Originally Posted by LVBBQMan
Would you try these types of "ready tests" as a newbie like I am? I fear that until you have some experience in recognizing what the right feel is like I won't recognize it. If you cook towards a temperature and then perform these tests you can draw a correlation. Also, if you are not monitoring meat temperature how do you know if you are close enough to test. It would seem that it violates the "if your lookin' you aren't cookin'" theory particularly if you have no measure to indicate that you may be close. Or do you just do it based on a time and temperature correlation?
If you are new to this sort of cooking then yes by all means use a gauge for internal meat and external oven temps.
I can only speak for myself but I have tons of expensive temp gauges sitting on my shelve and have not been inclined to use any for a couple years now. I do however have a regular gauge mounted on my uds, gasser and Spicewine that I pay attention to and I do check brisket and butts for internal at an estimated time of say an hour before I think they should be done, if cooking chicken individual sections I will check about half hour before I think they are done, ribs its the bend test. As I said before I use the one and a half hour rule for the larger meats but thats just a guide line, for a general external oven temp of about 250. It must be said that sometimes you get a hunk of meat that is just going to change all the rules and take a lot longer or much shorter time line. The gauge on my drum is to get a base line temp and to warn me if my fire is going to far north or to far south and make adjustments if needed.
Since I seldom foil I don't worry or check to see if the 160 internal temp has been reached or been exceeded. Again have fun with it and don't sweat the small stuff, cook early and cook often.