Butcher Paper Substitute For Smoking Brisket And Other Meats

The conflict among various papers in your kitchen isn’t new. The name and types may change depending on the era, but it’s always there. Today, I’ll tell you about butcher paper and its alternative. Nowadays, cooking enthusiasts often stumble upon the name butcher paper. Many people aren’t familiar with the term, and many can’t find it nearby. 

Either you’re storing meat or smoking them, knowing what works for what can help you around the kitchen. So, allow me to tell you about some substitutes for butcher paper. 

4 Substitute for Butcher Paper

I’ve discussed some alternatives of butcher paper you can use for wrapping up meat. All of these papers don’t work the same way. Sometimes the alternatives can even work better than butcher paper, depending on what you’re doing with the meat.  

The butcher paper substitute are – 

  • Aluminum Foil
  • Parchment Paper
  • Kraft Paper
  • Freezer Paper

Note that not all of these options are suitable for smoking. I’ve given details about them, so I highly recommend you go through all the details before using any of these alternatives. Let’s take an elaborate look at them. 

Aluminum Foil Paper

A wide range of cooking lovers doesn’t even recognize the term butcher paper. For them, the most convenient option has always been aluminum foil. Everywhere you go, recipes mention wrapping up steak in foil, especially when you’re smoking. 

There are multiple perks of using aluminum foil instead of butcher paper. For instance, they’re very inexpensive. You will find the food-grade aluminum paper at a very cheap price. So, the worry about affordability is out of the question. 

The second thing is how widely available this is. You can literally buy aluminum foil from wherever you want. If you prefer buying your cooking essentials in person, you will find foil near your local store. And if you’re more comfortable with online shopping, there are numerous options too. 

If I move on to a more practical perk of aluminum foil- you can expect fine cooking when using foil. It’s convenient in multiple ways. For instance, it can take the food’s shape quickly, so wrapping isn’t an issue. 

You can cover the meat without facing any complications, even if you’re not a pro. Besides, aluminum foil doesn’t burn or catch on fire like other substitutes like parchment and kraft paper. 

Another perk is that aluminum foil locks all the moisture and juices inside it and prevents it from evaporating. That gradually results in a tastier meal. However, it’s not all good sides with foil. There are downsides too. 

First of all, you’ll need food-grade aluminum foil. Not all foil papers are suitable for your food. Secondly, because the foil locks the food inside, the flavors from the wood chips can’t get inside once you wrap the meat. So, you need to be precise with your cooking methods to ensure that the meat is getting enough smoky flavors. 

Aluminum foils are best suitable for wrapping meat when you’re smoking or grilling. Nevertheless, you can also use it for other purposes.

Parchment Paper

It’s not possible to be a cook and not hear the word parchment paper. You must have heard it from somewhere. Parchment paper can also be used as an alternative option to butcher paper. 

Bleached and unbleached are the types of parchment paper. Even though both of them are food-grade and safe to use, I recommend using the unbleached one, especially for grilling and smoking. The bleached one can discharge dioxin when exposed to heat. 

In the game of butcher vs parchment paper and if we’re comparing availability, parchment paper will surely win the round over butcher paper any time. You can find parchment paper almost everywhere, just like aluminum foil. As for butcher paper, it’s comparatively tough to find. 

Parchment paper is also comparatively versatile. Even though it’s best suited for baking, you can easily use it for grilling or smoking. It comes within an affordable price range too. 

So, if you’re frequently smoking large meat cuts like briskets, Parchment paper is definitely something you should consider. 

Another perk of using parchment paper as a substitute for butcher paper for smoking brisket is that it doesn’t soak up all the juices like butcher paper. There’s a layer of silicone on parchment paper to make it nonstick.

So, the juice gets absorbed in the meat instead of the paper. Butcher paper is somewhat different in this case. The paper tends to soak up juice when smoking. 

You may mistake the coating on parchment paper for paraffin, but I should assure you that it’s not paraffin. It’s silicone, and you can use it for smoking. Besides, the nonstick feature makes the paper more suitable for grilling.  

You’ll also notice the parchment paper to be comparatively thinner than the butcher paper. It’s a plus side because it makes wrapping convenient. Nonetheless, you may stumble upon a few drawbacks when using parchment paper. 

For instance, you won’t have much meat juice left after smoking if you’re using parchment paper. Then again, the same applies to butcher paper too. Butcher paper can absorb the moisture and make the dish less juicy than you intended it to be.  

Kraft Paper 

Another less popular option I’m introducing you to is the kraft paper. You’ll be surprised to know that the butcher paper and the kraft paper have the same origin, and they’re created from the same kind of pulp. 

That’s why kraft paper is one of the most popular choices among bbq-lovers when it comes to smoking. The paper features the same kind of attributes a butcher paper does. 

It absorbs meat juice and doesn’t feature any wax coating over it. So, it’s safe to use when you’re smoking or grilling. However, if exposed to a very high temperature, it can catch fire, very much like butcher paper. 

So, you should pay extra attention whenever you’re using any type of paper for smoking. 

Unlike butcher paper, kraft paper isn’t approved by FDA. Even though the texture and the function are almost the same for both papers, kraft paper isn’t considered food-grade. 

If you’re comfortable using this for your smoking and grilling, you can find kraft papers on art and craft supply stores. However, I wouldn’t recommend this option. But if you’re in an emergency and out of options, this is something you can consider. 

Freezer Paper

The last option I want to introduce you to is the freezer paper. Remember that freezer paper and the wax paper contains paraffin. So, you CANNOT use them for grilling, smoking, or anything else that exposes them to heat. 

As the name suggests, freezer paper is most suitable to use while storing meat. Butcher paper also does the same thing for butchers and shop owners. So, in this aspect, freezer paper can be used as a butcher paper substitute. 

In fact, when it’s a matter of storing food in the freezer, this paper is somewhat better than butcher paper. 

Freezer paper is also more available than butcher paper. However, if you compare the prices, you’ll notice that freezer paper is comparatively more expensive than butcher paper. 

Then again, freezer paper does a better job at protecting meat when stored than butcher paper. The reason is the wax coating on freezer paper. It prevents moisture from leaking outside and keeps the food more protected from outside attacks. 

On the other hand, Butcher paper will leak meat juice when used as a storing wrapper for meat. However, butcher paper can be used as a freezer paper substitute if needed. I’m afraid vice versa isn’t possible.

Foil Paper Vs Kraft Paper Vs Freezer Paper As The Substitute of Butcher Paper

I’ve created a table below to help you better understand the differences between foil paper, kraft paper, and freezer paper. Take a look at the table, and you should understand how they differ from each other.

Foil PaperKraft PaperFreezer Paper
Suitable for grilling and smokingTwin of butcher paperSuitable for storing meat
Doesn’t leak meat juice outsideAvailable at art and craft supply storesDoes not leak meat juice
Affordable and availableAbsorbs meat juiceContain paraffin as an outer layer
Easily wraps around foodAllows the smoky flavor to enter the meatIt cannot be exposed to heat, so you can’t use it to smoke or grill
Fastens the cooking procedureComparatively expensive than foil paperConveniently available
Does not catch fire when exposed to high heatVersatile and can be used for other purposes tooComparatively expensive than other options
Can make the meat less smoky if not used properlyNot FDA approved

Among Them Which Substitute Is Best for Smoking & Why

If I’m sharing my personal opinion, I have to side with aluminum foil. There are thousands of reasons to choose aluminum foil as my smoking option. For starters, it makes the cooking procedure more convenient. By retaining the heat, it fastens the cooking procedure. 

So, if you don’t want to wait for a long time when smoking meat, I recommend wrapping your meat in aluminum foil. 

The next thing I love about aluminum foil is how easily available it is. People don’t appreciate availability enough. Instead of storing bulk amounts in the kitchen, you can buy small amounts any time you want because this item is literally available everywhere. 

If you don’t feel like going to the supermarket or your local store, you can always purchase some online. And speaking of purchasing online, aluminum foils are insanely cheap. So, if you’re tight on budget, you can always get some foil to get your job done. 

The convenience of using aluminum foil is underrated. Have you noticed how easy foil papers are to use? You just tear some foil from the roll, wrap swiftly around the meat, and it instantly takes the shape of the meat.

It’ll be tough to find someone with no aluminum foil in their home. So, if there’s something readily available near at hand, there’s no reason you shouldn’t use it as a butcher paper substitute. 

Things to Consider Smoking With Butcher Paper Alternatives

If you decide to go for an alternative of butcher paper, you need to keep some things in mind. You already know about the primary differences among these substitutes. So, I’ll keep this section short. 

  • Freezer papers are not suitable to use in cooking. They’re specifically made for storing meat and features a wax layer. Exposing the paper to heat will melt the wax and cause a disaster while you’re cooking. 
  • Parchment paper can make your dish a bit dry even though the paper doesn’t absorb it. 
  • Unless you’re using aluminum foil, exposing any paper to high heat can cause it to catch fire. So, make sure you’re smoking on low heat, and the paper is never directly over the fire.  
  • Follow proper precautions all the time when using any time of paper as a butcher paper substitute. 
  • Don’t use any paper that’s not food-grade or approved by the FDA unless you have to. 
  • Always keep your kitchen loaded with different types of papers to use in case of emergencies. 

Why and When to Need Butcher Paper Substitute

Sometimes recipes may require you to use butcher paper, especially when you’re smoking. However, the concept of using butcher paper wasn’t trendy up until last year. That’s why many people don’t even know where to find butcher paper. 

If you find yourself in a situation where you can’t get butcher paper anywhere, you may have to use a substitute. Even though experts suggest you use butcher paper, you may notice that using an alternative has extra perks. 

For example, butcher paper is comparatively expensive than most other substitutes we discussed. Aluminum foil, for instance, is a lot more affordable than butcher paper. Besides, other papers are convenient to find. People have faced difficulty finding butcher paper, especially the type suitable for smoking. 

Conclusion

It’s always liberating to learn your ways around the kitchen if you face an unwanted situation. If a recipe says you need butcher paper, but you can’t find it near at hand, there’s no reason you should miss out on the opportunity to have a delicious meal. There is multiple butcher paper substitute you can go for. As long as you know which one is the most suitable for you, you can get the best result out of the situation. You may even find a better alternative that you didn’t know existed. 

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