Skip to Content

Smoking Brisket Without Texas Crutch | 13 Pro Tips

Smoking brisket without Texas crutch

You can smoke a brisket without any kind of wrapping whatsoever.

A common wrapping technique when smoking BBQ of any kind, it’s called the Texas crutch.

It basically is where you encounter the stall for a piece of barbecue.

The stall takes several hours to push through, and is where the internal temperature of a brisket will hover around 165°F during that time.

When you employ the Texas crutch message, it helps to push through that time period  And significantly decreases it.

Not using the Texas crutch in that scenario will have the propensity to prolong your cooking time.

Despite that however, there are some advantages to not wrapping your brisket in foil such as maintaining an excellent park profile.

Let’s discuss this a little further.


What is the Texas Crutch

The Texas crutch is essentially wrapping your brisket during the stall.

When you wrap the brisket in either butcher paper or a piece of foil, then you will be accelerating the internal temperature progression.

This basically just means that the internal temperature won’t be stuck at around 160°F and 175°F for several hours.

So, when you wrap your brisket in one of those two wrapping techniques, you will have a shorter cook time.

Despite this short cook time, there are some sacrifices that you will be making.

Specifically, the bark will become very soggy.

Not only that, but the brisket bark will be somewhat lacking in taste.


Advantages of not using Texas Crutch

Not using the Texas crutch for smoking BBQ has a particular advantage to actually using it.

The main advantage of not using the Texas crash, is that you can still maintain a healthy bark onyour BBQ.

What I mean by this is that any kind of seasoning that you have encompassed all around your brisket, will stay intact and have a chance to obtain more smoke flavor from the wood-burning underneath or to the size of the meat. 

Having a nice crispy pork on your brisket is one of the most amazing things about smoking me in general.

It frankly just melts in your mouth, and it’s something that you will miss out on if you happen to actually employ the Texas crush method to your brisket.


No Wrap Brisket Tips and Techniques

There are a variety of tips and tricks that a pitmaster can employ when choosing to not wrap their brisket.

Before you consider not wrapping, just ask yourself what you want out of your cook.

If you want a nice and crispy bark with an excellent flavor, then do not wrap your brisket.

It’s a simple as that.

Another thing to consider, is how long of a cook you want to have.

Not wrapping a brisket with the Texas crutch can certainly prolong your cook.

That means that if you want to have an extra crispy brisket with an excellent flavor profile, but also have a relatively short cook time, then you will have to crank up the ambient temperature.

This is where you start to hear about a hot and fast cook.

The end product is the same, but it’s some thing that you could start to utilize if you want an excellent and well-rounded type of brisket with a short cook time.


Is it better to not wrap a brisket?

Choosing to not wrap a brisket can be a fantastic choice, especially if you are mainly concerned about the flavor profile of your meat, and the actual crispiness of the bark.

Not wrapping a brisket can definitely prolong your cook, but always ensures that it will melt in your mouth because of the excellent bark that will begin to form.


Disadvantages of not using Texas Crutch 

A disadvantage of not using the Texas crutch, Or any other type of wrapping technique, can be that the length of cooking time will be substantially longer than otherwise noted.

For some people, this can be a tricky balance that they will have to consider.

Not only that, when the brisket reaches the stall point, or when the internal temperature is hovering around 165°F and 175°F, that period of time will be substantially longer than if you were to choose to wrap the brisket using the Texas crutch method.

As an example, let’s say you had a 12 pound brisket that was reaching the stall at around 160°F.

Not using the Texas crutch in this scenario would entail several hours worth of cook time just pushing the internal temperature all the way through 175°F.

If on the contrary, you happen to use the Texas crush, then that cook time of several hours will be diminished all the way to one hour or less.

As with anything in the barbecue realm, these are purely estimations, but should be guiding factors when you are deciding the advantages and disadvantages of the Texas crutch style of wrapping a brisket.


Do you need to Texas Crutch a brisket?

You definitely do not need to wrap a brisket in foil or a butcher paper.

This is commonly known as the Texas crutch, where you decide to wrap the brisket once it hits the stall.

And even leaving the wrapping on until the entire piece of meat is finished cooking through.

With anything and barbecue, it is entirely up to the pitmaster and what they want out of the cook itself.

If they want a short cook time at the sacrifice of the flavor profile and park, then consider using the text to crash for your brisket.

If however, the length of time isn’t as much of a concern as your concern is about the flavor and the bark profile, then consider not wrapping your brisket at all until you are ready to pull it off the smoker and begin resting it.


Can you smoke brisket without wrapping?

Smoking a brisket without wrapping it at all, can produce amazing results.

It is personally one of my favorite styles of cook, and I also even try to do a hot and fast style of cook coupled with not wrapping the barbecue. 

This allows me to get an excellent tasting brisket with an even better tasting bark, while also reaping the benefits of a short cook time.

If I were to start wrapping the brisket throughout the entirety of the cook, I would be sacrificing the bark, meaning it would be very soggy and unflavorful.


Do I need to spray my brisket while smoking?

When you are smoking a brisket and decide not to use the Texas crutch, a great way to potentially keep the meat moist on the exterior, is to begin spritzing it with either apple juice, or apple cider vinegar.

My favorite spritz juice of choice is definitely apple cider vinegar.

I’m not sure as to whether or not this does anything to the meat, but it sure does seem to make the meat taste more flavorful in terms of in parting the apple cider vinegar flavor onto the bark. 

This brings me to my next point.

When you don’t wrap the brisket, you will have the propensity to obtain a lot more flavor.

That means both with any kind of smoke that may be omitted from the firebox and the spritz that you administer to the brisket itself. 

If you were to actually have a piece of foil or butcher paper over the meat, the flavor from the smoke or the spritz will not be as strong as if you were to unwrap the brisket throughout the cook.


Is the Texas Crutch bad?

The Texas Crutch is not bad.

You get great tasting barbecue, that allows you to have the meat absorb all residual flavor profiles from the seasoning itself, the smoke from the fire box, and any other type of seasoning or spritz you happen to administer throughout the cook. 

Once more, if you were to wrap the brisket during the entire course of the cook, you will be sacrificing not only the bark, but any smoke flavor and spritzing flavors that you would otherwise be putting onto it.


No wrap brisket

No wrapped brisket it’s just another term for not wrapping a brisket with the Texas Crutch.

It in tails not wrapping the brisket throughout the entire ready of the stall.

Of your barbecue, and even up to win the brisket would happen to be done.

In other words, a no wrap brisket is simply that.

You just don’t wrap the brisket at all through either the stall or when the brisket is done at around 200°F internal.


What happens if you don’t wrap brisket?

Several things will happen if you choose to not wrap a brisket

When you don’t wrap a brisket, the bark will start to form a lot better than if you were to actually wrap it.

Not only that, more flavor will be imparted onto the meat more so than it would if a piece of foil or butcher paper were wrapping the entire thing.


Making the brisket bark thicker

To make the brisket bark thicker, just don’t wrap the meat.

If you happen to wrap it and are aiming for a thicker brisket, you will not get that big of a bark. 

Also, before you even place to meet onto the smoker, consider pouring a ton of seasoning and rub all throughout the meat.

This will help ensure that you were doing everything you can to possibly pack as much flavor and seasoning onto the meat. This will directly translate into a thicker bark.