BBQ with Butcher Paper

*I’m thrilled to announce I partnered with Reynolds Kitchens® to show off their NEW butcher paper for this post!

Butcher Paper is not just for Briskets!

Everywhere you look on the internet, butcher paper is the stylish new product to use in BBQ.  However, you’ll also see that almost all of the references online are for butcher paper-wrapped briskets.  Let me tell you, it works on a lot more meats than just brisket!  When you are making BBQ with butcher paper, you are going to keep that ultra flavorful bark set for an amazing BBQ dinner.

Why do you BBQ with butcher paper?

BBQ folks have been wrapping meats in foil for years.  Generally, wrapping is done after you have achieved some smoke penetration and a good color to the meat.  For ribs, you may wrap in foil (along with some flavoring agents or liquids, such as juice) after two or so hours.  With a pork butt, or brisket, it may be four to six hours.  Wrapping in foil helps tenderize the meat and allows it to cook more quickly.  However, it does have a few drawbacks.  First, and most importantly for the cooking for flavor crowd, it seals off the meat from any more smoke penetration, and it steams the meat in its’ own juices or added liquids.  This generally results in a lost of the “bark,” or the uber-flavorful crust that develops on seasoned, smoked meat.  Wrapping in butcher paper minimizes this flavor loss by allowing some breathing to the meat, but still maintaining moisture.  In short, it can be the best of both worlds.

What can you cook in butcher paper?

Anything you can smoke, you can wrap in butcher paper for increased flavor and moisture.  I’ve recently cooked whole chickens, pork butts, pork ribs, and beef short ribs in butcher paper, and I’m in love with it.  For cooking at the house, you just can’t beat it for keeping moisture in the meat and adding flavor.  Reynolds Kitchens butcher paper is 40# paper, so it will hold up to soaking and not rip apart.  I’ve not had any problems cooking 3 lb slabs of ribs or even 20 lb briskets.

So, how do you do use butcher paper then?

Using butcher paper to BBQ is super easy.  First, watch the videos on use- you’ll need longer sheets of paper than you do aluminum foil.  Wait to get about halfway through your cooking process, your meats should have developed a good color and bark.  Then, tear off a sheet long enough to wrap it like a present. (Did I say tear?  I meant easily detach a sheet of the Reynolds Kitchens butcher paper by using the handy-dandy slide cutter!)  I want to flip mine twice with enough extra to rest under the meat.  This makes sure my “bark side” is back on top, and I get a good wrap.  For larger meats, use two sheets.   When your meat is ready, place it on the sheets of paper about equal distance from the edge as the meat is wide.  Meaning, you want to be able to pull the sheets over the meat.  Then, start flipping and folding!  That’s as easy as it gets.  Don’t forget to add some extra seasoning at this stage if you want.  Then simply put it back in the smoker and cook on until you reach your desired temp.  Instead of having to wrap around a thermometer, you can just poke right through the paper to insert your meat thermometer!

As always, I hope you enjoy.  Stay tuned for more posts and videos using butcher paper to achieve great tasting BBQ!