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  1. Angus Beef Brisket & Smash Taters I needed to prepare a special family meal on Saturday. So... this cook was a Restaurant Depot 16 pound Angus Beef Brisket packer. So tuck in your bibs and let's get to it. I bought the larger size packer instead of the 12-13 pounders as it was very limber on the flex test - and only $3.29 per pound. And we like leftovers... To allow for best cooking, I divided this large packer into two portions such that each piece was a more uniform thickness. Dividing also allowed me to use the expansion rack in Big Joe to stack the meat slabs. Nice looking meat. Fat trim was only about two pounds of which the best fat went into the freezer for use in the future when I am making sausage and need some extra beef fat. Simply seasoned overnight in fridge with Montreal Steak as a rub. Since I had to hit a deadline for an early evening meal, I wanted to start about 7 am and cook this brisket at roughly 300 degrees, but Joe stabilized nicely at 325 so I just went with that. Smoke element was hickory and pecan for about 3 hour’s duration -until the foil step. Because of the higher temps I foiled the meats at each portions respective stall point (with ¼ cup low sodium beef broth addition) and left the meat foiled until done. Surprisingly, this cook went very fast – even faster than I anticipated - which was not an issue as the foiled meat was towel wrapped and placed in a cooler as a faux Cambro to hold the meat until meal time. The thinner flat was done in 5 hours and the point in 6. Both portions tested probe tender right at 203-205 degrees. Stall period because of foiling and higher heat was very short. Also, I think cook went faster because this particular brisket seemed very tender at the onset. The result was a great brisket, excellent flavor with just the right tender texture and a good “pull”. Very moist and juicy. Because of the foil and the rest time the bark was soft but on a brisket we prefer that over hard bark and dry meat. Family said it was the best brisket so far. Since Joe was at 325, I let him coast along in a holding pattern and later bumped the temps up to 425- 450 still indirect with another small piece of pecan wood in order to roast the smash taters for about 25 minutes. The red new potatoes after boiling and draining were “smashed”. They were topped with fine chopped fresh garlic further pureed with a fork using the tines and a bit of salt as a grinding agent. The garlic stirred in with some olive oil was painted on the potatoes and a top coat of grated Parmesan cheese and a fresh grind black pepper rounded out the preparation. Additional sides were a nice chopped mixed salad contributed by Mrs Smokehowze. Fresh sliced cucumbers were marinated in the juice from my homemade fermented jalapeno peppers for added meal zing. Finally, add some rosemary artisan bread from Costco bakery and we have a gourmet 'meat and taters' dinner feast! Hope you enjoyed viewing this meal. With the right approach, cooking brisket at 325 degrees can give the same excellent results in a much shorter period of time. Try it next time you need to short cut the cooking session.
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