Okay so last night I got my cooker up to 350, hosed it for a steam clean, let it try and come down to 300 and put on 2 10lb briskets at 11:PM and 2 butts at midnight. Cooker temp was between 220-275 and around 3 I drifted off to sleep. I set my alarm for 4 and I awoke to the cooker temp of 125F with only a few coals left. I immediately threw on a few small chunks of wood and got the fire up to 275 within 15 minutes. I think checked the temps of the brisket and butts and found that the brisket was at 125F and butts were 115F. I ended up throwing the butt away because it had been 4 hours with 30F still to go to make it past 140F. I tossed one of the briskets and left 1 to keep cooking. It reached 140F at 4:30 AM - 5 1/2 hours in to the cook. I then ran to the local 24/7 store and got a nice 8lb brisket flat and 10 lb butt to replace what I tossed.
Did I do the right thing? Was I over conservative? I read that 140F in 4 hours is the mark to hit and I clearly didn't hit that with the shoulder and was close on the brisket.
I am now cooking the new meat (starting at 5:45) at 275F - Steady!