This week’s Texas Barbecue class was about briskets with the focal point of comparing wrapped versus non-wrapped briskets. Now if there is anything that can start an argument, it is whether it is acceptable to wrap briskets during the cooking process. By wrapping, we are referring to wrapping with aluminum foil, a process that has been termed, “Texas Crutch,” as a reference to using foil to help the cooking process.
We cooked four briskets on an offset trailer pit beginning at around 11 PM on Thursday night. The seasoning and smoke was the simple Central Texas combination of “salt, pepper, oak.” Two of the brisket temperatures were monitored with an iGrill connected through Bluetooth to an iPad. On Friday afternoon, when the brisket temperatures approached 160°F, two the of the briskets were wrapped in aluminum foil and the other two were not wrapped. As would be expected, the wrapped briskets reached the internal temperature of 190°F slightly quicker than the unwrapped briskets. When the unwrapped briskets were ready, they were removed from the pit and were wrapped in peach paper. All briskets were placed in an insulated cooler to rest for about an hour before class.
The briskets looked good and sliced very well. We fed both the wrapped and unwrapped briskets to the class, and when we asked the students which they liked, more of them preferred the wrapped briskets than the unwrapped briskets. The students who preferred the wrapped briskets liked the tenderness of them; the students who preferred the unwrapped ones liked the flavor of them. In either case, the students liked both briskets and did a great job of eating both of them.
Robb Walsh also guest lectured this week about the history of Texas Barbecue and the development of briskets as the beef of choice for Texas Barbecue restaurants. The students received an autographed copy of “Legends of Texas Barbecue” by Walsh as the official text book for the course, Texas Barbecue.