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I am new to the electric smoking group and have a couple of questions. I have never used an internal thermometer to gauge the temperature of meat while cooking. I was talked into buying one by a good friend who swears by it. I am cooking a 6# pork butt in my smoker this weekend and am hesitant about using it. From what I have read previously, I need to cook it about 8-10 hours at 225*. If I use the thermometer, will it get to the internal temperature before that time? also I want the true "pulled pork". Will using the thermometer not let it get to the point where it is truly "pulled pork".
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I'm not sure about your question. I always used a thermometer (except when I forget and leave them at home). Use time as a guestimate and even when it reaches a certain temp, you're going to want to poke and see if it's done. One piece of meat may be done (tender) at 195˚ and another you might have to take higher.

What I mean by not really understanding your question is that it's going to reach the temp it reaches in 8-10 hours whether you use a thermometer or not.
We call them remote thermometers (and in fact have a forum on the main page label such, but I'll move it there later.

Unlike when you
cook it about 8 - 10 hours at 225
cooking that way is a guess and you still have to determine if it's done. Plus depending on the weight, it could already be finished and overcooked or not even 1/2 way finished.

Using a thermometer will allow a cook to test the internal temp to determine doneness (and a not have to open the smoker to check the temp and lose heat). For new cooks this will be a consistant way to achieve great results

If you want pulled pork, put the probe into the meat, in the thickest part, make sure it doesn't touch any bones and cook it to 195 to 200 for pulled pork.

Will using the thermometer not let it get to the point where it is truly "pulled pork".
No. How long you cook it is 100% up to you, you pull it when you want to. Too many people use the remote temp as a guarantee. ezgoin is right, it's a start, but always trust your experience. and the accuracy of the therm could be off that day.

We also have a whole forum on pork butt, so don't hesitate to check and read that one.
It will take no telling how long to get done if you keep opening the door to check temps with a regular meat thermometer. You need a probe thermometer that has a cable attaching it to an lcd readout. You can set or attach the readout on/to your smoker and then open the door to check doneness when the temp reaches 190-200*. Check the accuracy of the probe in ice water (32*) and boiling water (212*) before using.

Have fun, experiment, take good notes.


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