Can You Use Waxed Butcher Paper In A Smoker?

You may have seen people covering some meats such as Boston butts, briskets, and etc with butcher paper. If you’ve never done this before, you may have wondered can I use waxed butcher paper in a smoker? In this article, we’ll take a look at that answer as well as other alternatives you can use such as aluminum foil, parchment paper, or unbleached parchment paper.

Can You Use Waxed Butcher Paper In A Smoker?

While it is possible, it’s not recommended. The food-grade wax coating will melt when exposed to high temperatures. Instead, opt for unwaxed pink butcher paper, uncoated, unbleached, and unwaxed and designed for smoking foods. 

can you use waxed butcher paper in a smoker

Smoking foods have become more popular over the years. That said, it’s essential to know how to wrap your foods properly. Otherwise, it can run your foods, or worse, be a fire hazard.

In this article, we’ll discuss why you shouldn’t use waxed butcher paper in your smoker—the difference between waxed and unwaxed, as well as some other options to consider. 

What Is Waxed Butcher Paper

Waxed butcher paper is a special paper product that has been coated with food-grade wax called sizing. It is a chemical-free material designed to prevent foods from leaking. 

Most types of butcher papers are coated, except for the white and pink varieties. 

Many people get this paper confused with parchment paper. However, there are some distinct differences.

Why You Should Never Use Waxed Butcher Paper In A Smoker?

When using anything in a smoker, it is important to remember that the item must be able to withstand high heat. Especially if you’re cooking foods for long periods of time or at extremely high temperatures.

Waxed butcher paper can’t do this; when exposed to extreme heat for an extended period, the wax will melt, and the paper will burn. This means that if you try to use this product in your smoker, the meat won’t get smoked, and a layer of burnt wax will cover it!

As mentioned above, it is coated with food-grade wax, meaning it’s not toxic. However, it can leave a funny taste on your food, making it inedible.

What Is Waxed Butcher Paper Used For

Waxed butcher paper has many uses but was once popular for wrapping meats. According to this website, wax-coated butcher paper is a thing of the past. Butchers, restaurant owners, etc used waxed paper to protect their foods from oil, grease, and blood. 

In addition, the wax helped keep the food safer longer, which is why many people still use freezer paper. Although today’s freezer paper is coated with polyethylene, which helps prevent freezer burn. 

Wax paper is not for hot foods and can’t be exposed to high temperatures.

Waxed vs Unwaxed Butcher Paper

Waxed butcher paper is coated with a thin coating of food-grade wax that is not toxic. However, when exposed to high temperatures, it can cause the toxic to melt, affecting the taste and flavor of your foods.

Plus, high temperatures (over 450°F) puts the paper at risk of catching fire underneath the wax.

Unwaxed butcher paper has been designed explicitly for covering things that are being smoked. It is FDA-approved and is perfectly safe for cooking, storage, and handling of food. 

Pink Butcher paper is the most used type in backyard barbecues because it makes it easier to cook brisket, Boston butts, or any other foods that need to be wrapped during the cooking process. 

If you’ve never used it before, be sure to read my article on how to smoke a brisket, where I share the exact process I used on wrapping it in pink butcher paper. 

Alternatives For Using Waxed Butcher Paper

There are many alternatives to using waxed butcher paper in a smoker, such as aluminum foil, parchment paper, or making your own smoking paper.

Aluminum Foil

Aluminum foil is a great option for wrapping meat because it can be used as an insulator, so the heat doesn’t escape and it also leaves the meat with a tasty smoky flavor. 

It is important to use heavy-duty foil or you will have problems with it ripping. The best to use is heavy-duty, non-stick aluminum foil. 

Use a piece of foil larger than the meat you are cooking and wrap up the meat in it like a burrito, folding the edges over as you would an envelope. Make sure that all of the pieces are sealed so that they don’t open up while cooking. 

Parchment Paper for Smoking Meats

Another option if you want to wrap your meat with something other than waxed butcher paper or aluminum foil is uncoated parchment paper. 

To do this, simply take a large portion of parchment paper and place it flat on the countertop. Next, place the meat in the center of it, fold over the sides, so it is completely sealed shut, then roll tightly into a tube shape and seal one final time at the end. 

Many people use parchment paper in their smoker and their smoker, and here’s how you would do it.

If you are using an offset smoker, just pile charcoal around it like a pyramid and add smoke wood to provide extra flavor. If you are using a gas grill at home, just turn it to the lowest setting and close the lid.

Grocery Bag

I know some people will be tempted to use a grocery sack instead of buying butcher paper. In fact, you wouldn’t be the first person to do it.  

Some people in this cooking forum talked about using a grocery bag to smoke their brisket because they didn’t have any butcher paper. 

What they found is that it takes too long because the bag won’t cover the meat completely. Therefore, it can’t provide a tight seal, and it’s going to be left on the smoker much longer. 

Making the meat coming out much dryer when using paper sacks than cooking with butcher paper.  

Avoid using a grocery bag, as it doesn’t work for smoking meats. In addition, there’s a bigger chance of it catch on fire, as it isn’t designed for this purpose. 

Instead, use pink butcher paper as it’s FDA approved and designed for this specific purpose. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Wax Paper and Butcher Paper The Same?

No, wax paper is paper that has been coated with a layer of paraffin wax. It is not heat resistant and is mostly used for lining countertops, kneading bread, or rolling out pie crusts.

Final Word

If you’re cooking meats, veggies, or any other food that needs to be wrapped during the process, there are many alternatives to using waxed butcher paper. 

Avoid using waxed paper of any kind. Even though the food-grade wax isn’t toxic, it isn’t designed to withstand high temperatures, and the wax will peel away from the paper, ruining your food. 

When you select the right paper to use in your smoker, your food will come out much more flavorful! 

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