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To wrap or not to wrap

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    To wrap or not to wrap

    Hey folks, brand new here. Just getting into smoking, and looking for some advice. What is the consensus here on wrapping butts during or just after the stall? Does it have any effect on the moisture in the pork if left unwrapped?

    Not sure If prep matters for this topic, but If so I’m planning on dry brine for 24 hrs then Memphis Dust prior to smoking. Smoking on a WSCG as close to 225 as I can keep it. Just got a fireboard in the mail so hoping that helps as well. Up to this point have just used the thermometer on grill and eyeballed the meats. Two prior butts haven’t been bad, but definitely room for improvement. Thanks for any suggestions!

    #2
    Don't wrap unless you are just time constrained and need to shave a couple hours off the cook. 99% of the butts I've cooked (probably up over 1000 by now) have so much fat and connective tissue that renders, that they are self basting and very forgiving meats. I haven't wrapped a butt in 15 years, been smoking them for 30.

    If you wrap, you sacrifice bark, as you end up braising the meat in its own juices, and the bark will soften. If you don't like bark, that may be ok. I have a brother in law who hates it and picks out pork without any bark on it when I serve it for family get togethers. Most folks, myself included, love those tasty morsels. It's spice and smoke, attached to meat! What's not to love!

    With a butt, if you need to finish sooner, I would rather push the temp from 225 to 250 or 275 to shave time off the cook. I do wrap my briskets when they hit 170 though, to avoid drying them out and to speed up the cook.

    The WSCG is efficient and probably provides a moist environment when cooking in kamado mode. Your plan for dry brining and applying MMD is sounds and is what I do most of the time. Just plan on a long cook at 225. My last butt went 16 hours at 225, but then, it was a 9 pounder that despite "defrosting" for 48 hours in the fridge, had an IT of 25F when it went onto the smoker. I was barely able to get the meat probe inserted.
    Last edited by jfmorris; April 23, 2020, 01:04 PM.

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    • RonB
      RonB commented
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      Nuthin' left to say...

    • fzxdoc
      fzxdoc commented
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      Great advice. Follow it, JTW84 , and you'll have some delicious pulled pork at the end of the cook.

      Kathryn

    • Loren
      Loren commented
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      Agree completely! Butts don't need wrapping! 😎

    #3
    nakid!

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    • jfmorris
      jfmorris commented
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      Enough about your cooking style. What about the pork?

    • smokenoob
      smokenoob commented
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      not touchin' that one.....

    • RonB
      RonB commented
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      smokenoob - at least not in public.

    #4
    I do it a little different, a cross between wrapped and unwrapped. After I have good bark I pan it uncovered. The pan collects the renderings and juices which I add back, at least some, when pulling the cooked butt for added moisture in the finished product. I sacrifice a little bark but like the end product better. I also always cook at 275.

    Comment


      #5
      I agree as well for the WSCG, but I'd add if you use a different cooker in the future with more airflow, wrapping can help with more than just the timing. When I use my stickburner, if I don't wrap the bark can be so hard it is almost inedible. I've found that wrapping after the stall gives it the perfect balance.

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        #6
        Welcome from Minnesota. Enjoy this wonderful site. I usually wrap because a lot of the people I feed are older and if they saw good bark they'd say that Skip burned this "again"!! My Wife and I like bark.

        Comment


          #7
          Me no wrap butts. Unwrapping on the other hand
          I too cook at 275.

          Comment


            #8
            This it great. Thanks for the welcome and the info, very helpful.

            Comment


              #9
              I wrap after the cook and let it rest for a couple hours in the ice chest with old towels. The only other time I wrap is if I am pressed for time. The Boston Butt is a very forgiving piece of meat, so pretty much no matter what you do it will be right.

              Comment


                #10
                Welcome to The Pit.

                We had some people a while back for some Q and one of the ladies asked for some without the burnt parts. There was a guy standing there, (we we talkin'), and we both said "Great - more bark for me!" at the same time. She asked for a piece with bark to try and her eyes lit up and she wanted bark. Me and my big mouth...

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                  #11
                  I have only wrapped once because of time constraints. I had to finish it in the oven. So the bark was compromised, but the purge I collected and added while I was pulling the pork was divine (wow, I used divine. this isolation thing is having strange effects on me). So now I try to remember to add a drip pan to catch that stuff.

                  Comment


                    #12
                    I've done many, many pork butts on my WSCGC. Never once have I needed to wrap. As jfmorris says, if you need to speed up the cook, you can always increase the temp to 250 or 280. I've done that on occasion. The WSCGC is so responsive to temperature tweaks that you can almost dial in your desired cooker temp.

                    Enjoy the cook!

                    Kathryn

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                      #13
                      Lately I've gone back to the way I used to do it in comp cooks in another lifetime. I get to about 175-180ish then throw it in an aluminum pan and cover it and shove it back in the cooker and crank the heat. It essentially steams and lightly braises in it's own liquid. It's ready for the cambro when prob tender and it has it's own serving tray for pulling. The plus is all those juices mix right in with the meat. The minus is a little loss of bark texture. Since moisture is paramount for me in pork, I'll take the former and somewhat sacrifice the latter.

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                      • Rod
                        Rod commented
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                        +1

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