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Quarantine Brisket

Well - the world is on lockdown - it’s COVID-19 time. We don’t have any toilet paper at the store, but there’s plenty of meat. Don’t ask me why there’s such a disparity - I guess folks are stocking up on other things…

The shelves at Broulim's - a few bags of all purpose flour remain, and a ton of large 25 lb bags remain on the bottom shelf.

Not much left…

Some cactus flat pieces in the produce section at Broulim's.

Broulim’s does have cactus in the produce section though - I don’t think I’ve ever seen that before.

The smoker is a great means for preserving food. That’s originally what smoking was invented for… We’ve still got some corned beef in the fridge from St. Pattie’s Day, and that uses the other major meat preservation method humans have been using for centuries. Of course - I keep all this smoked stuff in the freezer - the more modern technique. Let’s just say we’re covered.

I can’t find any bread flour or whole wheat flour at the store. I’ve got one loaf of sourdough in the oven now, but that uses almost the last of the bread flour. Today I found 25 lb sacks of bread flour at Sam’s, and 25 lb sacks of all purpose flour at both Sam’s and Broulim’s. We’re not here long enough to use up a 25 lb sack. Surprisingly, I can find regular sized sacks of all purpose flour at Broulim’s, so next sourdough may have to use all purpose - we’ll see how that goes.

Anyway - meat is plentiful. I’m smoking some brisket and beef jerky today. I got a 14.25 lb brisket for $2.88 per lb - that’s a great price. Go Sam’s! I’ll trim it, put on 4 Tbsp salt, 4 Tbsp pepper, and 2 Tbsp garlic powder on it, then smoke it at 225℉ until it hits 203℉.

Brisket, still in the vacuum pack.

Brisket in the raw

Brisket on a cutting board, sliced in half and covered in salt, pepper, and garlic powder.

Brisket, trimmed and seasoned.

With the jerky, I got a 3 pounder. I used mostly the original recipe, but left out cayenne for Sarah (normally it’s a little spicy for her).

  • 1 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce (all we had)
  • 1 tbsp paprika (not smoked, regular)
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder

I’ll marinade it until the brisket’s done then smoke at 175℉ for 4 or 5 hours.

23 March, 1230: Brisket is on the smoker!

1300: Jerky is in the marinade.

24 March, 0445: Brisket’s out! Flat is 204℉, point was 202℉.

0800: Sliced it all up - it’s delicious.

25 March, 1000: Jerky is on the smoker! I forgot to start it yesterday until it was too late, so it got an extra day of marinade.

1400: I generally just cook the jerky by time. After 4 hours it’s a safe bet that everything is up to temperature, and most pieces are dry enough. That proved true again today, and I took most of the meat off at this time. I set the smoker at 225℉ to dry out some of the fattier pieces more quickly.

1500: I took the fattier pieces off at this time.

A piece of jerky

Sarah again called this the best jerky I’ve made 🤣.