If you’re someone who shudders at the way some cultures wrap their fish and chips in newspapers, you will be eternally grateful to know that butcher paper was born to rescue us from this unsanitary food packaging. It’s sometimes confused with kraft paper or freezer paper, but it has its own functions. Let’s explore why butcher paper is the best choice for packaging.
Butcher paper is your best choice for packaging because it is so versatile. Although you can pack almost anything in it, it is excellent for packaging food. Butcher paper is chemical-free, leak-resistant, and suitable for freezing, refrigerating, and some cooking processes like smoking and grilling.
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You Can Use Butcher Paper During Meat Preparation
Butcher paper is helpful in several meat preparation scenarios:
- Package the meat in pink butcher paper during the brining stage.
- Season your meat on butcher paper.
- Rest the meat in it after cooking to retain the heat and keep it tender.
Butcher Paper Is Excellent For Serving Customers
Owners of delis and restaurants can use butcher paper for wrapping cuts of meat, securing subs, or keeping moist sandwiches together in customers’ hands.
You Can Cook Meat In Butcher Paper
Butcher paper works well for steaming delicate foods like fish. Grilling chicken breasts and steaks in butcher paper keeps them deliciously moist inside. Before smoking, you can also wrap tough cuts like briskets or pork shoulder.
Butcher Paper Is Breathable
If you’re cooking brisket, pork butt, or ribs, wrapping the meat in butcher paper during the last stages of a long cooking session can help keep it moist. Butcher paper is breathable and doesn’t trap much steam. So, if you’re cooking brisket, your meat will remain moist without turning the bark soggy.
The FDA Approves Butcher Paper
To be considered food-grade butcher paper, the FDA must approve it as fulfilling the safety criteria for handling food. The food industry uses many other paper types for serving or wrapping food. However, using food-safe butcher paper is a better option, boosting safety and keeping your customers happy and healthy.
To ensure your butcher paper meets the necessary food health requirements, your supplier should provide certification or a stamp that it’s fully FDA-approved.
Butcher Paper Has Been Treated
Butcher paper is a thick kraft paper specially made for wrapping meat. Manufacturers treat kraft pulp with caustic soda, sulfide, and sizing agents to prevent leakage.
Moisture-Resistant Butcher Paper Is Ideal For Wrapping Meat
If you’re using butcher paper to wrap fish, meat, or chicken, the last thing you need is for your packaging to soak up the juices and become soggy. Butcher paper repels moisture, making it suitable for any moist foods.
Butcher Paper Is Extra-Thick
Many people attempt to use parchment paper and butcher paper interchangeably, but butcher paper is thicker, making it suitable for major cooking projects using raw meat.
Wrapped Fresh Meat Retains Its Flavor And Moisture
The coating used on butcher paper prevents leakage and keeps it strong when wet. The butcher paper doesn’t absorb the meat juices, leaving it moist and flavorful. You can keep fresh meat in the refrigerator in butcher paper for three to four days.
Butcher Paper Is Suitable For Freezing
If you want to freeze your meat in butcher paper, wrap it tightly and place it in a Ziploc bag to limit the amount of exposure to moisture and air.
Labeling Is Easy On Butcher Paper
You can write on the outside of butcher paper with pens, pencils, and markers, which is great for labeling what’s inside the package and the date you wrapped it.
What’s So Special About Butcher Paper?
Manufacturers coat butch paper with a chemical-free substance called sizing. Sizing’s function is to prevent leakage and strengthen the paper when wet.
One type of butcher paper, gardenia butcher paper, has a coating that allows air and moisture to permeate the surface, preventing sliming. Sliming occurs when fish or meat is tightly wrapped and lies in its juices with no airflow.
Are Butcher Paper And Parchment Paper The Same?
Although parchment paper and butcher paper are both used in the kitchen, they are not the same thing. Butcher paper is a thicker variety of kraft paper, perfect for wrapping raw meat, chicken, and fish. It comes in at least five types:
- White butcher paper has no coating but is FDA-approved for food safety. It is perfect for wrapping meat pre-smoking because of its breathability.
- Pink/peach butcher paper hides any meat juices or blood because of its color. It is also suitable for smoking meat.
- Peach-treated butcher paper is coated with a sizing agent that helps to keep raw meat fresh during storage.
- Gardenia butcher paper is high-performance packaging offering extra protection against leakage.
- Steak butcher paper is useful for displaying raw cuts of meat in a deli or butchery. It also seals the meat juices in prevents color loss.
Parchment paper, also called baking paper, often gets treated with silicone and sulfuric acid. It is heat-resistant, non-stick, and grease-resistant. It comes in two types, and both can withstand high heat, up to 450°F:
- Bleached parchment paper is chlorine-treated to make it white.
- Unbleached parchment paper has a natural tan color.
Parchment paper is thinner than butcher paper and has a non-stick surface. Butcher paper is more permeable to moisture, while parchment paper retains moisture.
What Are Substitutes For Butcher Paper?
If you have run out of butcher paper for your business, you have options to use while waiting for your packaging rolls:
- Freezer paper is wax-coated and unsuitable for grilling and smoking but fine for storage and freezing.
- Parchment paper can be a substitute for butcher paper during smoking or grilling.
- Foil is suitable for grilling or smoking proteins, making it very juicy, but you may sacrifice your bark’s flavor.
- Baking mats can withstand high temperatures and are breathable, so you can use them for smoking and grilling smaller portions. They don’t fold well, so juices will leak out if you wrap a large piece of meat in a baking mat.
- Paper bags can be used at a pinch for cooking at low temperatures over indirect heat. They aren’t ideal for storing meat because they are not moisture-resistant and won’t protect against contaminants.
How Should I Use Butcher Paper To Smoke Meat?
Butcher paper helps prevent the stall that happens during smoking, where the temperature of the meat stops rising during cooking. Wrapping the meat toward the end of the cooking session will help it retain its internal moisture but still allow it to breathe.
Can You Use Butcher Paper On A Grill?
Butcher paper can only withstand temperatures up to 450°F. After this, the paper will start to burn and leave an aftertaste in the meat.
Wrapping It All Up
Butcher paper is your best choice for packaging because it is so versatile. You can use it during meat preparation, serving food, cooking, grilling, or smoking. Butcher paper meets the health and safety standards of the FDA, making it food safe and healthy. It offers much more than other papers, making it the number one packaging choice.
Amazon Butcher Paper Bestsellers
- Butchers Paper is ultra durable and strong; does a superior job trapping smoke while releasing steam
- Use our superior Pink Butcher Paper for serving, storing, cooking and smoking your choice of meat
- Uncoated and Unwaxed Butcher Paper: This paper won't leave anything unwanted behind on your food
- Our pink butcher paper for smoking meat is reinforced on the interior to enhance wet strength
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