You are absolutely right. I use these things exclusively to cook brisket and everyone has already seen my weep em and read ribs video.
Sound - like a bag of microwave popcorn (and also the design of either my self made 1000 pound meat mama and the 6600 lbs Brazos which as a diverter plate) I know when things begin to weep. briskets too.... retain a lot of their moisture and FAT throughout about 95 % of the cook.... then, after the stall they begin to weep... a little at first, then like Popcorn in a microwave - a lot... most of it of course fat... hauling away that collagen. When it slows down I usually lately tamp down the furnace making them draw in just before I pull them. I can even listen in the brazos tell from sound which ones start weeping first.... the front and back start weeping first.
Smell - I use a lot of pepper and no foil. Thus the pepper I use becomes more toned down as the brisket nears that done stage (due to the heat and meat juices carrying away the heat of the pepper) yet leaving behind that earthy mild pepper smell. This has to go somewhere... and you do not get this as much on a low and slow cook and DEF NOT if foiled.
I live near a BBQ joint I am slowly trying to influence. I told the guy he needed to ramp up his temp at least to 250 in his oyler. At forst of course he thought I was full of ****. One day I stopped in and looked him in the eye and said "I can tell you did two things" One you saw my video and added that ending salt and pepper rub just before you put them on.. second, I know you ramped up the temps.
He goes how did you know - i said cuz the whole town smells different. I can smell the smell of the meat (WITH your smoke) that you cannot ever get that smell at 220 or 230. Next is... you are about to pull the briskets off as they are weeping right now... the pepper smell is in the air.... which means its coming out of the rub. He was amazed. still has not converted and still will not wrap his briskets - so as a result - he has about 20-30 percent dried out brisket that he thinks his steam oven will revive.
sight - sometimes there is no need to poke when color will do. I know a guy whose probe of a long broom handle with a meat hook on the end. He uses the blunt end to thumb the briskets. When the points get "so - so" then he knows they are ready to pull and hold--- thus tenderize to his liking.
feel - I open the pit and am ready to pull some briskets or shift them to the hot zone to finish them off. Once all these inputs above are in my brain, just placing my hands on the briskets key me in like some kind of brisket empath. Of course i do 25 or more at a time. They either get tossed front or back or pulled and rested. I am getting now to where I do not even probe as much.
Originally Posted by boogiesnap
from how many sources can the new bbq cook get the following info:
cook your pork/brisket at 225 until internal temperature reads 195-205.
this instruction is beaten on so many drums its defeaning.
the best brisket, by far and away(and as some sort of coroboration, we had a couple over to eat, and they did a 2 week tour in the south on a BBQ joint quest, and did remark, this was among the best)i had ever had or made(have yet to even come close to replicating, sadly), i pulled at 168. at the time i KNEW it wasn't done, but it was soft to the probe, and i needed the space on the cooker for my next meats cuz i was practicing the first time for comps. so i thought, just push through, and we'll see...
just lucky with that particular brisket and that particular cook, but...
now my issue has progressed a little further as my experience base grows.
i can't help but look at the temps when i probe BTW.
briskets since the one above; they ain't butter soft at 168, and when they are butter soft, usually closer to 185/90, they've been kinda dry.
i'm cooking hot and fast(@325-350)so i am watching the clock for the first hour or two, and i am using an IT at that point to wrap just coming out of the stall, but beyond that, it is just coincidental that the stick i poke it with also tells me what temp its at. its done when its done, but i'm getting them overdone.
i'm working on this skill: smell.
i think you can smell when the meat is coming out of the stall, and then again right when it begins or ends(not sure which yet cuz i haven't done enough, but depending on which one it is that i am smelling can determine done or if you don't watch it CLOSELY overdone)its collagen breakdown and is either the precise time EXACTLY to take it off or the precise time EXACTLY to start giving it some pokes and serious attention.
this is a work in progress for me at its infancy, but i think it's possible.
anyway, i learned, by accident, IT's can't be relied upon. the clock is one of the pillars of life and cannot be avoided or ignored, other than, in reference to BBQ:
"no, it ain't done yet" , "wow, right when i wanted it", or "holy cow, done already"????