Texas Crutch Smoked Brisket

Some folks aren’t fans of the ‘Texas crutch’ method of cooking brisket. Some folks do the crutch with butcher paper. Some crutch with foil. This here is how I smoke my brisket using the Texas crutch, packed with flavor, tender and juicy. I slice it thin then pile it on buns for sandwiches or just eat it right off the plate. And yes, a good amount of it disappears while I’m slicing it.
Texas Crutch Smoked BrisketI do not sauce my brisket before slicing it, but you can if you like. Wait until it’s almost done to sauce it and don’t use too much sauce. You don’t want to hide the fantastic brisket flavor. The rub really adds fantastic flavor to the meat and you don’t want to miss out on that! You can also use my coffee rub for beef, which adds a totally different flavor profile to your brisket.

On the off-chance I have leftover smoked brisket, it often ends up in chili.

Texas Crutch Smoked Brisket

Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 12 hours
Cook Time 8 hours
Total Time 20 hours



  • 1 4-5 pound brisket flat

For the rub

  • 2 tablespoons beef base
  • 2 tablespoons garlic salt
  • 2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chile powder
  • 1 tablespoon Turbinado sugar
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika

Texas Crutch sauce

  • 2 tablespoons Turbinado sugar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped shallots
  • 2 tablespoons apple juice


  • Optional: Cut a small piece off a corner of the brisket perpendicular to the meat grain. This will make it easier to find and cut against the grain after the brisket is done.
  • Combine the rub ingredients and rub all over the brisket.
  • Transfer to a resealable container or wrap in foil and refrigerate overnight.
  • Fire up your smoker for cooking at 225 F. Use whatever wood you prefer. I wanted a little stronger smoke flavor than I usually opt for so I used Jack Daniel's whiskey barrel chunks.
  • Transfer the brisket to the smoker and cook until the internal temperature (as measured in several spots) reaches 170 F.
  • Remove the brisket and place it onto a large piece of foil.
  • Combine the crutch sauce ingredients and pour over the brisket.
  • Seal the brisket tightly in the foil and return to the smoker until the temperature reaches 195 F.
  • Remove the brisket from the foil and return to the smoker (and brush with BBQ sauce, if desired) until the temperature reaches 200-205 F.
  • Remove from the smoker and let rest 30 minutes before slicing against the grain.