Poke test / what to do when brisket is done REALLY early

I am cooking a 14.75# (weight was untrimmed; I trimmed some, but not a lot). Put it in my smoker at 8:30pm last night (meat closer to room temp). I went to check it at 9:30am. Polders showing a range of temps (192-202), but my Termapen was showing low 190's in most spots. The flat passed the poke test (although really need to try it in thicker spots in hindsight), but the point had resistance. Does this make sense? I am worried about pulling it as I expected it to take longer. Do you care if the point shows resistance at all if the flat is ok?

Also, I am not planning to serve this until closer to 5pm. That seems like a long time to FTC it. How long can you hold a brisket this way? Any thoughts how to keep it warm without drying out if not (or should I reheat it as we get closer)?

Thanks for any thoughts!

Original Post

Personal preference for me is to make sure both point and flat probe like butter, no matter what the temp is. (Probing trumps desired temp) Depending on the temp I am smoking at determines what IT I begin probing. As far as holding goes I use a Cambro and or a Cambro gobox top loader, which will hold two briskets or 2.5 full size pans. 7 hours is the longest I have held but as in your case you could always put back in your smoker during the latter hours at 140 and keep it warm until serving time.  Just my 2 cents and how I would do it. 

If your just using  foil, towel and a cooler,  check it after 4 hours for temp and then use your SM020, it will work great as a holding oven just as it is great as a smoker.

 

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