BBQ Dictionary - A Glossary of BBQ Terms

Texas Crutch

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Texas Crutch refers to wrapping the meat tightly in foil during the BBQ cooking process.

Texas Crutch for BBQ

Pork Butt Wrapped in Foil

This step is typically used when smoking ribs, beef brisket, and pork butt of shoulder and will often include adding  a small amount of liquid to produce a light steam and help tenderize the meat.  When using this method the meat will cook a little faster than without foiling so monitor your cook to avoid overcooking.  When adding liquid it can be as simple as a little apple juice or get elaborate with any concoction of ingredients you like, just don’t add so much that you drown the meat and turn it to mush, amounts vary from a tablespoon to 1/4 cup or so of liquid depending on the cut and size of the meat.

Another reason for foiling during long cooks is to avoid over smoking the meat (think beef brisket and pork butt).  Some cooks will wrap in foil when they believe they have reached their desired smoke flavor; when wrapped the foil prevents anymore smoke from affecting the meat but allows it to continue to cook in the smoker until done.

Pork ribs 3-2-1 method – a popular approach that can be varied to suite your preference has the ribs smoking for 3 hours, then wrapped in a foil boat (Texas Crutch) for 2 hours, remove from foil for the last hour or so.  Adjust the times for your cooking temperature and for rib type whether doing spareribs, St. Louis cut, baby back or loin back ribs, or beef ribs.

Pork butt or beef brisket will often be foiled (Texas Crutch) when the meat hits and internal temp of 160° – 175° F or when a desired color of the meat is reached (think mahogany).  The meat is typically left in the foil until it has finished cooking to it’s desired finish temperature.

The Texas Crutch is not to be confused with FTC (foil-towel-cooler) for holding cooked meats for a long period of time.

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