Question: Is there a reason (scientific or not) that we foil PP @ IT of 160?

Discussion in 'Pork' started by chaze215, Apr 29, 2011.

  1. chaze215

    chaze215 Fire Starter

    I am just wondering how 160 was the temp to foil (if you choose to do so). Why not 150 or 180? Just curious if there is in fact a reason why 160 is the chosen # as I sit thru a PP stall in the 140s. Thanks in advance!
  2. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I'm not sure why it is at 160. I guess I usually go to around 170 on mine but like you said why there?? The smoke ring will not penetrate any deeper into the meat after around 145 so my best guess is someone just threw an internal temp of 160 out there just to make sure the smoke ring was penetrated as far as it could. I am just totally guessing on that. Maybe there is a specific reason who knows. Lets see what everyone else has to say about that. That's a good question. I can't wait to see the answers.
  3. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I think it's because the cooking process really starts to slow down when you get into the 160's. I have foiled at 165 and I have just smoked them unfoiled the whole time. I have found that it takes about 5 to 6 hours longer to smoke a butt w/o foiling. The majority of that time is spent above the 165 range. Most of the stalls occur before 165, but the temp climbs really slow after 165 without foil. With foil after stabilizing from foiling, it will climb up to 205 at a steady pace in most cases. Good luck with that butt!
  4. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    After thinking about this more. I would also say that around that temp is usually where you are going to hit your stall and when its foiled it usually helps you stabilize the temps and get you through it faster.
  5. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Oh man Al beat me to it.
  6. It's also the temp where bacteria die as well. May or may not have anything to do with it.
  7. I would definitely agree not foiling takes longer to get through the stall but being a fan of bark I think its well worth the wait.
  8. rdknb

    rdknb Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I agree that it has to do with the stall. I how ever love the bark so much that I do not foil. I also plan on eating it the next day and will smoke it with something for that night. I do that with corn beef and brisket too
  9. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    It would be nice if McGee would sign in on this one.  Is he still alive?  I am wondering if the foiling and continuing heat doesn't provide moist heat somewhat like a braising process.  If Harold is dead, maybe just little Alton might sign in?  LOL

    Good luck and good smoking!
  10. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I have found the best balance between bark and cooking time is to foil at 160, let it go to 190, then unfoil and back on the racks till it hits 205. It is like doing 3-2-1 with ribs, but the time from 190-205 is about 4 hrs. and re-sets the bark nicely without making it soggy or crunchy.
  11. Good question, never foiled mine, I'll have to try it and compare.
  12. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Agreed with several posts above...

    Foiling reduces the formation of bark,  keeps the bark a bit softer, and cuts down on overall cooking time by about 1/3 or more (time is dependent on foiling temp) by steaming in the foil. The lower the foiling temp, the less overall time to cook. If you want to experiment sometime (when you're ready for a long-haul smoke), keep the butt on open smoker grate the whole time...the bark (if you're into the heavy bark) is fantastic if a rub which can handle the long-term heat is used (low/zero added sugars). I've smoked several without foiling recently, and we're hooked on it now. The last one I pulled from the smoker (approx 9-10lb...broke my scale earlier and couldn't weigh it, and it wasn't labeled...from a case purchase) took 25.5 hours to reach 200* @ 225* smoke chamber temp (that's why I say to do it when you're ready for it).

    Last edited: Apr 30, 2011

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