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.


French Toast


  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon sugar, optional
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 10 to 12 slices white bread
  • butter
  • maple syrup or other syrup
  • Preparation:

    Break eggs into a wide, shallow bowl or pie plate; beat lightly with a fork. Stir in sugar, salt, and milk.
    Over medium-low heat, heat griddle or skillet coated with a thin layer of butter or margarine.

    Place the bread slices, one at a time, into the bowl or plate, letting slices soak up egg mixture for a few seconds, then carefully turn to coat the other side. Soak/coat only as many slices as you will be cooking at one time.

    Transfer bread slices to griddle or skillet, heating slowly until bottom is golden brown. Turn and brown the other side. Serve French toast hot with butter and syrup.
    Recipe for French toast serves 4.

    Pecan Pie Recipe 0.1


    2 Eggs, Slightly Beaten
    1 Cup Light Corn Syrup
    1/4 Cup Sugar
    2 Tablespoons Flour
    1/4 Teaspoon Salt
    1 Teaspoon Vanilla
    1-1/4 Cups Pecans


    Preheat oven to 375 deg F.
    Spread pecans in an unbaked 9-inch pie shell.
    Mix remaining ingredients and pour over pecans.
    Bake at 375 deg F. for 40 to 50 minutes or until filling is set.
    Cover pie with foil after 30 minutes to keep crust from burning.