There are tons of different ways you can prepare your meat, one of which is smoking. While it began as a food preservation method, food smoking has evolved into a timeless art form with people looking for various ways to spice up their briskets, pork, or chicken.
The digital space has also become home to thousands of recipes as everyone tries to share their tricks on achieving that perfect and mouth-watering taste. Most of these recipe guides and how-to articles are split on whether to wrap your meat or not. In this article, we hope to show you all sides, the wrapped and the naked, so you can make an informed decision next time you’re firing up your food smoker.
To wrap or not to wrap?
We all like our meat done differently. For some, they want well cooked, crunchy, or even moist. Whether to wrap or smoke your brisket naked depends on the taste you want to achieve. With a Bradley Smoker, whichever way you go, you’ll get great results.
You can use different options to wrap your brisket, pork, or chicken before putting it into the food smoker. These include Aluminium foil and butcher paper.
- Aluminum foil
Wrapping your brisket in aluminum foil speeds up cooking time and keeps in the meat’s fat and juices, leaving it tender. It also helps keep the temperature constant, allowing it to cook evenly. However, timing is crucial when using tinfoil, especially for those who like their meat slightly crispy. If left unattended or wrapped for long during the resting period, the heat absorbed may cause your brisket to sweat.
- Butcher paper
Unlike the foil, butcher paper is more breathable, allowing it to trap less steam. This, in turn, prevents the meat from drying out and reduces the cooking period. For those who love their meat moist, this is the perfect method.
You can also choose to smoke your meat naked. While it might take longer to cook, unwrapped brisket gives you a super crispy and extra smokey bark.
Pros of Wrapping
- Decreased cook time
We can all agree that no one wants to wait too long for their meat to be ready. If it were up to the majority of us, we would wish to have it prepared in a few seconds before the cravings lessen. Wrapping your brisket either using butcher paper or foil cuts down the cooking time, and you have meat ready in a few hours.
- It keeps the meat moist and tender.
Chewy meat can be frustrating, and you often find yourself spitting it out, especially if you aren’t someone who likes your meat tough. Another advantage of wrapping your steak is that you don’t have to stress about it drying out or being too hard as you wait for it to be ready. Wrapping your brisket leaves it moist and tender.
- You can ‘hot-hold’ your steak.
Whether going out for a picnic or just having friends over, foil wrapping your brisket can save you from the pressure of having to reheat your brisket.
However, this is dependent on how well you have wrapped it. For your steak to hot-hold for several hours, ensure you have properly covered it before smoking it in the food smoker and after you are done cooking it.
- Stops meat taking on smoke
This is both an advantage and a downside, depending on your preference. For those who do not like their meat smokey, wrapping may be the best alternative, giving you a less smokey flavor.
- Can ruin your bark
With wrapping, a lot needs to be taken into consideration. From the size of the cut to the cooking period, all these are extremely important. Wrapping your brisket early on or leaving it in the smoker for too long can ruin the bark, making it so wet and mushy.
How to smoke foil-wrapped meat
Now that you know the benefits, downsides, and different ways of foil wrapping, how do you smoke foil-wrapped meat to get tasty barbeque?
As we prepare to make tastier meals for our family and loved ones, when it comes to brisket, to wrap or not is a choice you have to make after weighing the pros and cons.
Want to learn more about using foil during food smoking? Check out this article:
Is Foil Or Butcher Paper Better For Smoking?
For more great ideas on how to get the most out of your Bradley Smoker, check out the fantastic articles on our Bradley Smoker Food Smoking Blog for more tips & tricks.