Electric smoker plateau problem

Discussion in 'Pork' started by t-dog, May 4, 2012.

  1. t-dog

    t-dog Newbie

    Have several years experience in smoking pork shoulders and are usually very successful. Just got a new MES and tried to smoke 8 lb. shoulder. Smoker held consistent 225 as confirmed by extra digital thermometer in smoker. Expected approximate 12 hour smoke to reach target pulling temperature of 195. Instead, took meat 19 hours to reach 190 as confirmed by unit's meat probe and an extra digital thermometer. Required another 9 hours to raise from 190 to 195. Despite being correct temperature, meat was dry and fat cap had almost completely rendered away. Meat was not frozen and was placed in smoker directly from refrigerator, water pan was filled with water, and unit produced nice smoke. Anyone else ever had this happen? Would appreciate any ideas on what might have caused this or how to keep it from happening again.
  2. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    sounds like something in the temp somewhere wasn't right. have you calibrated all your thermos to make sure they are all correct.

     19 hrs to reach 190 on an 8 lb shoulder is not unheard of although a bit long but to gain 5 degrees in 9 hrs ,something is definantly wrong and it's not the meat. either cooking temp was not right or meat temp was not right. You thermo may have been touching bone ??
  3. iceshark

    iceshark Fire Starter

    I have only done butts in my MES and have excellent results. I put it at 225 and I use Butts always at the 7lb mark. (don't ask why but wife always seems to pick em up at that size).

    I almost never have had one on for more then 13 hours. Usually I get a stall in temp (normal) at  8 hours and about 145-155 degrees. Then at about hour 11 they start climbing fast.  I pull them (cooking 1 at time did not want to throw you off with word them) at hour 12-13 and 195 degrees with my electric internal digital alarm starts going crazy at 195. 

    I would think one lb more could have taken at 225 in a MES properly cooking about 12-14 max and should have been perfect. I do not foil.   Hope that helps

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