FTC (Foil, Towel, Cooler) | BBQ Dictionary
BBQ Dictionary - A Glossary of BBQ Terms

FTC (Foil, Towel, Cooler)

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Foil, Towel, Cooler aka FTC is a method for resting or holding cooked meat.  The meat is wrapped in foil (often straight out of the cooker but sometimes vented for a few minutes and rewrapped tightly), then wrapped in towels and placed in a cooler (no ice).  Cooked meats can often be held for 6 hours or more in the cooler and still be too hot to handle when you take them out.

Foil Towel Cooler

The added rest time is often considered critical to a good product for pork butt or shoulder and brisket but with all things BBQ it is subjective to your own personal theories and preferences.  A 30 minute rest would be a minimum goal and a 2 hour rest would be a good mark to shoot for if you have time, but use the FTC to your advantage – if your meat is done earlier than planned all will be cool (or coolered) and it makes traveling with your cooked Q easy and it will be ready when you get there.

A tip for using FTC in cold weather is to add a couple gallons of hot tap water to your cooler prior to using it to hold the meat.  Let the water rest in the cooler for a half hour or so to get the cooler temperature up and then drain the water and wipe dry; it is now ready to hold your cooked meat and will hold it for a longer period of time.

Towels or blankets are often placed in the bottom of the cooler and then again on top of the meat to fill the empty space adding an additional insulating effect.

The FTC technique is not to be confused with the Texas Crutch which is a technique using foil during the cooking process.

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