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Butcher Paper versus Foil - Texas Crutch

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    Butcher Paper versus Foil - Texas Crutch

    I didn’t see a better channel to ask this, so asking it here. I used butcher paper today to finish a butt on my WSM. My understanding is that using foil or paper helps keep juices in and get the meat temperature past the stall by having the captured juices help cook the meat. Great. My paper just seemed to get soaked and it took forever to get the temp past 170. I didn’t see steam coming from the paper, but I would have needed a couple more hours to get to 203. Why? Is there a trick to properly wrapping in butcher paper? How sealed does butcher paper need to be to be effective? How long should it take to finish off a cook at 275 once a butt is wrapped?

    Other than the advise I glean on this site from the very excellent cooks and smokers here, You Tube is a great place to learn.
    This subject was explained by Mad Scientist BBQ on a stream I found the other day.
    Did a brisket unwrapped, wrapped in foil and wrapped in Butcher paper all cooked at the same time and in relatively the same conditions.
    Meat Church, BBQ with Franklin and many others have a stream that are worth a look see.
    But, of course, foremost would be the advise from this site....


      I have used paper for brisket but never considered trying it on a butt. Others here may have success with it - I just haven't considered it.
      Last edited by tbob4; November 21, 2021, 11:37 PM.



        is the video mentioned above.

        Folks - post links, so people don't have to chase down what you mean.


        • smokin fool
          smokin fool commented
          Editing a comment
          That's the one.
          Thank you.
          My link posting skills leave much to be desired, sorry people.

        • jsaniga
          jsaniga commented
          Editing a comment
          Awesome, thanks!

        I use paper on everything but a chuck roast, but I boat that now. So, different cook altogether. I do not use paper to crutch it, I love the stall, I take all of it I can get. I use paper to finish the bark.

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        Last edited by Richard Chrz; November 21, 2021, 09:22 PM.


          I don't use butcher paper on pork butts. Yes, one usually will get a better bark with the paper; however, if you're pulling the pork, you're just going to mix the bark in with the rest of the meat so you're negating that advantage of the paper. In that case..... I use foil as it is just easier.


          • ecowper
            ecowper commented
            Editing a comment
            I’m not convinced about better bark using paper …. Posting a pic below.

          I use paper on brisket. Allos me to crutch without having the bark suffer. I crutch one the bark is set and the color I want. It doesn't cut back on the time as much as foil, but it helps there some too.


            I dunno. I am in the no wrap bucket because the alternatives involve trade-offs of quality for time. And, dammit, if I am doing something long enough that might require a wrap, I can wait a bit longer for my deliciousness.


            • Caffeine88
              Caffeine88 commented
              Editing a comment
              This is my view. I'd rather wait on a butt and get the best bark. It's not that much more time and the trade is worth it.
              Last edited by Caffeine88; November 21, 2021, 11:09 PM.

            • jsaniga
              jsaniga commented
              Editing a comment
              Caffeine88 how do you get past the stall, or do you not see much of one?

            • Caffeine88
              Caffeine88 commented
              Editing a comment
              It stalls between 150 and 170 - it'll just stop going up for a couple hours. Panic sets in that I've screwed it up...and then it climbs again. A big help has been a leave-in probe that gives both meat and cooker temp. My panic level drops when I know I've got the grill running 225-250, and I just need to hold steady till it's done. I recently had a water pan leak during a cook, and that extended the stall as well as dried out the meat. Keep it humid, leave time, don't panic.

            And thanks to the admin who moved this from the WSM thread to here. I saw "Recipes Only" and didn't click on it because...well...I thought it was for recipes only.


              i think foil is the better option for brisket. You can use the juices to put it over the meat after slicing. The paper looks cooler and it is cheaper. So If I was running a commercial operation, the paper would be a no brainer for me.

              However, foil is the best, in my opinion. It is also cleaner, as it does not soak up all the juices and make handling the wrapped meat a messy operation. I do wrap in foil, then in paper if I am going places with the food. But that is in case the foil leaks on the way there, and it looks cool.


                Every time I have wrapped brisket in foil I lose the bark. That doesn't happen when I use paper. Granted, it's been years since I have used foil (for this reason), so maybe something has changed. Not sure what could have, though. Brisket has become expensive enough that I want to crush it every time, and that means good bark.


                  I am also in the no-wrap camp. I have tried both methods and feel no-wrap is a notch better. I could see myself trying the boat method, but I'm still leery of the pot roast effect that can occur. But, then again, every day is Saturday so I have plenty of time nurse a cook along. That said, for expediency's sake if I were doing a bunch of clods I'd opt for foil then reset the bark towards the end of the cook. Or sous vide.


                    When I do crutch a pork butt, I use foil. When doing brisket I use butcher paper after 4 naked hours in the smoker when bark is set.


                      I do not crutch if time permits. If needed, I crutch brisket in paper and pork butt in foil (both at about 175-180). I think the key is to wrap the meat as tight as possible.

                      For pork butt, I prefer not to wrap and to catch all the drippings in a foil pan. I place a cooling rack in the foil pan and place the butt on top of the cooling rack. Juices are added back into the pork when pulled.


                        I wrap everything in paper…but not until AFTER the stall. Nothing gets wrapped until the bark is set. For brisket that tends to be the last hour or two. Pork shoulder rarely gets wrapped before it’s done.



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