Are you looking for a way to keep your pork shoulder moist and flavorful while smoking it? Wrapping it in butcher paper might just be the solution you’re looking for.
Butcher paper is a great alternative to aluminum foil, as it allows for more moisture to escape while still keeping the meat wrapped and protected. Plus, it adds a delicious smoky flavor to your meat.
In this article, we’ll guide you through the process of wrapping your pork shoulder in butcher paper, including tips on when to wrap and how to ensure a tight seal. Whether you’re a seasoned pitmaster or a beginner, this technique is sure to take your pork shoulder to the next level.
So grab some butcher paper and let’s get started!
How To Wrap Pork Shoulder In Butcher Paper?
Before you begin, make sure you have the right size butcher paper for your pork shoulder. Measure the length of the pork shoulder and multiply it by four. Cut two sheets of butcher paper that are the exact same length as the figure.
Arrange the first layer of butcher paper vertically on a flat surface in front of you. Then, arrange the second sheet of butcher paper horizontally on top of the first sheet. The two sheets should overlap.
Next, remove the pork shoulder from your smoker and place it onto the butcher paper fat side up. Be sure to spritz the pork shoulder with apple cider vinegar or juice to add some extra flavor.
Fold both layers of butcher paper over the pork shoulder, making sure to wrap it tightly. Continue folding the butcher paper over the pork shoulder until it is completely covered. Fold it over one last time, then flip it over and tuck the edges of the paper in to seal the pork shoulder.
Why Butcher Paper Is A Better Option Than Aluminum Foil
While aluminum foil is a popular choice for wrapping meat, butcher paper is a better option for several reasons. Firstly, butcher paper is highly breathable, which allows moisture to escape from the meat. This prevents over-steaming and ensures that the outer crust of the meat remains crispy and flavorful. In contrast, aluminum foil traps all the steam inside the package, which can lead to a softer bark on the meat.
Secondly, butcher paper is more porous than aluminum foil, which allows more smoke to pass through and infuse the meat with even more flavor. This is especially important if you wrap your meat too soon and it hasn’t absorbed all the smoke it can.
Thirdly, butcher paper is more eco-friendly than aluminum foil as it is made from wood pulp using the Kraft process. It is 100% food safe and can be easily disposed of after use.
Finally, butcher paper is tougher than aluminum foil and can withstand higher temperatures without burning. While it is ideal for smoking, butcher paper shouldn’t be used for cooking at temperatures higher than 450 ̊F (232 ̊C). Aluminum foil, on the other hand, can compromise your bark if you wrap too early.
When To Wrap Your Pork Shoulder In Butcher Paper
Knowing when to wrap your pork shoulder in butcher paper is crucial to achieving the perfect texture and flavor. As a general rule, you should wrap your pork shoulder in butcher paper when it reaches an internal temperature of 160-170 degrees Fahrenheit. This is usually when the meat hits the “stall,” a point in the cooking process where the temperature seems to plateau and can take several hours to overcome.
By wrapping your pork shoulder in butcher paper at this point, you can hasten the cooking time and prevent the meat from drying out on your grill or smoker. Butcher paper retains most of the integrity of the bark while enveloping the meat in a moist, tenderizing environment. It also helps to keep a lot of the moisture inside the meat, preventing it from evaporating and resulting in dry pork.
However, it’s important to note that wrapping with butcher paper can slow down your cook, especially if you’re smoking a brisket and you hit a stall. If you’re looking for a faster cook time, you may want to consider wrapping your pork shoulder in aluminum foil instead.
Ultimately, the decision to wrap your pork shoulder in butcher paper comes down to personal preference. Wrapping can help retain moisture and speed up cooking time, but it may also affect the texture and flavor of the meat. Experiment with different methods to find what works best for you and your taste preferences.
Tips For Ensuring A Tight Seal
To ensure a tight seal when wrapping your pork shoulder in butcher paper, there are a few tips you should keep in mind.
Firstly, make sure that the fat side of the pork shoulder is not in contact with the paper. This will prevent the fats and other juices from pooling at the bottom and drying out the meat.
Secondly, be sure to fold both layers of butcher paper tightly over the pork shoulder. You don’t want any noticeable air pockets trapped inside, as this will affect the cooking process and may cause the meat to dry out.
Thirdly, if you’re having trouble getting a tight seal with the butcher paper, you can use a layer of aluminum foil to help lock in moisture. Simply wrap the butcher paper-covered pork shoulder in a layer of foil, making sure to fold it tightly around the meat.
Lastly, take your time when wrapping your pork shoulder in butcher paper. Rushing through the process may result in a loose or uneven wrap, which can affect the cooking process and result in dry or tough meat.
The Benefits Of Using Butcher Paper For Smoking Meat
Using butcher paper to wrap your pork shoulder when smoking has several benefits. Firstly, butcher paper is more breathable than aluminum foil and traps less steam, which helps to keep the meat moist without making the bark soggy. This is especially important when smoking pork shoulder, as it tends to dry out quickly if not properly wrapped.
Butcher paper also allows the meat to “breathe” a little, letting some of the moisture escape and preventing the meat from getting mushy. This helps to maintain the texture of the meat and allows for a better bark/crust on the exterior of the pork shoulder. The paper also helps to protect the meat from the full impact of the smoker, while still allowing it to absorb smoke, spices, and other flavors.
Another benefit of using butcher paper is that it creates an air-tight seal around the meat, trapping the smoke and flavor within while it cooks. This ensures that your smoked pork shoulder has the perfect flavor and texture. Butcher paper also soaks up the grease from the pork shoulder, leaving it with even more flavor.
Compared to parchment paper, butcher paper is thicker, more absorbent, and more permeable (breathes better). It also has a lower heat threshold, making it perfect for slow-smoking meat. Parchment paper, on the other hand, is better for retaining moisture and collecting juices for a sauce while smoking meat.
Frequently Asked Questions About Wrapping Pork Shoulder In Butcher Paper
Q: What is the purpose of wrapping pork shoulder in butcher paper?
A: Wrapping pork shoulder in butcher paper helps to hold in moisture during the last stages of cooking. It also helps to get past “the stall” when smoking meat, especially brisket. The paper allows the meat to breathe better than foil does, which can be wrapped too tightly. Wrapping can speed up smoking times, too.
Q: How does wrapping pork shoulder in butcher paper differ from wrapping it in foil?
A: Wrapping pork shoulder with aluminum foil will seal in moisture, but it will also soften the bark. In contrast, wrapping pork shoulder with butcher paper will cause some of its moisture to be lost. Butcher paper is a breathable material, allowing some moisture to escape through the paper’s pores. This will prevent the bark from softening up too much.
Q: When is the best time to wrap pork shoulder in butcher paper?
A: The best time to wrap your pork shoulder is when it has achieved an internal temperature of 160 to 170 degrees. Wrapping your pork shoulder at the right time in butcher paper gives it the best combination of texture and flavor while retaining the tasty juiciness of the pork.
Q: Can I use any type of paper to wrap my pork shoulder?
A: No, you should only use FDA-approved 100% food-grade pink butcher paper that is made from Southern Pine pulp. Waxed butcher paper, wax paper, and freezer paper should never go in your smoker or grill as they can catch fire and emit toxic fumes at high heat.
Q: How do I know if I wrapped my pork shoulder correctly?
A: You should wrap your pork shoulder tightly in butcher paper, making sure to fold it over until it is completely covered. Tuck the edges of the paper in to seal the pork shoulder. If done correctly, you should be able to lift and move the wrapped pork shoulder without it falling apart or losing its shape.