While not all pitmasters wrap their meat in the final stages of a cook—in barbecue circles, wrapping in foil is known as the “Texas crutch”—wrapping is an effective way of finishing a long cook without drying out the meat and works for everything from pork shoulder to smoked ribs and beef brisket. Wrapping also captures the meat’s fat and juices, so they can be reabsorbed towards the end of the cooking process, once the meat is taken off the smoker to rest and reach a steady internal temperature. Award-winning Texas barbeque pitmaster Aaron Franklin wraps pork using wide rolls of aluminum foil for fall off tender ribs.
In Aaron’s method, the ribs cooks inside a tight wrap of aluminum foil for the entire second half of the 6 hour cook. This is the second portion of the 3-2-1 method for smoking a rack of ribs, which features an initial cook time in the smoker, followed by a wrap, followed by sauce and rest. Learn Texas barbeque pitmaster Aaron Franklin’s method for wrapping pork spare ribs below.