When To Wrap Pork Butt? – My Personal Experience

when to wrap pork butt

If you looking to smoke some great pulled pork butt it is important to know when to wrap pork butt.

“My personal experience is that wrapping a pork butt at 165 degrees Fahrenheit (74 degrees Celsius) is the perfect temperature.”

At this point, the fat has started to render and wrapping will prevent the meat from drying out.

Read Also: https://bettergrills.com/how-to-smoke-a-pork-butt/

What Is Pork Butt?

I guess when you started looking for an answer to the question of when to wrap pulled pork you already know that a pork butt is actually a cut of meat that comes from the shoulder of the pig

“It is located just above the rear leg or”butt” that’s how it got its confusing name!”

Why Wrapping A Pork Butt

There are a number of benefits to wrapping your pork butt while you smoke it and some of them are:

  • Prevents the meat from drying out too much.
  • Wrapping locks in moisture.
  • The cooking time will be reduced
  • The meat will turn out more tender

If you have smoked pulled pork before or if this is your first time I highly recommend wrapping for the best result.

When To Wrap Pork Butts?

Although many pitmasters have their own opinion about when to wrap a pork butt, it is a generally excepted rule that you should wrap your Boston Butt at an internal temperature of between 150- 165°F( 65 – 71°C)

I prefer 165 °F because in my experience the fat is starting to render to a point that I like.

What To Wrap Pork Butts With?

I have tried several ways of wrapping Boston Butts and here are some of the mosr popular options.

No Wrapping

There are many people who do not cover the pork butts at all. This will create a nice bark but in my opinion a little dryer meat. Merely a personal choice.

Aliminum Foil

This is my prefered way and I think it locks in moisture very well and still creates a nice bark.

Butcher Paper

Although more use in smoking a Briset it is also geat to use to wrap you pork butt. the Butcher paper let the meat breath more than aluminum foil and creates a nice outside bark

Parchment Paper

The bad thing abourt parchment paper is that the meat does not absorb anymore smoke flavor but it is great for locking in the juices.

Effect Of Wrapping on The Cooking Process

There are many debats going on online on how wrapping Boston Butts affects the taste and texture.

I wrap because it will give me an easy to pull tender meat and that is what I prefer.

Others like a more crispy outside and claim that the lack of air circulation prefents that.

At the end of the day it is a personals preference on what cooking method you like to use!

The Stall

It happened to me many times that the temperature stalled after wrapping my pork butts. This is known as the stall and all you can do is wait.

When To Un-Wrap Pork Butts?

Just as important to know when to wrap, it is also important to decide when to un-wrap Your pork butt.

“Your pulled pork will be done and perfectly tender and juicy when it reaches an internal temperature of 200 – 205°F (93 – 96°C)”

Now your pork butt is ready you have 2 options.

  • Unwrap and shred
  • Let it rest for about 30 minutes

I let it rest for a minimum of 30 minutes and this gives the juices time to get back in the fibers of the meat and not sit at the bottom of the paper you wrapped it with.


  • If you Boston Butt is done before your guests arrive keep it wrapped in a cooler. This will keep it warm for even a few hours.
  • Use 2 layers of aluminum foil or Butcher paper.
  • Add some apple juice before wrapping to help the meat get even more tender.
  • Shredding your pork butt can be done by hand, with 2 forks or, the easiest way, with Bear Claws.
  • I still use my Grill Armor Gloves because of their heat resistance.

People ask me sometimes what is the difference between a pork but and a pork shoulder and you can read my answer here.

What Wood To Use For Smoking Pork Butts

I think that a strong flavored wood is the best for smoking a pork butt. Flavors such as Hickory, Oak or even Mesquite to mention 3 of my personal favorites.

Although I wrote an article about wood chips. you can also use this a guide to what wood to use for smoking in general.

But again there are no set rules and maybe you prefer a more subtle smoke flavor such as apple or Cherry.

When To Wrap Pork Butt – Summary

Smoking meat in general is no absolute science and circumstances and meat vary.

However, with these general guidelines and tips I gave you here you must be able to smoke a juicy and well tasing pork butt.

Happy Smoking!

Eddie van Aken

Eddie van Aken brings years of experience from running a full-service restaurant, where he honed his skills with all types of kitchen equipment. His expertise extends to mastering the art of outdoor cooking, utilizing the right recipes to enhance flavors on grills and smokers. Eddie’s in-depth knowledge allows him to provide comprehensive grill reviews and valuable outdoor cooking tips, helping enthusiasts make the most of their grilling adventures. You can read more on the About page for Eddie van Aken

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