When to Wrap Pork Butt: In-Detail Guide to Doing It Properly!

This article will share some important secrets to cooking pork butt that will help you achieve a perfect result! Read on to learn about temperature and proper timing!
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Last updatedLast updated: August 05, 2021
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One of the most popular types of meat has to be pork butt. This is partly because it’s such a robust and tasty choice of meat. The other reason it’s so popular is that it cooks really well on a grill or a smoker. Since it has a high-fat content, a long cooking process such as grilling or smoking makes the meat tender and juicy.

While cooking this tasty piece of meat might seem easy enough, some people preparing pork butt for the first time might be left wondering when to wrap the pork butt? And while there’s a golden rule of wrapping it four hours before it’s ready, it’s not as simple as it may seem. Read our article to learn tips and tricks on using temperature and timing for the most amazing and delicious results!

About a pork butt

Before we get started on the best way to prepare and cook a pork butt, there’s something we need to clear up first. Pork butt, contrary to the name, doesn’t come from the rear end of a pig!

In fact, pork butt actually comes from the top area of the pig’s shoulder.
If you’re wondering how that relates to the term “butt,” – we’ll explain. Pork butts are more commonly called Boston butts. The name stems from colonial times, and New England butchers would often put “less prized” cuts of meat into large barrels called “butts” as part of their shipping practices of the time.

These barrels of meat were then shipped to other places, and since they originally came from New England, the name Boston butt Trusted Source Boston butt - Wikipedia A Boston butt is the slightly wedge-shaped portion of the pork shoulder above the standard picnic cut, which includes the blade bone and the “lean butt” (which is boneless), both extensions of the tenderloin cut and can be used in place of the tenderloin. en.wikipedia.org kind of stuck.

Why do you need to wrap it?

Wrapping meat has many tasty benefits. And pork butt is no different. Some of the best reasons to wrap pork butt include the following:

  • Juices: Very few people like dry meat. Wrapping pork butt helps seal in the juices, especially during the last stages of cooking. The foil also aids in keeping the fat from dripping all over the coals. Instead, the meat absorbs the fatty juices!
  • Flavor: If you’re smoking the pork butt, the meat will obviously be exposed to hours of smoke. Wrapping in the foil traps those robust flavors right where you want them.
  • Texas crutch: We all know foil speeds up any cooking process. Expert pit bosses and kitchen cooks will tell you, wrapping meat in aluminum foil can save you a good 3 hours of cooking, depending on the cut you’re preparing. The foil concentrates the heat and therefore accelerates the cooking process.

How to prepare it for a smoker?

Pork butt is one of those cuts that require a little preparation before you put it in the smoker. This is so that you’re left with a flavorful, juicy piece of meat.

For the most robust and juicy pork butt, we suggest you season the meat a good 12 hours before any type of cooking. Ideally, you can season it the day before and let it marinate in the fridge overnight.

If pork butt was a last-minute plan in an impromptu dinner party, an hour of sitting in the rub mixture at room temperature should do the trick.

How to rub it?

Each pit master has their own tried and tested rub they prefer. One of our favorite rubbing methods include the following:

  • For a pork butt weighing 8-10 pounds, you’ll need about ½ cup of dry rub.
  • Our rub is made up of paprika Trusted Source Paprika: Health Benefits, Nutrients per Serving, Preparation Information, and More Find out what nutrients are in paprika and learn how it can help everything from weight control to pain relief. www.webmd.com , brown sugar, salt, garlic powder, chili powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, cumin, and dry mustard.
  • Coat the pork butt generously, rubbing the spice mix into every crevice. A tip here would be to coat the meat with a thin layer of mustard. This will help the rub stick to the meat. Make sure the mustard and the rub aren’t too thick. If you’re adding ready-made mustard to the pork, you might want to reduce the powder mustard in your rub.

When to Wrap Pork Butt: In-Detail Guide to Doing It Properly!How to cook it?

While pork butt can be prepared in your kitchen oven, meat lovers will agree, cooking or smoking it on a grill takes the flavor to a whole new level.

One of the best grills to use for smoking pork butt has to be the Kamado Joe Classic II Ceramic Charcoal grill. This handy model is a stainless steel ceramic grill with a revolutionary multi-level, half-moon design that allows you to cook food in different styles at different temperatures.

The Kontrol Tower top vent allows for consistent airflow management in the dome during opening and closing. This means your food’s internal temperature won’t drop when you open the dome to check up on the food. This model is regarded as one of the best charcoal grills because it allows for a smoking temperature from 225 degrees F right up to a searing 750 degrees F!

Something else that makes this grill so great to use is the various Kamado Joe accessories that make the grilling process so much easier.

Oven Cooking: Cooking pork butt in your kitchen oven will take anywhere between 4 to 8 hours, depending on the size of the meat. When you’re preparing the pork in the oven, you’ll roast the pork uncovered until the exterior is dry and crisp. This crispy exterior is the “bark.”

If you’re going to wrap the meat, you’d it around the 5-hour mark when the temperature reaches 160-degree range. As with grilling, this will allow the juices to be absorbed, ensuring you still have a succulent and juicy pork butt!

When to Wrap Pork Butt: In-Detail Guide to Doing It Properly!When and at what temp to wrap it?

In general, pork butt should be wrapped about two-thirds into the projected cooking time. Since a boneless 8-pound pork butt takes an average of 12 hours to cook unwrapped, it means the meat should be taken out for wrapping at the 8-hour mark.

The reason for taking it out so late has to do with the “stall” of the cooking process. This means the meat’s internal temperature should be at 150 degrees F before wrapping.

The best way to determine this is by using a Bluetooth Meat Thermometer. This handy thermometer is a wireless, digital BBQ monitor that allows you to control six different types of food on your grill. Since it’s a smart gadget, push notifications will be sent to your phone or tablet when your food is fully cooked! It’s no wonder it’s been labeled the best smoker thermometer around!

The wrapping process is as follows:

  • Wrap the meat in two wide sheets of quality aluminum foil to avoid ripping in the middle of the wrapping process. Place the foil shiny side up.

When to Wrap Pork Butt: In-Detail Guide to Doing It Properly!

  • Remove the pork butt using tongs and place it on a tray or disposable roasting pan.
  • Place on the foil, with the fat side facing up. Spray a thin layer of apple cider vinegar Trusted Source 6 Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar Apple cider vinegar is incredibly popular in the natural health community. Here are 6 ways it can benefit your health. www.healthline.com over the meat and across the foil. This will add to locking the moisture in.
  • Wrap the foil gently but tightly across the meat. Ensure you leave enough space to create a last fold when the meat is turned over.

When to Wrap Pork Butt: In-Detail Guide to Doing It Properly!

  • When you’ve created a tight seal, press out any air pockets.
  • Place back on the grill and cook until the meat registers a temperature of 195 degrees Fahrenheit. Since meat cooks by another 5 or 10 degrees after it’s removed from the grill, you can expect an increase in the temperature.

When to Wrap Pork Butt: In-Detail Guide to Doing It Properly!

  • Remove for the resting process.

Cooking begins

Time to start cooking! The cooking process is very simple. We’ve narrowed the process down to a few functional steps.

  • Preheat the grill between 180 – 225 degrees.
  • Add the pork butt and close the griller’s lid.
  • Boneless pork butt usually cooks at a rate of 90 minutes per pound. A cut with the bone still in cooks for an average of 2 hours per pound.
  • It’s important not to wrap the meat too early. This will result in the meat not having that distinguishable “bark” that barbecue lovers enjoy so much.
  • When the internal temperature of the pork reaches 150 degrees, it stops rising for a few hours. This is referred to as “stall,” and it’s completely normal. It might appear as though the meat has stopped cooking, but rest assured it’s still cooking!
  • About two-thirds into the cooking process, it will be time to wrap the meat. If you’re not going to wrap the meat, you can just continue cooking till it’s time to rest the meat.

When to Wrap Pork Butt: In-Detail Guide to Doing It Properly!Resting

Resting meat is an important part of most cooking processes. This is because the meat’s natural juices are reabsorbed into the fibers. This ensures you’re left with a cut that’s moist enough to be tender.

Keep the meat in the foil while it rests, as those juices will also be reabsorbed. Ideally, you want to rest the meat for about 2 hours.

When it’s time to serve, you can shred the meat using a set of shredding claws. Alternatively, two forks will do the trick as well.

Final thoughts

A juicy pork butt served with a salad or rice and veggies is a treat on any day. Simple tricks like finding the perfect rub and knowing when to wrap pork butt are the key to well-prepared meat!

Resting is equally important. By following the steps we’ve listed, you’re guaranteed to have a robust, flavorful piece of meat! Knowing when to wrap a quality cut of pork butt will ensure that you’re cooking skills are the talk of the next dinner party!

References

1.
Boston butt - Wikipedia
A Boston butt is the slightly wedge-shaped portion of the pork shoulder above the standard picnic cut, which includes the blade bone and the “lean butt” (which is boneless), both extensions of the tenderloin cut and can be used in place of the tenderloin.
2.
Paprika: Health Benefits, Nutrients per Serving, Preparation Information, and More
Find out what nutrients are in paprika and learn how it can help everything from weight control to pain relief.
3.
6 Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is incredibly popular in the natural health community. Here are 6 ways it can benefit your health.
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