That is quite a free fall in temp. I usually don't get that if I wrap back up quickly and keep the cooker temp up. But it does happen, and I do often get less severe temp drops. When it happens, it never really gets back up over 190, but still gets cooked tender. I don't fret too much.
You said it though, it was actually pretty good! Once the meat reaches 200, there is a lot of cooking going on. Apparently your temp drop did not affect your final product. Cuz, really, the brisket is still cooking pretty good when your meat is at 175. A lot of the fast cookers on the competition circuit pull their briskets at 205 plus…and still not tender. The final cooking happens during the 3-4 hour rest.
Bottom line, the temp drop didn't hurt you. And yes, you can probe through the foil, just be real careful not to tear a piece off and push it into the meat (which I have seen happen). Now, if you can just figure out EXACTLY what happened, you shall be enlightened!
I've noticed that people, including ourselves, are eating less beef these days. Growing up I always had a whole steak but for the past 10 years, I have been serving steaks sliced. People who like it more done grab the end pieces, I go for the center.
There are still a whole bunch of people that still sit down with a whole steak on their plate, so if you have those people coming, you may have to go with tradition.
Nice work guys. That pretty much spells it out. It is a celebration of the EGG, and the people who cook on them…and who will soon be cooking on them! Cooks pour their hearts out, and if there is enough eggs and cook teams, everyone is fully happy. Cooks volunteer, they are the center of attention, and they work their tails off. Some fests charge cooks, others don't. In the end, cooks end up spending a good amount of money and time, but are rewarded with spreading their passion and seeing lots of smiling faces while they make new friends.
Like my pal Steve says, respect the cooks, respect the organizers, enjoy yourself to your heart's content whether you are a taster or a cook. The people you meet will only be exceeded by the quality of the food you eat and what you learn.
PS…kicking off our 6th Eggfest with DizzyFest this weekend. Been putting together a lot of EGGs!
I also agree with George. With a small bird I may go as hot as 400, but with anything over 4 pounds I usually go closer to 350. Controlled fire, not too much charcoal. I cook skin up until rub is set and dry, (45 minutes to an hour) then flip over to finish. Done birds a lotta ways, and this one is hard to beat. Have fun!