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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 05-09-2010, 09:53 AM   #31
barbefunkoramaque
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I think Dc nails it. Many of you defended the use of a IT temp probe and nearly all agreed that in the beef and pork realms of bbq the temp probe has its place but in no case an end all to the art. This is primarily my problem. No one, defended the clock really.

So, in true parliamentary form we must align the resolution to be more precise.

It now should read:

The Temp Probe has caused an over reliance in the false finality of internal temps as a judging medium for the "doneness" if many given smoked meats in the beef and pork categories. The Clock holds a close second in its ability to undermine a otherwise tender and moist product.

Now a moment about why I come to y'all with this. As many of you know I run a little web channel. I must get maybe about 700 emails from it a year, mostly questions that look pretty similar to what we get here. In gauging blame for most of the problems people have I have noted that nearly 80 percent comes from what happens to the meat when its on the pit. And 60% of that (not 60% comes from the total) comes from the IT Temp probe, the clock, or manual basting techniques. It amazes me how many people pull their cue at such and such hour and then wonder why its not tender. It amazes me still how many people who understand "its done when its done," "IT Temp is not a measure of doneness" and "lookin' ain't cookin" or "Probe like butter" still yank it too soon, worry about IT and mess otherwise good q up; Only to write me it was better the next day when they reheated it in the oven the next day.

The people who do this UNANIMOUSLY SKIP over the Night Train Brisket exercise. My thought is because I never did a video of that - mostly because its not BBQ, or is it? Can Baking a brisket in the OVEN IN Foil.. be the best training for "feel" ever?

Thanks for your contributions to another Chapter in my book.



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Unread 05-09-2010, 10:29 AM   #32
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Don't forget the chicken!
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Unread 05-09-2010, 11:25 AM   #33
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I agree, but not completely.
I think a temp probe and a clock are every bit as important as your pit's temp gauge - at least initially. If you're ever going to cook for other people you need to know what temperature to set your pit to, and how long it takes to cook a brisket at that temperature. Otherwise, how will you know when to start cooking so the finished product is done on time? Now, after you've mastered the art, pitch 'em.
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Unread 05-09-2010, 02:45 PM   #34
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With all due and earn respect Arlin you are not getting the finer points and clarifications. However, I appreciate you making me further qualifying my topic here. Thanks!

1. As far as "Pit temp," in nearly every instance I have made it clear we are talking about the Therm as it applies to INTERNAL temperature of your meat as an indicator of doneness. As I continued I explained (as others made me aware) that I am talking about Beef and Pork and NOT Chicken. To be specific the stubborn meats. At times even Ribs. On ribs the Clock tends to do them in more. However, in regards to chicken in some cases, it can be the appearance of the skin or the looseness of the joints that indicate the zenith of doneness. The mention of tritip is a good point but grilling is not really something I am getting at here.

2. With our long resting periods, too much reliance on the clock beyond the general is also something that claims many a chunk of meat. Sure, knowing it takes generally 8 hours to cook such and such - having you guests there at precisely 8 hours after you throw the meat down is simply asking for trouble. Thus, BECAUSE we can rest our meats and that generally does positive things for whatever we are cooking (notice I have not raised up Chicken as It is a different animal) we can in fact add 5 hours to the 8 hours to equal 13 if we want. In this way... we could literally use more general scales of time like "dark 30" instead of precise terms like "pull at 6:30." I gave someone right now that although he knew that the ribs needed to have wept (he was using the weeping method), have a bend and be able to be easily piercable, he STILL removed them from the grill because of some arbitrary time limit - which incidentally probably would have worked perfectly in an oven.

3. And finally, if the novice Quer is of concern (which is implied by your use of "Mastered the art" there are scores of people that come in here as novices that know how to take internals, know how to time something and make long strides to be scientific about their measurements that simply screw the pooch anyway.

Also, remember I excluded you freaks of nature that have no problem using a probe as a guide anyway - the problem is those that elevate the clock and the term to God Status.

One last thing - many of you may argue that since you use the therm as a guide and use the clock as a guide to when it SHOULD be ready but I can guarantee those masters out there are NOT going pull a brisket at precisely 12:00 noon when its in a stall at 170. Nor are you going to pull a rack of ribs for slicing just because it was 3 hours on the pit,one in the foil and one uncovered yet not done. Unless of course you made a mistake estimating done time on a HUGE time period and you have to turn SOMETHING in. So you people do NOT count and are NOT figured into the equation of failures.

Now you may do something else though - which even I have done. You notice the damn briskets are in the stall too long so you open a damper or two pr shift it to a hot spot and Bogart the meat at 300 degrees for a bit to push it out of its lull then back it down again so you can align your estimated done time to when ever its suppose to be done. Now your probe is no magical tool, Thirdeye and I can do the same thing with our non-therm probes I bet - heck, I can even HEAR what my meat is doing without opening the pit. All these examples are not the same thing as IGNORING all your other senses EXCEPT the clock and the Temperature and STILL pulling before its done or ignoring the fact an occasional brisket is ready at 178-185 and still waiting for your probe to scream 195.

This ultimately this is the failure we speak of... and I guarantee you... guarantee you, on the old trails from Texas to Kansas, at the political rallies in the deep south in the early part of 20th Century, they made great Que without any precise concept of time beyond what the sun was generally doing and the look and feel of the meat. No timers, no wrist watches, no thermoprobes...just their own good senses.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arlin_MacRae View Post
I agree, but not completely.
I think a temp probe and a clock are every bit as important as your pit's temp gauge - at least initially. If you're ever going to cook for other people you need to know what temperature to set your pit to, and how long it takes to cook a brisket at that temperature. Otherwise, how will you know when to start cooking so the finished product is done on time? Now, after you've mastered the art, pitch 'em.
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Unread 05-09-2010, 08:11 PM   #35
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I really mean the thanks arlin.
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Unread 05-09-2010, 08:21 PM   #36
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Wonder if the same people that forget everything else but, the Clock and the probe also go just by a timer when baking bread? "I just can't figure out why this bread isn't brown on top and it is still doughy in the middle????"
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Unread 05-09-2010, 09:58 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barbefunkoramaque View Post
... and I guarantee you... guarantee you, on the old trails from Texas to Kansas, at the political rallies in the deep south in the early part of 20th Century, they made great Que without any precise concept of time beyond what the sun was generally doing and the look and feel of the meat. No timers, no wrist watches, no thermoprobes...just their own good senses.


Heheeee. I was thinking the same thing while reading this post. Now, what do you suppose would have happened if some department head or NASA bigshot pulled out a thermometer in the middle of one of Wally's cookouts at the ranch?

I'm thinking there would have been a lot of dry cleaning involved.
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Unread 05-10-2010, 09:24 PM   #38
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isn't the real problem telling someone else when you expect it to be done?

that should be a rule.
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Unread 05-11-2010, 09:32 AM   #39
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what, picking out a time or telling someone.... I am confused? LOL

I have luck simply adding at least three hours to my estimated time, if its done early, resting will only improve it, if its late, i have time...

I DID used to do this event every year where the husband was my friend but the wife hated me... well she didn't hate me she just was a difficult bitch of woman from what her now EX hubby says.

Every year as the BBQ cooked and was nearing completion, if she said "we are eating at 6, she would throw on her frozen burgers and hot dogs at 4:30 or 5. The crowd would fill up on this, then I would pull out the Q and it would sit until people got hungry again.

The last time I did the party, I had MOST of my Cue done and in the Cambros LONG before it was time. I also had a finishing grill - one of those 5 footers. She pulled that trick on me again and the minute those frozen puppies went on I whipped out the ribs and chicken and finished them on the grill. Now think... you got one line for frozen burgers and 5 feet grill of ribs and chicken ready to go and being glazed. That year only the kids ate burgers, the other 200 cleaned me out.
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Unread 05-11-2010, 09:44 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barbefunkoramaque View Post
I try to get 250 and set out three cans of bisquits .
Well, maybe you can get away with calling those atrocities in cans biscuits in Texas, but not in the deep south (yeah, I know Florida doesn't qualify as being in the deep south any way but geographically, but my dad was from Mississippi).

Where would you probe the cans anyway?

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Unread 05-11-2010, 10:22 AM   #41
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LOL I am sorry. I was talking about if you have a large pit you are unfamiliar with and need a good quick way of finding the hot spots (or adjusting plates on some models) then taking the BISCUITS out of the cans and placing them evenly at 6-12 inch increments and running the pit at about 250 or so will show you where your hots spots are. I am not endorsing the canned biscuit.... however, now that I think of it, homemade biscuits would be cheaper, huh? LOL

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Well, maybe you can get away with calling those atrocities in cans biscuits in Texas, but not in the deep south (yeah, I know Florida doesn't qualify as being in the deep south any way but geographically, but my dad was from Mississippi).

Where would you probe the cans anyway?

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Unread 05-11-2010, 12:08 PM   #42
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Actually, I kinda DO want to know when my rib roast reaches a certain temp so I don't over cook it. Otherwise, I'll keep using the bend test for my ribs and the poke-a-poke test for my briskie and the waggle the bone test for my butt.
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Unread 05-11-2010, 12:23 PM   #43
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yeah but once again - rib roast is not what we are talking about - kinda like tri tip. We are talking about the tougher cuts that need to be cooked slowly (in comparison to charred cutts) and are wortheless when they are pink or medium rare and what not
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Unread 05-11-2010, 12:30 PM   #44
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Yep. That's why I had the big ol' smiley. Your pig honey vid and bend test demo improved my cooking skills with ribs exponentially.
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Unread 05-11-2010, 12:35 PM   #45
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When I first started I had no temp probes. Did have a clock though, those things are everywhere! I kinda knew how long it should take. (give or take a few hours). Started there. Even today I just have a regular old therm (dial version, slow...) I only use it right at the end to make sure my feel and eyes are in agreement with the tempature it is.

I do think they can be useful tools, but they can be used as a crutch as well. It is all about balance. I have watched alot of your videos, and I still have alot to learn, but hey, thats majority of the fun.
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