Pink Butcher Paper: How and Why to Use It

Pink Butcher Paper: How and Why to Use It

Posted on: January 18, 2023

Food smoking is becoming increasingly popular among barbeque lovers for the intense smoky flavor it imparts to the food. This love for smoked food has motivated many to fire up a food smoker in their backyard, but sometimes, the result doesn’t come out as desired. Several trends and fads regarding food smoking have faded with time. However, the ones that truly made a difference in the process have become well-guarded pitmaster secrets. Yes, the use of pink butcher paper is one such trend that is fast catching up among barbeque lovers and for all the right reasons.

This article will explore all the possible areas regarding the use of pink butcher paper and why it can be a better option than trusted aluminum foil. So, let’s start by explaining what this paper is.

What is butcher paper?

It is a kind of craft paper used for wrapping meat or any type of food during the last stages of smoking to keep it moist and tender. Butcher paper is made from the pulp of southern pine and has been approved by the FDA. As the paper is treated with a special sizing agent that preserves the meat, it is more elastic and difficult to tear. This process also makes it more porous. It is available in pink, white, and brown, among which pink (more like a peachy shade) is used for food smoking.

Don’t mistake butcher paper for steak paper. They are completely different. Pink butcher paper is used to wrap the meat while smoking, while steak paper is used in commercial stores to display the meat and prevent contamination.

Difference between butcher paper/wax paper/freezer paper

Unlike wax paper or freezer paper, butcher paper doesn’t catch fire when exposed to heat. So it is safe and specially made for food smoking. Wax paper can ruin the food and also emit toxic fumes when put inside a food smoker.

When to use pink butcher paper

When smoking cuts like brisket or ribs, they need to be wrapped after a specific time before reaching perfect doneness. This helps keep the meat succulent by preventing excess moisture loss. While some prefer using aluminum foil here, butcher paper can be a better option.

Check when the meat reaches the stall. This means when the center part of the meat stops rising in temperature, it reaches the stall level. The food needs to be wrapped just when it reaches the stall to prevent further loss of moisture due to hot smoke. Generally, the stall happens when the internal temperature of the meat reaches 160 to 170 °F (71 to 77 °C).

Stalls happen when the meat is cooked slowly at a consistently low temperature. Temperature control can be a struggle for people using improvised smokers or traditional smokehouses. Our suggestion would be to use an advanced food smoker that is self-sufficient and works without much intervention. For instance, the Bradley Smoker is a good option. The Bradley Smoker has a digital console for pre-set temperature, timer, auto-fuel feeder, and dual heat elements to give you a fun smoking experience. A Bradley Smoker works best with Bradley Bisquettes that burn for a precise time, keeping the temperature under control. Bradley Bisquettes produce clean flavored smoke because they automatically extinguish before turning to ash.

How to use pink butcher paper

Pink butcher paper comes in roll or sheet forms that can be used easily. Wrap it around the meat just like the aluminum foil. Make sure that that meat is covered completely by the paper before smoking it further. You can wrap it tightly around the meat if you want a seared crust on the outer layer. If the crust has already formed before reaching the stall, the butcher paper is also safe to use as it will not ruin the bark.

Benefits of using pink butcher paper

Butcher paper is inexpensive, so budget is never a worry here. Coming to other benefits, butcher paper can help the meat absorb maximum smoky flavor because it’s porous. Aluminum foil is air-tight and prevents the entry and exit of air from the meat. Butcher paper allows the smoke to enter while also holding the moisture inside the meat.

Aluminum foil can heat up easily when exposed to hot smoke. This might increase the temperature of the meat, resulting in over-searing or overcooked food. Remember, over-smoking cuts of meat like brisket can make them chewy and difficult to eat. Butcher paper keeps the temperature under control because it’s breathable.

Aluminum foil can ruin a seared crust that has already formed by suffocating the meat. With butcher paper, there is no chance of this happening. Also, butcher paper can be used for wrapping any type of meat for smoking. This paper has multiple uses. It helps keep the smoked food warm for longer and can be used to serve or store foods.

Check out these articles about foil and butcher paper:
Is Foil Or Butcher Paper Better For Smoking?
Should You Foil Wrap Your Meat In Your Smoker?

We hope this information on the use of pink butcher paper has helped you step up your food smoking game for your next barbeque party. You can check out more interesting Bradley tips & tricks on food smoking over at the Bradley Smoker blog.