Pink Butcher Paper – Why it’s used for BBQ

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Pink butcher paper has gone from being something your favorite local butcher uses to wrap your pork chops to the must-have BBQ accessory of the past few years.

Don’t worry if you’re perplexed by all the fuss over some paper!

In this post, we’ll explain what pink butcher paper is, what it’s used for, why it’s a popular alternative to foil, and where you can get some.

Why are barbecue enthusiasts obsessed with pink butcher paper?

Pink Butcher Paper – Why it’s used for BBQ

Before we get into why pitmasters are gushing about pink butcher paper, we need first define what it is.

Pink butcher paper is thick paper with extra sizing, which is an interior treatment that boosts the paper’s strength when wet.

By adding size to an already thick and durable piece of paper, you can wrap fresh meat in it without it turning into a papery mush on the way home.

So when do I use it?

Pink butcher paper comes in useful as an alternative to the aluminum foil normally used to cover meat while grilling.

Pitmasters often wrap meats like brisket to reduce moisture loss at the end of the cooking process. This keeps the meat soft and moist.

Unlike foil, pink butcher paper allows the meat to breathe a bit, allowing some of the moisture to leave and allowing more of the smokey flavor to penetrate.

Pink butcher paper may also be used as part of a Texas Crutch, which includes wrapping meat to minimize evaporative cooling and therefore avoiding the dreaded BBQ Stall.

Wrapped meat also cooks quicker, which is useful if you need to make a smoked brisket quickly.

Wrapping your ribs or brisket may help to delay the formation of a bark on the exterior of the meat. This may be quite useful if they have cooked a bit too rapidly and you are concerned that your crust will get too black.

Wrapping your meat too early might prevent it from producing any crust at all.

Why use butcher paper instead of foil?

Pink Butcher Paper – Why it’s used for BBQ

The key reason why pink butcher paper has grown increasingly popular among the BBQ crowd is because it has several benefits over aluminum foil when it comes to wrapping meat:

  • Wrapping meat with foil produces a heat-reflective, tightly enclosed environment around the flesh, which may lead to oversteaming.
  • Over steaming happens when too much moisture is retained in the meat while it cooks, transforming it from tender to mush.
  • Pink butcher paper cannot be wrapped as tightly around the meat as foil, and its looser weave and higher ventilation serve to keep the meat moist and tender without the risk of it getting overly saturated.
  • Paper is also less heat reflecting than foil, so you won’t have to change your cooking time to compensate as you would with foil.

If you want to understand when to use butcher paper versus aluminum foil, we offer a more extensive tutorial.

Why is it suddenly so popular?

Aaron Franklin, the James Beard Award-winning chef and proprietor of FranklinBBQ, is largely responsible for the widespread usage of pink butcher paper.

Aaron’s restaurant has become renowned for the quality of its barbecue and the length of the line you must wait in order to sample it.

Aaron Franklin’s Masterclass trailer shows him utilizing butcher paper in practically every shot.

Aaron wraps his prized briskets in pink butcher paper at FranklinBBQ, a practice that dates back to his master John Mueller’s father, Louie Mueller, proprietor of the legendary cathedral of smoke, Louie Mueller Barbecue.

As word spread about Aaron’s incredible BBQ, folks noticed his usage of pink butcher paper and began using it too.

The world of barbeque may be quite trend-driven. When people see someone they like, they begin to follow, and fairly soon everyone is doing it.

What is pink butcher paper exactly?

To be more specific, pink butcher paper is produced of FDA-approved, 100% food-grade virgin Southern Pine pulp.

The paper is pink because it has not been bleached, as opposed to the more conventional white butcher paper seen in most local butcher shops.

Steak Paper

There are some key distinctions between steak paper and pink butcher paper.

Because it is most usually used for meat preservation or presentation, steak paper is thicker and heavier than butcher paper.

Don’t purchase steak paper if you’re searching for pink butcher paper. It is an altogether separate product that will not provide you with the desired outcomes.

Peach Paper

Pink butcher paper is sometimes known informally as peach paper.

Technically, peach paper is a kind of steak paper, so be sure the product you’re purchasing is the thinner pink butcher paper.

To put a strange myth to rest, it does not include any peach extract or utilize peach wood as a foundation.

Where to buy Pink Butcher Paper


Everyone’s favorite global conglomerate also sells FDA-approved Pink Butcher Paper, as well as a variety of other companies that provide food-grade, unbleached, unwaxed, uncoated rolls of butcher paper.

BBQ Stores

Pink butcher paper is now considerably more commonly accessible than it was just a few years ago, thanks to its stratospheric increase in popularity among pitmasters.

Your favorite online BBQ store most likely offers individual rolls, and if they don’t, you’re just a fast search away from someone who does.

Whatever brand you pick, make sure it’s FDA-approved food-grade paper and that anything labeled as peach paper is genuinely pink butcher paper, not simply peach-colored steak paper.

Wrapping it up

That’s all there is to it. Pink butcher paper is a convenient alternative to foil that eliminates the disadvantages of covering meat during or after cooking.

Unlike foil, pink butcher paper allows moisture to escape while yet shielding the meat from the full effect of the smoker.

Its present popularity is largely due to Aaron Franklin rather than any mystical brisket tenderizing properties, but it still has a place in a pitmaster’s repertoire.


Why use pink butcher paper for smoking?

Peach butcher paper is a light tan to dark pink tint that works well for disguising blood or fluids from raw meats. The paper is sturdy enough to keep leaks at bay while yet enabling the packed meat to breathe and avoid sogginess.Pink

What does butcher paper do for BBQ?

Butcher paper is more permeable and retains less steam, allowing the brisket to stay moist without becoming soggy. If you want a particularly crispy, crunchy bark, leave the brisket unwrapped, but watch it carefully so it doesn’t dry out.

Can you put pink butcher paper on the grill?

Butcher paper in pink or peach is manufactured from virgin pulp paper. It’s FDA-approved, 100% food-grade paper that’s thick and strong, with extra sizing for enhanced strength when wet. This means you can wrap raw meat in it and cook it in your smoker without it falling apart or leaking.

How do you use pink BBQ paper?

Pink butcher paper is available in roll or sheet form and is very easy to use. Wrap it around the meat in the same way as you would aluminum foil. Before continuing to smoke the meat, make sure it is thoroughly covered by the paper. If you want a charred crust on the outside, wrap it firmly around the meat.

Is it better to smoke foil or butcher paper?

To summarize, the foil seals the fluids and fat in while the meat rests after cooking. Butcher paper’s breathable characteristics enable more smoke to travel through, resulting in smokier and more flavourful meat for everyone to enjoy.

Why is pink butcher paper better?

Pink butcher paper helps you to get a flawless outside bark while still allowing the meat to breathe and absorb smoke flavor. If you aren’t already utilizing pink butcher paper for slow smoking huge chunks of meat, you should start now!

What is special about butchers paper?

What distinguishes butcher paper from kraft paper is the manufacturing process, which gives it holdout and certifies it for food grade usage. Butcher paper is designed to be more resistant to blood and moisture than regular Kraft paper. Butcher paper is not the same as freezer paper.

Why smoke ribs in butcher paper?

Butcher paper protects the bark and keeps a lot of liquid within the meat. Although paper absorbs moisture, it does not enable nearly as much liquid to evaporate as aluminum foil.

What is the difference between pink and white butcher paper?

Let me quickly dispel another myth: neither pink nor peach paper contain any peach essence; the pink hue merely implies a natural basis, while white butchers paper is bleached.

What temp does pink butcher paper burn?

Butcher paper may catch fire on a hot grill. While butcher paper is perfect for smoking, it should not be used for cooking at temperatures over 450 F (232 C).

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