24+ Hours to Smoke Two Butts??

Discussion in 'Pork' started by craigj00, Feb 1, 2016.

  1. craigj00

    craigj00 Newbie

    Still glassy-eyed from lack of sleep last night waiting on two 9.5 lbs butts I smoked in my MES 30 with the Mailbox mod.  I guessed the time to finish to be 11-12 hours, same as a single (prior mailbox mod), but the first one didn't hit 203 degrees until just after 23 hours and the 2nd I let hit 205 degrees after 27 hours!  I can't believe the time it took.  I pre-heated to 250 and then kept it at a steady average of 235 degrees for the first 8 hours, then kicked it up to an average 255 degrees for the remainder of the time.  I only opened the door once within the 24 hour period to visually check and insert a hand held digital thermometer to confer the readings I was getting on my Maverick thermometer.  I was using a iGrill thermometer to monitor the inside temp of the MES.  I'm wondering if the Mailbox mod has something to do with the seemingly long cook time.  Any other suggestions?

  2. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    24 hours is normal for a 9 lb. butt. I've had them stall in the 165-170 range for 8-9 hours.

    You can always foil them to get them to cook faster.

    But it will soften the bark.

  3. ibbones

    ibbones Meat Mopper

    I cooked one a while back that finished a LOT sooner than I thought it would and about 8 months ago I had one go for 22 hours.  Always cook at 225.  Both were in the 8 pound range.  I usually start between 11-12 midnight and want it for supper but that one time....
  4. bauchjw

    bauchjw Master of the Pit

    I've only been doing pork butts for the past year or so, but I've never had that happen. I've only read about it on this forum. I'm not looking forward to my first experience with it!
  5. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    And that is why I now crank my smoker up to 285-300 when smoking pork butts. Every time I've done (2) 9+ pound butts at the same time I've had smoke times of 20+ hours. Not anymore!
  6. dockman

    dockman Smoking Fanatic

    9-10 hours at 225 and rest in cooler for 2-4 hours! I wrap at 160-165 and pull at 190-192! I have probably smoked 30-40 butts in the last 3 years and all have been like clock work. Hope I never have a 24 hour smoke!

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  7. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I haven't smoked 30-40 in the last 3 years, but probably 20. My results are like clockwork too. 20-22 hours every time. Maybe it's because I smoke mine in pans & not directly on the grate.

    Don't know.

    I guess you go with what works for you.

  8. dockman

    dockman Smoking Fanatic

    I smoked 2 pork loins last week in pans for my first time. They did take a lot longer.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  9. cliffcarter

    cliffcarter Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    If you want to shorten the cook time you have to max out on the cook temp, plain and simple.
  10. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    My Daughter in PA and I have been cutting 8Lb Butts into 4 pieces and smoking them. It takes around 5 hours at at 225-250 to get them up to an IT of 205. Lots of Bark and smoke flavor and we aren't fussin' with the smoker all night...JJ
  11. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Craig, morning....   I cook my butts at 205-210...  takes about 18-24 hours....    Once you get the smoke you want on the meat.... usually 4-6 hours at 120-140, close the exhaust damper 95% and turn the heat up to what ever you want.....   with the exhaust closed down, the evaporative cooling, on the butts, will stop...  your smoker is now like an oven...  They will heat up much faster...
  12. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I usually cook two 10-12 lb. butts at a time unfoiled, I run my chamber at 250'ish, and 99% of the time they take between 10-12 hrs. for both butts. But I did have one smoke that took 18 hrs. - not sure why but it took me by suprise.
  13. I cook a lot of butts, like others I have had a small amount vary in time but typically they are pretty close overall.  I usually start out at 200-225 late in the evening and let them run overnight knowing they won't overcook.  I get up in the morning, check the temp which is usually 160-170, then fire up to 250-275 and they're done early afternoon.


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