Help Newbie To Smoking with New Smoker & Stalled Pork Butt

Discussion in 'Pork' started by simlid, May 7, 2011.

  1. simlid

    simlid Newbie

    Hello all

    Not been a great day for meat here :(

    Smoking is new to me but really want to get into it. I went to Sam's and picked up a Masterbuilt 40" Electric Smoker on Friday and a 7.5 lbs butt at the same time. Put it in the smoker this morning at 225 and here is is at 19:30 and still only registering around 147. Its been this way now for 2 hours (approx) and am getting worried that I may have done something wrong. I had good smoke coming out and was replacing my wood every 20-30 minutes. Just not sure whether I leave it or admit defeat.

    Any help is greatly appreciated

  2. adiochiro3

    adiochiro3 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Leave it alone and keep your smoker temp in that zone! It will come out of the stall when all of the connective tissue has broken down. That stall time can vary a lot with each peice of meat. I've had stalls last longer than 2 hours. If you can and are inclined, you can raise your temp to 250* and get fine results.

    Hang in there, and all will be well! I promise!
  3. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    You're not doing anything wrong, as long as you're keeping the smoke chamber door closed. Stalls can hit anywhere from the lower 140's to the 180's with butts. I have one in now, 23.25 hours into the smoke without foiling, and it's just coming out of a stall which has rambled on and on from 177 to 175, and now to 180...wicked-long stall of 8.25 hours. It has happened to every tougher cut of meat I've ever smoked. Just let it ride and you will rewarded for your patience.

    Last edited: May 7, 2011
  4. roller

    roller Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    What they said and do not open the door and I am sure that you do not need anymore smoke on it so just hang in there ...your time will come!
  5. adiochiro3

    adiochiro3 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Well? What's the status?
  6. fife

    fife Master of the Pit

    Hope it turns out well for ya and let us know how it is. PIX please.
  7. simlid

    simlid Newbie

    Hey all, thanks for the quick and supportive replies. Here we are now 9pm MST another 1.5 hours on and finally I have seen the temp rise but only slightly. I am now showing 151 (just hit 152 while typing) on the internal meat thermometer and when I had probed it earlier it was within 1-2 degrees of 2 other thermometers I use. I did turn the heat up a little per one of the posts above to see if this may help but at the moment looks like I'm having pulled pork for a midnight snack :)

    This has been a very interesting learning experience, never in a million years did I think that a 7.5lbs butt would take this long but then again I've never smoked one before :)

    I am curious of Eric's 23.25 hours, what size was that ?

    Is there a science behind the stall, quality of meat, trim etc ?

    Thanks so much all, will definitely be asking a lot more questions here and keep you updated on this one
  8. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    There's no way to tell ahead of time how these things will cook, and it's almost impossible to predict a finish time. Your doing a great job so far.
  9. porked

    porked Smoking Fanatic

    Butts and briskets can be very stubborn, not always, but sometimes. I run a little higher with my stick burner for this reason, usually around 250-275.

    Hope it came out okay for ya!
  10. adiochiro3

    adiochiro3 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    The temp stalls because the energy is going into breaking connective tissue bonds rather than exciting the meat molecules to a higher state of agitation.  Once those bonds are finished breaking (that's where the tenderness really starts), then temps begin to rise again.

    BTW, that will taste great tomorrow (and the next day, and the next day LOL!)!  It also freezes really well for a great meal down the road.

    Looking forward to the Q-view!
  11. Thanks for helping him with the science behind the stall. Smoked my first brisket yesterday and today and I had heard of the stall, but after 3 hoursof stall I bumped up the temp. (had to get it ready for mothers day dinner).

    btw, it never really happened cause there are no pics.
  12. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Yup... the famous stall, just look at it this way, the stall is a good thing as others have posted, its when the wonderful stuff starts happening.
  13. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member


    This site has tons of info.

    I would suggest you spend some time reading all the different forums and the WIKIs.

    Then use the handy dandy search tool for specific interests!!

    Have a great day!!!


  14. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Simlid,I didn't read all the other post,but when you cook any meat , each piece is different,Some stall a few mins. and some hours; depends on the amount of Fat,connective tissue and collegen is in the meat.These have to melt and may take a while.Secret,get another Beer and wait it out.[​IMG]

      Half the fun of BBQ is the slow pace of the proceedure;so PATIENCE is a cooks best friend. Get a good probe to go in the meat and 2 good thermometers for the grill,one on each end(at grill grate level) the stoch therms. are for looks unless you get a premium unit like this:

  15. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    First thing you learn about good BBQ is it is done when it is done..... lol. [​IMG]

    I have learned it is never a good idea to try and cook a butt or a brisket by time, they have a mind of their own and will invariably have you ordering pizza if you had planned on it being done by a certain time. If I am planning on having pulled pork for dinner on Sunday night, that butt is going onto the smoker at midnight on Saturday night at the latest. You can always re-heat or even hold a big chunk of meat for several hours, but you can't rush em. Nothing will ruin a big chunk of meat faster than trying to crank up the  heat and hurry it up - you end up with tastey, chewey leather.

    Long story short... if you are using the 1.5 hrs. per. lb. of meat and trying to figure out a ballpark time, be sure to add an additional 2-3 hrs. to that. Then for 98% of the time you will be OK.... but even then if you get a wicked long stall you could still end up eating pizza.
  16. realtorterry

    realtorterry Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    How about an update or pic??
  17. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Rod has a good point,But with experience,one can use heat and time to do thier Smokes.I use bone-in Butts and Packer Briskits,I've done it enough that i can smell the meats condition and leave it in until my time is used,the opening of the pit is what makes it longer.I don't put probes in my high priced meat and lose all the juices. If you keep your temp. steady and low,you'll be ok.But then my Smoker holds heat better than most:


     I have no problem,sometimes I will pre-burn my wood to get embers.That's the fun of BBQ,it's done when it's doneI

    Sorry Rod,I had to say that[​IMG]


     The bone pulls out and it is juicy as anyone's.Just happens!
  18. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Like all the experienced folks told you, there is the dreaded stall.  At your temps you might not have even reached it yet.  Sit yourself down and prepare for a long smoke on that larger piece of meat.  You will be rewarded.

    Be careful about adding too much smoke.  You could end up with creosote laden bitter meat.

    Hang in there.

    Good luck and good smoking!

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