New guy with a time-to-temp question

Discussion in 'For New Members' started by drmindbender, Jul 2, 2014.

  1. drmindbender

    drmindbender Newbie

    I'm hoping that I didn't hit a big stall on my first smoke... ha ha.

    Here goes:

    For my first smoke I chose pork loins. They were on sale for $2.99/lb if I bought a pack of 4. Each loin is about 1.25 lbs.

    Fired up the smoker (Char-Broil offset American 300 series) at around 11:00 AM today. Got the temp between 225-250 (measured at the hood) and once it was stable for 45 minutes I put the loins on. Turned them every half hour, added chips to the fire as needed, etc etc.

    It's now 4:30 PM EST and the loins haven't hit 140 degrees yet. They are hovering between 135-138 degrees internal, which is where they've sat since probably around 2PM. I tried different thermometers for both internal temp and hood temp and they all appear to be within a few degrees of each other. I do not open the hood frequently or anything like that.

    Based on all the searching I've done I should have needed 1.5 hours per pound without regard to how many are on there. 

    What gives? I can't imagine that it takes 4+ hours to bring a 1.25lb pork loin up to 145 degrees?

    Thanks everybody!
  2. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    At that size those were tenderloins, not loins.  You post is over 4 hours old.  Tenderloins that size at that chamber temp should have been done around two hours. 

    So, almost afraid to ask, what was the result?   
  3. drmindbender

    drmindbender Newbie

    Thanks for the reply!

    Everything I read/charted said 2 hours would be the cook time but the internal temp just didn't want to rise.

    The end product was not awful but nowhere near where it should have been. It was dry but not completely with a heavy smoke flavor (I knew this would happen when I was adding chips over and over, but the only time the temp really seemed to rise is when I added them). I took an knife and the pork was able to be shredded with not too much effort.

    Any thoughts on why it took so long?
  4. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I suspect the meat stalled and started sweating. That's pretty low for a stall but not too far off. I've seen pork stall at lower temps (mid 140s) than beef, but not that low. Every piece of meat is different though.
    drmindbender likes this.
  5. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    BTW, I smoke loins and tenderloins at a much higher temp, up to 325F. I usually marinate them and often inject. The tenderloins get to 145F internal temp in an hour, 165F in another 15 to 20 minutes. The loins (bigger cut of meat) take about another hour to get to the same internal temps.
  6. geerock

    geerock Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    No way you take that long if you are sure of your temps. The description of the finished product says overcooked. Loin or tenderloin..... especially at 1 and a quarter pounds is not goung to stall near that amount if time, if at all. Your internal temp gauge sounds like its off.
  7. drmindbender

    drmindbender Newbie

    Thanks for the input everybody!

    On Saturday I threw some top round beef on the smoker just to see what I could do with it. At $1.99/lb I figure it's good to be cheap as I'm figuring out the basics and the way the smoker acts. Each piece of meat was ~2-2.5 lbs.

    According to Jeff Phillips' site the time required is 1.5-2 hours. I was going for medium rare. Hood temp was measured with a Pyrex candy thermometer stuck in the thermometer hole. 225-250* the whole time, more towards 250.

    This time I went by time and not by internal temperature. After 2.5 hours I pulled it and cut it open after a rest and it looked like this (although the pic makes it look rarer than it was):

    I was afraid it was too rare so onto the grill it went for a quick blast, after which it looked like this:

    Tastes great, is nice and tender.

    But my issue is that when I pulled it the instant read thermometer (also Pyrex) only went to about 95* or so, which seems impossible to me. It was 85-90* ambient temp outside!

    What gives? Are my thermometers garbage? When I test them in a pot of boiling water they read ~212* just fine.

    Should I be reading temperatures at the grill?

    I am using a charcoal chimney to get the coals going and I don't have the hood or firebox open long when adding, basting, or flipping.

    Thanks for bearing with me on this one. I'm sure I seem like a baby deer standing up for the first time.
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2014

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