Long Cooking Time Issues w\ Brinkman Trailmaster Vertical Smoker

Discussion in 'Wood Smokers' started by crusader97, Mar 30, 2016.

  1. crusader97

    crusader97 Newbie

    I looked around the Forum and could not find any threads on this topic. So I hope I'm not Reinventing the wheel. I have been smoking on my Trailmaster for about a year-and-a-half now. One thing I've had issues with, is the time for cooking meats. For example, the other day I was smoking a 5 pound pork butt, I smoked it for 8 hours and the internal temperature was still only a 159 degrees when I took it off the smoker. The outside temperature that day was roughly 60 degrees, there was no wind, it was a sunny day. My thermometer of the internal cooking chamber was reading 225 degrees and I verified it with another thermometer so I know I was in the range of where I should be when it comes to smoking. I've made the proper mods to this particular smoker, or at least the mods that people have suggested for the Trailmaster. I smoke using the lump charcoal from GFS and I use wood chunks as my wood source. I use the minion method for my charcoal and then I just place the wood chunks on top. I've had this happen with other cuts of meat as well, brisket and chicken. I just don't know what to do, it doenst seem right that I have to cook any brisket that is only 10 pounds or pork butts that are usually around 8 pounds for almost 20 hours or more. Dont get me wrong I like an overnight smoke just like the next person, but it's very frustrating when I smoke all night and the meat still isn't the proper temperature that I want it to be at. Any help that anyone can give me would be very much appreciated. Hopefully I've given you enough information already on this post that you will be able to least give me some suggestions possibly.
  2. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Honestly 20 hours at 225 for a 10 lb brisket or an 8 lb butt is not out of the ordinary. I've had them take that long in my WSM. I know you have heard this before, but they are done when they are done. As long as the final product is good, I wouldn't worry how long it takes to get there.

    Enjoy the ride!

  3. I have the trailmaster limited also. Also had mine for about 1.5 years. Its a great smoker if you understand how to use it properly. Just upgraded to Klose last weekend. Are you sure the temp your reading is off the deck where you place the butt? That top thermometer is off by lIke 100 degrees I found.
    I could never really get to temp at 225 just using mostly coal in mine. I would start with charcoal to get it started and need to put in whole logs to get to temp. A 8 pound butt shouldn't take 20 hrs.
    I make awesome pulled pork. Take a 10 pound butt. Try smoking it for 5 to 6 hrs. Pull it out. Double wrap it in aluminum foil and put a whole can of good light beer. Might have to do 3 wraps so no liquid comes out. Put in oven on a baking sheet at 250 for 5 or 6 hrs. Pull out. Let cool down in foil for an hr. Pull out and shred. It comes out perfect and saves alot of time. Texas crutch is great. Many competitors use it.
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2016
  4. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    For Beef and Pork, they are dense meat. With a straight smoke, no foil, at 225 +/- 10°F, 2 Hours per Pound is not out of the ordinary. Some guys see 1.5hrs/Lb but going long happens too...JJ
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2016
  5. crusader97

    crusader97 Newbie

    Thanks guys! I know when the meat gets done its done, maybe im just being impatient. (Which is not good with smoking!) The temp i have registered is off the deck with the meat. I even upgraded my thermometer to a tru-tel from the one that comes with the smoker. I am confident im getting proper temp readings. It is just difficult to time the meat for dinner and gatherings.

    Thanks again for the comments!
  6. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Determining smoke time on things like butts and briskies will be difficult to impossible.  Even when you think you have it down, it seems like every hunk of the same cut of meat will confound you.

    Eight hours for a five pound butt could be a short smoke, especially at 225 degrees. And 159 degrees internal is just a good start for a pulled pork butt.

    Don't be discouraged.  Keep at it.  You will get there!

    Good luck and good smoking.
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2016
  7. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    As everyone else has said, low and slow takes time to get the meat to temp.

    You mention that you verified the pit therm with another therm. But did you verify that therm was correct?

    Keep in mind that if you are shooting for a finished meat temp of say 205, and your pit is at 225 it's going to take time. Not a bad thing (unless you are cooking poultry and want crispy skin).

    If your trying to achieve an IT of 200-205 for a finished meat tempand only running your out at 225, it's gonna take some time no matter what you're cooking.

    With that make sure and test your therms.


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