Foiling--The Texas Crutch

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by daricksta, Dec 29, 2014.

  1. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

  2. I HAVE SMOKED RIBS USING THE 321 METHOD, AND I HAVE SMOKED THEM WITHOUT USING THAT METHOD, IT SEEMS JUST WHATEVER WORKS FOR YOU, THATS WHAT YOU SHOULD DO. I KNOW THAT THE 321 METHOD, WILL MAKE YOUR RIBS MORE TENDER IF YOU COOK THEM A LITTLE LONGER, BUT SO WILL, IF YOU DO NOT. JUST A MATTER OF PREFERANCE.
     
  3. boykjo

    boykjo Sausage maker Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    I believe its a good starting point for everyone to follow as a beginner. As you get to know your smoker and become more experienced you can change your methods. I moved to a 2-1-1 with great results. I cant say my ribs were ruined when I did the 3-2-1.... They were just fall off the bone which my spouse likes better anyway...

    just a lot of hoopla..............

    Joe

    hoop-lah]

    noun, Informal.

    1.
    bustling excitement or activity; commotion; hullabaloo; to-do.

    2.
    sensational publicity; ballyhoo.

    3.
    speech or writing intended to mislead or to obscure an issue.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2014
  4. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    OK ill give my opinion and this is my opinion based on cooking for friends and family, I don't want to hear, "well that wont fly at a competition"... so what... I don't care lol. [​IMG]

    I foil butts and picnics to get past the stall, I think the foiling does not have any adverse affect on the meat and the statements that the bark is not adequate is nonsense and if someone wants to foil and have a thick bark, they can remove the foil after the stall. I don't always foil but most of the time I do because there is nothing negative, just saving time.

    .

    Ribs, I loosely foil on the "2" but for less time... I don't prefer the ribs foiled as I believe it changes the texture to more mush like that some will confuse with fall off the bone tender. To elaborate on that, I prefer my ribs cooked high heat as they are more "steak like" in texture, I do however also like them straight up 5- 6 hours no foil on the pit.

    I done a bunch of Ribs on Manday and most of the guys preferred the Pit Ribs 5 hours at 250°, I like the ones grilled over direct heat better.

    How do I cook my Ribs? 3-2-1 why? because my family likes them that way, as well as most folks, the only time I cook ribs no foil is on Manday

    Foiling ribs does change the integrity of the meat, but that's what a lot of folks prefer.

    So it all depends on what you want as the desired outcome.

    It's like saying to someone that likes their meat well done that its not the right way and it has gotta be rare.

    If they like it like a charcoal briquet, cook it to death for them because that's what they want.

    I never, ever add liquid to a Texas crutch, it does nothing at all. I am of the minority on this as well.

    He states that crutching for too long will result in a loss of flavor, I call BS on this unless you are running the temps so high that the meat constricts and forces out the moisture, but not on a 250° cook.

    On the downside, wrapping in foil can seriously damage the bark, the crispy exterior made of dehydrated meat

    This can be avoided by removing the butt or picnic from the foil after the temp starts rising again, this is also a good way to control how thick you want your bark.

    He also says that For ribs. I don't crutch ribs. The quality increase is small.

    Its not a matter of quality increase, it comes down to changing the integrity of the meat. The word "Quality" here is subjective

    This I totally agree with.

    I strongly disagree with the two hours in the crutch. Go much beyond 30 minutes and you risk overcooking the meat and turning it mushy.

    This is why I loosely foil my ribs its sort of a tradeoff, the family likes em and I can tolerate them.

    After the crutch. Some cooks put the meat in an insulated box, a faux cambro, to rest and further soften connective tissues. I think this is important for brisket. Less so for other meats. When you open the package be extremely careful to avoid the hot steamy air that will escape. Then remove the meat and cook at 225°F for about 30 minutes or so to dry the surface and firm up the bark

    I agree and disagree, the idea of foiling and resting after the cook is to reabsorb as much into the meat as possible and it is also important for Picnics and Butts to keep breaking down and reabsorbing the connective tissue, does it have to be done...NO, but the results are worth it especially when you start pulling and see that most of the connective tissue is gone and reabsorbed into the meat.

    I do like his website and there is a boatload of useful information.

    Find what works best for who you cook for and tweak from there.
     
  5. very good! boykjo   very well said
     
  6. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    This is a great response! I'm going to experiment more with the foiling/unfoiling. For ribs, since most times I miss the time to foil ribs, it's been more like 3-1.5-.5. So many knowledgeable and experienced guys swear by foiling and adding juice and flavorings to the foil that I think they know what they're talking about so I've been doing it. But next time I do ribs I'm going to try one rack with the 3-2-1 (or a variation of it) and one not crutched at all. I'm going to try the same thing with briskets.

    My family prefers a wet sauced, steak-like texture to ribs, not the hard barky stuff.

    I think it's an interesting idea that someone posted another page where I started this same thread about foiling meat to help get it past the stall point. I may try that.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2014
  7. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

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    I love the words hoopla, hullabaloo and ballyhoo. To those I will add another of my favorite words: brouhaha.

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  8. I tend to agree  as far as ribs go.  I find myself foiling ribs less and less each year and just doing 3hrs on smoke then 2 or 3 hrs indirect. If I'm doing ribs to freeze for use at a latter date. I'll foil 3-2 let cool then  vac  seal and freeze. They seem to tighten back up when frozen if they were foiled too long.

      To me the only failed rids are the ones  that the  meat will not hold to the bone when picked up or cutting with a knife or when bitten into and ribs that are drowned in store bought BBQ sauce loaded with liquid smoke.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2014
    sqwib likes this.
  9. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    What do you cook your ribs in? Do you grill them and place them off the coals or away from away from the propane burners for cooking by indirect heat?
     
  10. I quit foiling ribs yrs ago. I smoke Babybacks at 350*F for 3 hrs spritzing/mopping after each hr and saucing at 2.5 hrs. Basta.
     
  11. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    [​IMG]
     
  12. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Thin Bark, glaze build up last hour or so, not fall off the bone.


    No foil, built up glaze, thin bark, Steak like texture.



    I have been trying them without foil every so often to see if the family complains... Ha Ha, I'm basically weening them from 3-2-1.

    But as pointed out earlier in this thread by Boykjo, it is the best starting point for most folks but beware, a trimmed rack will cook differently than an untrimmed rack.

    I have also had really thick racks from the same cryovac and they take longer as well.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2014
  13. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I don't like my SLC ribs foiled. I prefer the bark and the bite. My family and non-smoking friends always get foiled ribs. To them FOTB is a perfect rib. Tastes like mush to me.

    I always foil BB's with a 2.5-1.0-.5 to FOTH because I do them for my wife, kids, and friends. I don't care for BB's.

    Butts, chuckies, and briskets I like to take deep into the stall before I wrap them. By 170-180 IT, the bark is set. I wrap it and finish fast with a chamber temp of 300+. That way I still get juices I can use for jus AND a firm bark.
     
  14. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    What you've shown here is exactly the way my family likes ribs.
     
  15. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I prefer to cook SLC ribs but the store where I usually buy them only carries baby backs, telling me SLC ribs weren't that popular. I've seen them at Costco under the Swift Premium brand but the major brands all add saline solution to their pork products so I choose not to buy those if I can avoid it.

    Also, being a lazy guy, I prefer to start and finish the ribs in my smoker.
     
  16. I cook them in the smoker. But when I'm reheating them from frozen, once thawed , I'll put them on the propane grill away from the burners(indirect) till their up to temp.Then I'll put them over the burners just long enough to glaze and tack up. 
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2014
  17. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    That sounds great. For me, I just like to have one thing going at a time. Last year I experimented with cooking baby backs and SL ribs on a my Weber charcoal kettle grill (on a rib rack) and in my MES 30 smoker. All the ribs turned out great but it sure was a lot of work.
     
  18. boykjo

    boykjo Sausage maker Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Since were showing some Q-view ....Well here's a 2-1-1 method running the smoker around 250

     
  19. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    My two cents for what its worth. I prefer my ribs smoked without any foil. Always have always will. With that said I think that beef ribs benefit from the braising phase so I will foil those. I usually have time to kill when smoking so I don't use foil to get me past the stall. Once again just my preference. I think it really comes down to how you like your smoke and using a method that works for you.

    If I had my way all my meals would be cooked like this:

     
    bdskelly likes this.
  20. WELL ARGUED  SQWIB!!  I don't care for the mush " fall off the bone" steamed ribs.  Need some tug and some chew on those ribs.  I actually never foil anything.  I think proper temp control does away with the need to foil.  Just my opinion.  Keep Smokin!

    Danny
     

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