Can't ever get a boston butt over 175

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by diver36, Dec 14, 2013.

  1. diver36

    diver36 Newbie

    I cook on a regular backyard offset smoker, can't afford much more. Of course it doesn't have the best seal but I do my best to keep it sealed i.e, latching the lid etc... Last weekend I cooked a 11 lb bone in boston butt for 24 hours. I just left it on there for so long waiting for the temp to reach 195. After 24 hours I went ahead and pulled it off. I am sure it was well overcooked but it was the absolute BEST BBQ I have ever tasted. I could just squeeze it and it would come apart. It was also still very moist. What am I doing wrong though? I don't think I should have to cook it that long and only reach 175. At times the smoker temp will spike from opening the firebox and putting wood on but for the most part it stays pretty steady @225-250. Any advice is greatly appreciated as I am still a novice at smoking.
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2013
  2. handymanstan

    handymanstan Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    Welcome to the forum. Please run over to Roll call and introduce yourself. 

    I think you need a new therm.  Meat sounds like it got to 200 with it just pulling apart.  Check your therms in boiling water.

    We need Pics

  3. garyhibbert

    garyhibbert Smoking Guru OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Hey Diver

    Welcome to the forum.  You'll get answers to any question you ask

  4. diver36

    diver36 Newbie

    Ok thanks fellas, it's a digital therm. I am doing another one tomorrow, gonna put it on early am. I have a couple analog therms, I'll compare all of them in the boiling water. Thanks!! Saving a little money for a cyber q and fan. I know it's probably a little overkill for what I am doing but it seems to be a good product from the reviews I have read and also to help me control my smoker temps a little better. I also picked up some high heat gasket material and food safe silicone to help seal everything a little better.
  5. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    The secret . . . read my signature...
  6. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I'm relatively new to smoking so I like using a food probe on BBs and shoulders.  Pulled pork is my favorite BBQ.  At 225 I've had BB's I smoked that I couldn't get over 185-190, but they were over 170, the point where connective tissue starts melting, for four to five hours.  Could barely pick them up without falling apart and it was juicy and delicious.  I now use 170 as a threshold.  If its been above that temp for 4 hours but still below my target, it's done.  Time to wrap and rest.    
    chef jimmyj likes this.
  7. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    That is an outstanding answer and exactly what happened!...JJ [​IMG]
  8. jarjarchef

    jarjarchef Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    You said you have a cheap off set smoker. What type is it? Have you done any mods? If not I would make a charcole basket, they make it so much easier to control your temps. Most COS after a short time the fire will get smothered or choked by the ash that is in the fire box. The basket will raise your fire up a bit and allow it to breath. On some you can even slide the ash pan out without messing with the basket during the cook. Good air flow will help greatly on temp control. I have never used one of the controllers you speak of. I shy away due to seeing a fan blowing ash and soot into the cook chamber and getting on my food.

    Proper placement of a calibrated probe will help too. If you are using the thermometer that came with the COS that may be an issue too. Most are not correct. So I use a remote thermometer to monitor the temps close to the meat.

    Just a few things to look at......


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