How The 'Texas Crutch' Can Improve Your Brisket

Smoked brisket is a labor of love, something you need to invest half a day or more into if you want your smoked brisket to turn out just right. Pitmasters obsess over the smallest details, picking out the exact perfect cut of brisket, arguing over the effects of keeping it moist by mopping, arguing over how much of the fat cap you should keep on, basically anything you can think of, brisket lovers have tested and tasted for it, according to Amazing Ribs. As a specialty of unique Texas barbeque, there is a trick called the "Texas crutch" that you can use to take your brisket to the next level.

As a tough, cheap cut of meat, there are a lot of big mistakes to avoid when smoking a brisket. If the temperature is a little high, or the timing is off you are going to be hacking through a piece of warm jerky instead of watching that juicy beef fall apart under your fork. The simplicity of smoked Texas barbeque brisket, often just seasoned simply with salt and pepper, does not hide any mistakes. That means every little bit of help you can get with the brisket is a welcome one and why even the most experienced pitmasters lean on the "Texas crutch."

The 'Texas crutch' will keep your brisket moist

The number one goal of any brisket is keeping it nice and tender, and that is why the "Texas crutch" gets deployed. What is the "Texas crutch," really? This trick is simple but effective: wrap your brisket in foil or butcher's paper about halfway through the cooking time. The wrap insulates the meat, which keeps the temperature even and traps moisture that is normally lost to evaporation, as reported by Masterclass. The crutch will also catch the rendered fat from the brisket, which means that it can be reabsorbed during the long rest time after you take your meat off the heat.

Wrapping your brisket will also bring one other big advantage: cutting down the cooking time. If you don't want to spend 12 hours babysitting an eight-pound hunk of cow, try the "Texas crutch" method. According to Traeger, brisket is subject to a cooking problem called "the stall," where evaporating moisture cools your meat and slows cooking time, which can last for hours. The "Texas crutch" helps this by stopping the air circulation that contributes to evaporation, which allows your heating to continue unabated. Moister, and faster? The only downside to wrapping up your brisket will be needing to start that potato salad a little earlier than you're used to.