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Boston Butt - To Wrap (in Foil) or Not to Wrap

I've seem both methods in many recipes when smoking a Boston Butt.[p]Would appreciate any comments on the two methods and if the results are any different (texture of meat, crusty exterior?)


  • GfwGfw Posts: 1,598
    <p />NEWBGE, I've only done a few - the 2 in the picture are scheduled to go about 9 this evening - I cook them on indirect heat and have never needed to wrap in foil - I try to maintain a dome temp at 200 degrees. The link below shows my 1st attempt along with cooking time s and internal temps. Good Luck!

    [ul][li]Boston Butt[/ul]
  • Gfw,
    You sure do justice to a "nice butt"! He won't go wrong if he follows yours or EW's directions!

  • Char-WoodyChar-Woody Posts: 2,642
    NEWBGE, [p]You can do both, and the question your asking is what will the results be. Back in the archives a few months ago is a experimental cook doing a boston butt in 4 hours. It can be done with foil. But the end result is a moist shreddable boston butt with a more steamed taste than a broiled taste. To the inexperienced taster, he won't notice. But to the individuals that have done the low and slow, crusted exterior..there is a big difference. [p]Look for the post in the archives,"4 hour Boston Butt, by Smoking Bob, and myself.[p]BTW, There are more than just a few here that can cook Butts! Pun intended...[p]Char-Woody

  • NEWBGE, you are just in time to check out our results. This morning at 10am, I put on a 9+ pounder. I don't use mustard on the rub, which usually results in a finished product without the very dark coating. We are doing photos as we go and will be posting them shortly thanks to the help of Bob. This butt will be kicking butt at about noon tomorrow. When my internal temp reaches 160, I open the dampers a little to bring egg temp up to 300 to 350 and about three hours after that the meat temp hits 180. I take it off, wrap it in heavy duty foil and cover it with several layers of dish towels. Then try to keep people's hands out of it until it sits for an hour at least. It will be tender moist, and fit for a King (or a Guru). Stand by for pics..

  • Tim MTim M Posts: 2,410
    NEWBGE,[p]I would not wrap in foil unless you run into problems. The cookbooks your reading are probably designed around some other type of cooker - the Egg is ceramic and designed differently and so you must adapt recipes "to" the Egg most of the time. The Egg holds in more moisture than any metal cooker so wrapping in foil is used mainly for super tenderized meat (kinda steams the meat) or for rushing a cook towards the end. Butts take a long time and many a new Egger has had the old fire go out at 4am. When you find out at 7am and guests are coming at 11am -- you have to rush it and thats when you wrap it in foil while rebuilding the fire and cook it to 190-195 and let it sit to cool - then pull. Doing it indirect over a drip pan in a V rack. Good luck.[p]Tim M

  • Char-WoodyChar-Woody Posts: 2,642
    King-O-Coals, [p]Me thinks you got it down pretty good. Us northerners do it about the same way...but since its colder up here (brrrrrrrr) we tuck it away in it'w wraps in a ice chest. Mebbe a half hour or so. I also dust the rubs on over the coat of mustard.. Got one on to take of in three hours now at 158F degrees internal as we type. BGE chugging away at 225F. Since Midnight last night.[p]Cheers..C~W[p]

  • JJJJ Posts: 951
    Why do you kick up the heat to 300-350*? Speed the cooking process?

  • JJ, I answered your email, but I will briefly recant it here. I can't remember where I read about visceral fat, but it helps break it down when your meat temps go above 160 (temp at which pork is done). I also follow the advice of Elder Ward. When I get to 160, I open up the dampers and let the egg temp climb to 300 to 350. It takes about 3 to 4 hours for the meat temp to get to 180. I guess the theory is to spike the internal temp to 180 rather than take it there slowly for the sake of holding internal moisture. I take it off and wrap it in heavy foil which holds in the heat and allows moisture to stay inside the package which makes the outer surface of the roast, which has been exposed to heat for over 24 hours, to be as tender as the inside meat. I'm no authority, but the 5 butts I have been involved with have turned out perfect. In cooking, anything less than perfection is very dissatisfying to me. The Guru of Grease is my one exception to this rule..

  • JJJJ Posts: 951
    By wraping it at those temps you keep the fat in the meat. The moisture will be there if you leave it unwraped and allow the fat to leave the meat.

  • JJ, you mean while cooking or after? I haven't noticed any appreciable amounts of grease after taking it off.

  • Char-WoodyChar-Woody Posts: 2,642
    King-O-Coals, yer close. "IMHO" isn't visceral fat callogen, the cells that hold the muscle fibers in all warm blooded creatures together. Without it we would be wiggly globs of tissue around useless bone! Something like that ??
    In humor...Char-Woody[p]

  • JJJJ Posts: 951
    When you wrap it the fat is there. But what do I know, I am still learning

  • Char-Woody, so, apparently Guru has been wrapped in foil and brought up to 180 degrees at some point in his life.

  • JJ, and we will be learning until we take that last breath. I learn and learn, but also forget and forget. When I hear or read something, I usually retain just enough to make me dangerous..

  • Char-WoodyChar-Woody Posts: 2,642
    I think we are related..:-) Or is it really just human nature :-) [p]C~W[p]

  • Char-WoodyChar-Woody Posts: 2,642
    King-O-Coals, Haaa..I dunno..but lookout, you might find hot coals where least must really be ace buddies..:-)

  • Char-Woody,
    Please C~W! One of him's 'nough in this world! If you'uns was related, then we'd have one too many! Poor Guru of Grease! Just think how dificult life would be catchin' it from both directions![p]Dr. C

  • JJJJ Posts: 951
    Been there - Done That!!! hehe

  • Dr. Chicken, we feed off one another. Our wives say we are like two young Lab puppies when we are together. They have even threatened to spank us and put us to bed early,,, but they know we'd like that too.. It's hard to deal with a couple of braindeads! Last summer, in one day, we got painted with makeup by his girls, egged some beef ribs that looked like something the Flintstones would serve, blew up the engine in a waverunner, broke my wifes foot, and had our swimming trunks stollen by our wives and had to drive to my house naked. It's only about 2 miles to my house down a deserted beach road, and it was night, but we had several scary thoughts about what would have happened if we had got stopped by the po-lease. We still had the remains of the makeup that his girls put on us. It would have probably made national news.
  • King-O-Coals,
    You guys would be basket cases if it weren't for you wives! Did your wife steal your swimming trunks before or after you broke her foot? One of these days I'll tell you about one of our brothers from the deer shack that got a little carried away. He tried to crash a wedding reception in the "all-together" between the mayor's son & the biggest TV personality's daughter. Really a hum-dinger! You'll die laughing! But the end results could've happen to you two cards too.[p]Dr. C

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