The two meats usually associated with pan cooking are briskets & butts/shoulders. I've tried it with both meats and not a big fan, mainly due to the loss of bark formation on the bottom meat surface. Some cooks will foil the entire pan at plateau, mainly with briskets, but there's a consensus that this creates a "pot roast" flavor.
What I will do with either meat is place a foil pan under the meat, allowing for at least 8" of air space for smoke circulation. Brisket pans get a quart of beef stock; PB pans get a quart of AJ. Once done, the pans are chilled, defatted and the Jus becomes the base of a finishing sauce.
Best advice is to try smoking both ways and see which method you prefer.
Like MaxQ says about trying both.Personally ,depending on your experience with these cookers,I'd go with Smokin'Okie's 101s and see if there is something you would like to improve.It is familiar to us and these kinds of cookers and allows us to help you "cut to the chase".
There are thousands of techniques for cooking different products and some are very good.Many good cooks will say that if a good cook has a 25 step process,it often doesn't work well to pick off one or two pieces.Is there a reason you would use either foil product?Are you vending,doing caters,or comps?
Many will say that if we cook like these cookers are designed,and don't get in the way,we will produce a better product than most will.Of course,there could be specific needs at times.
Have fun and don't complicate the process-when we don't have to.
I cooked 6 @ 15 lbs. Briskets, and 8 8-10 lbs. PBs all in pans. Only thing I did was added cheap grates to bottom of pans to keep them from sticking. Only issue I ran into was the cook time was extended. Other than that, the brisket and pork turned out great. I also emptied the pans once to keep the meat from stewing. Lots of compliments, and my goodness was clean-up a breeze... Will be doing this for all large cooks going forward...
Pans block airflow. Period. And to a lesser degree affect heat flow/transfer. So if you want smoke, don't pan until after the plateau and then it will be swimming in great so with put the fat cap down or put on grates (as suggested)
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