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Discussion in 'Pork' started by lawman2391, Jul 23, 2013.
No need to wait! Here's what's on the smoker now!
That looks awesome! Mouth watering...meanwhile I am in full stall mode...been a good 2 hours at 159 IT...jumped up to 161 briefly just to tease me, then back down to 159...and that's where she sits...
Hang in there... Wait til 205 and you'll never need a finishing sauce... It's hard, but you can do it!
patience... and stop staring at the smoker.. its doing the only tricks its suppose too.. hehehe its common to see the temps drop a little during the stall..
Ok...so going to ask the most lame newbie question ever...at what point do you start checking equipment etc after you have stalled? I have been at 161 IT for almost 3 hours now...ive already told the wife that the pork will be more like a midnight snack at this point...I mean 10 hours in and I have 40 degrees to go? Someone talk me down off the ledge! Do I just wait indefinitely?
My first butt (only a couple of months ago), I had the same experience as you. I ended up pulling it too soon. The next one (after I found this forum) I waited it out. It took 16 hours. However, the results were wonderful. I am sure you will get advice from more experienced people but I am a newer smoker who is now firmly committed to waiting it out.
DONT DO IT!!! STAY ON THE LEDGE!!! Bump your heat up a bit... I know your using a kettle grill; I'm still abusing a propane smoker as a direct heat/smoke system, so I'm not sure how you need to bump it... It's 5:30 est... Hang in there, once it crosses the stall it moves pretty quickly. If your goal is great, taste bark, resist the urge to foil, you will not be happy... Hang on... Wait for it, wait for it... Really, I promise 205 is not far away...
As an aside, an establishment near me had recently started carry every model of the Egg... Several weeks ago the Big Guy took me there to check it out and there was a "newbie" couple in there that had purchased one a month prior... Dude was PISSED cuz they had sold the super duper temp IT monitor he wanted the day before and he had just purchased a brisket at SAMs Club... He was freaking out, "how do I cook my brisket with out it!!!" -- dude, if you based your complete ability on smoking in basically the same kiln that you made your day's ashtray in as a kindergartner, your issue ain't an IT monitor..,
My point? You are doing fine! Just wait for it! You got this!
I took smokeusum's advice and bumped my temp from 240 to about 265 around 30 min ago. I have been sufficiently talked out of foiling/peeking. I actually gained 2 degrees in the last 25 min so maybe I'm though it...we will see. Thanks for the comments, it's keeping this newbie from losing his mind! At this point I'm so invested, I'll be sure to post que-view when I finally get the chance to open that bad boy up! I'm trusting y'all that it will be worth it!
Also, what is everyone's optimal target temp to pull, foil and rest? 200? 205? Just curious...
You'll hear 195... And that's from the folks that don't have the patience to get to 205... What a HUGE DIFFERENCE. Your almost there, stop checking, give it an hour, them wait for 205... No pulling needed, look at it and it'll be your bia-tch... Dude, trust me, just wait...
12 hours in...IT of 170...out of stall but still slow going...
Wait for it, wait for it...
So since im waiting...heres a question...
Smokeusum...once you hit 205, what do you do between then and consumption? Also, where are your ITs on the stuff you're grilling by now?
The variability in times is crazy with pork shoulders sometimes. My first smoke on my ECB, I ran in the 250-270 range the whole way and got a 9 lb bone-in picnic to 195F in about 9 hours. Yesterday I ran in the same temperature range with an 8.44 lb Boston butt that I started at 745 am. I threw in the towel at midnight at an internal temp of 177. That's 17 hours and still pretty far off the 200F finishing mark. I just couldn't stay up/tend it any longer. It just did not want to cook at all. It tasted fine but the texture was obviously a bit tougher than I would've liked.
I'm thinking the injection I used may have had something to do with it - I pumped it full of nearly a liter of liquid whereas the first picnic I did was not injected.
Bottom line, from now on unless I'm fully prepared/committed for the long haul (ie starting the night before) I'm sticking to things like ribs, chicken, tri tip, pork bellies etc and keeping my cooks around 6 hours max. I'll save the big butts and packer briskets for very special occasions when I'm committed to seeing it through regardless of absurdly long stalls.
PULL!!! It's a joint effort (which is no effort at all if you wait for the right temp!) whether its 6pm or 12pm, hubby and I jointly, attack the pork... Even if we are only awake enough to pull large chunks and toss the icky fat. I wear the thin "doing dishes" gloves and he uses the big, blue heavy, chemical, semi heat, resistant ones (FYI, the Big Guy wears a size 17 ring! But he gets that a. It needs to be pulled WHENEVER it is finally ready to come out of the smoker! And b. a finer hand needs to be used to pull off the crap I wouldn't touch from the award-winning smoke-houses in Lexington! I wouldn't touch pork til he damn near beat me; I bought him the smoker for Christmas! He's not allowed to touch it!) -- the rest of the stuff in the smoker? Well it's touch and go! I'm a huge food snob, but I'm not a typical female, I season by smell, cook to taste and test meat to touch (even pullin pork, I can tell temp by touch!)
Wait for it... It's worth it!
Wow...that makes me feel a little bit better SteveC, but something still doesn't add up. I mean, a 5.5 lb boneless shoulder taking 13 hours to get up to only 176 IT? There are 3 explanations I can possibly think of (although I have limited knowledge) as I have pondered this (I've had the time)...
1. Tying up the shoulder with butcher string is compacting the meat more than normal and thus it is taking it longer to get the heat into the dense core
2. When I prepped/rubbed it I initially forgot to do the mustard rub, so I did a layer of dry rub first...then remembered and put the mustard on then dry rub again. Is it possible that this made such a thick bark/shell that it is not allowing the heat to get in as easily?
3. It is just the nature of the beast, and as SteveC noted above, is to be saved for times when you are "dialed in" enough to trust your smoker/grill for 6-8 hours of "hands off" (sleeping) time to get you through the long wait times, stalls, etc.
Any other thoughts/troubleshooting from anyone?
FYI; most of my "smoke" days leave me starved; it's smoked for the rest of the week or two...
I hear you man, Like I said, yesterday was an 8.44 lb'er for me and it was only 177 after 17 hours in a steady 275 pit. It doesn't seem to add up at all.
I'd rule out 1 and 2. I don't think a bit of twine compacting it, nor the rub layer would have an impact beyond the first hour or so. If I had to guess on the science behind it - probably has a lot to do with things like humidity levels, atmospheric pressure, air circulation in the cooker, and the composition/age of the individual piece of meat. All things out of our control as pitmasters.
I really think it's just the nature of the beast. I remember on the first one I couldn't believe everything I read on the site re: taking 2 hours or more per pound. It cruised right through the stall period without hesitation. It wasn't until I experienced such a dramatically loooong cook yesterday that it hit home.
By the same token, I've read about everyone cooking their big packer briskets for 18 hours or even longer at 225-250 chamber temp. My brother in law did a 13.5 pound packer a couple weeks back and had that sucker to 209 in 7 hours running 200-225 in his vertical propane smoker. He foiled after 4 hours and at the 7 hour point it was falling apart to the point of almost not being slice-able, 209 internal temp according to an accurate probe thermometer. According to everything I've read, it should be flat out impossible to get it done that fast at those temps, but I witnessed it with my own eyes (and thermometer) the entire way.
The only explanation I can find is that elevation may have something to do with it. My pork picnic that was done in 9 hours, and that packer brisket done in 7 hours, were both cooked at the same house way up in the NH mountains. The pork butt I did yesterday that took forever was right at sea level. Maybe that has something to do with it?
So, smokeusome...you dont rest in towels and cooler? Just pull?
How about you steve? Did you rest or foil you picnic or butt?
I foiled after about 12 hours, hoping to speed things along. Usually with the bigger cuts I'll just let em roll unfoiled because I like a good crusty bark. In this case, I was trying to use it as a time saving crutch. If I had it to do over, I'd probably foil after 4-5 hours in the smoke, instead of waiting so long.
As far as rest, I gave it about 15 minutes just because it was so late, and I knew it wasn't going to be all that tender anyway having pulled it a good 25 degrees shy of my goal internal temp. At that point I just wanted to break it down and put it in the fridge and go to bed. I was in no mood for patience having been tending the fire for 17 hours and still falling way short. Rookie mistake, chalk it up to a learning experience. There's always a curveball coming. If it was fast, effortless and easy, everyone would turn out fall apart tender meats every time. That's what slow cookers and crock pots are for I guess