So, I tried my first smoke on Saturday. I just bought the all stainless MES 40" from Cabela's and preseasoned it on Friday.
I read the 5 day E-course, purchased Jeff's recipes, and decided to follow the "pulled pork sticky" from the forum. I had bought an 8 pound pork butt and seasoned and wrapped it on Friday night, and everything seemed to be going perfect.
On Saturday, I put the butt in the smoker at 6am, set the temperature to 225 and started the smoke. I believe around 10am the internal temperature was around 100, so I started spraying with a cider/rum mix every hour. At around 3, the internal temperature was about 155.....and then it stalled. I waited a few hours, (and I know I wasn't supposed to) and kicked the temp up to 240, but after 2 hours, that didn't seem to do anything, so I lowered it to 230. By 9pm that night, the internal temp had only climbed to 159. By 10pm it was still below 160, so...giving up...I foiled it, and put it in a cooler, wrapped in a towel, and decided to finish it in the oven the next day. I placed it in the oven at 250 for about 4 hours to get the internal to 200 degrees, then removed an pulled. Needless to say, the pork was mushy, the bark was very soft, and the taste was really not that great. Definitely not what I had in mind.
So, I guess I have a few questions for next time, and I would appreciate any help.
1. Is a 6 hour stall normal? I know stalling is normal for a few hours...but after 6+ hours I would have assumed it would have climbed more than 5 degrees.
2. Should I smoke at 240 or higher with my smoker?
3. Could I finish in the oven at 155?
I did check to make sure the thermostat was on, and I do believe the meat probe and temp of the MES are within a few degrees of being right on.
Thank you for any help you can give!