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We read Brisket 101 & hubby did our first 5 lb beef brisket today at 225. He was out & when he returned 4 hours later there were juices on the outside lip at the bottom of the door & on our deck. The drip pan was placed correctly & didn't have anything excessive so we think it may have been due to another "bang". BUT, the question is that the Polder temp started declining from 170 to 161. Then in the next 2 hours it did go back up to 170. I've searched the archives & haven't seen anything on this. The probe was clearly in the meat, no bone, no visible air pocket. Question for you wise & wonderful smokers - Is this "normal" with a beef brisket, or perhaps a faulty probe, or (perish the thought) something more serious with the CS which we absolutely love & adore? Confused
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(Hope your hubby doesn't mind me call you that) My guess would be that it is your probe. I have 3 Taylor digital thermometers and one of them on occasion does exactly that. I think maybe it's the wire going into the probe itself, because when I move it, it will flucuate.

It usually happens to me at that "plateau" between 160 and 170 or so.

As far as the juices, if you're talking about the lip in the front just below the door, then yes I have also had drippings there. I just place my pan so it's underneath both the drain hole in the center of the unit, and the front lip.

Hope this helps...let us know the end result with your brisket. I've done em twice so far with my Smokette and have had great results.

Hubby did sneak a peak, but not until after the temp had fallen & he saw the juices on the lip at the bottom of the door. He closed it back up, the temp finally turned toward north, and at the very end we turned it up to 250 for the last 30 minutes or so. End result was the brisket was a bit dry. But it's our first try & next time we'll try a mop half-way through & put sauce on it before we foil it in the cooler. I'm hopeful that the declining temp may be the probe having an off day. We just did some smoked rainbow trout earlier this week & thought it had wings instead of fins since it wasy so heavenly. Wink
Something to think about:

I have two digital thermometers. One is a Polder, the other a Pampered Chef model. Both probes look almost identical with the same plugs and all.

The other day I was smoking a butt in my Smokette. After only 8 hours the probe was reading 230 degrees F... I was in shock! How could my butt be 230 degrees when the Smokette was set to 225? I opened the door expecting to find a burnt piece of dried up butt, yet the butt looked fine.

I scratched my head and got the other probe and attached it to the other base unit. After inserting, the unit read something like 170 degrees F. Go figure!!

So, I closed everything back up and let the butt smoke for a few more hours. Now the meat was reading only 190 degrees.

My last butt took 17 hours to reach 190 degrees and this same sized butt only took 10 hours... something's not right here. So, I took the butt out and wrapped it in foil. The meat was done, but it wasn't fall-off-the-bone tender and I had a very difficult time pulling the meat. It was clearly not done.

The next day I was frying up some fries. I put the same probe into the hot oil and it read "EE". Usually it reads the temperature just fine. I took the other probe and it measured only 250 while the fryer was set to 350. Interesting. So, I swapped probes on the base units and bingo! Both units read the same 350 degree temperature.

Moral of the story: If you have multiple probes/base units, make sure that the right probe is used with the right base unit! While they may look the same, the probes are clearly different electrically. This explains my undercooked butt!

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