Page 32 - JULY 2021 Digital Issue
P. 32

 At that point, you
can paint on sauce, place the slab on a hot grill to caramelize the sugars, and serve.
Readers ask if they
can put more than
one slab in a package,
but the effect will not
be the same. You are
essentially making a
single thicker piece of
meat and that will take longer to reach temp. Remember, thickness determines cooking time more than anything else. So don’t stack.
Some cooks put the cooked 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 ribs and other meats.
How I crutch brisket
Although crutching ribs is optional, for brisket it is practi- cally required. Crutch brisket when the stall starts or when it hits about 150°F or 160°F and has a dark ruddy color, and leave it in foil until the internal temp hits 203°F. No peek- ing. The moment you open the foil, the meat will start cooling rapidly. It could go from 203°F to 170°F in 20 min- utes even though the cooker is at 225°F. Don’t let this bother you. The dirty work of melting fat and collagen has already been done. While it is still in the wrapper, put it in a beer cooler without ice to stay warm for at least two hours or about 150°F. At this point you can slice and serve or if you wish, remove the wqrapper and roll it around on a hot grill for a few minutes to firm the bark.
Pork butt
I normally don’t crutch pork butt. I want max bark and there is so much fat and connective tissue in there it will be tender and juicy without the crutch.
Butcher paper
In Texas, where many of the best BBQ joints began life as butcher shops, pitmasters often wrap the meat in
pink butcher paper rather than foil. The people who make Reynold’s foil have recently come out with rolls of the stuff just for BBQ lovers. Butcher paper works similarly to foil, capturing moisture and preventing evaporative cooling. But there is a difference. The paper can saturate with fat and water on the bottom and the meat cooks a bit more slowly in paper than in foil.
Not any old butcher paper will do. Some are impregnated with melted wax or silicone. If you are tempted to try it, make sure you use plain unadulterated food grade butcher paper like the one from Reynolds. If you want to be authen-
tic, you can order the very same pink stuff they use at Franklin, Kreuz and other bastions of que in Texas from ABCO.
Now you've got a crutch. Ribs, rub, foil,'re all ready for a July 4th barbecue. No need for fireworks with these explosive foods!
Meathead is the barbecue whisperer who founded Amazin-, by far the world's most popular outdoor cook- ing website. He is a BBQ Hall of Famer and the author of "Meathead, The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling," a New York Times Best Seller that was also named one of the
"100 Best Cookbooks of All Time" by Southern Living mag- azine. This article was excerpted and modified from his book and website. For 3,000+ free pages of great barbecue and grilling info, visit and take a free trial in the Pitmaster Club. - 32
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