What's wrong with my Boston Butt?

Discussion in 'Beef' started by newarcher, Jan 18, 2015.

  1. newarcher

    newarcher Fire Starter

    I put this thing on last night at 7 PM for an overnight smoke.  My smoker (for some reason) was all over the place all night, mostly on the high side.  As high as 320 for no reason (nothing changed) and as low as 180.  It stalled at 145 and now some 17 hours later is only at 165.  I checked it with a couple different probes and a different thermometer, so I think it's okay.

    I've never had an 8 lb butt take this long to cook but can't figure out what could be wrong.

    Any thoughts?
  2. nomnomnom

    nomnomnom Fire Starter

    8 pounders normally take 10-14 hours if you are running slow. From my experience and many mess ups I have found that if it drops below 200 for too long it seems to take a few extra hours to make up for that time. I'm guessing it has to do with the fat rendering process.
  3. cliffcarter

    cliffcarter Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    You should have kept it at 320°, you'd have been done hours ago.

    Turn up the heat, you'll be done sooner.
  4. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    What smoker are you using? Were you babysitting it all night? That just can't happen in a smoker running in the 225 to 320° range all night. That definitely sounds like the smoke temp was below 180 most of the time. I can't think of any way that can happen with a smoker even running " at " 180 for 17 hours. If the meat was not Injected with anything, you can put it in the oven at 300-325°F and it will be ready for supper. If it was injected, there is a risk that some bacteria was introduced to the center of the meat and produced some Toxins that could make you ill...JJ 
  5. I agree temp gauge problems

  6. newarcher

    newarcher Fire Starter

    I babysat it via my thermometer...I was up a few times trying to keep the temp around 230.

    I injected it with apple juice.....so I guess I had better just toss it or even take it back to where I got it and tell them it was bad.  I've never seen meat that wouldn't cook.

    Since starting this post the smoker has been at 230-240 and the meat hasn't changed temps.  I'm confirming the temp with two different probes on the Maverick and a separate probe thermometer.

    I've done several butts over my time and never had a problem.  This one stalled in the 140's forever, not sure if that messed with it.
  7. cliffcarter

    cliffcarter Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    IMHO this thread is a prime example of why you should not cook butts low and slow. If you cook at 300°-325° these problems do not occur and you are not throwing a large amount of meat away.

    Just an observation, I'm not trying to stir the pot.[​IMG]
  8. adam d

    adam d Smoke Blower

    What thermometer did you use out of curiosity? The one ON the smoker? If so, that might be your problem... check to see if it's dirty. Mine is covered in black soot, and reads about 50 degrees or less... but I don't bother with it, don't clean it, as I use a prob thermometer in my meat and my smoker... so i know the true temp...
  9. wolfman1955

    wolfman1955 Master of the Pit

    Just wondering why a thread about Boston Butt is in the beef section?
  10. [​IMG]

    Happy smoken.

  11. adam d

    adam d Smoke Blower

  12. I'm thinking it's because...well...maybe...

    Hell, I don't know. Maybe karma for posting pork in the beef section?

    Or sometimes these things just happen... :yahoo: :biggrin: :yahoo:
  13. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    It has been known for a butt to take 2 hours per pound at 230 degrees. If you were constantly opening the door, or lid or whatever because we still don't know what kind of smoker you have that can contribute to problems getting stuff done too. You might include some details so we can help you. I would highly recommend taking jeff's 5 day e course. It is free and you can learn the basics so the next time you don't do it wrong. Or as wrong anyway. I would not suggest brining or injecting pork butts. There is no need. They have plenty of built in moisture and flavor. That is what all that fat is for. If it has been cooking for over 4 hours between 40 and 140 degrees then you might just want to toss it. Injecting introduces bacteria into the meat. So it is generally considered a bad idea unless you are cooking hot and fast. I have had butts stall at 165 or so for hours and hours. It is all part of it man.
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2015
  14. I have smoked more butts than I can remember  I did 2 butts and 4 racks of ribs last week, Both butts were pretty close to the same weight one was a little thicker, One finished in 11 hours and the other in 12, I smoke at 225 º and the butts were around 8 # each. I have had butts take 14 hours, but I can't remember any taking any longer than that. Here are a fewpics

  15. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    You know gary I rarely see Butts in the markets here in my neck of the woods. I usually end up with a ten plus pound picnic for my pulled pork it seems. Maybe that is why my Butts are always marathon events. Hey, that stuff looks really darn good there.
  16. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    I think I remember this one took 22 hours and change.
  17. That one there looks pretty tasty to me, If they have hams they should be able to get pork shoulders (Butts)  ask the butcher maybe he can get some in for you.

  18. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    As luck would have it gary I have one in the fridge right now I rubbed down saturday for an all night smoke I backed out on saturday night. Think I will throw it in the drum tonight or tomorrow.
  19. Cool I'll be watching


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