Originally Posted by Oak
Itís been a couple of months since I calibrated my thermometers, but cooks seem to be taking a little bit longer lately. I put a small brisket (5 pounds) on the top grate of the WSM at 7:30 this morning. According to the ET-73 grate temp, Iíve been running at 225-250. Itís been 9.5 hours and the brisket is only up to 174. I figured 1.5 hour per pound so I expected a 7.5 hour cook (5lbs x 1.5 hour). The difference between the WSM lid and the ET-73 grate temp is 30 degrees. I have been cooking between 225-250 with the grate temp, but the lid temperature is 30-40 degrees cooler.
Since itís getting close to dinner time, I opened everything up and the grate temp, according to the ET-73, is 280. The lid is 250.
Should I start cooking using the lid temperature as a guide?
ONLY MEASURE YOUR PIT TEMP IN ONE SPOT! You're gonna drive yourself nuts worrying about temp differences between here and there!
ALSO don't go by temperature to determine 'doneness'.... go by tenderness. Your meat probe should slide in and out of the meat like butter. I've had briskets fall apart tender when they registered 180ļ on an accurate thermometer.....Temps are relative.
NOW, since it's dinner time the first thing I would do is check for tenderness by inserting your meat probe. If it has any resistance, foil the brisket and depending on what kind cut you started with you may want/need to add liquid...(cola, beef broth, leftover coffee, juice, etc) will work.
IF the brisket is tender, wrap in foil and let rest a minimum of 30 minutes, then let cool before slicing.