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Unread 03-31-2013, 05:04 AM   #1
Skidder
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Default Anyone not worry about temps.

Like the title says does anyone here not worry about temps anymore like I do? I used to freak when my thermometer jumped 3 degrees now I could care less if the smoker settles in at 225 or 275. I just figure it will cook and it will be good. I don't even bother with meat temps anymore cause with the help here over the years I can now tell when the meat is done without thermometers. Only time I use one now is to get perfect med. rare lamb. Shoulders pull the bone tender test,brisket butter soft test,ribs bend test. Chicken I usually just look at the outside color. Just wondering who has lightened up like I have.
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Unread 03-31-2013, 05:15 AM   #2
beercuer
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I relate to you, Skidder. The only times I am dependent on one are when I either do beef jerky or for a really important cook for guests. I don't want to be too complacent on those occasions.
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Unread 03-31-2013, 05:28 AM   #3
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I'm in the same boat. I used to take temps for everything...brisket, chicken, I even did ribs for a bit...
Now, the only things I check temp on are things like prime rib....expensive cuts that will turn into dog food if you just do them by feel....
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Unread 03-31-2013, 05:34 AM   #4
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I used to be really obsessed with the stuff, but I think it's mostly due to my baking experience. The reality is it's nothing like baking. I do care if it sits at 225º in the end because it means a longer cook time. Once it gets to 250-300º I really don't give two craps. I still temp chicken though, but that's mostly for my wife's peace of mind.
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Unread 03-31-2013, 05:53 AM   #5
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I think I'm pretty much with you, but that is after a lot of watching the weather, pit temp and meat IT, learning how to run my rig, what makes a difference and what doesn't. Nowadays, I just shoot for a desired pit temp and if I'm +/-25* I'm happy. I suspect if I tried something new or got a new pit, I would go back to watching temps until I thought I had it dialed in.
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Unread 03-31-2013, 06:05 AM   #6
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^ +1 on what the others say.... Unless you are trying to reach a specific level of being done on a large cut (Rare, Medium) the thermometer is a guide, much like a mile marker on a highway.

I think most people only use the thermometer as a guide, and not as being an exact requirement to maintain.

Variables in fuel, meat, weather, and the cooker will all change things every time we cook. Up and down temperature spikes always occur, even with the use of a pit controller.
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Unread 03-31-2013, 06:27 AM   #7
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Yep i am with you all the way i do not wig out on temps, I know people that use to and were miserable ie they had taken all the joy out of cooking. The pits i build run good temps but I myself do not wig out at all if I am 15 or 20 degrees different across my own cooker. Is that not part of knowing how to cook. I have no digital thermoters and do not want any, although my wife did buy me a digital meat thermoter for Christmas. In my opinion a good pitmaster knows when his meat is ready
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Unread 03-31-2013, 06:30 AM   #8
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I agree when cooking big cuts and ribs, temp is what it is. Only time I watch it like a hawk is when making Sausage. Gotta keep the fat between the casings for that.
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Unread 03-31-2013, 06:33 AM   #9
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Put me down for that!
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Unread 03-31-2013, 07:25 AM   #10
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I'm in that boat. So long as the meat doesn't go sizzle crazy when I put it on the grate, I don't worry too much about temps. At competition, I worry a little but its mostly just so I know what temps everything cooked at. I don't go ape chit if a cooker rocks 250 or 325 or somewhere in between.
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Unread 03-31-2013, 07:30 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingbassman5 View Post
I'm in that boat. So long as the meat doesn't go sizzle crazy when I put it on the grate, I don't worry too much about temps. At competition, I worry a little but its mostly just so I know what temps everything cooked at. I don't go ape chit if a cooker rocks 250 or 325 or somewhere in between.
I agree I do use thermometers at comps. only because I usually practice my comp. cooks with one and it gives me a better idea (usually) when things are gonna be ready. I say usually because every cut of meat is different just like every time you cook could be different. I'm glad there's more like me out there.
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Unread 03-31-2013, 07:30 AM   #12
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Right with you my friend. My pit like to cruise between 250F - 275F so I really don't obsess anymore. Only concern for me is if temp drops below 225F or goes over 300F - if I'm not intentionally try to cook that hot.
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Unread 03-31-2013, 07:38 AM   #13
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I will say that with pork on a overnight I like the pit to cruise at 230. Beef is always a little hotter.
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Unread 03-31-2013, 07:45 AM   #14
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It's one thing to be confident serving to your friends and family. Quite another when your serving public or contests. No one wants red ,bloody chicken or too burnt to eat. So there is still good reasons to temp. Just getting better at something shouldn't swell a brain that much. It's better and more reassuring to me that my food is consistant,not variable. Steve.
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Unread 03-31-2013, 08:03 AM   #15
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In my short time smoking (since I found this place) i've gone from a general obsession re: temps to a general confidence that using those doneness indicators the OP mentions is all that's necessary.

When I fire up the WSM, it usually finds somewhere between 250-300. Wherever it lands, that's what I go with.

I have 2 cheap wireless probes that I use less and less. I've scrapped the plan to add probe grommets to my stickburner and WSM.

I think back on all the great Q made w/ a freaking hole in the ground filled w/ embers and sometimes think how ridiculous it is (for me) to feel the need to use even a plain ol dial therm. (ymmv)

Reading so many posts here stating "it's done when it's done" has chilled me out re: being anal about temps/probes/times.
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