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Name:   Mack - Email Member
Subject:   The "Texas Crutch"
Date:   2/16/2010 5:56:22 PM

New term for me that I saw at the site. Refers to the apparently widespread use of aluminum foil in BBQ Competition to insure that the food is done and moist.
There has been some comment on this forum about foil smoking, but this article makes it sound like a must-do when smoking ribs, brisket and even butts. Look under Techniques at the site. Good info.

Name:   Maddog - Email Member
Subject:   The "Texas Crutch"
Date:   2/17/2010 8:13:52 AM

I learned about using aluminum foil as a finishing tool when I lived in Texas back in the mid-eighties and have used it ever since. As stated in prior posts, I smoke the meat for 2 to 2.5 hours and then take the meat off and wrap tightly in foil. After wrapping, I continue to cook the meat at 200 to 225 degrees for at least 4 hours. The meat comes out "fall off the bone" with a great smoked taste.

Name:   Little Talisi - Email Member
Subject:   The "Texas Crutch"
Date:   2/17/2010 9:04:46 AM

I have observed this and noticed that the competitive smokers use it. My question is, How does this affect the bark and smoke ring? Also, what temp do you cook at before wrapping?

Name:   Maddog - Email Member
Subject:   The "Texas Crutch"
Date:   2/17/2010 9:51:16 AM

I smoke the meat at 225 degrees for 2 to 2.5 hours. In that time frame, you will get the maximum amount of smoke penetration. The smoke ring debth will not increase past the 2.5 hour mark. Wrapping in foil and continuing the cooking process for at least 4 hours will cook the meat in its own juices and tenderize the meat. If you are a big fan of the bark, then you will need to unwrap the meat and let it crisp up to give you the bark effect you desire. Doing it my way still gives me the bark i want. I'm not real crazy overly cooked outer edges that taste like burnt meat. I think that takes away from the great taste of barbecue. And that my friends is my two cents worth.

Name:   Mack - Email Member
Subject:   The "Texas Crutch"
Date:   2/17/2010 7:52:30 PM

Thanks ya'll. Sounds like foil has a place in the RibSmokin process. The only question left is how long in foil/or without foil. And that seems to be a matter of texture and bark.
And that is a question answered only by the Cook, so, get ready.
Thanks for the feedback.

Name:   Mack - Email Member
Subject:   Tried the Crutch on BabyBacks
Date:   3/1/2010 6:32:55 PM

and I give it a "Medium" to "low" grade. But, I think I know why.
Process: 1 rack of beautiful babybacks. Stripped the membrane. Rubbed with my favorite rub. Pre-heated the smoker to 225*, slapped on the ribs with woodchunks and smoked for about 2 1/2 hours (using new digital thermometer for smoker temp). Wrapped in foil with a little apple juice inside and cooked at 225* for another 1 1/2 hours.
Beautiful smoke ring on both sides of bones. No bark at all. And the meat itself was too tender, meaning meally or mushy. No good.
Next time: Same time on smoker naked. Foil minus apple juice for maybe 45 minutes. Then naked again for maybe 45 minutes at about 350* for some bark.

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