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Pork Butt: To foil or not to foil, that is the question.

I have smoked a few pork butts before and I absolutely love the flavor.  I rub with John Henry's pork rub and smoke at 250 until 195.  When is it finished, I wrap in HD foild and place into ice chest until ready to serve, usually an hour or two.  When i pull, the meat tastes amazing, but it seems to be lacking a little in the moisture department.  

My question is this: At any point during the cook, does anyone wrap the butt in foil to help hold any moisture?  If so, when and why?  Also, is their anything I can do after I pull the meat to add moisture?  We do offer BBQ sauce, but I want my pork to stand alone.  I am doing a 9# butt for new  years and could use some advice.  
Large BGE
Dallas, TX

Comments

  • PjoePjoe Posts: 224
    I do not foil while on the Egg as that tends to soften the bark. Pulling at 195* you should not have problems with dry pork. If you are running late, foil will help get you on time but so will ramping up the temp to 300+. I dont think foiling keeps in moisture. i usually inject with a mixture of apple juice, vinegar, and sugar. Pork butt is fairly forgiving. Good luck wih it. Bill
    LBGE AR SMALL BGE WOO RING
  • I smoke mine til the IT hits 160. If you space out your wood you will get plenty of smoke and therefore will have a nice bark. I put it in a foil pan and cover with foil at 160 and let it go to 200-205. I then let it rest for 30 minutes to an hour. When you remove the foil, you'll have plenty of "natural" juices that will mix in when you start the pulling process. Very juicy!
    PROUD MEMBER OF THE WHO DAT NATION!
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  • PjoePjoe Posts: 224
    Looks wonderful!
    LBGE AR SMALL BGE WOO RING
  • bhuggbhugg Posts: 177
    What if I put the pork on my v-rack in a pan? Would that collect enough juices plus give me a good bark? Does anyone use their v-rack and if so, what is your setup?
    Large BGE
    Dallas, TX
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 11,550
    Power through the stall by cranking up the heat.  One you're near 190, start checking for doneness.  When the probe slides in with no resistance, the bone is super loose and the whole thing is ready to fall apart - it's done.  That might be at 195 or it might be at 205.  If it's done at 195 and you keep cooking it to 205 or 210, it's going to seem dryer.  The butt is pretty much dry already when it's done.  All that water is gone, or used in the collagen to gelatin conversion.  That gelatin and fat make it seem moist - but even the moisture in the gelatin can be driven off, so pull when it's done and that temperature range will be between 190 and 205.  

    Injecting with a salty broth or brining will make it "hold" more moisture, but at the risk of making it taste more like a ham (or cured pork).  Cooking super turbo hot can help, but you can get a bacon flavor (not always a bad thing).
    ______________________________________________
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  • bvdwbvdw Posts: 24
    I say no. I never wrap mine and it falls apart
  • WolfpackWolfpack Posts: 1,085
    I would not separate- I would either cram it in or cut some of the thin part of the flat off. You could cook the cut off part separately and pull off when cooked
    Greensboro, NC
  • Ragtop99Ragtop99 Posts: 1,175
    I smoke mine til the IT hits 160. If you space out your wood you will get plenty of smoke and therefore will have a nice bark. I put it in a foil pan and cover with foil at 160 and let it go to 200-205. I then let it rest for 30 minutes to an hour. When you remove the foil, you'll have plenty of "natural" juices that will mix in when you start the pulling process. Very juicy!
    Of the liquid collected, roughly how much is juice and how much is fat?
    Cooking on an XL and Medium in Bethesda, MD.
  • LitLit Posts: 2,774
    My experience is about half of the drippings are fat. I used to freeze them to get the fat solid so I could remove it but I got a pretty cool thing for Christmas with a strainer on top and then there is a hole in the bottom with a spring loaded trigger that covers the hole so you can let the juices out then leave the fat in the container. I almost always foil my shoulders when the bark looks good especially if I am doing a higher temp cook. At 300 plus the bark gets dry and burnt at least for my taste. At 250 you can get away without foiling and not kill the bark but I usually foil anyways. The bark isn't going to stay crispy anyways once you pull it and mix it all together.
  • Ragtop99 said:
    I smoke mine til the IT hits 160. If you space out your wood you will get plenty of smoke and therefore will have a nice bark. I put it in a foil pan and cover with foil at 160 and let it go to 200-205. I then let it rest for 30 minutes to an hour. When you remove the foil, you'll have plenty of "natural" juices that will mix in when you start the pulling process. Very juicy!
    Of the liquid collected, roughly how much is juice and how much is fat?

    Oh hell...now we're getting technical. Lol. I have no clue. I pull the pork in the same pan and mix it all up.
    PROUD MEMBER OF THE WHO DAT NATION!
  • Ragtop99Ragtop99 Posts: 1,175
    I'm a fan of not foiling, but I may have to try one this way.  If half is recovered moisture, that would be good to mix back in.  I'd seperate it like Lit suggested. 
    Cooking on an XL and Medium in Bethesda, MD.
  • Ragtop99Ragtop99 Posts: 1,175
    Tried this today with an 8lb butt.  Poured the liquid into measuring cup and got roughly 1 cup.  Allowed it to cool and separate and then put it in the freezer to get the fat hard.   A couple ounces came off as pure fat.  The remainder was gelatin-like.  It would dissolve in water but still clumped.  I had hoped to capture the moisture but could not get it separated. It remains a solid at room temp.

    Flavor of the gelatin was good in liquid form.  I kept a tbs to mix with a tbs of water.  I'll use that for moisture when I reheat the leftovers. 

    image

    Like a turbo butt, this method cuts down the cook time compared to traditional, but I'll probably go back to doing them old school, but at 275*.
    Cooking on an XL and Medium in Bethesda, MD.
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