Smoked pork butt is an amazingly well-known and delectable dish, but you need to know how and when to wrap pork butt for smoking to get the perfect meal.
While your pork butt cooks, wrapping it can help keep the meat moist and tasty.
It is also a way to help prevent it from burning or drying out the outside of the meat.
It is important to know when to wrap a pork butt, as this helps make sure that you get the best possible result from your meal.
This guide is all about how to and when to wrap a pork butt before you smoke it correctly.
What is Pork Butt?
Let’s be clear: pork butt is not gotten from the pig’s rear end. It is a cut of meat gotten from the shoulder of the pig.
The name “pork butt” originates from the barrels it used to be stored in back in the colonial days.
The barrels were known as “butt,” and most times, the shoulder cut was packed inside them.
That being said, pork butt is a well-marbled and delicious cut of meat, and it is ideal for slow cooking.
You will often find pork butt in pulled pork or barbecue recipes.
The fat in the meat renders and yields a rich and succulent texture when cooked low and slow, which makes it quite tempting.
One thing you need to remember is that when working with pork butt, if not cooked properly, it can be a bit tough.
This explains why it is essential to cook it low and slow and use a meat thermometer to make sure that it reaches an internal temp of 190 to 195 degrees Fahrenheit.
This will help break down the connective tissue and then result in the melt-in-your-mouth texture you crave.
You might find it labeled as “Boston butt” or “shoulder butt” when you are shopping for pork butt.
The different names shouldn’t confuse you, given that they are the same cut of meat.
Normally, you will find pork butt sold bone-in; however, boneless varieties are also available.
To wrap it up, pork butt is a flavor-filled and well-rounded meat cut that is perfect for slow cooking.
As previously mentioned, it is gotten from the shoulder of the pig, not the rear end, and it is well-marbled and rich in flavor.
Just keep in mind that you cook it low and slow for the best results if you want to try cooking with pork butt.
How to Wrap Pork Butt
You will need two sheets of wide aluminum foil to wrap your pork butt. Ensure that they are four times as long as the widest side of your pork butt.
- First, place one sheet on a clean workstation, and make sure that the shiny side faces up with the longer edge of the foil running perpendicular to you.
- After that, place the other sheet of foil on your workstation and ensure that it overlaps with the first piece by around half its width.
- I recommend that you allow the duller side to face out when you place the ribs back inside the smoker, as this way, they will absorb instead of reflecting the heat.
- Afterward, lay the pork butt on the foil, the fat side up, around eight inches from the bottom edge of the foil. Remember that the longer side of the pork belly should run parallel to the bottom edge of the foil sheets.
- That being done, give the pork one last spray, then lightly spray the surface of your foil.
Step By Step Guide to Wrapping Pork Butt
- First, you are to tightly fold the bottom of the foil over the top of the pork butt.
- After that, tightly fold both sides of the foil at an obtuse angle; that way, the meat is wrapped tightly, but the sides should still be able to be folded in once more.
- That being done, roll the pork butt over and then fold both sides of the foil inward again.
- Proceed to roll the pork butt over one more time, and then you can now tuck in any excess foil.
- Now, it is time for you to feel around the wrap and ensure that the foil conforms tightly to the meat and there are no air pockets trapped inside.
Is Wrapping Pork Butt Necessary?
Wondering whether wrapping the pork butt is necessary for the cooking process will definitely be the first thing on your mind.
Note that wrapping the pork butt is crucial to the whole cooking process, particularly if you want to manage the stall properly.
Wondering what the stall is? Well, it is when the meat’s temp reaches between 150 and 175 degrees Fahrenheit and it starts to evaporate liquid.
The meat will cool down a bit when this happens as it wrestles with the smoker’s heat while cooking.
This process is referred to as the stall and can easily last between 2 and 6 hours.
The meat will be able to get through the stall when you wrap it, which will also help reduce the evaporation as much as possible.
Bottom line: wrapping the pork butt is necessary to get that perfect juicy texture from the interior and a crunchy texture from the exterior.
When to Wrap Pork Butt
To perfect the texture of the meat, knowing when to wrap the pork butt is vital to the cooking process.
In my opinion, checking the temperature of the pork butt is the best way to do this.
For instance, you should wrap the pork shoulder when it reaches a temp of around 155 to 170 degrees F and the bark is cooked according to your preference. This is just a general rule of thumb.
You will prevent the stall by wrapping the pork butt at this temperature, which will in turn help keep the meat juicy and succulent.
That being said, you have a few factors that influence when you should wrap your pork butt.
And this includes how you cook the meat, the pork shoulder’s size, and so on.
When to Unwrap Pork Butt?
Simply unwrap your pork butt right before you pull it.
After that, cook it to around 203 degrees, then remove it from your grill and place the wrapped pork in a cooler to cool.
Pork butt will complete cooking at about 203 degrees Fahrenheit. However, every piece of meat can be different.
What you should be looking for is a sensation.
Ensure that your thermometer probe is slid into the meat with no resistance.
You will know that your pork butt is cooked to the correct doneness when it shreds with very little effort.
Keep it wrapped immediately after it is off the grill, and then allow the meat to cool for up to an hour.
You can wrap your meat in some towels and then stick it in a cooler; that way, it will remain nice and hot.
This helps make sure that all the juices circulate all over the meat, which in turn makes it sublimely succulent.
Don’t worry, your pork will still be delicious even if you don’t have the time to rest it.
Unwrap the butt and then place the pork in an aluminum grill pan.
The juices will remain in the pan and then be reabsorbed by the meat. Avoid adding any sauce until the pork has been chopped or shredded.
Final Thoughts on How to and When to Wrap Pork Butt
Let’s assume that you planned on taking this step in the first place. It is really crucial that you know how and when to wrap pork butt.
It won’t be packed with enough flavor if you wrap the meat too early, and the outside might become too soft.
Alternatively, you will definitely run the risk of overcooking your Boston butt if you wait too long.
Well, happy cooking, as you now have the best guide on how to and when to wrap pork butt.