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Why do you foil?

If you are not doing a turbo cook I got the reason. Although for low and slow I dont get it. I have read someome say you loose fat render. If you wait to foil till 160 are you not already losing your fat rendering? I have done a few so far and not foiled. They turned out great plenty of juice. Just curious on what thoughts are on it.


  • Nature BoyNature Boy Posts: 8,577
    My good friend Tuffy Stone said it well a few years back. "Foil is a tool."

    The idea being that once you have introduced smoke flavor and built up a colorful bark, foil will speed the process by eliminating evaporative cooling. The meat heats quickly, which renders the remaining collagen and fat even more quickly. The reason many do this step is that while the collagen is rendering, there is no moisture loss. 

    Most folks that cook on offset pits or using straight wood really need to wrap simply to prevent oversmoking and to keep the color on the meat from getting too dark.

    Our competition team wraps our ribs and pork, not at 160, but instead I wrap when the color and bark is where I want it. Occasionally I will wrap our brisket, usually if the cook is behind.

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  • Charlie tunaCharlie tuna Posts: 2,191
    The first portion of the turbo butt is not foiled to allow maximum exposure to the two hours - plus, of smoke.  During this period i cook as low a temperature as possible.  I use foil for my drip pan, and yes there is some loss of fat during this part of the cook.  At 160 internal degrees the butt get's wrapped and sealed in foil to capture the liquid and also cook the butt in it's own juices.  The amount of liquid just depends on the fat content of the butt.  On average, this liquid level covers about three quarters of the butt - IF you check it as it hits the finish temperature.  About two thirds of this liquid will re-enter the butt if refrigerated while remaining in the foil.  It has been my experience that at the 160 degree wrapping point, the butt is almost like pressurized with inside liquid.  Any penetration of the butt's outside causes a steady flow of liquid to escape, thats why i never use forks of any kind to remove the butt for wrapping.  I use a set of large tongs and try(?) not to puncture the outside.  This photo is of a butt that has been resting for two hours, notice the liquid that remains in the bottom of the foil.
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 24,390
    only cook i foil anymore is pulled beef from a big chuck roast. it dries out to much when i bring the internal up to 210/ 215 degrees without the foil. with that particular cook its foiled at 180 and a tablespoon or two of seltzer goes in
  • henapplehenapple Posts: 15,982
    evidently my use of foil, aluminum pans, paper towels, etc.... keeps Sam's in business.
    Green egg, dead animal and alcohol. The "Boro".. TN 
  • The only reason I foil is because, when its done its like opening a present. Its very exciting to open it and see whats inside. Also to keep in moisture, but not on everything,  mainly just butts.
  • NibbleMeThisNibbleMeThis Posts: 2,295
    I sometimes foil a rack or two if I have guests who like "fall off the bone" ribs and leave my racks alone, so they all finish at the same time with two different textures for people's preferences.

    I also foil sometimes just for adding the extra flavors that I add in the packets.

    I don't foil butts.

    I foil brisket mainly to capture a lot of au jus.
    Knoxville, TN
    Nibble Me This
  • paqmanpaqman Posts: 2,815
    Good scientific explanation here:

    The thread is about the stall but it explains how foil can come into play.

    Entrepreneurs are simply those who understand that there is little difference between obstacle and opportunity and are able to turn both to their advantage. •Niccolo Machiavelli
  • jimfastcarjimfastcar Posts: 88
    edited April 2013
    I did a 4 lb shoulder today (my first). Put on at 10:00 am and stabilized at 250 Stalled at 150 around 1:30 and by 4:00 Mrs fastcar was starting to squawk, so I foiled it and raised the dome to 375. Took off at 195. It was delicious (actually the Rub was maybe a little too strong), but it did not shred like all the pictures I see of Pulled Pork. We ate it sliced and it was excellent with Baked Beans and Cole slaw on a baguette. (don't yell at me I am in Canada) What temp do I need so that it is "shredable) ?
  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 28,817


    200 or higher. I've never done a turbo and don't see the reason to. If you want to meet up for lunch at some point, I will give you whatever info I can about this stuff. Damn that sounded bad. I have personnal references. How bout them Leafs eh?


    Caledon, ON


  • Charlie tunaCharlie tuna Posts: 2,191
    The internal must be 160 degrees before you wrap or the butt will not pull right.
  • Mattman3969Mattman3969 Posts: 8,615
    edited April 2013
    I have never wrapped a butt. I have done done low and slow and I have done low temp till 160 and cranked to 350 and powered thru the stall I have also done 350 all the way thru and all have turned out great.

    I haven't cook a brisket so I cant comment.

    Beef I will always foil at 160 after the results I got today.


    2008 -Large BGE. 2013- Small BGE and 2015 - Mini. Henderson, Ky.
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