Deltdude is correct it has a lot to do with food safety. If you puncture the meat in any way you have 4 hours to get the meat from 40 degrees to 140 degrees internal according to the USDA. If you do not puncture the meat the USDA says you can follow the "intact muscle rule" and only need to get the outer 1/2 inch past 140 degrees in that same 4 hours. Using the intact muscle rule is much easier and generally is easily done at temps over 200 degrees. So if I have a smoke that I know is going to take a long time I don't bother to put a probe in for about 4 hours but if I'm doing something I know will be done in 4 hours or less I'll go ahead and probe it from the start. Ground meats must use the punctured meat rule.
post #21 of 23
3/30/10 at 3:06am