Texas crutch is a terrific method to cook your meat faster than you could if you just left it on the smoker. This method helps to cook big pieces of meat. If you face problems like delaying serving of food because of uncooked meat, then use this process.
It is the second stage of smoking a piece of meat. When your meat has absorbed enough smoke and is getting a crispy surface, you need to remove it from the smoke, wrap it smoothly in a foil, and put it again on the smoker to finish cooking.
Some chefs also throw some liquid items in the wrap to produce little moisture and to add flavors. Commonly they use juice, broth, or beer for this purpose. Even if you don’t add any watery substance, the meat’s juice will be enough. It can’t leave and evaporate from the foil when the temperature increases.
When it gets completely cooked, the final but optional step is to remove the foil and place the meat again on the smoker but uncovered. It will help you to dry the meat, which gives you a tasty bark. Just give a little smoke in the end.
Why Use Texas Crutch?
With the help of this method, you can stop the evaporating process on the meat’s surface. This reduces your cooking time while holding the moisture in the meat.
For your better understanding, let’s discuss the process. Big meat pieces like brisket, pork ribs, pork butt, and beef ribs have tough connective tissues. These tissues need long hours to break down and render. While you are trying to cook, the meat goes through a stage called the stall. At this point, the internal temperature of your meat plateaus after some hours. A person like a new pitmaster gets worried at this stage. They get more nervous when they have arranged a party, and everyone is asking why the dinner is not ready.
Okay, you can understand this process in this way; when you put the meat on the smoker, the meat is cold and moist. The smoke and hot air start to raise the meat’s exterior temperature and slowly get to the meat’s core. This is why meat has a greater temperature at the start.
During this time, the moisture tries to escape the meat by turning into vapors, while heat tries to reach the core. This way, both heat and moisture block each other’s way. However, some of the moisture still finds a way to escape, which cools the meat exterior. But heat slowly penetrating the meat. Surprisingly, both of them continue making efforts for long hours. This is why sometimes it takes more than 4 hours to cook the meat.
In case you don’t take a different approach and let it cool, the moisture will eventually evaporate. Then the way of heat gets clear, and the meat’s internal temperature increases again, but this time all the moisture has gone, which leads to drying out of the meat.
This is where the Texas crutch comes to save the day. It allows you to wrap the meat after smoking it for a few hours. This helps you to trap the moisture and heat inside the foil.
Why do You Need to Wrap in Foil?
Aluminum foil helps you to trap the moisture and prevent it from evaporating, making your meat as juicy and succulent as possible. You can say that it is a process for which you use meat’s own juice to cook.
Texas crutch is also fabulous to prevent brisket stall, which most of the people face. The stall occurs in big, unwrapped pieces of meat when their moisture wants to get evaporated, but the temperature also starts to rise (happens for several hours). The evaporation fights with the heat in the smoker until all the moisture gets out as vapor, making a traditional crispy bark on the brisket.
When do You Need to Wrap?
When you need to wrap your meat totally depends on the cut you have taken. The general rule for ribs is to wrap it after 3 hours. Have you heard about the popular “3-2-1 Method” for smoking ribs? According to this amazing technique, you need to smoke your meaty rib for almost 3 hours, then cook them wrapped for 2 hours, and lastly, add any sauces you want and cook it uncovered for one hour more.
In the case of brisket or large cuts like pork shoulder, you need to cook it while it’s wrapped for around 5 to 6 hours. Generally, this is only when the temperature stalls, but thanks to Texas Crutch, you can cook them earlier.
Benefits of Texas Crutch
There are a lot of benefits to using the Texas Crutch.
Speeds up the cooking
The best part is that you don’t have to wait long hours to complete the stall duration. You can serve food in front of guests right on time, without worrying about meat being uncooked.
Makes the Meat Tender and Juicy
This method helps you keep the moisture of the meat, while cooking meat without crutching will only dry it.
Gives Beautiful Color of the Bark
Another advantage of the Texas Crutch is that you get the required color of the bark. When you see that bark has the color you want, you can wrap it for cooking, regardless of its temperatures. The heat will still cook your meat.
Controls the Smoke Flavor
Thanks to aluminum paper, the smoke doesn’t get to the meat. This is why you can reduce or maintain the smoke according to your preferences. Not to mention, you can use butcher paper, which is also best to wrap.
If you’re short on time or even if you just want to eat those delicious ribs, brisket or pork shoulder faster, give the Texas Crutch a try.