Who needs a thermometer for brisket?

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Smoking Fanatic
Original poster
Sep 26, 2006
I see alot of threads about using thermometers in briskets. While I'm aware of all the different temp stages associated w/ smoking brisket, I need to confess that I've never taken the temp of a bisket.

The little old black man that taught me how to smoke brisket didn't own a thermometer, so I guess I figured that I didn't need one either. I suppose that some of my briskets are a little more tender than others, but I've never had a tough or a dry one. If they're a little more tender, I just slice them a little thicker. I just always use the same size brisket, and cook it the same way. I guess time, appearance, and feel tell me when it's done. Maybe a little like the way a good Dutch oven cook knows when the biscuits are done and not burnt.

Does anyone else out there do it the hillbilly way like me?

While I do use a thermometer in the briskets, it's mostly because I'm a gadget guy and just think it's neat. To really tell the doneness, I still use the touch method. I don't pull it just because its at 170 or whatever. Now for pork butts, I use the thermometer almost exclusively and I pull at 195 to 205.
I'm with you SmokyOky, no thermometer in the briskets here either. I have a couple just in case the health dept comes around. Most of the time they are not invited to the places where I cook.
I never used a thermometer in anything other than prime rib before about a year ago. I always cooked everything by feel and look. Since I started using thermometers, I have more consistancy in the outcome of my meat.

I will say that I have cooked briskets to death before (dried out) and I also have had to finish cooking tough hunks of meat in the oven. Since I started with the thermometers I haven't had that problem.

It also keeps you from having to open up and look at your meat as often if you use a digital with the probe inside the meat and the receiver outside the smoker.

Just my $.02 worth.
I don't think you ever give just $.02 worth. Usually more like $2.00 worth.

Inconsistency has never really been a problem for me (@ least not as far as I can remember) It's really kinda gotten down to a robotic function.
I'm with you on the checking all the time part though, but if I'm fired up, I've usually got several slabs of ribs on too, and they need checked on fairly often once they get past a certain stage. Boy what I wouldn't give to have a pit like Arthur Bryant's where you can just open a door and watch the carousel go by w/o any smoke in your eyes.

I really like the idea of the pit temp range moniter. It's too bad the Mav ET-73 is such a POC.


BTW, if you use the Dickeydoo method, you'll never have a dry brisket. Gauranteed.
DickeyDoo School of Q June 15, 16, &17.... Truman Lake MO

I haven't quite developed that special ability to feel the doneness of meat yet, so I use the thermometer and get pretty good results... Maybe in June I'll learn a secret or two, unless I get run off like the old days.

Keep Smokin

P.S. Okay that was a shameless SMF Plug... don't turn me in to the moderators for SPAM
I still have to rely on my thermometer's, the one time it broke on me during a smoke I must have pulled the brisket to soon and it was tough, maybe one day.... but not yet.

PigCicles;31656 said:
DickeyDoo School of Q June 15, 16, &17.... Truman Lake MO
Sign me up!!!!!!!
I'm always afraid someone will get one of those meat diseses or that ecoli thing if it's not cooked enough. I know it's not likely becuase I use sanitizer on everything befor I prepare to cook, but who ever heard of ecoli on veggies until a year ago?

Debi, your posts sure are colorful
, looks like you just got the jumbo box of crayons with the sharpener built in the box
Not to be sarcastic, but "Golly, you mean when they spray cow poo on spinach so they can call it organic, people might get sick from it?"

I'll take my chances with the chemicals. I mean, there may be questions about some of them, but we know cow poo will make you sick.


And Debi, w/ pork and beef Q, it's a good rule of thumb that if it's cooked enough to be tender, it's safe to eat (provided it's been kept hot until serving.

Well, he was, but now I think his twin will be there instead. SmokyOky.. ever heard of him??? Lesser known but a pretty fair smoke wrangler just the same

Keep Smokin
.... oh yeahhh.. One question SmokyOky. Does Dickeydoo know you have a thing (stainless gasser) for his wife??
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