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Butcher Paper substitute

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We were constantly seeking for new technologies to assist us get the best outcomes when it came to grilled and smoked cuisine. And, most lately, we’ve been captivated to the marvel that is butcher paper. This ingenious discovery has given birth to some of the most stunning BBQ recipe outcomes to date. Well, alas! It is not available to everyone.

So, what happens when you don’t have access to butcher paper? One viable alternative is to identify a comparable equivalent. So, before you go through the selections provided below, let’s learn more about butcher paper. Now let’s look at what makes it such a great tool for smoking and grilling meat.

What Makes Butcher Paper Special?

Butcher paper was first made from the same raw material as Kraft paper. Nonetheless, it has been enhanced and fortified to serve a new function. Butcher paper has been treated to make it more durable and food-safe. It is available in rolls or sheets in white, brown, or pink, with the latter being the most common in BBQ applications.

Butcher paper is made without the use of any plastic or wax covering. Because of this, the item is breathable and suitable for a variety of applications that need air to travel through. Because of the parent pulp composition, the substance has a slightly gritty texture.

Butcher Paper Uses

Butcher paper was first developed for the cold preservation of meat. The meat would be wrapped in paper and stored in the refrigerator or freezer. Initially, most beef pieces shipped to consumers and sold to them were coated with this substance, thus the name. And the explanation is simple: butcher paper is very moisture resistant.

Raw flesh has a lot of moisture, including blood and other bodily fluids. And as it comes into touch with most paper, the liquid seeps into it, weakening and crushing it. Butcher paper, on the other hand, is tough enough to endure this considerable moisture release. Also, it permits the meat to remain fresher for longer.

Because of this feature, butcher paper has found widespread use in smoking meat. As you grill or roast meat, it seeps fluids into the material in which it is wrapped. Butcher paper retains the shape and durability of the meat throughout the smoking process. Also, its permeability enables smoke to permeate the roast and enhance the taste.

This papillote cooking technique is equally suitable for veggies. Potatoes, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, and corn on the cob may all be wrapped in butcher paper. Butcher paper is also often used for smoking briskets, cri-cuts, steaks, Texan crutch, pulled pork, hog shoulder, and a variety of other meat cuts.

Butcher Paper Substitutes

Butcher paper, particularly the pink kind, has grown rather costly as a result of its popularity. Moreover, with the present purpose of carefully harvesting trees, the paper industry evaluates whether goods should be mass-produced more. Thus it might be disappointing when you need it but don’t have any on hand. In such circumstances, though, you may still attempt these replacements as a last-ditch effort.

Of course, not all of these solutions will work as well as butcher paper. They are, nonetheless, useful materials for culinary applications and would perform well.

Parchment Paper

Parchment paper, an original kitchen material for high-heat settings, is an excellent replacement for butcher paper. This lightweight paper has a thin texture but is robust enough to resist the heat of the grill. Furthermore, although being less porous than butcher paper, the smoke will still enter the food as required. It also manages the released moisture well, and the flesh develops a nice bark.

While using parchment paper, it is better to cook the meat over low heat. The reason for this is that most parchment paper has a temperature rating of 400F, thus direct heat may cause it to ignite. Also, always use uncoated parchment paper for your smoking processes. When these two criteria are satisfied, it may be used in the smoker or on the grill.


Aluminum foil, another often used component in high-temperature cooking, is an interesting substitute for butcher paper. One of the key reasons is that it is fire-resistant and will not ignite no matter how high the cooking temperature is. Aluminum foil has a dual benefit in that it not only allows the meat to smoke but also retains moisture, making it extra juicy. It’s also simple to locate, since you’re likely to have a roll in your kitchen.

But, the meat bark will not be as appetizing as it would be if butcher paper was utilized. If you want your smoked meat to be a little dry, poke a few holes in the foil after wrapping it. The extra moisture will leak out through them, giving you the desired outcome. But, keep in mind that the more holes you poke, the more juice the meat loses. Nonetheless, you may use foil to smoke vegetables and prepare various meals on the grill, such as fish fillets.

Baking Mats

Several individuals have recently discovered the value of baking mats. They are excellent for keeping dishes from adhering to baking pans and can endure oven temperature changes. Nonetheless, the breathability of these fabrics makes them suitable for smoking meat. Covering a medium-sized pork cut in a baking mat helps it to absorb smokey flavor while retaining moisture.

Nevertheless, baking mats are rather costly, and most people do not have them at home. But if you do, it’s a great substitute for butcher paper. Additionally, some larger portions of meat may not be completely wrapped. In such circumstances, you may need to use two.

Paper Bags

Paper bags are widely used to transport meals, which is why you’ll see them in fast food restaurants and grocery shops. They’re also a good last-resort option for butcher paper since they’re thick enough. Paper bags are not as durable as other options, but they are appropriate for low-heat, brief smoking scenarios. And they’ll function perfectly as long as you utilize them for indirect heat.

Nevertheless, not all paper bags are suitable for food handling. As a result, be certain that the one you choose is FDA-approved. Additionally, only use paper bags for smoking recipes that will not last a long time. Even low-temperature exposure may cause it to ignite.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Will butcher paper burn in a smoker?

Butcher paper, particularly the sought premium pink types, can withstand temperatures of up to 450°F. Yet, any temperature over that will cause it to burn. Interestingly, parchment paper withstands greater temperatures better. In high-temperature smoking techniques, foil outperforms all other replacements.

Should you rest brisket in butcher paper?

You absolutely should. Let the brisket to rest for a few hours after it is done if it was cooked in butcher paper. This time will allow the fluid to redistribute into the meat and infuse it with more smokiness.

Can you wrap the brisket in parchment paper?

You certainly can. Parchment paper is a good substitute for butcher paper and may be used in a variety of circumstances. This includes both before and after smoking the meat, since it is excellent at retaining moisture.


The present craze for butcher paper along Barbecue heads may make you believe it is unreplaceable. So don’t be fooled by their enthusiasm. Thousands of materials similar to these replacements were used to smoke meat long before it was discovered. Hence, in most circumstances, they’ll function great, with some outperforming others.


Can you use parchment paper in place of butcher paper?

No, parchment paper and butcher paper are not the same thing. Butcher is more adaptable since it can be used for cooking, wrapping, and crafts. Parchment paper has a nonstick surface because it is covered with a food-safe silicone. Temperature tolerance is also varied between the two.

What can you use instead of butcher paper to wrap brisket?

Butcher paper isn’t always essential. It is quite OK to replace it with kitchen parchment, heavy-duty aluminum foil, or wax paper.

Can I substitute foil for butcher paper?

You may either wrap your meat in foil or butcher paper. Whether you’re preparing brisket, pig butt, or spare ribs, each have benefits.

Can I wrap brisket in parchment paper instead of butcher paper?

Absolutely, the brisket may be wrapped in parchment paper. If the butcher or supermarket shop does not offer it fully wrapped, you may simply make it at home. Just be sure to use heavy-duty parchment paper to avoid tearing during cooking.

Will raw beef stick to parchment paper?

Since parchment paper has a nonstick layer, it will not cling to meat. This is also why parchment paper is a wonderful method to keep frozen meat items separate without them clinging to one another.

Can you wrap raw meat in parchment paper?

Aluminum foil, strong freezer-weight plastic bags, heavy plastic wrap, and parchment or freezer paper are all good alternatives. It is okay to freeze meat or chicken in its supermarket packaging, however this sort of wrap is thin and allows air to enter.

Can parchment paper be used instead of butcher paper for sublimation?

Parchment paper has a place in your craft area for HTV crafts and HTV layering. It provides excellent protection for that, although it is coated and retains moisture. It is not suitable for sublimation crafts. Teflon sheets, on the other hand, are not advised for sublimation making.

Is parchment paper good for wrapping brisket?

Not to be confused with wax paper, which has a wax coating put to the surface, while parchment paper is treated in a sulfuric acid bath, which gives it its nonstick, grease resistance, and moisture resistance. It is not, however, a suitable option for smoking meats such as brisket.

What is the best material to wrap brisket?

The greatest Texas barbecue establishments like to wrap their beef in butcher paper. It reduces cooking time, much like foil, but enables some smoke to pass through, while foil does not. Skilled chefs smoke hundreds of briskets at a time, giving them plenty of experience.

Does butcher paper make a difference?

Butcher paper not only avoids oversteaming, but it also shields the meat from the full force of the smoker. Butcher paper absorbs brisket fat as well, and since it is permeable, it lets more smoke to travel through than foil, leaving the meat with even more flavor.

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