First Shoulder / Butt Smoke. Help?

Discussion in 'Pork' started by brandonh, Jun 10, 2014.

  1. I put my shoulder in the smoker when the meat was about 60F 1.5 hours ago. The probe (which read 214F in boiling water, so it seems accurate enough within a couple of degrees) is showing 98F. It is a ~5lb chunk of meat is the temp expected to rise so quickly? I didnt think it was and now Im concerned that I did something wrong. I dont see how its going to take 8 hours to finish.

    I inserted the probe all the way in up to an inch or so before the probe bends. Is it the extra inch sticking out thats making the temp rise so quickly? The smoker is at 225F or so.

    Can anyone tell me if going up by 45 degrees in 2 hours is normal? As Im doing the math (22.5 degrees per hour) it appears it should be done in a total of 6.5 hours. Does that sound right?

    Also, about when should I expect the stall?

    Is throwing in a handful or two of chips every 90 minutes sufficient, or too much?

    Sorry for all the questions, I just dont want to screw this up. :)

    Im taking pics as I go, Ill be sure to update the post with them when Im done.



    edit: Wow.. It started raining and the smoker dropped by around 90 degrees. That should lengthen my smoke, lol. I dont know that I can get it back up to 225. UGH.
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2014
  2. demosthenes9

    demosthenes9 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Brandon, is the tip of your temp probe roughly in the center of the butt?
  3. I inserted the probe in the center of the 'short' end, but after  pushing it in its probably past the center lengthwise. I was concerned to leave much of the probe exposed since I thought it would register more ambient temp than internal meat temp.

    Thanks for the reply.
  4. demosthenes9

    demosthenes9 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Don't worry about back end "handle" of the probe. It has no effect. The actual sensor is isolated up near

    The temp sensor is isolated near the tip of the probe. Don't worry about the back end of it sticking out as it has no effect on the reading. Reposition the probe so that the tip is in the center of the butt. Just be sure that it's not near the bone.

    All that said, it's certainly possible that the butt's temp has increased 45 degrees in 2 hours, especially given that it was already 60 degrees when you put the butt in at the beginning. Increase in internal temp won't be linear when cooking a butt. By this I mean that it won't go up at a steady climb of 20 degrees per hour. Some hours might see a 20 degree increase, other hours you might only get a 3 degree increase. It's thermodynamics at work.
    brandonh likes this.
  5. Stupid physics.

    Thanks for the info.[​IMG]

    Ill go pull the probe out a couple of inches.
  6. bobank03

    bobank03 Smoking Fanatic

    and keep us posted as you go! And welcome to SMF!
  7. caribou89

    caribou89 Smoke Blower

    Don't stress about it man. It's just BBQ. Just try to get the smoker back up to temp. Sounds like you are running an electric. My electric really needs chips every 30 minutes in a small handful. If you can get the smoker back up due to the rain. Try to pull it under a patio or something. If you still can't get the temps back up, there's no shame in moving to the oven so y'all can still eat supper tonight.

    As far as the cook time, it's always a little different. I just did a 9lb pork shoulder arm roast on my new ugly drum smoker, and it took 7 hours.
    brandonh likes this.
  8. Actually running an LP, and I did get the temps back up. So far so good. Im now reading 121 on the meat.

    FWIW, smoking with approx 3 parts apple chips, 1 part hickory. Got apple juice in the water pan with a splash of pineapple. Sure smells good out there. :)

    Thanks for the help and support, gang. I really appreciate it.

  9. caribou89

    caribou89 Smoke Blower

    Good deal. Next time you have to open it up, snap a picture!
  10. First pics; around four hours in. Probe reading 130F. Meat firming up, rub nice and dry. Getting excited over here. [​IMG]

    With flash

    Without flash

    Last edited: Jun 10, 2014
  11. 7 hours in. Probe reads 156.

  12. caribou89

    caribou89 Smoke Blower

    Looks good. I'd wrap that sucker up right and put it back on til it's 205
    brandonh likes this.
  13. Wrap it up? Can I get a little more detail? lol

    Just wrap it in a couple layers of foil and put it back in the smoker? Should the foil be vented or sealed, loose or tight, etc?
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2014
  14. caribou89

    caribou89 Smoke Blower

    Sorry. I like to wrap my shoulders in foil once the fat starts to crack and the bark is established. It keeps the moisture in. Then I just stick the probe through the foil. After it's to temp, I wrap it in a bath towel (old one) for an hour on the counter top.
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2014
    brandonh likes this.
  15. caribou89

    caribou89 Smoke Blower

    I wrap mine tight in 2 layers.

    And the resting is important. I got impatient on mine today. Using a new smoker for the first time wanted to taste the results so I didn't rest it. It tastes good, but wasn't quite as moist as it would have been.
  16. Perfect. Thanks for the extra info. Ill get right on it. :)
  17. caribou89

    caribou89 Smoke Blower

    Oh also, wrapping in foil can help get you through a temperature stall faster.
    brandonh likes this.
  18. Good to know. Its been at 165 for what feels like forever. 
  19. caribou89

    caribou89 Smoke Blower

    It'll get there. Sometimes it takes over an hour to push through the stall. Just let her ride.
  20. Thanks for all the help, encouragement, and information, Caribou & Demosthenes. Its like I have my very own smoking mentor. ;)
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2014

Share This Page