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Wow, what a difference in two weeks. I got my new, used, 008 a few weeks ago (finally found one on Craigslist), and did a brisket right out of the shoot.

Well, like almost every new person on here (like an idiot) we invited family over for the first smoking dinner. The 1 1/4 to 1/2 hour cook time did not turn out so well. When everyone was here the temp was only to 165 degrees.

I did not abide by the "it is done, when it is done" motto. I went ahead and pulled it and wrapped it for a very short time, then served it. Pretty tough stuff.

Then more research and better timing....last one I did this weekend I cooked to 188 , a little high but my thermo has been kinda weird. WOW, what a difference. I then double wrapped and put in a cooler, like everyone suggests. It was excellent !!!

LOVE the CS !!

Can't wait for my next one !
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I guess you found out that the advice "Don't experiment on your friends and family for your first cook" was given for a good reason. My first cook was for a Labor Day weekend party for about 100 people - give or take. I volunteered to cook the ribs. I went to the house on the Thursday before the Saturday party to pick up the ribs to cook. Imagine my surprise when she pulled twelve racks from the Fridge. I have a smokette and I could do three racks at a time. I didn't get done till Saturday morning, but they turned out great. Luckily I've had a lot of experience cooking ribs but most of it was over an open pit.
To be honest, I did alot of research on here prior to the cook. However, it was more on the time, temp, and recipe.

I did not find the double wrap, and wrap in towel in a cooler prior to the first cook. I wanted to take it out just prior to the meal.

Now I know much better, it does not hurt to get it done early. Actually probably helps to get it down early and let it rest and stay warm in the foil and towel. That took me awhile to get that into my head.

I put this one on at 0700 and took it off at 1:30 PM, plenty of time to rest before the SuperBowl.
185ºF is not set in stone either. Temps given are guidelines to doneness as every piece you cook will be different. I think as you get experience, "It's done when it's done" will have a lot more meaning. a few degrees will make a difference. I've had Brisket fall apart (overdone) at 190ºF and not quite there at 205ºF. You'll have to learn the "poke" test. Where you stick a probe into the meat and gauge doneness by the amount of resistance your probe encounters as you push it in. I start checking mine at about 185ºF. I determine my start times by when I want the product finished. If by some good fortune it's done 3 hours early, foil it, wrap it in towels and put it in a dry cooler till it's time to eat. I'd rather err on the early side than have people waiting a couple hours with their stomachs growling.
Like CT says,a temp is a reminder to start paying attention to things.

You mentioned, in reading, about 188º being high?

I'm no expert, but we have cooked a few over the years,and I've seen maybe five packers come tender at that temp.

Now, I guess if you cook a packer low/long enough you might "woller" it tender by then.

Kobe,Wagyu ,cooked hotter,may come off earlier and the carryover heat may get it there,at lower temps.

Now,if you can poke your temp probe thru a packer,from top to bottom and it goes thru about like meatloaf-it is done.

Another approach is try to pick it up by inserting your long tined meat fork deep into the flat.

If it slides off off the fork,and you can't lift it,you're about there.

I'm not advocating overcooking,but most folks would prefer to eat a little too tender,as too tough.

When you get ready to slice ,the closer to room temp you are working,the better you may do.

If it is tough,slice it thinner.

If it is too done/tender,slice it thicker.

The quality of your packer may have as much to do with the process,as your cooking technique.

Hope this helps a little.

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