Many of the (older) books that try to provide technique help fail IMHO. Way back in "the day" before there was a WWW you either learned from a pit master or you read a book. Most of the older books (I'll not mention names, because some of them are very highly rated) stress low and slow, and I mean 220 or under if you can. I dont know why it didnt hit me that if good pulled pork need to get to 195-208+-, how hard is it going to be to get that meat there when cooking at 215 degrees? Let me tell you, it's almost impossible. They are misleading, at best. Also, many fail miserably when talking about temps because most of us assume we're talking about the temperature read on the external mounted thermometer. I dont know of any that actually stress the temperature is and always should be measured on the cooking surface. I found out that as a result some of my early smoking was actually trying to smoke butts at 185 degrees. That IS impossible to get the meat to 205.
Welcome to BBQ Brethren.
Hance - Lake Dogs Cooking Team - MiM/MBN/GBA CBJ and comp cook
Lake Sinclair, GA (strategically about an hour from darn near anywhere)
Started competing in chili cookoffs back in the 1990's and have competed in more than I care to count. I became a CBJ in MiM in 2005, then MBN and in GBA in 2010. I've probably judged 130+- BBQ comps (sanctioned and unsanctioned) over this time. That said, I really enjoy competing more than I enjoy judging, and hope to get back to doing 4 or 5 a year in the near future.