Wrap Meat In Butcher Paper

How to wrap meat in butcher paper?

When it comes to preserving the freshness and flavor of meats, the packaging you choose can make a significant difference. Butcher paper has long been a favored option among both professionals and home cooks for wrapping meats.

Its breathability, durability and ability to effectively protect meats from external elements while allowing them to mature and develop flavors have made it a staple in the culinary world.

Whether you’re an aspiring barbecue aficionado or simply looking to store your cuts of meat optimally, learning how to wrap meat in butcher paper can be a valuable skill.

In this guide, we’ll delve into the art of properly wrapping meats using butcher paper, exploring the benefits, techniques and best practices to ensure your meats remain succulent and well-preserved throughout their journey from the butcher’s counter to your plate. So read on!

Steps To Wrapping Meat in Butcher Paper

Wrapping meat in butcher paper is a common practice for storing and transporting meats. It helps to preserve the meat’s quality and allows it to breathe while providing a protective barrier.

Here’s a step by step guide on how to wrap meat in butcher paper:

  1. Preparation: Start by laying a piece of butcher paper on a clean surface. The size of the paper should be large enough to wrap
  2. Prepare the Meat: Make sure the meat you’re wrapping is properly trimmed and cleaned. This will help prevent any excess moisture from affecting the paper.
  3. Cut the Butcher Paper: Cut a piece of butcher paper that’s large enough to fully encase the meat. The paper should be about twice the length of the meat and wide enough to wrap around it comfortably.
  4. Position the Meat: Place the meat near one edge of the butcher paper, leaving enough space on the sides to fold and secure the paper.
  5. Fold the Sides: Fold the sides of the butcher paper over the meat. The paper should overlap in the middle, covering the meat completely. The folds should be snug but not too tight, allowing some room for expansion if necessary.
  6. Fold the Ends: To secure the ends, fold the top and bottom edges of the butcher paper over the meat. Again, make sure the folds are snug but not overly tight.
  7. Use Kitchen Twine or Tape(Optional): If you want extra security or if you’re wrapping larger cuts of meat, you can tie the butcher paper with kitchen twine or use masking tape to hold the paper in place. If using twine, wrap it around the wrapped meat a few times and tie it securely. If using tape, make sure it’s food-safe and won’t leave residue on the meat.
  8. Label and Date: It’s a good idea to label the wrapped meat with the type of meat and the date it was wrapped. This will help you keep track of the contents and freshness.
  9. Storage: Once the meat is wrapped, you can store it in the refrigerator or a cool, dry place. Butcher paper allows the meat to breathe while still providing a protective layer.

Remember that butcher paper is not as airtight as other materials like plastic wrap or vacuum-sealed bags, so it’s best to use wrapped meat within a few days to ensure freshness.

If you plan to store the meat for an extended period, consider freezing it after wrapping it for optimal preservation.

Pros and cons of wrapping meat in butcher paper

Wrapping meat in butcher paper come with its own set of advantages and disadvantages, making it an ideal choice for some situations and a less-than-optimal one for others.


  • Breathability: Butcher paper allows the meat to breathe, which can enhance the maturation of flavors and prevent the meat from becoming soggy.
  • Protection: The sturdy nature of butcher paper offers strong protection against physical damage and contamination.
  • Sustainability: Unlike plastic options, butcher paper is typically biodegradable and environmentally friendly.
  • Versatility: Butcher paper is not just limited to wrapping meat; it can also be used for various other kitchen tasks, like lining trays, serving as a makeshift placemat or even as a disposable cutting surface.
  • Ideal for Smoking: Butcher paper is commonly used for smoking meats. It helps maintain a good balance of smoke exposure and moisture retention, creating a nice bark on the meat’s surface while preventing it from becoming overly dry.


  • Not completely airtight: Unlike vacuum-sealed bags or plastic wraps, butcher paper isn’t airtight. This can lead to faster spoilage if the meat isn’t used within a few days.
  • Moisture Exposure: Butcher paper isn’t entirely waterproof, leading to potential moisture exposure which could impact the quality of meat over time.
  • Size Limitations: For larger cuts of meat, wrapping securely can be challenging with standard-sized butcher paper.
  • Less Effective for Wet Foods: Butcher paper is most effective for wrapping dry or slightly moist foods. For very wet or saucy dishes, the paper may become soggy and tear.

Remember to consider these factors when deciding on the best storage and wrapping method for your specific needs.

Also Read: Should I Wrap Pork Shoulder In Foil Or Butcher Paper?

How long can meat be wrapped/stored in butcher paper?

The length of time meat can be stored in butcher paper depends on the type of meat and how it’s wrapped. Generally, freshly-wrapped meats should be used within three days for optimal freshness. If the meat is vacuum sealed or double-wrapped with butcher paper, it can last up to five days in the refrigerator before needing to be consumed or frozen.

For frozen meats stored in butcher paper, the time for optimal quality can vary from three to five months. Beyond this timeframe, the quality of the meat may start declining. To ensure you don’t waste any food, label your wrapped foods with their type and date so that you know when they should be used by.

By following these tips and keeping an eye on the expiration date, you can make sure that your wrapped meats are of the highest quality and safety.

Did You Know: How To Wrap A Brisket In Butcher Paper?

Tips for wrapping meat in butcher paper

Wrapping meat in butcher paper can be a great way to store and transport your cuts of meat. But, like any other task, it’s important to know the best practices for achieving optimal results. Here are some tips for successfully wrapping meats with butcher paper:

  1. Choose Quality Butcher Paper: Select food-grade, unbleached butcher paper. It should be sturdy and strong enough to withstand the weight and moisture of the meat.
  2. Pre-cut Sheets: Cut the butcher paper into appropriately sized sheets before you start wrapping. This will make the wrapping process smoother and prevent excessive waste.
  3. Double Wrapping: Consider using a double-layer wrapping technique for larger cuts of meat. Place the meat on one sheet of butcher paper and then wrap it with a second sheet for added protection.
  4. Center the Meat: Place the meat in the center of the butcher paper sheet. This will ensure that you have enough paper to cover the entire meat.
  5. Use Within a Reasonable Timeframe: While butcher paper provides good breathability, it’s not as airtight as vacuum-sealed packaging. Therefore, it’s best to use the wrapped meat within a reasonable timeframe to maintain its quality.

Common mistakes to avoid when wrapping meat

When wrapping meat in butcher paper, certain mistakes can lead to the meat spoiling faster or becoming ruined.

To ensure your wrapped meats stay fresh and flavorful, here are a few common mistakes to avoid:

  • Not trimming excess fat: When wrapping meats, make sure you trim away any excess fat as this can cause the butcher paper to become oily and stick together.
  • Not using enough paper: Make sure you are using a generous amount of butcher paper to fully cover the meat. Otherwise, air exposure can lead to spoilage or freezer burn.
  • Reusing butcher paper: Butcher paper is designed as a one-time use item, so don’t reuse it for wrapping meats unless it’s been washed and sterilized.
  • Not labeling the paper: Label the butcher paper with the type of meat and the date it was wrapped. This will help you keep track of how long your meats have been stored, so they can be used within a reasonable timeframe.

By avoiding these mistakes, you can ensure that your wrapped meats remain fresh and tasty for longer.

Final Words

Wrapping meat in butcher paper is a straightforward yet crucial skill for anyone involved in cooking, grilling or smoking meats. It offers several advantages including better moisture retention, improved flavor and a more natural cooking process compared to other wrapping materials like aluminum foil or plastic wrap.

By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can ensure that your wrapped meat is properly protected and cooked to perfection. Remember to select high-quality butcher paper, wrap the meat securely using the two-stage folding technique and utilize any additional tips such as labeling and storing correctly.

With practice and attention to detail, you’ll be able to enhance the quality of your cooked meats and elevate your culinary experiences.

So, whether you’re preparing a succulent brisket for a backyard barbecue or a tender roast for a cozy family dinner, the knowledge gained here will contribute to your success in achieving delicious results every time you wrap meat in butcher paper.