When it comes to cooking pork butt, there are a number of factors to consider. One of the most important is whether or not to wrap the meat during the cooking process. Wrapping a pork butt can help keep it moist and tender, but it can also affect the texture and flavor of the finished product. So you might find yourself wondering when to wrap pork butt and when not to.
The answer depends on a few different factors. The first is the cooking method you are using. If you’re smoking the pork butt, experts recommend wrapping it after a few hours of cooking to help keep it moist and break the stall. However, if you are cooking the pork butt in the oven or on a grill, you probably don’t need to wrap it at all.
🥧 If you’re interested in more great recipes, I share all my favorite recipes at A Food Lover’s Kitchen, Instant Pot recipes over at A Pressure Cooker Kitchen, air fryer recipes at Air Fry Anytime, and cocktails and drinks at Savored Sips. Check it out today!
Another factor to consider is the texture you’re hoping for. If you prefer a crispy, caramelized exterior on your pork butt, wrapping it could thwart those efforts. But if you prefer a more tender, fall-apart texture, or you’re planning to shred it for pulled pork, then wrapping is a great idea.
Now you can see what I mean that there are several factors involved. We’ll dig deeper into the subject in this article, so you leave knowing exactly what the plan is.
What is Pork Butt?
Contrary to its name, pork butt is not actually the rear end of a pig. Instead, it is a cut of meat that comes from the upper part of the shoulder of the pig. Pork butt is also sometimes referred to as Boston butt.
Pork butt is a versatile cut of meat that can be used in a variety of recipes. It is often used to make pulled pork, which can then be used in tons of great dishes, like pulled pork tacos or pulled pork nachos. Pork butt is also great for slow-cooking, as it has a lot of connective tissue that breaks down over time, resulting in tender, juicy meat.
When you’re shopping for pork butt, you’ll want to look for a cut that has a good amount of marbling. This will help keep the meat moist and flavorful during cooking. Pork butt is also sold bone-in or boneless. Bone-in pork butt will take longer to cook, but many people prefer it because they believe it adds more flavor to the meat.
The Benefits of Wrapping Pork Butt
When it comes to smoking pork butt, wrapping it can be a game-changer. Wrapping pork butt can help you achieve a tender, juicy, and flavorful final product. Here are a few benefits of wrapping pork butt:
Wrapping pork butt in foil or butcher paper helps to trap steam and natural juices that are released during the cooking process. This helps the meat stay moist and tender, preventing it from drying out.
Speeds Up Cooking Time
Wrapping pork butt can help speed up the cooking time by creating a “steam effect.” This means that the meat will cook faster and more evenly, resulting in a more consistent internal temperature.
Wrapping pork butt can help enhance the flavor of the meat by trapping in smoke and adding extra moisture. This can help create a more intense and complex smoke flavor.
Helps Break Down Connective Tissue
Wrapping pork butt can help break down connective tissue and fat, resulting in a more tender and juicy final product. This is because the steam created by the wrapping process helps to break down the collagen in the meat.
Protects the Meat
Wrapping pork butt can help protect the meat from getting too much smoke or heat. This can help prevent the meat from becoming overcooked or burnt.
What Smokers We Use
Did you know that Traeger created the original wood-pellet grill? The Pro Series 22 is the one most people choose because it’s compact, yet has plenty of space for cooking. You can use any type of wood pellets you like. See the Traeger Series 22 Grill on Amazon.
The Smoking and Cooking Process
Let’s talk about the smoking and cooking process itself. When you smoke pork butt, it will go through a few different stages. At first, it will absorb smoke and develop a bark on the outside. As the internal meat temperature rises, it will eventually hit a point where it stalls, and the temperature stops rising for a period of time. This is because the meat is sweating and releasing moisture, which cools it down.
Once the stall is over, the internal meat temperature will start to rise again, and the pork butt will continue to cook until it reaches the desired internal temperature. This is typically around 195-205 degrees Fahrenheit.
Thermapen ONE (read our review)
» Reading in one second or less
» Accuracy of ± 0.5°
» 5-year warranty
» Auto-rotate display; motion-sensing
» Insanely long battery life (2000 hrs)
When to Wrap Pork Butt
So, when should you wrap your pork butt? There are a few different schools of thought on this. Some pitmasters prefer to let the pork butt smoke unwrapped for the entire cooking process, while others wrap it after a few hours.
If you’re looking for a stronger smoke flavor and a firmer bark on the outside of the pork butt, you may want to leave it unwrapped for the first few hours of smoking. However, if you’re concerned about overcooking or excess fat rendering out, you may want to wrap it earlier.
A good rule of thumb is to wrap the pork butt once it has developed a nice bark on the outside and reached the stall. This is usually around the 160-170 degree mark. You can use heavy-duty aluminum foil or butcher paper to wrap the pork butt and be sure to seal it tightly to prevent any steam from escaping.
How to Wrap Pork Butt
Wrapping pork butt is an essential step in the smoking process. It helps to keep the meat moist and tender while also infusing it with flavor. Here is how to wrap pork butt properly:
- Choose Your Wrapping Technique: There are two popular methods for wrapping pork butt: using heavy-duty foil or butcher paper. Heavy-duty foil is more common and provides a tight seal, while butcher paper allows the meat to breathe and creates a nice bark. Choose the method that best suits your preferences.
- Prepare Your Wrapping Material: If you are using heavy-duty foil, tear off a sheet that is large enough to wrap the entire pork butt. If you are using butcher paper, cut a piece that is twice the length of the pork butt and wide enough to wrap around it.
- Wrap the Pork Butt: Place the pork butt in the center of the foil or butcher paper. If you are using foil, wrap it tightly, making sure there are no holes or gaps. If you are using butcher paper, fold it over the pork butt and then fold the edges in to create a tight seal.
- Secure the Wrap: If you are using foil, crimp the edges tightly to create a seal. If you are using butcher paper, use tape to secure the edges.
- Place in a Disposable Roasting Pan: Place the wrapped pork butt in a disposable roasting pan to catch any juices that may leak out during the smoking process.
- Cook as Directed: Follow your recipe for smoking the pork butt, taking care not to puncture the foil or paper while handling it.
Resting the Pork Butt
After cooking your pork butt, it’s important to let it rest before slicing or shredding. Resting allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, making it more tender and flavorful.
During cooking, the heat causes the juices in the meat to move toward the center. Resting allows those juices to redistribute throughout the pork butt, making it juicier and more tender. If you cut into the meat too soon, the juices will escape, leaving you with dry, tough pork.
Resting also allows the meat to cool slightly, making it easier to handle. You can use this time to remove any excess fat or connective tissue or to shred the pork for serving.
How long should you let your pork butt rest? A good rule of thumb is to let it rest for at least 15-20 minutes, but you can let it rest for up to an hour if you prefer. Cover the pork with foil to keep it warm while it rests.
When you’re ready to serve, be sure to save any natural juices that have accumulated on the plate or cutting board. You can drizzle them over the pork for added flavor and moisture.
By allowing your pork butt to rest before slicing or shredding, you’ll end up with a more tender, juicy, and flavorful end result that will impress your guests.
Unwrapping the Pork Butt
When it’s time to unwrap your pork butt, it’s important to do it carefully to avoid losing any of the juices that have accumulated inside the foil. You’ll want to make sure you have a large cutting board or platter ready to catch any drippings.
As you remove the foil, you may notice that the meat has shrunk slightly and that there is a layer of fat on top. Don’t worry, this is normal. You can simply use a paper towel to gently remove any excess fat before slicing.
Once you’ve removed the foil, take a moment to appreciate the aroma of the meat. You should be able to smell the smoke flavor and the natural juices that have been trapped inside the foil. This is what makes pork butt such a delicious cut of meat.
As you begin to slice the meat, you’ll notice that it is incredibly tender and juicy. This is thanks to the connective tissue that has broken down during the cooking process. You may also notice that the meat is slightly pink in the center. This is normal and is a sign that the meat has been cooked to perfection.
As you slice the meat, be sure to pour any accumulated juices back over the meat. This will help to keep it moist and flavorful. You can also add any additional sauces or seasonings at this point to enhance the flavor of the meat.
Overall, unwrapping your pork butt is an exciting moment for any barbeque pitmaster. It’s a sign that your hard work has paid off and that you’re about to enjoy a delicious meal. So take your time, savor the moment, and enjoy every bite!
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
Like this recipe? We’d love for you to share it on your Pinterest board! Click to follow our Pinterest boards so you can find all our recipes!
Instagram it! If you try this recipe please tag #legendsofthegrill on Instagram or Twitter. We love to see your photos of our recipes! Also follow us on Facebook to keep up on what we’re cooking up.
Laura is a passionate home cook and grill enthusiast who has spent years perfecting her culinary skills, with a particular focus on grilling techniques and flavor combinations. Her fascination with the grill, smoke, and the mouthwatering results they produce has led her on an exciting journey to discover the best methods for grilling delicious and unforgettable meals.