Originally Posted by Lake Dogs
There are merits to the different ways. Different ways/methods, different cooking temperatures [measured on the cooking surface; NOT the external mounted thermometer], all yield slightly different results and hugely different times.
I do BB's, cooking surface temp is 260+-, 1.5 on smoke, 2.5+- in foil, and I then apply heated sauce ever-so-lightly on it and serve; no 3rd out-of-foil cook. It works for me, you're mileage may vary. I also soak them overnight after pulling the membranes in a water, apple juice, worchestershire, and ice mixture before putting on the rub and cooking them. BB's done like this, on average, the meat will pull cleanly from the bone with a slight resistance. It's an MiM/MBN/GBA standard (for what it's worth). KCBS would be more of a bite-through rib, and for that rib I'd do a 1.5 on smoke and probably a 1.75-2.0 in foil. For just falling apart, try 1.5 smoke and 2.75-3.0 in foil. The amount of time on smoke (before foiling) has more to do with the type of wood you're smoking with, the amount of smoke your smoker imparts to the meat, and the amount of smoke you desire in the taste of your ribs...
Brisket, I trim the fat cap enough to get the really hard fat off but not remove it, inject it lightly with a thinned solution from Butchers (which was made the day before), apply the rub just before putting on the smoker; smoke for 4 or 5 hours, then foil for the remainder of time; also cooked in that 260 range. Takes roughly 1 hour per pound.
Not that you should do exactly as I do and have done. There are LOTS of ways to get there. However, dont use one persons temperature range and expect to get them done in another persons time frame. Also, when talking temperature, let me stress again that we're talking cooking SURFACE temperature, measured on the surface itself. Most external mounted thermometers, depending on where they're located and how hot a fire you have going, are off, high or low, some by 50 degrees or MORE. I have one offset that consistently measures the temperature 40 degrees HIGHER than the surface, another offset (different design and placement of the thermometer) measures the temperature 30 degrees LOWER than the surface temperature.
I havent seen where anyone above has talked about their first cook on a new smoker. Some go very well, others are a disaster, with most being somewhere in between, most not being nearly as good as they'd hoped. Know that it's a learning process; dont expect to win the superbowl the first time you play football. Same with BBQ... What I'm suggesting is have a plan B at hand. It's very possible that you may want to call Domino's... I hope not; I hope it works out great. However, in looking at the questions that you're asking above, it seems to me that you're at the very beginning of this journey. Expect that you'll have failures along the way. It's all part of the learning.
Good luck; I hope your team wins.