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Old 10-11-2009, 09:34 PM posted to
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Default Man, am I an efficient cook or what

On Nov 8, 11:33 am, Tutall wrote:

Well, to answer, I haven't checked the thermo for a few years, but
when I did it was real tight. It's one of those real big ones with
the 3" face and quarter inch rod. But it's been used a lot. However,
it would have to be 50F low or more to account for the differences I

Well sir... that would be about the only thing I could think of that
would scramble the data. So I don't know.

I have to say I am impressed you cook on wood! I only started with
charcoal/lump about 10 years ago, and the previous 20 were all wood
only. We have oak, pecan and mesquite everywhere here, and with our
fireplaces being rarely used due to our mild weather, just about
everyone has plenty of wood to burn.

Still, they burn charcoal or propane.

Meat just tastes different cooked over well seasoned wood to me. I
like it better, but now use a mix myself.

Anyway, it sounds to me like you have thought this through pretty
well. I don't have anything to offer but speculation. I would still
look at the thermos, only based on the fact that they have probably
been well used (and don't forget they are working even when you aren't
smoking) and they are a few years old.

I wouldn't be too suprised at 25F low, but not much more, you think?

Regardless the circumstances, no. Unless the probe/backside/sensor
was somewhow fouled by smoking "stuff".
All the meats you are using for examples are pretty forgiving so
higher temps wouldn't be a problem.

The sweet spot on my pit is about 275 - 300F. The sweet spot on my
WSM is about 250 - 275F. The WSM is annoying sometimes as with a
properly assembled and lit fire, you can easily go 6 - 7 hours without
doing anything. (Hard to be the "pit master" when you are doing yard
work, honey-do lists or drinking beer.)

The point is that the WSM is my benchmark for outdoor cooking as it is
almost an oven when you get it set. With that in mind, I have never
turned in the numbers you have on either briskets or butts based on
those temps.

Over the last 30 years, I have probably cooked about 10 - 15 briskets
a year. Not nearly as much as a couple of my friends, but enough to
get the hang of it. This is after all, brisket country (aka -
Texas). I hadn't even cooked a pork butt until about 7 - 8 years ago
as they were difficult to find here.

I like to cook bigger briskets, in the 15 - 16# range, as they work
well on the WSM for overnight cooks. For any overnight WSM brisket
(around 250 - 275F) I allow about 45 minutes a pound. That would put
me in at about 10 hours on a 13# brisket, give or take to finish,
usually 195F.

During the day, when I can watch it, I allow about 25 minutes on the
regular pit as I keep it around 325F. This cuts the cook time down
(and makes a superior bark!) to about 5 1/2 hours or so on a 13# piece
of brisket.

Comparatively, I have only cooked about 35 butts or so. Not nearly as
many as the brisket group, but they seem pretty consistent in cooking
times, except for an occasional wildcard. I haven't seen any bizarre
surprises. Pretty predictable. To me, your rib times look right, but
the butt times look low. Go figure.

Still.... never have I seen those cook times except as a rare
exception. I know RegF is a brisket cooker, but look at his "I kid
you not" post. Had 2 or 3 of those, but no more.

Are you in a high altitude city? Are you putting the meat in cold, or
do you let it warm up a bit before starting your cook? Are you by a
radiation leaking power plant? Are you cooking some kind of new
"green/hybrid" meat that takes less fuel?

I hope you stay after that and find out what is going on in your pit
and let us (me!) know.