Wrap or not to wrap


 

DennisT

TVWBB Member
I'm doing four pork shoulders on my 18 inch this week for pulled pork sandwiches at church. My plan is to start them Thursday night before I go to bed at about 250 degrees. Because of possible difference in temp between the top bottom racks I will probably switch them on Friday morning. I'm injecting with a mixture of apple juice, apple cider vinegar, worcestershire, maple syrup and seasonings - leaving some for spritzing during the cook. Should I wrap them in butcher paper to help them through the stall or let them go naked?
 

Brett-EDH

TVWBB Diamond Member
Wrap em. They’ll be nice and moist and a wrap will help them push through the stall evenly and consistently. Sounds like you’ve got a great recipe dialed in and are built for success on this cook. Just remember, they’ll be done when they’re done. Hopefully you have a probe cook thermometer and monitor?
 

Mark Foreman

TVWBB All-Star
Wrap em. They’ll be nice and moist and a wrap will help them push through the stall evenly and consistently. Sounds like you’ve got a great recipe dialed in and are built for success on this cook. Just remember, they’ll be done when they’re done. Hopefully you have a probe cook thermometer and monitor?
I agree with Brett, wrap them. HD foil or Butcher paper is fine. remember to check more than one for doneness.
 

John K BBQ

TVWBB All-Star
I think wrap or no wrap can be a game time decision. I would let em' roll thru the night, and if you're in the stall when you wake up and running short one time, I would definitely wrap and finish the cook that way. I haven't looked lately but I think the stall can last 3 or 4 hours depending on any number of factors.. if the weather isn't cooperating and you're smoker is running on the cold side you may wanna wrap. If weather is helping (or at least not hurting you) and you have time, you may not want to mess with it....

On the other hand, if you don't wrap in foil, you'll lose all of the juice that would otherwise be great for reheating before serving. I've used buther paper before but I'm not sure how once would save the juice when using butcher paper... maybe another forum member knows how to do that. Of course, if you don't can't save the juice, you can substitute something else to make sure the pork stays moist when you reheat it (maybe some chicken stock/broth concoction)... but you'd want to find a solid recipe for that...
 

Bob Bailey

TVWBB All-Star
I don't brine, inject, spritz or mop butts. Never had a problem with flavor or moisture after many, many cooks. IMO, any decent pork butt has plenty of fat and connective tissue to keep it juicy and flavorful when cooked properly. Any moisture additions cause or extend the stall. Any flavor you hope to gain can be added, to taste, when you shred the meat.
Keep in mind that the pros rely on one bite to impress the judges. The rest of us strive to produce a consistently great end product.
 

Jim C in Denver

TVWBB All-Star
Agree that wrap is a game time decision. Especially with an overnight cook. See where you are in the morning and when you are trying to land the plane.

Wrap if you want need to be done sooner. Also you can finish the cook on a gasser or kitchen oven if you want to shut the smoker down and get cleaned up.
 

GaryP

TVWBB Super Fan
I think it depends on time. I cooked six once overnight on my pellet grill and with all that mass I was way way behind. It was for work and I ended up having to drag out my 22 wsm and wrap and finish them at work. I'd plan on wrapping but that's just me.
 
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Brett-EDH

TVWBB Diamond Member
I think it depends on time. I cooked six once overnight on my pellet grill overnight and with all that mass I was way way behind. It was for work and I ended up having to drag out my 22 wsm and wrap and finish them at work. I'd plan on wrapping but that's just me.
fully agree. OP is making a huge cook and IMO, keeping all that moisture outweighs the extra bark as the sammies are reheats anyways. i'd err on caution and success and get it done, moist, quckly and no futzing around. last thing wanted is additional stress becuase one fat butt will take 16 hours to become happy. wrap em and rack em and sauce the final shredded. people will love you for what you did. no one will notice, gee, Dennis cheated me on the bark today. not happening, IMO.
 
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Chuck-roaniecowpony

TVWBB Super Fan
The bark comes out very hard and crunchy for no wrap. Makes for great "kitchen treats". You can add moisture back into the pulled meat by putting it in a tray and adding pork broth and rub. You can also wrap late in the cook to build more bark. It doesn't have to be at the stall. No rules.
 

TonyUK

TVWBB Guru
What Bob Bailey says. Once I put a pork butt on I don't lay eyes on it again until it's done. Minimal putzing is my philosophy.
 

 

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