Why is Butcher Paper Used for BBQ?

Today, pink butcher paper is no longer something that is just used by a local butcher for wrapping up pork chops. For any BBQ aficionado, pink butcher paper is a must-have tool. For those who are somewhat confused about why butcher paper is needed, do not worry. Keep reading to find out what this paper is, how it is used, and why it is a popular alternative to traditional aluminum foil.

What Started the Butcher Paper Obsession?

Before getting into the appeal of butcher paper for pitmasters, it is important to understand what it is. This paper is a thicker option than foil and offers “sizing.” This is an internal treatment that increases the paper’s strength when it is soaked by moisture. When sizing is added to a robust or thick sheet of paper, raw meat can be wrapped in it and will not turn into an unusable papery slush.

When Should Butcher Paper be used?

For BBQ purposes, butcher paper is beneficial as an alternative to aluminum foil, which is traditionally used for wrapping meat. Usually, pitmasters use foil for wrapping meat like briskets to help keep the meat from losing the beneficial moisture at the end of the cooking period. This ensures the meat stays juicy and tender.

Unlike traditional foil, the butcher paper also allows the meat to “breathe,” which allows some of the moisture to escape and keeps the meat from becoming mushy. It also helps to keep more of the desired smoky flavor inside. It is also possible to use the paper as a “Texas Crutch.” This means wrapping the meat to prevent any evaporative cooling and to avoid something called the BBQ stall.

When meat is wrapped, it will cook faster, too. This is necessary if a larger piece of meat, such as brisket, is needed faster than usual. By wrapping a brisket or rack of ribs, the bark that typically forms on the meat’s exterior will be delayed, too. This is beneficial if the meat has cooked faster than needed, and someone is worried that the crust may become too dark. Be sure not to wrap the meat too soon, as this may keep it from creating that tasty crust completely.

Butcher Paper vs. Foil

The main reason that people choose butcher paper rather than foil is that, when wrapping meat, the paper offers a few necessary advantages. When the foil is used, it creates a sealed and reflective environment that results in over steaming in some cases. This occurs if excessive moisture is trapped inside with the meat while it is cooking. This is not something that occurs when butcher paper is used, making the paper a smart alternative.

Keep in mind that there are right and wrong ways to use butcher paper when cooking. Be sure to keep the tips and information here in mind to minimize the possibility of issues and enjoy well-cooked, tasty meat that provides the desired flavors. Knowing how to use the butcher paper the right way will help ensure the desired results are achieved.