With all due and earn respect Arlin you are not getting the finer points and clarifications. However, I appreciate you making me further qualifying my topic here. Thanks!
1. As far as "Pit temp," in nearly every instance I have made it clear we are talking about the Therm as it applies to INTERNAL temperature
of your meat as an indicator of doneness. As I continued I explained (as others made me aware) that I am talking about Beef and Pork and NOT Chicken. To be specific the stubborn meats. At times even Ribs. On ribs the Clock tends to do them in more. However, in regards to chicken in some cases, it can be the appearance of the skin or the looseness of the joints that indicate the zenith of doneness. The mention of tritip is a good point but grilling is not really something I am getting at here.
2. With our long resting periods, too much reliance on the clock beyond the general is also something that claims many a chunk of meat. Sure, knowing it takes generally 8 hours to cook such and such - having you guests there at precisely 8 hours after you throw the meat down is simply asking for trouble. Thus, BECAUSE we can rest our meats and that generally does positive things for whatever we are cooking (notice I have not raised up Chicken as It is a different animal) we can in fact add 5 hours to the 8 hours to equal 13 if we want. In this way... we could literally use more general scales of time like "dark 30" instead of precise terms like "pull at 6:30." I gave someone right now that although he knew that the ribs needed to have wept (he was using the weeping method), have a bend and be able to be easily piercable, he STILL removed them from the grill because of some arbitrary time limit - which incidentally probably would have worked perfectly in an oven.
3. And finally, if the novice Quer is of concern (which is implied by your use of "Mastered the art" there are scores of people that come in here as novices that know how to take internals, know how to time something and make long strides to be scientific about their measurements that simply screw the pooch anyway.
Also, remember I excluded you freaks of nature that have no problem using a probe as a guide anyway - the problem is those that elevate the clock and the term to God Status.
One last thing - many of you may argue that since you use the therm as a guide and use the clock as a guide to when it SHOULD be ready but I can guarantee those masters out there are NOT going pull a brisket at precisely 12:00 noon when its in a stall at 170. Nor are you going to pull a rack of ribs for slicing just because it was 3 hours on the pit,one in the foil and one uncovered yet not done. Unless of course you made a mistake estimating done time on a HUGE time period and you have to turn SOMETHING in. So you people do NOT count and are NOT figured into the equation of failures.
Now you may do something else though - which even I have done. You notice the damn briskets are in the stall too long so you open a damper or two pr shift it to a hot spot and Bogart the meat at 300 degrees for a bit to push it out of its lull then back it down again so you can align your estimated done time to when ever its suppose to be done. Now your probe is no magical tool, Thirdeye and I can do the same thing with our non-therm probes I bet - heck, I can even HEAR what my meat is doing without opening the pit. All these examples are not the same thing as IGNORING all your other senses EXCEPT the clock and the Temperature and STILL pulling before its done or ignoring the fact an occasional brisket is ready at 178-185 and still waiting for your probe to scream 195.
This ultimately this is the failure we speak of... and I guarantee you... guarantee you, on the old trails from Texas to Kansas, at the political rallies in the deep south in the early part of 20th Century, they made great Que without any precise concept of time beyond what the sun was generally doing and the look and feel of the meat. No timers, no wrist watches, no thermoprobes...just their own good senses.
Originally Posted by Arlin_MacRae
I agree, but not completely.
I think a temp probe and a clock are every bit as important as your pit's temp gauge - at least initially. If you're ever going to cook for other people you need to know what temperature to set your pit to, and how long it takes to cook a brisket at that temperature. Otherwise, how will you know when to start cooking so the finished product is done on time? Now, after you've mastered the art, pitch 'em.