I have had this question since I started smoking earlier this year, but so far my searches haven't gotten me any help, so I figured I would ask on here.
Let me start by saying I have an electric smoker, so maybe that makes a big difference, but here it goes:
I always hear of people smoking things for hours on end, and as far as I can tell that's supposed to improve taste/tenderness/etc of the meat. But when I look up recipes, even on here, they always say cook until it reaches XXX temperature. Most things I have smoked, even on the low setting, reach that temperature fairly quickly, like 2 - 4 hours, when others are saying they are smoking the same piece of meat 12 - 14 hours. You even hear of professionals talking about "the secrete to their award winning taste is smoking it longer".
So.... for my questions:
When your smoking meat for longer periods of time, are you leaving it in the smoker even after its reached the magic temperature? Or do you have the temperature so low that it just takes that long to reach that temperature?
Im sure its a combo of the two, but if its more the latter, then I'm guessing that would be a drawback to owning an electric smoker. So what are some ways to make a piece of meat fall off the bone/cut with a plastic spork tender using an electric smoker?