. It will catch all the juice.
    Then after i pull it i defat the juice and pour the juice back into the pulled pork
  4. uncle_lar

    uncle_lar Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    I also do them without wrapping. In my opinion they just turn out better and the bark is so much better.
  5. melleram

    melleram Smoke Blower

    Wrapped for the first time superbowl sunday, came out mushy to me.  Wont be wrapping again
  6. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I used to foil them, but the bark you get without foiling is to die for & chopped up in the PP it really adds a ton of flavor. So I don't foil anymore.
  7. I'm going to do a pork butt tomorrow and I will not be foiling it. I want that bark! 

    Does injecting add to the smoking time? 
  8. jrod62

    jrod62 Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    No it wont .
    Just make sure you get temp to 140 in 4 hours
  9. smoketexring

    smoketexring Fire Starter

    Yes, IMO, injecting will add to your cooking time.  If I don't inject, it usually takes 12-14 hours.  Yesterday I injected and it had taken 17 hours.  General rule for my expectations after injecting is 16-18 hours and that's reliable for me.
  10. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    What jrod said, I don't think it adds to the time either, but as he said remember if you do inject or probe the meat in any way it must get from 41-135 degrees internal meat temp in 4 hours or less. That's why a lot of us don't inject large pieces of meat. And also we don't put a temp probe in until the meat has been cooking a couple of hours. If you inject it you might as well put the temp probe in when you put it in the smoker. Also take the meat directly from the fridge to the smoker. Don't let it warm up to room temp. then put it on.
  11. meatinc

    meatinc Smoke Blower

    I usually foil and add a very small amount of liquid - about 1/4 cup.  In order to get that bark crispy, I vent the pan after it has reached the internal temp I am looking for.  Venting the foil - or taking the foil off for about 20 minutes allows the bark to crisp back up and releases the trapped heat so the meat will not continue to rise in temp when you rest it.
  12. I agree, no foil is better, I do use a remote thermometer, and never need to guess the internal temperature
  13. I foil after it its 160-165 because we (wife and I) are not fans of brick hard bark.

    I don't see why people don't insert probes until a certain temp. That is, unless the fear is the probes haven't been sanitized.

    As a homebrewer, I keep a 5 gal bucket of sanitizer on-hand because I brew almost weekly.
  14. heyer5

    heyer5 Meat Mopper

    I've been converted - I used to foil, no I am strictly no foil.  The extra time that people save by foiling is made up by smoking at a hot temp, 275-300.  I get great bark, great smoke, and they always turn out amazing.  I'm pretty consistent when it comes to pulled pork these days!
  15. The reason a lot of people won't put the probe in right away is so that they don't push the bacteria on the surface of the meat into the center where they are "shielded" & free to grow for awhile. If they wait a couple/few hours, then the bacteria on the surface of the meat have been killed. Regardless of when I put my probe in I always sterilize it first...
  16. Oh yeah - I don't foil either...
  17. brooksy

    brooksy Master of the Pit

    I've never foiled anything I've smoked. I'm gonna try one day to see what all the hype is about (maybe)
  18. I haven't foiled any of the butts in the course of smoking them but that's cause I really like the bark and I have not been rushed to get it served. The first few I cooked til they hit 205° and I thought they were great, but not as moist I would hope. So the last one I pulled at 198° and let it sit in foil in a cooler for a few hours. It was so tender and juicy that way.
  19. Good to know...Thanks.

  20. bob1961

    bob1961 Smoking Fanatic

    you guys that don't wrap, how long does the stall last when it hits ??....I know the stall happened to me at bout 155/160 before I found foiling before 150 keeps the meat going up in temp until 205....I did three 11lb shoulders for slices and pulled foiling at 145 tops, until it hit 205 then towels and cooler for bout a 1.5....all three shoulders were done under 6 hours, I even foiled my first brisket a45 and did not stall at all as well, came out great....

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