The Texas Crutch

Brisket Wrapping and the Texas Crutch

The term “Texas Crutch” refers to a wrapping process used to speed up the brisket cooking process and push through the infamous “stall” that makes smoking a brisket so challenging.  It was most likely a technique and term used on the competition circuit.

Of course, since then, the technique has been embraced by restaurants and backyard BBQers throughout the country.

In fact, the growth in the popularity of smoked Texas brisket throughout the country probably owes much of its success to this wrapping technique and one of its top disciples, Texas’s own Aaron Franklin.  His approach to wrapping briskets in butcher paper for the final few hours of cooking offered alternative solutions to many of the challenges associated with smoking a brisket – especially how to get it done on time.

Teaching this process made him a hero of backyard BBQers everywhere, earned him a prestigious James Beard Award and made Franklin BBQ one of the most successful BBQ joints in Texas.  More than that, Aaron helped popularize the smoked brisket beyond Texas…making it easier for BBQ restaurants and other eateries around the country to add it to their menu.  For that, Tim believes that everyone in BBQ community owes a bit of gratitude to Aaron and proudly displays his picture in his restaurant.

With that said, when Tim and Damian set out to create Crossbuck BBQ, they wanted their brisket to remain true to Central Texas Style smoking techniques – low n’ slow with no wrapping.

While wrapping has become a very controversial topic, they believe that the wrapping process steams the meat and replaces juicy fat with brisket-flavored-water while softening the signature “cookie-crust bark” that made Central Texas BBQ so famous.  Whether you believe them or not, there is little debate that Authentic Central Texas style brisket is not wrapped and that’s one of the key elements of Crossbuck’s Central Texas Style Smoked Brisket.

The Downside of Wrapping Your Brisket 

•    It softens the exterior bark of the brisket
•    The moisture retained in the wrapping process comes from steam or water…not the real “juiciness” that comes from the seasoned and rendered fat 
•    It may stop smoke from penetrating the meat although this is minimal and there are other ways around this.

The Benefits of Wrapping a Brisket

•    It decreases the overall cook time 
•    It requires less wood 
•    It helps the meat retain moisture - albeit water-moisture 

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Crossbuck BBQ Smoked Brisket

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Crossbuck BBQ Smoked Brisket

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Crossbuck BBQ Smoked Brisket

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