wrapping question

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by rice80flash, Jan 13, 2013.

  1. i keep reading that it is very important to wrap some meats after smoking, i assume it is for insulation of heat. correct me if i am wrong, but doesnt the towel soak up some juices??? doesnt make sense to me, but if it works i will try it. and what kind of towel or rags do you use? thin ones? thank guys

  2. U wrap the meat in plastic wrap first and the towel works as insulation!
  3. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke OTBS Member

    When someone mentions that they wrapped the meat to rest, they mean wrapped in aluminum foil to hold onto the juices (and may also add some liquids for foiling), then towels to insulate, then often, into a cooler for more insulation. I recommend a double layer of foil for most meats, especially if foiling ribs for 3-2-1 or 2-2-1. The purpose is to allow the meat to slowly cool for better redistribution of the natural juices in the meat, and it also allows the meat to continue cooking for a period of time allowing for more tenderization of lesser cuts such as the beef brisket or pork shoulder cuts like boston butt or picnic. BTW, I rarely use just foil for either purpose, opting for a foil-covered pan in most cases...much less risk of leakage from the foil, and easier to handle as well, plus, you can preheat the pan for even longer resting periods with greater heat retention.

    The towels should be something that you would toss into a rag box...pretty worn out, just in case the foil were to develop a leak and stain the towel, so you won't be out a 10-12 dollar bath towel. DO make the towel wrap fairly thick, around 2" or more. Also, preheating the towels on a cookie sheet in oven @ 170* or so helps so the foiled meat isn't wrapped in a cold layer which will zap the surface heat away from the meat. If you preheat the towels, make sure they don't catch fire from being to close to the heat source in the oven, or over-hanging the edge of the sheet-pan.

    The only meats I foil and towel-wrap to rest are the tougher cuts that I finish at higher internal temps...being brisket and shoulder cuts. The exception is if I want something to stay hot for a longer period after reaching finished temps due to being finished too early for meal time...it happens.

  4. kathrynn

    kathrynn OTBS Member

    x2 with Eric.  I use old beach towels that we dont use around the pool anymore.  Most folks use foil and/or foil pans.  I just saw on Pitmasters tonight that a group used plastic wrap.  Hmmmm
  5. I may be weird or it may just be in my head but I can taste a difference between plastic wrap or foil. And I am not exactly a fan of the taste of plastic wrap. Anyone else notice this... or can I consider myself weird?
  6. I leave mine wrapped in the foil, and if need be into a pan then wrap in the old towels. I hate trying to keep the plastic wrap from sticking to itself!
  7. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Nope not weird, some plastic wraps can leave a taste behind. I use foil.

    From a Safety stand point, I am not crazy about the Towels in the Oven idea. If any portion touches the floor of a Gas oven or coil of an Electric, a guaranteed Fire will ensue. If you wish to heat your Towels, a spritz of water and 2 minutes in the Microwave is far safer...JJ
  8. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke OTBS Member

    Yes, placing highly combustible materials into an oven is a bit risky, as I partially eluded to. It should only be done with a well-thought out plan so you can assure you have taken all necessary precautions.

    The few times I've done it, I kept the towels folded tightly and fitted no closer than a few inches away from the edge of the pan, only about 4-5" overall height, and on the rack position one step below center in an electric oven so they were not close to the heating coils on top or bottom....relatively even spacing between the top of the towels and bottom of the pan to the coils. Before placing the towels in the oven, I preheated to avoid the glowing hot element above the towels. Anything I could think of which may cause a fire was addressed before I started.

    I wouldn't say it's something I'd make a habit of doing (it made me a bit skittish the first time around), but it will work as a back-up when I have little alternatives. BTW, I have 4 fire extinguishers in the house...2 in the kitchen (1 is B:C, the other is A:B:C rated) and the other 2 (A:B:C rated) are less than 30 feet from the kitchen range...if all hell breaks loose, I have a large A:B:C in the shed and a smaller one in each family vehicle.

    If you have a clothes dryer not in use, they could be thrown into it on med to high heat for several minutes...this would be the safest method for preheating the towels, IMO...I mean, after all, the dryer is made for this.

    Last edited: Jan 14, 2013
  9. Just wanted to throw out another idea.  I did a shoulder recently and all my coolers were in the garage which was under 30 degrees.  I double wrapped it in foil, wrapped it in a towel and stuck it in the microwave (off of course).  2 hours later it was still to hot to pull by hand and I had to use two large forks.
  10. kathrynn

    kathrynn OTBS Member

    To me that would work too. Its been cold around here to when I have done smokes. I just get that cooler....even if its cold out....place a towel in the bottom. Put your foiled meat....or foiled pan of meat in that....wrap it on top....add another towel....if I need to put another foiled meat next...do that one too. You will be surprised how much steam comes out when you open that lid of the cooler. Hope that helps.

    I have never used plastic wrap....use foil. Was surprised with that on Pitmasters.
  11. Have been using commercial grade plastic wrap like u get at Sams club for years to wrap butts and briskets when pulling them from smoker!  No plastic taste at all!  Seals up nice and tight and keeps all the steam and juice in product!
  12. bearcarver

    bearcarver OTBS Member

    I know this is a few months old, but:

    Maybe I'm strange, but I often just leave the foiled meat in my MES 40, and turn the heat down to 140. The meat doesn't seem to know the difference between that & being in a cooler. I usually only leave it in there for less than an hour.


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