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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 04-06-2011, 07:44 PM   #1
Pitmaster T
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Exclamation The Legendary Texas Crutch - Foil

The Texas Crutch - Foil

A Commentary by Pitmaster "T" - The Late Popdaddy' s Valet and Personal Chef from 1999 to 2011.


crutch.jpg
Paul Kirk - Originator of the term - Texas Crutch


I was going to post this in Anchors Smokeshop excellent thread called "To wrap or not to wrap" but I decided not to so that there would be no distraction from that excellent thread.

First, I never got the reference to the "Texas Crutch" because the crowd I hung around when I was competing in Texas in the nineties did not use it.

But as I proved under another name when I worked for ...Him....

....taboos and insistence in doing things one way in this forum is just... silly... unproductive, narrow-minded and frankly... at some point your standard is going to get challenged somewhere. I tried to show at times how silly being stoically inflexible looked like lunacy then I would turn around and write a long article on the art of simmering cuts and why tradition is... well... subjective. In short, I became the purposely contradictory to prove the point... that insistence that another way is wrong - is a poor path.

VID00032 001_0001.jpg
Me and my Crutch - a wrapping of impenetrable plastic and a hot box for a boogie night - taken 2009 - MY Rub Technique is tweaked so that after you unwrap this brisket and let it sit in the air, the bark pops back.

muellersmeat.jpg
Muellers - No Foil

353209570_b19d563ecb.jpg
Bark that definitely never saw foil

cd4733e3.jpg
Our own Thirdeye - I could be wrong but I think this brisket did not involve foil.


To the question of whether or not to foil I have this to say along the same vein. Someone once said on here that "BBQ was what you ended up with not how you got there." At one point in time in this forum that statement would not fly...

My, how some of us have grown.

But humor me my point. I have helped prove on this forum, and others have subscribed to it, that brisket for instance can be cooked at temps closer to 300 than 200 and crank out a marvelous product in half the time. I have proved ribs can be attained that way too. I did not invent hot and fast nor was i the first on this forum to talk about it, but I would say no one had talked about it more than I, shot more videos about it, written more history about it and it all proved one thing... that there is more than one way to get somewhere. Myron Mixon has proved to all that even at the competition level, you can win using charcoal lighter fluid to start your fire and green wood to cook your meats. But the caveat is high heat -- that and steam - which tickles me, is essentially making the pit operate in the same conditions the foil does.


john_pit.JPG
John Fullilove Popping his hood - "Nope, no foil here"

Just like a rub tweaked to cook at a smoking temp of 220 can be a disaster at 290, and a rub tweaked for no wrapping can be a disaster when you wrap it, foiling has its applications. But is it a cheat?

If I once made the case long ago that foiling mimics the same thing as simmering a cut of BBQ, well then that makes us all "simmerers" and thus not traditional. So isn't the reverse true? LOL


There is nothing wrong with foiling. In both cultures, the culture of caterers and restaurateurs, and the culture of competition, both foilers and non-foilers have strong clienteles that swear by them, and awards and accolades.

So when does one reach for it? I will tell you the only thing that made me STOP using it was it was a pain in the neck to wrap 50 briskets and it cost too much. At times I use butcher paper. My Church allows me to have a nice warming oven and the way we do things I actually just wrap in plastic after the stall and let them ride the rest of the way in the oven. Is that a crutch? Some would say, hell yeah! I am one of them!

I have discussed and tried to prove that one man's technique is another man's crutch. Injections? Is that natural? Nope! Is it effective? In the right hands. Is it tasty? MMMMMMM yep. Especially if you are like me - and as far as I know I am the only one - who when he injects - uses the smokey brisket juice------ from the last brisket.

Foil is no different... a blessing in the right hands and a curse and crutch in others. Its a tool. And I would ask, are you fixing the car if you use an air tool to undo your manifold bolts?




Here are some excellent web writings.

The wisest article written on foil by the beloved Craig the Meathead. Lists not only pros and cons but remember what I said about "in the right hands?" He shows you both ways to produce a good product with and without foil.


This article below assigned the entire term to Paul Kirk, who reportedly arrived at a competition with a crutch wrapped in foil to poke fun at the process. Here would be excellent commentary from Paul regarding why you should not use it.



Last edited by Pitmaster T; 04-06-2011 at 08:19 PM..
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Unread 04-06-2011, 08:05 PM   #2
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I know there are a lot of uses for foil, but the most important is to plant a sheet firmly on one's head. Everything else is secondary. I'm reading this and sensing a conspiracy! Nice history BTW.
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Unread 04-06-2011, 08:18 PM   #3
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Nice write up Mr. Peas

you're right, and it's been said before that it's a tool... The challenge here is knowing when someone should use a tool or if they really need a tool at all... Too often the rookie cook tries to incorporate everything they read at once.. and just a few cooks into their new hobby you've got a guy with a lot of ambition, a new pit, cooking a challenging meat with a counter full of reynolds wrap, injectors, spray guns and five conflicting rubs recommended on a forum. It can go downhill fast.

FYI - The reflectivity of bright aluminum foil is 88% while dull embossed foil is about 80%.
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Unread 04-06-2011, 08:30 PM   #4
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You do know why they have a dull side and a shiny side right? They cannot produce the thinner material in one sheet so they have to produce two. The shiny side is simply that way because that side faces the rollers - which are highly polished and shiny themselves. The matte finished side faces another sheet of foil.



Can you believe I got through that thread without my old joke about it being linked to
Alzheimers.

Bottom of post 4. LOL

Quote:
Originally Posted by MilitantSquatter View Post
Nice write up Mr. Peas

you're right, and it's been said before that it's a tool... The challenge here is knowing when someone should use a tool or if they really need a tool at all... Too often the rookie cook tries to incorporate everything they read at once.. and just a few cooks into their new hobby you've got a guy with a lot of ambition, a new pit, cooking a challenging meat with a counter full of reynolds wrap, injectors, spray guns and five conflicting rubs recommended on a forum. It can go downhill fast.

FYI - The reflectivity of bright aluminum foil is 88% while dull embossed foil is about 80%.
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Unread 04-06-2011, 08:35 PM   #5
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T you forgot to add the part about allthymer's or is it alltimers?

AHHHHHH never mind I type too slow.
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Unread 04-06-2011, 08:40 PM   #6
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Whatever floats your boat is right for you.
Sometimes I foil because I'm running out of time. I prefer not to foil....but sometimes I do and it works fine.
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Unread 04-06-2011, 08:43 PM   #7
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I have no disdain for foil...I have used it for certain purposes.

What I don't like is new bbq cooks thinking it is a necessity and a routine part of bbq. It is not.

I always say, "learn to cook w/o foil first". If you want to experiment with foil after that, then go right ahead.
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Unread 04-06-2011, 08:51 PM   #8
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i find that foil in important for the night train brisket. I do have to try the paper wrapping thing someday.

Edit: BTW, Big T, I did use some brisket juices in an injection, that was very good.
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Unread 04-06-2011, 09:35 PM   #9
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What gets me is some new guy coming onto this forum and telling us that our tried and true method is not the only way to make BBQ. At least you can hang around, post a little and get to know us first, but just to ... Wham! tell us this chit right away out of the smokey blue without warning or even hardly introducing yourself is a sure path toward alienation. I don't know who you are Pitmaster T or what you've done with PopDaddy (may he rest in peace), but you've got a lot of nerve coming here and telling us that Funk is dead, and that there's more than one way to cook a horse ... errr brisket.
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Unread 04-06-2011, 09:43 PM   #10
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I never give up my foil and alum pans.
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Unread 04-06-2011, 10:22 PM   #11
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Rookie point of view here, but I started cooking ribs on my Weber 22.5 with an indirect heat set up, using foil every time with a 50/50 cider vinegar, apple juice concoction in the foil. I'm not a pro, but the ribs tasted great when they were done. I've never cooked without foil, but maybe it's time to branch out. Question is, what if anything changes about the bbq process? Advice is appreciated!!!
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Unread 04-07-2011, 09:25 AM   #12
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I love you brother Gore mostly because there is a rip in your foil envelope and you jiuce tends to leak out. LOL

I can't wait for someone to latch on to this post of yours and pig pile.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gore View Post
What gets me is some new guy coming onto this forum and telling us that our tried and true method is not the only way to make BBQ. At least you can hang around, post a little and get to know us first, but just to ... Wham! tell us this chit right away out of the smokey blue without warning or even hardly introducing yourself is a sure path toward alienation. I don't know who you are Pitmaster T or what you've done with PopDaddy (may he rest in peace), but you've got a lot of nerve coming here and telling us that Funk is dead, and that there's more than one way to cook a horse ... errr brisket.
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Unread 04-07-2011, 10:25 AM   #13
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Donnie, is this your new handle? The wife and I will be in Dickinson, TX Saturday. Are there any good BBQ joints you'd recommend for us? Thanks in advance.
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Unread 04-07-2011, 10:31 AM   #14
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The " Late Popdaddy"?
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Unread 04-07-2011, 10:44 AM   #15
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I don't foil because I don't want to nor do I need. When I bbq I'm in no rush to "get it done" in a certain amount of time and I can attain the same tenderness without it. So I really don't need it. But many do and I see nothing "wrong" with it. The most important thing is the final product and having a good time. If both are accomplished then what can be "wrong" about that?

People need to lighten up a bit. This is bbq not frickin' Bible Theology.
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