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Meat-Up in Memphis

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BBQ Stars


Some Of Our Favorite
Tools And Toys

These are not ads. These are products we love and highly recommend. Click here to read more about our medals and what they mean.



Surely you know somebody who loves outdoor cooking who deserves a gift for the holidays, birthday, anniversary, or just for being wonderful. There he is, right in the mirror! Here are our selections of best ideas, all Platinum or Gold Medalists, listed by price.

Click here to see our list of Gold Medal Gifts

Digital Thermometers Are Your Most Valuable Tool And Here's A Great Buy!

maverick PT55 thermometer

A good digital thermometer keeps you from serving dry overcooked food or dangerously undercooked food. They are much faster and much more accurate than dial thermometers. YOU NEED ONE!

Click here for more info on the Maverick PT-55 Waterproof Instant-Read Thermometer Review shown above. It may be the best value in a thermometer out there

If you have a Weber Kettle, you need the Slow 'N' Sear

slow n sear

The Slow 'N' Sear turns your grill into a first class smoker and also creates an extremely hot sear zone you can use to create steakhouse steaks.

Click here for our article on this breakthrough tool

Bring The Heat With Broil King Signet's Dual Tube Burners

the good one grill

The Broil King Signet 320 is a modestly priced, 3-burner gas grill that packs a lot of value and power under the hood. Broil King's proprietary, dual-tube burners get hot fast and are able to achieve high, searing temps that rival most comparatively priced gas grills. The quality cast aluminum housing carries a Limited Lifetime Warranty.

Click here to read our complete review

The Good-One Is A Superb Grill And A Superb Smoker All In One

the good one grill

The Good-One Open Range is a charcoal grill with an offset smoke chamber attached. It is dramatically different from a traditional offset smoker. The grill sits low in front and doubles as a firebox for the smoke chamber which is spliced on above and behind so it can work like a horizontal offset smoker only better. By placing the heat source behind and under the smokebox instead of off to the side, Open Range produces even temperature from left to right, something almost impossible to achieve with a standard barrel shaped offset.

Click here to read our complete review

Pit Barrel Cooker Smoker

Griddle And Deep Fryer All In One

The flat top does the burgers and the fryer does the fries. Use the griddle for bacon, eggs, and home fries. Or pancakes, fajitas, grilled cheese, you name it. Why stink up the house deep frying and spatter all over? Do your fried chicken and calamari outside. Blackstone's Rangetop Combo With Deep Fryer does it all. Plus it has a built in cutting board, garbage bag holder, and paper towel holder. An additional work table on the left side provides plenty of counter space.

Click here to read our detailed review and to order

Pit Barrel Cooker Smoker

The Pit Barrel Cooker May Be Too Easy

The PBC has a rabid cult following for good reason. It is absolutely positively without a doubt the best bargain on a smoker in the world. Period. This baby will cook circles around the cheap offset sideways barrel smokers in the hardware stores because temperature control is so much easier. Best of all, it is only 9 delivered to your door!

Click here to read our detailed review and the raves from people who own them

The Swiss Army Knife Of Thermometers


The smart folks at ThermoWorks have finally done it: The Swiss Army Knife of thermometers, two in one. Start with the industry standard food thermometer, the Thermapen MK4, (Platinum Medal winner) truly instant (2 to 3 seconds) precise (+ or – 0.7°F). Then they built in an infrared thermometer ideal for measuring the temps of pizza stones, griddles, and frying pans (also great for finding leaks around doors and windows in your house).

Click here to read our test results and comprehensive review and why it won our Platinum Medal.

Compact Powerful Sear Machine For Your Next Tailgater


Char-Broil's Grill2Go x200 is a super-portable, fun little sizzler made of heavy, rust-proof cast aluminum. The lid snaps shut. Grab the handle and you're off to the party! Char-Broil's TRU-Infrared design produces searing heat while reducing fuel consumption. A 16 ounce LP gas canister is enough to keep you flipping burgers for hours.

Click here to read our detailed review and to order

The Cool Kettle With The Hinged Hood We Always Wanted

NK-22-Ck Grill

Their NK22CK-C Charcoal Kettle Grill puts a few spins on the familiar kettle design. In fact, the hinged lid with a handle on the front, spins in a rotary motion 180 degrees. It's hard to beat a Weber kettle, but Napoleon holds its own and adds some unique features to make the NK22CK-C a viable alternative.

Click here for more about what makes this grill special


G&F Suede Welder's Gloves

Heat Resistant Gloves With Extra Long Sleeves Hold The Hot Stuff

If you're using oven mitts at the grill, it's time to trade up. Say hello to these suede welder's gloves. They're heat resistant enough to handle hot grill grates, and flexible enough to handle tongs. The extra long sleeves even let you reach deep into the firebox to move hot logs without getting burned. Our Fave.

Click here to read our detailed review

Click here to order from Amazon

GrillGrates Take Gas Grills To The Infrared Zone

grill grates

GrillGrates(TM) amplify heat, prevent flareups, make flipping foods easier, keep small foods from committing suicide, kill hotspots, are easier to clean, flip over to make a fine griddle, and can be easily removed and moved from one grill to another. You can even throw wood chips, pellets, or sawdust between the rails and deliver a quick burst of smoke to whatever is above. Every gas grill needs them.

Click here for more about what makes these grates so special

kareubequ bbq smoker

Our Favorite Backyard Smoker

The amazing Karubecue is the most innovative smoker in the world. The quality of meat from this machine is astonishing. At its crux is a patented firebox that burns logs above the cooking chamber and sucks heat and extremely clean blue smoke into the thermostat controlled oven. It is our favorite smoker, period.

Click here for our review of this superb smoker

Masterbuilt MPS 340/G ThermoTemp XL Propane Smoker

masterbuilt gas smoker

The First Propane Smoker With A Thermostat Makes This Baby Foolproof

Set ThermoTemp's dial from 175° to 350°F and the thermostat inside will adjust the burner just like an indoor kitchen oven. All you need to do is add wood to the tray above the burner to start smokin'.

Click here to read our detailed review

Professional Steakhouse Knife Set

masterbuilt gas smoker

Our founder, Meathead, wanted the same steak knives used by steakhouses such as Peter Luger, Smith & Wollensky, Morton's, Kobe Club, Palm, and many others. So he located the manufacturer and had them stamp our name on some. They boast pointed, temper-ground, serrated, high-carbon stainless-steel, half-tang blades with excellent cutting edge ability. The beefy hardwood handle provides a comfortable grip secured by three hefty rivets. He has machine washed his more than 100 times. They have never rusted and they stay shiny without polishing. Please note that we do not make, sell, or distribute these knives, they just engrave them with our name.

Click here to read our detailed review and to order

PK 360 grill

Is This Superb Charcoal Grill A Kamado Killer?

The PK-360, with 360 square inches of cooking space, this rust free, cast aluminum charcoal grill is durable and easy to use. Four-way venting means it's easy to set up for two zone cooking with more control than single vent Kamado grills. It is much easier to set up for 2-zone cooking than any round kamado. Beautifully designed and completely portable. Meathead says it is his preferrred grill.

Click here to read our detailed review of the PK 360

Click here to order it direct from PK and get a special deal for AmazingRibs.com readers only

Fireboard: The Ultimate Top Of The Line BBQ Thermometer

fireboard bbq thermometer

With the ability to monitor up to six temperatures simultaneously with either Bluetooth or Wifi on your mobile phone, tablet, or computer, Fireboard is the best digital thermometer we’ve tested.

Click here to read our detailed review

Finally, A Great Portable Pellet Smoker

Green Mountain Davey Crockett Grill

Green Mountain's portable Davy Crockett Pellet Smoker is one mean tailgating and picnic machine. But it's also gaining popularity with people who want to add a small, set it and forget it pellet smoker to their backyard arsenal. And with their WiFi capabilities you can control and monitor Davy Crocket from your smart phone or laptop.

Click here to read our detailed review and to order



Meat-Up in Memphis 2020

Join us in Memphis for our Meat-Up! Click here for details. (https://amazingribs.com/memphis2020)
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Crutch and Cambro (or not) a Pork Butt

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  • Top | #1

    Crutch and Cambro (or not) a Pork Butt

    To date, the only "traditional" BBQ cook that I have ever done are ribs. What I mean is a long, slow cook.

    For brisket and pork butts, I've always used sous-vide and finished in the smoker. However, I'm moving next week and my new home has an actual backyard. Said backyard is probably going to have a hammock at some point. The point is, the long cook becomes connected with a very lazy weekend and pulled pork sandwiches also happen to go really well with lazy weekends.

    I've been watching some videos and reading up on this. For a pork butt, is there any real reason to crutch? Is the benefit a big deal at all?

    By the same token, what about the cambro? If my meat is already past 200ºF, is there some advantage to another hour or two in the cambro versus holding my cooker around the 200ºF for another hour or two?
    Last edited by binarypaladin; August 13th, 2019, 11:46 PM.

  • Top | #2
    Time & time. The crutch will get you done faster, but your bark will suffer. I never crutch butts unless i've got time constraints. I also don't think you need the cambro hold, just wrap in foil after it comes off the smoker and let it cool until you can pull it. The cambro helps if you're done early and need to hold for hours.

    Also, just get the hammock.


    • Top | #3
      Does the cambro do anything else? I mean, if it's insulated enough, it seems like you're just cooking for X amount of time. The meat's holding temperature.

      I guess I should look up an article specifically on crutching, but glad to hear it's optional. I plan to not be in a time crunch when doing these cooks.


      • Top | #4
        The longer you cambro the softer, more delectable, and more fall apart it becomes. If you don't crutch, then your cook will take hours longer, maybe 16 to 20 hours, but then you don't need to do the Cambro hold either, nor do you really need to take the finish temp quite as high, it'll probably be done In the mid- 190s.

        Personally I like to wrap in foil but only after the stall, say 180 or so, then there's a lot of bark built up but it's not rock hard like jerky, plus that helps retain some juices that I drizzle back into the pulled product for a little extra flavor and delectability.

        I shoot for about 198-208 (I don't really target 203) then I'll simply drop smoker temp down to about 150 as the meat temp approaches 200 and let it go another one to two hours . I don't mess with a cooler and towels when I already have a smoker that's heated up, it just becomes my Cambro.

        There's 20 ways to do a pork butt, and with a few different attempts you'll find your preferred way. Congrats on the new backyard!


        • Troutman
          Troutman commented
          Editing a comment
          I may or may not agree with your particular method, but for sure I really like the word "delectability". May we always have a delectable result to out cooks

      • Top | #5
        I should add, in Meathead's pulled pork recipe he does not recommend wrapping or crutching, not because it doesn't work or doesn't make a fine product or save you lots of time, but because it can be a hassle for someone who's never done pulled pork before. However, for an opposite perspective, I do recommend folks wrap because it saves a few hours of time, and if you've never done a pork butt before you probably don't know to start at 4 in the morning so saving a few hours time might be helpful! Two different perspectives for the same goal I suppose.


        • Top | #6
          I'm just an amateur but I say crutch is more about timing while Cambro is a step best not skipped over.
          Last edited by Attjack; August 13th, 2019, 11:55 PM.


          • Steve R.
            Steve R. commented
            Editing a comment
            Agree. "It's done when it's done" doesn't work for me most of the time. I like to plan my day. And I have found that the quality is indeed better after a long hold, as Huskee said above.

        • Top | #7
          Good food for thought. I might try my first one the old-fashioned way. Sounds like I should just start it the night before and let her cook. (Getting up early is decidedly not leisurely.)

          And thanks. I hope to become a food picture in the neighborhood. Haha.


          • Attjack
            Attjack commented
            Editing a comment
            You can always go hot and fast starting at a reasonable time in the morning. Then throw it into cambro until it's time to eat.

        • Top | #8
          Attjack why? What's different about the cambro at the end versus just cooking longer? Seems like it would soften the bark—which could arguably be a preference.


          • Huskee
            Huskee commented
            Editing a comment
            check out Meathead's article on the faux cambro, it serves a useful purpose in that it holds the temp and allows the meat to bask in a warm temp and further soften collagen and fats without continuing to cook it at higher cooking temps, which can lead to drying it out.

          • Attjack
            Attjack commented
            Editing a comment
            My guess is that it's never going to dry out in Cambro and maybe the dissipating heat which must be different than a sustained heat creates a favorable environment.

          • Troutman
            Troutman commented
            Editing a comment
            I agree with the MH assessment, it allows the meat to properly "chill out". If you were in a sauna for 12 hours then got dunked into a cold swimming pool, it might be a tad shocking. I think the meat proteins need to ramp down and stay loose, while the cooking process slowly continues the rendering process. Try it both ways and I think you'll find it beneficial.

        • Top | #9
          My pork butts never get crutched, and only get wrapped if the bark is fully developed before it’s done cooking - which rarely happens, for me. Total cook time is about 15 hours at 225-250°F. I keep a water pan in the pit. My butts come out looking like a meteorite yet they’re still juicy. A hold is beneficial. You could do it in a low temp pit or oven - if you can get it low enough.

          Pork butt doesn’t need the rest a brisket does, though my experience suggests a 30-60 min rest does help. When cooking for lunch I’ve done several overnight holds in a 170°F oven (as low as my kitchen oven will go) with great results. Pull from pit around 200°F internal, wrap, and put in the oven overnight - ready for lunch and I got a full nights sleep!


          • Top | #10
            I only crutch when I am pressed for time. I cook to an internal temp of 200, wrap and put in a faux cambro for for at least. Anything less is a disappointment. The cambro allows me to separate the fat from between the various muscles that make up the Butt.


            • Top | #11
              I have avoided super long cooks since I started cutting large butts in half. At the local Publix, butts are normally around 4 - 5 lbs and I leave them whole. If I wind up with something around 10 lbs or more, I cut it in half. Not only does it cook faster, it also gives you much more bark.
              Another thing I do is use a foil lined DnG to capture all the juices so I can add them back to the meat once pulled. I do normally skim some of the fat off before adding to the pulled meat.
              Almost forgot - I don't wrap.


              • Top | #12
                I follow no rhyme nor reason on wrapping 30% of time no 70% yes.
                My eldest son insists on wrapping says its not as dry.
                Getting a diffuser with a water bowl has helped with moisture content in butts I've smoked too.
                This is one of those questions where there is no right answer so let the continue.


                • Top | #13
                  I smoke the butt until I get a satisfactory bark and then drop it into a pan and let it ride uncovered from there. This way I collect some of the juices and it is already in a pan making it easier to move to the counter when done. If I need to wait awhile before serving I cover the pan and throw a few towels around it, still on the counter. If service is going to be soon I just let it cool for awhile and then pull right in the cooking pan.


                  • Top | #14
                    Ahh the debate rages on.

                    "To crutch or not to crutch, that is the question.
                    Whether it is nobler to suffer the pulling and wrapping avoiding outrageous time constraints,
                    Or to cambro in the end against a sea of troubles, by forcing a tender result.
                    To die, to sleep (instead of waiting on that pesky butt) and by sleep we wait for the end.
                    Tis the consummation of that delectable butt that's devoutly to be wished,
                    To die, to sleep, perchance to dream of that fatty goodness on our
                    As for the rub, be sure to make it savory, for in the end your guests are left with only their dreams,
                    Of your next triumphant cook, as we soon will shuffle off this mortal coil,
                    So to crutch or not to crutch, that...is the question."


                    • pkadare
                      pkadare commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Awesome! Our very own bard, though I think the above was actually written by Bacon. :-)

                  • Top | #15
                    personally, I crutch once bark is set usually 180°-190°. I Cambria for 4 hours. Crutch not only saves juices to mix back into the pulled pork, speeds up the cook; but I also GE a much more tender product. I have compared crutched side by side wit in crutches and everything else the same. Crutched pulls better, is much more moist, and taste better in me and my families opinion. The hold helps even more in the same areas. I never skip a hold unless disaster strikes. I either Cambria, or hold in the warming drawer of my oven set to 140°. Just how I do it, regardless of the size of the cook.