looking for some reassurance? what am i doin wrong?

Discussion in 'For New Members' started by jayskibum, Jan 13, 2014.

  1. jayskibum

    jayskibum Fire Starter

    So i am relativly new to smoking until this weekend i had only smoked ribs which i have quickly learned are far easier than other meats.  I have a MES 30 that has no issues staying at temp through the duration of the cook.

    So on friday i smoked a 3 lb pot roast.  IT hit 145 F and then got stuck for approx 3 hrs.  I ended having to put it in an aluminum pain and cover it before i could get the temp to rise.  The temp of my smoker was 225 F and i have a maverick e732 so i am sure the temp was accurate.  I had figured this would take 4 to 5 hrs ended up taking closer to 8 hrs.

    Then on Saturday i went at it agian.  This time with (2) 4.5 lb picnics to make pulled pork.  This time i made the smoker temp 240 F hoping to get past the temp wall but sure enough once i got past 140 F the temp started creaping up about 2 degrees every 45 min.  I figured they would take 8 or 9 hrs to get to an IT temp of 205.  No such luck.  Ended up being a 15 hr cook to reach that temp.  Which seems far longer than it should be.

    The problem isn't the food both the pot roast and the pulled pork were delicious.

    So my question is why am i hitting a temp wall?

    Is this common?

    And is there a way to prevent this from happening?

    Also are my estimates for cook times off?

    Frustating to start something you hope is going to be ready for dinner and then it not getting done until 2:30 am. (although the end experience was more rewarding bc i had been waiting to eat it for so long)

    Thanks in advance for any input
  2. Hello you are hitting the stall. This is normal, it can last from one hour up to as much as five hours.(two to three probably average)             Some  wrap in foil to POWER through the stall,others pull at stall and go to oven.  I wait and wait(have had a nine pound butt take twenty-three hours) low and slow works for making meat magic. Also foiling will affect your bark. Keep notes and cook to IT, have fun , try new things/ways till you find "YOUR SWEET SPOT ".
  3. jayskibum

    jayskibum Fire Starter

    thanks for the response addicted 2 smoke.

    I also stuck with the low and slow method.  I did end up putting it in the oven to finish it off but i stuck with the 235 f cooking temp i had been using in the smoker.  The end result was delicous was just hoping i could predict finish times a little closer.

    Smoking is a blast and i can't get enough of the food so i am thoroughly addicted.  I think the next step is to make a few small mods to my MES 30 gen 2 to make it have a little better draft.  Thinking a small exhaust pipe to help prevent the back draft and possibly a small fan.
  4. demosthenes9

    demosthenes9 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Even taking the stall into consideration, it seems like your cooks are taking longer than they should.    Where are you putting the ET-732 probe that's reading your chamber temps ?   Is it on the same shelf and close to where the meat is ?   Is it on a different shelf?   Stuck way over on a side away from the meat ?
  5. jayskibum

    jayskibum Fire Starter

    Yes the thermometer was in the vicinity of the meat.  I had it hanging centered above the shelf the meat was on in the same are that the MES temp prob is.  The next bottle of wine i consume i will save the cork so i can slide the probe through that and have it on the shelf with the meat and see if i am getting different temp readings.  It was also windy at my house which was causing back draft issues.  But i have cooked ribs when it was -10 and had no issues with temp so i am 99 percent certain my smoker is achieving the required temp but i have been wrong before.
  6. little smokey

    little smokey Smoking Fanatic

    The outside temp won't really kill the cooking temps of your smoker but the Wind will really jack it up, that could have been your culprit there.
  7. jayskibum

    jayskibum Fire Starter

    yea i wondered that as well but my house is always windy.  I have yet to smoke meat on day that wasn't windy.  down fall to living in the middle of large fields i guess.  I don't care if the meat takes a long time to cook.  My concern is it is difficult to plan dinner when you have a 5 hr range that it may finish in.  Bottom line is there are to many factors to just figure out what happened.  After doing the ribs i thought i had a good grasp on things.  But i was wrong.  Fortunalty the food is delicous so i can keep failing and enjoy it.

    The next task is to get my amnps to work properly.  The wind was causing a back draft that was preventing the tray from smoldering properly.  going to stop and get a 90 degree elbow to create a better draft and resolve that issue hopefully.

    The wonders of learning a new hobby.  Lots of unawnsered questions.  But fortunatly i have found this great site that allows me to find most answers without asking.  Thanks to all the moderators, contributors, and smoke junkies that make this site function the way it does.
  8. demosthenes9

    demosthenes9 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    All good, was just checking.   When I first started smoking, I naively thought that the included thermometer would be correct.   Once I became disabused of that notion, I wrongly concluded that running a probe through a vent and resting it on the corner of the top rack would give me accurate temps.   I mean, when my oven says 250, it's pretty much 250 everywhere inside it.  Surely a smoker should be the same, right  :)

    Eventually I finally learned that there are temp variations throughout a vertical smoker, and that if I wanted an accurate reading of the "true" chamber temp that I was smoking at, it was best to position the probe in very close proximity to what was being smoked.  

    I hope you get it figured out as I completely agree that a 5 hour range like that is intolerable.
  9. wilk7j

    wilk7j Newbie

    I feel your pain. I put a 3.5lb Boston butt on at 330 and just hit 144 IT and it's 1000 now. Love my smoker but have got to learn how to time it better!
  10. geerock

    geerock Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    You got that right. No way you're taking over 3 hrs / lb at 240 for small pork roasts, stall or not. The mes units are notorious for being off and I believe your probe placement is giving you wrong info.
  11. Check you temp Gage and the placement of your probe. I use a Reverse Flow / charcoal and wood  I check my Cook Chamber Gage several times a year for accuracy. I check my meat every so often using a meat thermometer. I smoke at 225º  usually when I do pork shoulder i will do a couple of 8 # to 9 # and it takes a while. Good luck

    Gary S
  12. jayskibum

    jayskibum Fire Starter

    thanks for all the responses. 

    Demos thanks for the info could be placement ill try a different spot next time.

    Wilkj I'm sure the late night was well worth the wait for the delicious reward.  I know mine was.

    Geerock yea seems like it took far longer than it should have based on what I thought the temp was.  I will definitely place it differently next time.

    Gary S it was brand new out of the package.  I verified its accuracy with boiling water and it was good.  And also checked the meat with a different meat thermometer.  It agreed with the maverick within a degree.

    I will figure it out.  It's a horrible thing having to smoke more meat to figure out the solution. 
  13. wilk7j

    wilk7j Newbie

    Jay I agree it's horrible! I verified mine thermometer same as you. Just fired the smoker up and I'm going to try a different thermometer placement.
  14. What are you smoking today ?

  15. jayskibum

    jayskibum Fire Starter

    Nice hope this endeavor goes better than your last.  Unfortunatly due to having to go to work i won't be able to attempt my next smoke until this weekend.  I plan on doing a few mods before the next attempt as well.  Got everything ordered so hopefully it comes in this week and everything will come together and the TBS will flow properly.

    Ordered a small fan i am hoping that the added air circulation will help to keep a more consistent temp throughout the smoker.  Time will tell.

    Also adding a 90 degree elbow with a rain cover to the exhaust port hoping that will assist with the draft issue.
  16. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    On average at 225-250°F large cuts of Pork and Beef will take 2 hours per pound and always figure 2-3 hours to CYA and give a rest. Occasionally they go longer, some less. Foiling can help get through the stall and although I have yet to try it, a trusted member has said that Messaging the meat can reduce stall time...JJ
  17. jayskibum

    jayskibum Fire Starter

    Thanks Chef jimmy j

    What is CYA?
  18. wilk7j

    wilk7j Newbie

    Gaty I'm doing another butt. Bout the same size as the other.

    Jay I work a 24 on 48 off schedule. I just got home this morning and ready to smoke!

    Chef, thanks for the info. Getting an earlier start today!
  19. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Cover Your A$$. It is way better to get done early and and have the meat resting in a cooler for 4-5 hours then have hungry family staring you down because dinner is late...JJ
  20. jayskibum

    jayskibum Fire Starter

    aahhh i see thanks jimmy i agree.  I did have a dissapointed room mate since he didn't get the said pulled pork for dinner.  Me and my other room mate thoroughly enjoyed it at 2:00 am.  But there were also several large adult beverages consumed to make it to this point in the morning lol.

    Thanks for the info and i will def be factoring in the CYA factor in the future.

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