Hey Bill, I'm with you. Go for the thermometer -- no, you don't have to use one but it sure takes the guess work out of getting the pork (and brisket) to where you want it.
Yeah, you can pull the pork immediately but I find that using the cooler (and foil) let's me plan my day better. If the meat's ready early it just goes into the cooler and gets pulled when I take the time. I usually plan on having the meat up to 195 or so an hour or two before meal time -- that way if it runs late I'm still on time.
Hey, whatever works for you. But, with my thermometers I haven't screwed up pulled pork or brisket in a long time. Time and temp RULE! Low and slow is the game plan.
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