Need Help Again :(

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by simlid, May 26, 2011.

  1. simlid

    simlid Newbie


    Sorry to have to keep asking but this smoking is kicking my a**. I have so far completed a shoulder and a brisket, been through the stalls (very frustrating) but stuck with them (26.5 hours for the shoulder and 8 hours for the brisket which was noticeably smaller). I decided to try some Turkey breasts today. Got a great brine together a nice water bath (using it in the water tray of my MES 40) and a gorgeous spritz.

    Everything was going well when I put these 2 bone in breasts (2.5 lbs approx each) on at noon 30 today. Well here I am at 10 pm and with multiple therms I am only registering 174 (was aiming for 180). I have seen them rise to 179 on one and 175 on the other but now they are going the wrong way and have dropped to 175 and 174 respectively. I must admit I didn't expect a stall or reversal on poultry but maybe I am wrong.

    I was smoking at 235 all day until approx 3pm when I decided just to crank it to 275. Good smoke but I am not sure what more to do.

    Thanks as always for your help here. I certainly am glad I found this forum
  2. adiochiro3

    adiochiro3 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    No worries about asking -- that's why we all hang out here together. 

    Something is really amiss with your situation.  My first thought is that one of your thermometers is way off.  There is no way those turkey breasts would take 10 hours to hit temp.  So either your smoker thermo &/or your meat thermo is not registering correctly.  I've never gone past 5.5 hours on a WHOLE 18 lb. turkey!  If you are relying on the factory thermometers, don't -- they are notoriously inaccurate.  You can check them by setting them in boiling water; of course, they should read 212*. 

    Let us know what you find out.

  3. tyotrain

    tyotrain Master of the Pit

  4. smokinal

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

  5. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    Check your thermos & Invest in good ones

  6. shooter1

    shooter1 Smoking Fanatic

    X5...and 26.5 hours for a shoulder??? Was it a shoulder off of a T-REX? [​IMG]  I've cooked whole hogs 200-250 lbs that didn't take that long.
  7. dougmays

    dougmays Limited Mod Group Lead

    agreed i can't imagine any reason a shoulder would take 26hours, if you approx 1.5-2 hours per pound, was it a 15-17lb shoulder:)

    my thought is that your thermo on the smoker is not working might think it's at 235 but i'd be willing to bet its well below 200, hence why its taking much longer to get meat to temp.  also at that low of a temp you could run the risk of not getting your internal meat temp above 145 in the firs 4 hours which can be bad. 

    get a good thermo to put inside the smoker to monitor temps along side with the meat
  8. X7 Check those therms in some boiling water.
  9. arnie

    arnie Smoking Fanatic

    Ditto on check the therms in both ice water and boiling water.

    Where you from? You're not smoking at high altitude are you?
  10. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member


    This site has tons of info.

    I would suggest you spend some time reading all the different forums and the WIKIs.

    Then use the handy dandy search tool for specific interests!!

     Take the free E-Course too..

    Have a great day!!!

  11. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Sounds like you guys have him covered. No need to add anything else. I hope he gets back to us and lets us know what he finds.
  12. raptor700

    raptor700 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

      I'm with you Ross, I would like to know what's goin on in his smoker [​IMG]
  13. realtorterry

    realtorterry Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    So how did it come out? Did you check the therms?
  14. adiochiro3

    adiochiro3 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    [quote name="Shooter1" url="/forum/thread/106913/need-help-again#post_637216"]
    X5...and 26.5 hours for a shoulder??? Was it a shoulder off of a T-REX? [​IMG]  I've cooked whole hogs 200-250 lbs that didn't take that long.

    Hmmm mm! T-Rex......that gives me an idea for the long weekend......(LOL!).
  15. africanmeat

    africanmeat Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Sorry i hope your thermos are on Fahremheit and not on Celsius
  16. simlid

    simlid Newbie

    Wow....thanks for the responses x 10 ;)

    The shoulder of the T-Rex actually was really good at that time. I would say fall of the bone but that was almost incinerated ;) Joking aside the meat was really good. The brisket I did (4 pound) took 11 hours (according to temps from the thermo) and that was really good actually as well.

    The Turkey from yesterday.............................well I certainly smoked it within an inch of its life. If it was any drier it would have been like licking turkey flavored sand paper. Having said that the smoke ring was awesome and the skin tasted really good at 11pm last night.

    I am using a number of thermos. On the shoulder and brisket they were with the built in thermo on the MES 40. However the Turkey breasts were with a couple of Maverick remote thermos      yesterday. Used them for steaks before and never had a problem, always read accurately.

    To answer the other question I am in Colorado so yes cooking at altitude. In fact where I am situated is about 6400' above sea level.

    The better half was giving me grief about needing to start these earlier !!!! If that was the case it would have been like the turkey from National Lampoons Christmas Vacation (pause for puff of smoke as you carve into it) :)

    I will be checking the thermos again tomorrow as I want to do some chicken pieces and want to make sure these are good before then. Any recommendations on thermos to purchase (with links) would be great. Also any other advice for those of us at altitude would be greatly appreciated as well

    Thanks so much all
  17. raptor700

    raptor700 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I'm try'in to get a clear pic of whats goin on with your temps, you say
      Did you use the pit, and food probes?

    There is something goin on here! I'm just try'in to help you figure it out  [​IMG]

    It could be a sea level issue, But i live less than 300' above so i can't chime in on that.
  18. simlid

    simlid Newbie

    Hi there

    I used my MES 40 smoker and the two Maverick remote food probes that were pushed into both of the Turkey breasts from minute 1 and being read remotely and locally through the process. Hope that helps
  19. raptor700

    raptor700 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Have you compared the factory temp guage with another pit probe?
  20. simlid

    simlid Newbie

    No I have used both the MES 40" built in probe and the Mavericks and that is it. Any recommendations on a probe from Amazon etc ?


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