Brisket – The Texas Crutch

Based on Blonder’s data, you may want to wrap pork shoulders and beef briskets in heavy duty foil at about 150 to 160°F, after about two to four hours in the smoke.

Ball says that he is now following a similar protocol in competition. He won’t say what temp he cooks at on his MAK pellet smoker, but he is now foiling when his bark is the deep mahogany color he wants, usually somewhere between 140 and 150°F. He leaves it in the foil all the way up to 190 to 200°F (he wouldn’t say the exact number), takes it out of the cooker, lets it come down in temp to about 175°F so it stops cooking, and then wraps it in a towel and puts it in an insulated holding box called a cambro for an hour or two to rest.

There is a problem with the Texas crutch for some cooks: The meat does not have a hard chewy bark on the exterior. Ball believes that a hard bark is emblematic of overcooked meat. He wants a dark, flavorful, tender bark. That may be the trend in competitions, but a lot of us love those crunchy shards for flavor (I do). If you want a hard bark, the solution is to pull the meat out of the foil when it hits 190°F or so, and hit it with higher heat to dry the exterior and darken the rub. Or just skip the foil altogether, do things the old fashioned tried and true way, and just be patient. Either way, the results are superb.

http://amazingribs.com/tips_and_technique/the_stall.html

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