Why You Need the Texas Crutch

Aluminum foil
The Texas Crutch

What is the Texas crutch and why should you use it? An excellent question. There are many ways to cook delicious meats, many techniques, and even more opinions on the best way. Meat purists will tell you that the only way to do it is with wood, fire, smoked SPG seasoning and nothing more. They’ll say that the skill of the pit master should be enough to produce juicy, tender, smokey meat. Well, that’s a load of bollocks. It doesn’t matter how you get to the party if you show up. The only thing that matters is making awesome brisket, ribs, or whatever.

Cooking Low and Slow

All the best meat for smoking is tough and full of connective tissue that is hard to break down. Brisket, pork butts, baby back ribs, and beef short ribs, were all at one point less than desirable and cheap cuts of meat. That’s what made them ideal for the BBQ pit, to make them edible they had to be cooked at low temps for a long time. That cooking method though could lead to dry meat that was devoid of any juices and nobody wants to eat dried up meat that is tough and chewy. In the smoking game that’s the biggest obstacle and is avoided at all costs. Who wants to spend 12 hours cooking a brisket, investing hard earned dollars only to have it come out awful?

What is the Texas Crutch?

The Texas Crutch is nothing more than ordinary tin foil, that’s it. It helps in two ways. Number one it retains the moisture and juices of the meat and prevents them from dripping into the bottom of the pit. Pit masters add all kinds of different things to their meat before wrapping like beef tallow, squeeze butter, lard, or regular butter. The point is to add it and wrap to create a steaming effect on the meat. The second way it helps is to speed up the cooking time. When smoking a brisket or should there is what’s known as “the stall”. The stall is when the temperature of the meat stops increasing. Applying the Texas Crutch during the stall will help push past that point and get the cook finished sooner. There is no shame in using this technique and don’t let anyone tell you different. The only thing that matters is a successful cook and full bellies.

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