I started smoking about 30 years ago in a pit made out of builders blocks, with a Piggly Wiggly metal sign for a top. We didn't have a temp gauge.
We put the meat on when it felt hot enough... Same for telling when it was done. When it looked done, we cut off a slice to check it... Good Q...
T H E N...
I tried to go fancy about 10 years ago and ruined meat when I tried to cook strictly by temp.
I had forgot my ole Daddys advice: 'It's done when it's done...'
I went back to the basics and the BBQ was again good...
The same advice I see here all the time.
My mistakes were many:
Checking the Q too often
Swabbing the meat with BBQ sauce the whole time it was smoking
and lastly... Tearing apart the bld.block pit
(I'm going to build another... just smaller)
Until then I'm using the UDS. It is easy to maintain steady temps, and I get good Q...
My biggest regret is using a computer since the 80s, but not finding this forum till recently.