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Greetings from MA

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    Greetings from MA

    This is my initial post. I am fairly new to smoking meat, and really enjoying learning all the different techniques out there. I live in Massachusett near Leominster. I have a RecTeq 590 Stampede pellet smoker that my wonderful wife got for me in May of 2019. Since then I have been slightly obsessed with learning to produce tasty smoked meats. I have done ribs (both beef and pork), Boston butts, pork belly, chicken wings, brisket, many steaks, tenderloins (both pork and beef), chickens and turkey last year for Thanksgiving.

    My favorite cook so far was for a party we had back in May of this year. I did a brisket that I separated the point (made burnt ends) and flat prior to smoking them, a Boston butt, chicken breasts, chicken wings, smoked mac-n-cheese, smoked beans, corn on the cob, and a few portabella mushroom caps. Timing of everything was a challenge but that is part of what made it so fun.

    I am still learning how to be patient when it comes to the end of each cook. Brisket has been my biggest challenge to get consistently right. I recently learned how the quality of meat can drastically improve the finished product and allow for some mistakes. My favorite butcher is about 30 minutes away in Lowell, MA. It is called Alpine Butcher. Going there instead of the local grocery store has been a huge improvement in my finished products. The first few briskets I have done were cheap ones from Walmart. The first one came out great, but the next two were absolute fails. The bottom of the flat was like leather on one, and so I put the point towards the hot side for the next one. That one ruined the point. I recently started wrapping in butcher paper and with going to Alpine instead of Walmart for brisket has helped. The last few briskets have been much better. I still need to improve. When the brisket shreds does that mean it is over down, or just a crappy knife?

    I am excited to dive into this site more and learn everything I can from others.

    Welcome from Western Massachustts. You might want to try Market Basket in Athol. It's about 40 minute drive for me but worth it IMO.


    • Tmorrison80
      Tmorrison80 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hi RichieB. I've been to Market Basket in Hudson and Leominster. Is it different in Athol? The one in Hudson has the butch counter, but they have not had brisket since March that I know of.

    • RichieB
      RichieB commented
      Editing a comment
      I can't speak for the 2 you mentioned. They do have a butcher in Athol and you can get meats cut your way. I have not been there since the virus started back in March. Not sure what their protocols are. Only food stores I've been to are Whole Foods and Trader Joes. W.F. has a nice selection and butcher too. They have dry aged meats . All of there meat are a bit pricey and the D.A. is even more pricey.
      PS: When I first moved to Mass in 73' I lived in Leominster for about 3 years.

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