Boston Butt Wrap Test Which is Better

Boston Butt Wrap Test Which is Better

Have you ever wondered about wrapping your Boston Butt while you are smoking it on a Big Green Egg? Do you wrap just because you’ve learned to cook it that way or do you wrap because there is a difference? If so, what is that difference?! Well, while in quarantine I decided to do a proper A/B test and see what wrapping does to the cooking process and final product. This is one small test and may produce different results for you… but it produced one clear winner for me. So, grab an ice cold Quarantini, and enjoy this post for Boston Butt Wrap Test – Which is Better.

Boston Butt Wrap Test Which is Better

Before I begin, you can use this recipe to cook your Boston Butts on a Big Green Egg (or another smoker). While this is a test, it is also a pretty darn good recipe producing some of the best pulled pork you will ever eat. With that said, let’s get started…

Get two 8 pound Boston Butts and take them out of the packaging. Go light your Big Green Egg and get it ready for low and slow cooking. See my instructions for that setup HERE.

Boston Butt Wrap Test Which is Better

While your Big Green Egg is coming up to temp, prep the Boston Butts by trimming excess fat and cross hatching the fat cap. This cross hatch cut allows the rub to get down to the meat and for the fat to render more evenly during the long cook.

Boston Butt Wrap Test Which is Better

Now apply just a little yellow mustard to the Boston Butts to give the rub a slather to adhere to. Take your favorite BBQ rub and apply liberally to all surfaces of the meat. For this cook I used a homemade rub of Salt, Pepper, and Paprika.

Boston Butt Wrap Test Which is Better

Boston Butt Wrap Test Which is Better

Once your Big Green Egg is stable at 250° and the smoke is clean, put the butts inside.

Boston Butt Wrap Test Which is Better

For the first 3 hours of the cook, do not open or disturb the Big Green Egg. This phase is where the Boston Butts will absorb the smoke flavor. While you are waiting, prepare a mop sauce with Apple Juice, Apple Cider Vinegar, hot sauce and Worcestershire sauce. You can use this to spray on the meat as I am doing or mop it on. That part is up to you.

Boston Butt Wrap Test Which is Better

Now at the 3 hour mark you want to check on the Boston Butts in the Big Green Egg every hour and spray with the mop sauce. Do this for the next 5 hours.

Boston Butt Wrap Test Which is Better

After 5 hours of spritzing (8 hours total) the bark on your Boston Butts should be nicely formed and the temperature should be around 160°. This is the phase where you will wrap the meat (or not) and put it back on the smoker.

For this test, I left one of the Boston Butts on the Big Green Egg while I wrapped the other. When I wrapped the one, I put a little extra mop sauce on top to help with the moisture in the wrap. When I put the wrapped Butt back in the Big Green Egg, I bumped the temperature up to 275° for the final 2 hours of the cook.

Boston Butt Wrap Test Which is Better

After 2 hours (10 total) start probing your meat to check for temperature and for feel. You want the probe to slide in and out of the meat and for it to feel like you are sticking that probe in a jar of creamy peanut butter. Once you feel that with your ThermoPop instant read thermometer and the internal temperature is around 204° it is time to pull the meat and let it rest.

Boston Butt Wrap Test Which is Better

Boston Butt Wrap Test Which is Better

Now for the test results: First, the time it took for both Boston Butts to finish cooking was the same. No difference at all which surprised me as I expected the wrapped Butt to finish sooner. Second, the bark on the unwrapped Butt was darker and better formed than the wrapped. While wrapped the steam fell back on the surface of the meat causing streaking to occur in the bark. At the end of the day this isn’t really a factor for me as this cut of meat gets all chopped up and pulled before service. So, a beautiful bark is less important.

Boston Butt Wrap Test Which is Better

Third, and the biggest difference for me was the “bone pull”. The bone came right out with no resistance on the Boston Butt that was wrapped.

Boston Butt Wrap Test Which is Better

The Boston Butt that wasn’t wrapped didn’t want to let go of the bone as easily as his counterpart did. Even though both Butt’s were probe tender, the unwrapped one had resistance when trying to pull out the bone.

Boston Butt Wrap Test Which is Better

Finally, both Boston Butt’s had great smoke rings, nuanced smoke flavor, and were juicy. However, if I had to choose a winner, it would be the wrapped Boston Butt. The tenderness and juiciness from that Butt was noticeably better and reinforcing a cooking technique I will use from now on without question.

I pulled them both and made some delicious pork sandwiches with my classic southern slaw.

Boston Butt Wrap Test Which is Better

I hope you enjoyed my recipe and my test. In the end, we are winners either way with this kind of thing! Stay safe everyone and keep checking back for regular updates from The BBQ Buddha.

Boston Butt Wrap Test Which is Better

Boston Butt Wrap Test Which is Better

5.0 from 2 reviews
Boston Butt Wrap Test Which is Better
 
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I took a stab at the age old question to wrap your Boston Butt or not. So, how did it turn out? You will need to read and find the answer to Boston Butt Wrap Test Which is Better.
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: BBQ
Serves: 10
Ingredients
  • 2 x 8 Lbs Boston Butts
  • ¼ cup kosher salt
  • ¼ cup coarse ground black pepper
  • ⅛ cup paprika
  • 2 Tbs yellow mustard
  • For the mop:
  • 1 cup apple juice
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • Several dashes of hot sauce
  • Several dashes of Worcestershire sauce
Instructions
  1. Take your Boston Butts out an hour before cooking them
  2. Fill your Big Green Egg with lump charcoal placing 3-4 wood chunks in the charcoal
  3. Light your Big Green Egg lump charcoal and set temp to 250°
  4. Cross hatch the fat cap on the Boston Butts
  5. Apply mustard slather and then rub
  6. Once the Big Green Egg is stable at 250° and the smoke is clean, put your pork in
  7. Leave untouched for 3 hours
  8. Mix the mop ingredients together (Apple juice, Apple Cider Vinegar, hot sauce, and Worcestershire sauce)
  9. After 3 hours start spraying/mopping the sauce on the Boston Butts every hour for the next 5 hours
  10. At the 5 hour mark take your Boston Butts off and wrap in foil with a little mop applied to the Butts
  11. Putt back on the Big Green Egg, bump temperature to 275° and let cook another 2 hours
  12. When the meat is probe tender and measures 204° take the Boston Butts off the Big Green Egg
  13. Make a crack in the foil to let steam escape and Boston Butts to stop carryover cooking
  14. After 20-30 minutes, wrap the foil tight, place Boston Butts in cooler with a towel and let rest for an hour or two before pulling meat and serving

 

 

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Boston Butt Wrap Test Which is Better
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6 comments on “Boston Butt Wrap Test Which is Better

  1. Great article, Chris…You’ve made a believer out of me. I bet that would go great with some Mac & Cheese and dusted with a Dizzy Pig Seasoning like we did up at The Harpoon Invitational so many years ago. May you and your family, Stay Safe! Stay Healthy!, and keep them coals burning my friend. 🙂

    1. Figure out how to setup the grill of indirect cooking and make sure the Boston Butt is on that side of the grill when you try this recipe. You can also find smoke boxes for gas grills allowing you to put wood chips in a box over the flames of the grill to add smoke flavor.