Wrap Pork Shoulder In Foil Or Butcher Paper

Should I Wrap Pork Shoulder In Foil Or Butcher Paper?

Are you getting ready to make your favorite pork shoulder dish and trying to decide the best way to prepare it? Wrapping meat for cooking can be tricky, do you go with foil or butcher paper? Both have distinct benefits but it is important to review both before deciding which will work better in each unique situation.

In this blog post, we’ll explore whether should you wrap pork shoulder in foil or butcher paper and why you should consider using either foil or butcher paper when wrapping pork shoulder.

We’ll also discuss how different cooking methods affect the final result of both styles of wrapping and share some tips on how to wrap it correctly.

By understanding these factors before cooking your next dish of deliciousness, you can be sure that it turns out just right every time!

Should I wrap pork shoulder in foil or butcher paper?

The answer to this question depends on the cooking method you plan to use. While both foil and butcher paper can be used for wrapping pork shoulder, each material has its own set of advantages and disadvantages when it comes to different types of cooking techniques.

For example, using aluminum foil is great if you are baking or roasting your pork shoulder in an oven, as it helps to seal all the juices and flavors while cooking.

The foil also works well if you are grilling pork shoulder on a barbecue but only if you use indirect heat or wrap the meat securely so that no holes are left for the smoke to escape.

On the other hand, butcher paper is ideal for smoking or low-and-slow cooking, as it helps to keep the meat moist and prevents it from drying out. Butcher paper is also breathable so that smoke can pass through, which adds more flavor to the pork shoulder.

Overall, foil is best used for baking or roasting in an oven while butcher paper works better for smoking or slow-cooking on a barbecue. It is also important to remember to wrap the meat securely no matter which material you use, as this will help prevent smoke from escaping and ensure that your pork shoulder comes out perfectly cooked every time!

Also Read: Can Butcher Paper Go In The Oven?

Pros and cons of wrapping pork shoulder in foil


  1. Tenderization: Wrapping pork shoulder in foil helps retain moisture and creates a steamy environment inside, which can lead to more tender and juicy meat. This is especially beneficial for tough cuts like pork shoulder.
  2. Crispy Skin: Foil helps to create a barrier around the meat, trapping heat and moisture. This can lead to a crispier skin on the outside of your pork shoulder once it is finished cooking.
  3. Consistent Results: Utilizing foil for wrapping pork shoulder can aid in achieving a more even cook, minimizing the chances of the meat being overcooked or becoming too dry. It acts as a shield against varying temperatures and helps in sustaining a constant cooking atmosphere.
  4. Flavor Infusion: During the cooking process, the meat’s juices can mingle with any added seasonings or sauces, resulting in enhanced flavor penetration.
  5. Prevents Burning: If you’re roasting or baking, foil can protect the exterior of the pork shoulder from getting too hot too quickly and possibly burning.


  1. Limited Smoke Penetration: If you’re smoking pork shoulder, foil may limit the amount of smoke that can penetrate the meat which can result in less smoky flavor.
  2. Risk of Overcooking: Because of its heat retention properties, there’s a risk of overcooking and drying out the meat if left unmonitored.
  3. Environmental Impact: Aluminum foil is not biodegradable and is more difficult to recycle than butcher paper, making it a less environmentally friendly option.

Pros and cons of wrapping pork shoulder in butcher paper


  1. Smoke Penetration: The breathable nature of butcher paper allows for maximum smoke penetration, resulting in a perfectly smoked and tasty pork shoulder.
  2. Moisture Retention: Butcher paper helps to keep the pork shoulder moist by locking in its natural juices and also traps any marinades or rubs applied to the meat.
  3. Smoke Penetration: Butcher paper still allows some smoke to penetrate the meat, contributing to the overall flavor profile of the pork shoulder.
  4. Ease of Use: Butcher paper is easier to manage and wrap compared to other materials like aluminum foil. It is also less likely to tear or puncture during handling.
  5. Faster Cooking: Wrapping the pork shoulder in butcher paper can help speed up the cooking process compared to not wrapping at all. The paper helps to create a barrier that aids in heat transfer, which can reduce cooking time.


  1. Heat Retention: Butcher paper does not retain heat as well as foil, so it is not as suitable for baking or roasting in an oven.
  2. Limited Flavor: Because of its breathable nature, some of the more delicate flavors from marinades or rubs can escape when wrapped in butcher paper.
  3. Risk of Burning: If you’re grilling on a barbecue, the butcher paper may leave small holes that allow the heat to escape, resulting in unevenly cooked pork shoulder.
  4. Potential Leaks: If the butcher paper is not wrapped tightly enough, there is a chance that juices or fat could leak out during cooking, which could lead to flare-ups in the smoker or grill.
  5. Learning Curve: Wrapping with butcher paper requires some practice to master the technique and achieve consistent results. Getting the right amount of wrapping tension and properly sealing the meat can take time to perfect.

Tips for properly wrapping pork shoulder in foil or butcher paper?

Here are some tips for properly wrapping pork shoulder in foil or butcher paper:

  1. Start by preparing the meat, seasoning it according to your preference and adding any marinades or rubs you plan on using.
  2. Place the seasoned pork shoulder onto a sheet of either aluminum foil or butcher paper, depending on which type of cooking technique you are using.
  3. For foil, make sure to seal the edges tightly and wrap it around the pork shoulder multiple times, leaving no gaps for juices or smoke to escape.
  4. For butcher paper, fold it over the meat in layers so that it is securely wrapped and there are no open seams or gaps. Make sure to press firmly when wrapping so that the paper adheres to itself.
  5. Place the wrapped pork shoulder into a smoker, grill or oven and cook according to your recipe’s instructions.
  6. Once finished cooking, remove the pork shoulder from its wrapping and enjoy!

Wrapping pork shoulder correctly is key to achieving the best results and a perfectly cooked, juicy and flavorful dish! With the right materials and techniques, you can create an unforgettable meal every time.

Wrap Up

Ultimately, the decision of whether to wrap a pork shoulder in foil or butcher paper comes down to personal preference. Not only does it depend on the desired texture and flavor of the meat but it can also be affected by factors such as convenience and availability.

If you are looking for a slightly smokier flavor and increased bark butcher paper is the way to go.

On the other hand, if convenience and insulation are key concerns, foil makes an excellent choice. Whichever option you choose make sure to keep an eye on the temperature so you can get the best end product possible!

By educating yourself on all aspects related to pork shoulders you can ensure that each time will result in delicious and perfectly cooked meat every single time. Thanks for reading!