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Question about the Texas Crutch

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    Question about the Texas Crutch

    So I've got a brisket going on the WSM - approaching the 4 hour mark and about the right temp to apply the crutch. It occurs to me that, after tightly wrapping this beast in foil, it doesn't really matter if I finish the brisket on the smoker versus take it inside to the far more convenient oven at 225. Is the meat still absorbing smoke notwithstanding the foil, or should I pull this baby? Any other reason to finish on the smoker versus the oven (other than pride)?

    #2
    You can finish it in the oven if you choose to do so. I don't like to do that myself. I like to finish my cooks on the smoker. Thats why I have it. That being said, it may be safer to finish it inside (but not nearly as much fun). By this time, all of the smoke flavor has pretty much been picked up by the Brisket. However, I still think its better to finish in the smoker.
    I don't wrap at specific temps or times. Sometimes stalls happen later or earlier than others. (170-185) I wrap once the meat has become "meteor" black. And the temp hasn't moved at all, up or down, for a 1/2 hr or so. You can also up your temp to power through the stall. Remember, when you wrap, it will effect your bark that you have worked so hard for. That being said, I like to wrap for as short amount of time as possible. Send us in some pics if you can!!
    Hope this helps.
    P.S love the name.
    -Spinaker

    Comment


    • LowandSlow
      LowandSlow commented
      Editing a comment
      I learned this lesson over the weekend. In the future, I'm going to take it as long as possible before having to foil it up. I'm curious, what do you usually up the temp to to power thru the stall? Also, which way do you believe is better? To crutch or not to crutch? I personally would prefer not to, but I would also like to not up the temp too much.

    • Spinaker
      Spinaker commented
      Editing a comment
      I only do my Butts and Briskets on my PBC. They tend to run hotter than the traditional cooker. So, with that being said, I usually kick it up to 300 F -320. On whether or not to crutch....I crutch if need be. If the butt or brisket is really dark and I've got the bark I want. I will wrap it everytime. If I could wrap it for the whole cook I would, but then I wouldn't have any of that wonderful bark to speak of. I use the crutch merely as a way to keep the cook moving. I don't crutch to save moisture, there is more than enough moisture in butts and briskets to stay moist through out cooking with out having to worry about them drying out. Remember, pork butts and briskets to a point, (no pun intended) are tough pieces of meat, they can take the extra heat no problem.

    #3
    Foil is a pretty non-permeable membrane;so, from a culinary standpoint at least, your oven will finish the meat just fine. There are times when I do this due to windy conditions here in my part of Alaska. When cooking low and slow, most people's rigs are nothing but an oven with smoke, anyway. We use this technique often in the restaurant, as it makes it easier to do food to order without the wait, or when the food needs to hold for a while, among other reasons. I don't let pride get in the way of a good plate of food, but that's just an old line dog's opinion. I hope this helps...

    Comment


      #4
      I have finished off many pork butts wrapped and in the oven as you mention and it works just fine. I have also done on a brisket with similar results.

      I usually did it out of laziness because the fire in my ECB or PBC was out and I didn't feel like re-doing the whole firebox for just another hour or two to finish up the meat on the smoker.

      I have read where some will re-heat the unwrapped brisket after crutching to try and re-firm up the bark - I have not tried that part.

      Comment


      • LowandSlow
        LowandSlow commented
        Editing a comment
        I re-heated the unwrapped brisket over the weekend to firm up the bark and believe I might have over cooked by trying to get to 200 versus probing for tenderness.

      #5
      Makes your house smell good!

      Comment


      • Strat50
        Strat50 commented
        Editing a comment
        Yes, indeed it does. If you do it right, you can also have drippings for jus, gravy, or sauce. Your starches will love you for it. Or, make stock and freeze.
        I had a cook, in the fall, that was so darn windy, it took all the propane I had just to get 2 hours of smoke on a pork shoulder. This was with a wind shield too. Beautiful Alaska weather, but the wind was blowing 60 knots. When I ran out of fuel, I placed the shoulder on a bed of mirepoix, and finished in a 250 degree oven. The pork was great, the smokey sauce was epic!Of course, brown roux didn't hurt...lol

      #6
      Wow guys thanks for the prompt responses. I'm gonna let it hang out for a little while yet to let it bark up and will pull it in about an hour to wrap and finish in the oven. At that point it will have been on for about 5 1/2 hours.

      Comment


      • RobertHouston
        RobertHouston commented
        Editing a comment
        It's amazing that you got 5 replies within about 90 minutes of your original post. That's really cool!

      • Huskee
        Huskee commented
        Editing a comment
        Spinaker, every time I read one of your comments it comes across in my head with walky talky audio quality. Over. Krssshhh....

      • Spinaker
        Spinaker commented
        Editing a comment
        Not sure if thats a good thing or a bad thing......over.

      #7
      I finish A LOT of briskets in the oven. Sooner or later I need to sleep.

      Comment


        #8
        Many thanks to all. Really incredible to have all the replies at the crucial moment - during cooking - and it turned out very well. Here is my first attempt at pictures on the pit. It started as the most beautiful brisket I had ever seen. I walked into my butcher store with no brisket plans whatsoever. I had $6 in my pocket to buy marrow bones so I could make broth. Then I saw her. She looked like this (picture 1): marbled, aged, a bit of fat on her ... everything a man could want (extend this into a metaphor at the risk of offending the Mrs. Meat2 in your life). I took out the credit card and dropped $$$ for 10 pounds. (My butcher is great (Marlow and Daughters) - they bring in a cow at a time and break it down in-store - but you pay to get pieces of fresh cow in Brooklyn). Dry rub overnight, 5 1/2 hours on the WSM with hickory and cherry, pulled it and wrapped in foil, and in the oven at 225 until about 6 hours later. Dropped oven temp to 170 (basically an oven cambro) and went for another 2 hours. Done at 11am (14 hours after start). Picture 2 is the gorgeous meteor of the finished brisket.
        Click image for larger version

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        Click image for larger version

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        Comment


        • Spinaker
          Spinaker commented
          Editing a comment
          Very nice!!!

        #9
        Looks great, my last one had a smoke ring like that, looks like it was done with a pink highlighter.

        Comment


          #10
          That's a nice smoke ring R2M2. Bravo.

          Comment

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