Michael Symon's Smoked BBQ Rule You Should Never Break

If you want to make smoked meats at home that taste just as good as the absolute best barbecue restaurants in the U.S., there's a lot that you need to learn. There are some big mistakes you can make when using a smoker, and because America's regional barbecues are so different from one another, what counts as delicious in one city might be considered an affront to BBQ culture in another. But there are some things you should always do when making barbecue. How can one know what's optional and what's a must? 

It's always important to get your advice from real barbecue experts. Lots of people look to chef Michael Symon, known for being a host of "BBQ Brawl" on Food Network, for his advice on different bbq methods on Twitter and other social media channels. The star always seems happy to give out tips on how to make the best smoked meat at home. Recently, he was asked on Twitter to weigh in on an important topic: when making barbecued ribs, should you wrap the meat in foil at any point during smoking.

Michael Symon says: it depends

First of all, why do some people wrap their meat to begin with? According to Traeger Grills, the main reason why people wrap meat (especially brisket) on the grill is to help keep it from drying out or burning. So, when a fan on Twitter asked Michael Symon if the ribs from his vegas casino restaurant at the Palms Casino were wrapped during smoking, we were interested to hear what he had to say. Does the same logic apply to ribs? 

"At home I do not typically wrap," the chef said. But it's different at work. "With the volume of restaurants we baste with about 45 [minutes] left in cook ... once baste sets we wrap for last 30 minutes & then hold." Because the restaurant is cooking a large volume of meat that will be served over a relatively long period of time compared to an at-home barbecue, Symon wraps to help keep the meat from drying out and to keep the exterior from burning after it's basted. "You can put a little butter in the wrap also," the star advised. There you have it. Symon's smoked bbq rule is that you should wrap your meat when cooking large quantities, and add butter as needed to keep it moist if it's going to sit before being served.