Texas Crutch Brisket [How And When To Make The Best Barbecue Crust]


Texas Crutch is one of the best grilling methods for smoking the perfect brisket. With some aluminum foil and a smoker, the cooking method is one of the best ways to top the grill stand. Learn everything you need to know with our Texas Crutch Brisket Guide and Recipe.

Texas crunch chest

Texas Crutch is a time-tested and juicy method used by eco-friendly pit masters to create deliciously tender and manufactured meat. It can be used for ribs and pork tenderloin, but today we’re going to focus on its best use: brisket.

Texas Crutch meat is perfectly juicy and tender. When cooked in foil, brisket has the perfect mouthfeel and rich smoky flavor. Find out everything you need to know to prepare the perfect Texas Crutch Brisket.

What is the Texas crutch?

Texas Crutch is a method of smoking that involves wrapping meat in aluminum foil during slow, slow cooking to speed up cooking. The method is believed to have been invented at barbecue competitions, but it is so effective that it IS used all over the world today.

But it’s not all about speed. The method helps retain moisture, which is a crucial factor in making elite barbecues. It’s also a tried-and-true way to push your meat through the dreaded “post.”

Texas Crutch Brisket in Foil Recipe Guide

What is the grill stand?

The stand is commonly seen when grilling brisket  and IS also referred to as a  grill stand  or brisket stand. It occurs when the internal temperature of the meat reaches between 145 and 175°F and you see the liquid in the meat begin to evaporate. This cools the meat, slowing down the smoking process. This means that while it’s relatively quick and easy to get the meat temperature to around 145°F, it can be frustrating to get past that point. It is not uncommon for the breast to “stop” and stay at the same temperature for hours.

This is where Texas Crutch comes into play. When the meat reaches the 145°F mark, wrap the breast in aluminum foil or butcher paper to stop evaporation. This helps keep the meat moist while it pushes the internal temperature through the barn and cooks it instantly.

Texas Crutch advantages

reduce cooking time. Wrapping the breast in aluminum foil helps push it through the cabin, reducing the time you have to wait for the internal temperature to rise.

What more less fuel. Reducing the time the brisket spends in the smoker means you burn less wood and charcoal. Saving hours on firewood or charcoal pays off in the long run!

Juicy meat. Allowing the beef to retain moisture by wrapping it means your breast will retain many of its natural juices, giving you a great juicy cut of meat.

Disadvantages of the Texas Crutch

It’s not all good news. If YOU keep the meat wrapped, the smoke coming out of your firebox can’t penetrate the meat and you can’t enrich it with your chosen wood. You risk not forming a nice crust on the meat, that iconic crispy layer that forms on the surface of the breast.

Luckily, Susie from  Hey Grill Hey  has found a solution that serves as a middle ground between the two. Susie suggests leaving the brisket on the shelf for a while before packing it up. This should allow it to form some crust before you cover it to retain that moisture. She suggests wrapping it when the meat reaches 165°F.

Aluminum foil vs. butcher paper

There’s a bit of debate over whether you should use aluminum foil or butcher paper to wrap meat for Texas crutch. There are benefits for each, so it depends on which one is more important to you.

One benefit of using aluminum foil is that it retains moisture in the chest better than butcher paper. Whether it’s the succulent flow of meat as it cooks or steaming, everything COMES in the foil pouch, enriching you with more flavor and moisture. You can recycle the moisture from the foil to use in BBQ sauce or to drizzle over meat when serving.

An important benefit of using butcher paper is that it is porous, which allows the meat to breathe and exposes it to more smoke from the fire. This can help the meat carry more flavor through the wood and retain some more beef.

Texas Crutch Pro Tips

If you use kraft paper, be sure to use food grade paper that does not contain wax or silicone. Everything ‘ food grade’ is FDA approved as it is safe to have direct contact with food.

Wrap them at 165° F. This temperature should hit a good “sweet spot.” Here the brisket has been stalled long enough to develop a nice crust but still benefits from the effect of wrapping in foil.

Wrap yourself up well. This is especially important if you’re using aluminum foil. Wrapping it tightly should help reduce the occurrence of pockets for condensation puddles to form. This can create a steamy effect, smother the brisket, and ruin the texture.

Texas Crutch Brisket

The best recipe for a moist and juicy grilled breast. With nothing more than aluminum foil or butcher paper, it’s easy to see why wrapping meat is a popular tactic at barbecue competitions.
Course dinner, main course
American cuisine , BBQ
Preparation time 30 minutes
Cooking time 12 hours
Break time 1 hour
Total time 13 hours 30 minutes


  • 12 pounds whole brisket
  • 2 table spoons of kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons ground black pepper


  • Start trimming the chest. Place flat side up on work surface and remove silver skin and excess fat.
  • Turn smoker on to 225°F. Make sure you’re set for indirect heat and add the wood of your choice (when in doubt, use oak or hickory).
  • Apply the spice liberally to your brisket. Prepare to rub it as hard as you can
  • Once the smoker has reached a stable cooking temperature, place the brisket on the smoking racks. Set the Dual Probe Smoker Thermometer to read both room temperature and the internal temperature of the meat. Close the lid and allow the breast to reach 165°F. This can often take 6-8 hours depending on the size of the breast.
  • Spread foil out on work surface and place brisket in center. Wrap the chest tightly so it is sealed against leaks and no puddles can form.
  • Place the wrapped brisket, side down, back into the fumigation seam. This allows the weight of the breast to keep the seam closed.
  • Continue smoking at 225°F until the internal temperature reaches 200°F at the thickest part of the meat.
  • Remove the wrapped brisket from the smoker and place on a cutting board. Leave closed and let stand for an hour.
  • Cut against the grain to serve. Enjoy your comfort!

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