What did I do wrong - pork loin wouldn't get to IT?

Discussion in 'Pork' started by dadpal, Mar 24, 2014.

  1. Hello all!  I am learning to smoke (about 15 mostly successful smokes) and had an odd problem this weekend.  I was smoking a stuffed pork loin in my 18.5 WSM and couldn't get it up to my target IT of 160.  The smoker was pre-heated to 230-235 and the IT climbed steadily to 158 in about 2 hours.  So far so good - it was just as I expected.  Then, it stalled.  The loin was as lean as you would expect with almost no internal fat or connecting tissue.  After about 20 minutes I bumped the smoker temp about 10 degrees expecting the IT to respond.  After 30 more minutes the IT hadn't budged so I again increased the smoker temp to about 255.  After 3-1/2 hours the IT was still 158.  Talk about blowing my mind!  I pulled the meat and obviously the cheese had all melted out and the loin was DRY.  I have done a few other loins (stuffed and whole) and haven't had this problem before.  Smoker and IT temp's were measured on a Maverick, and a ThermaPen confirmed the IT.

    What did I do wrong?
  2. demosthenes9

    demosthenes9 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Not sure what happened, but solution is very simple.   Pull the loin at 140-145 next time   [​IMG]
  3. Sheesh!  What a screw-up!  After re-reading several posts I see I had the wrong target temp to begin with.  Sometimes the coconut on top of my shoulders is just too thick.  I'm still stumped, though, why I couldn't get the IT above 158 (even though that was way too high).
  4. smokeyjman

    smokeyjman Fire Starter

    I did mine to 165 as the meat was cut and rolled.... and not a fresh slab
  5. dockman

    dockman Smoking Fanatic

    Yep I pull mine at 135-140!
  6. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The reason the temp wouldn't rise is "stall".... moist meat gives off moisture ... like a swamp cooler, it keeps the meat cool.... wrap the meat in foil and that problem goes away..... And you are correct about the proper finished temp... 140 ish is more than enough for loin.....
  7. This piece was filleted, stuffed, rolled, and tied.  Does the 140 still apply or (as I read in other posts) is it 160'ish?
  8. demosthenes9

    demosthenes9 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    It would still be considered a "solid" piece of meat, or "whole, intact".      The rule you are talking about refers primarily to meat that has been ground, and also meat who's interior has been penetrated through injection.
  9. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The meat is still a whole muscle, but exterior bacteria has been rolled into the interior....

    For a 5 log reduction in "bacteria" a hold temperature for 9 minutes at 140 is adequate.... at 145, holding the temp for 3 minutes is adequate.... those numbers are assuming you did follow good sanitation rules and I would assume that the reading is in the center of the stuffed stuff.... That allows for a lower oven temp so the exterior of the meat isn't overcooked.... Start the temp at 225 to kill surface bacteria... hold until the 135 ish temp has penetrated the meat 1/4" or so.... lower the temp to 160 - 170 and finish the cook... Trying to cook a thick piece of "roulade" to a med. med./rare is tough at best......
    As for my response, I was addressing the "stall" temperature and not the loin safety question necessarily.... Here is a chart.... Dave

    Last edited: Mar 24, 2014
    demosthenes9 likes this.
  10. Thanks a ton.  I had to google "5 log reduction" to understand, but this is perfect.

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