I'm a newbie in the smoking world, and so naturally I have a few questions.
I'm using a bullet shaped smoker with a water pan with hardwood lump coal. I've done salmon and two briskets (a 3lb flat and a 13lb packers cut that is currently resting in tinfoil wrapped in towels in a cooler as I type).
I've read many forums and threads about smoking meats and I've discovered that my stuff gets done much sooner than what many say is the normal cooking time. For example: I smoked the 13lb brisket at 220-250*F, and it was done with an internal temp of 190*F in under 8 hours. According to what I've read, I should have expected to smoke it for about 1.5 hours per pound, putting it at least upwards of 15 hours.
Do water smokers cook that much faster than an offset one? This leads me to my next question.
Low and slow, right? Well, if I'm reaching the appropriate internal meat temperatures much faster than "normal," will the meat come out much different than if it took twice as long? Should I drop my smoking temperature so I get a longer, slower smoke? Or is brisket done when its done, as someone put it on one of the threads.
Oh, and I've checked my thermometers and they seem to be accurate. Thanks in advance for your help, and I'll let you know how my brisket turned out later tonight!