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HELP--After 21hrs @225 the pork butt only reached 182 degrees, WHY?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

I Setup my MES30 for smoking a 10 pound pork Butt by setting the panel temp to 225 and inserting two separate probes down the smoke vent.

When the panel show the temp at 225 the two probes showed 235 and 240.   So I adjusted the MES to 205 then the probes were at 225 to 230.

I started smoking.  At about 155 degrees it look like it hit the wall and it stayed there (155) for about 2 hours.  At about 12 hours in,  it read 180 and I went to bed thinking at about 3am or 4am the meat would be at about 190-200.  I check on it a 3am and to was 181  at 4am it was 181 at 6am it was 182.   This was about 21 hours of cooking.   I did open the door several times at the start trying to get the AMNS going.


With a temp of 225 for that long a period of time it would be much higher than 180 degrees.  MY theory is that the two probes used to test the MES probe we wrong and I cooked the Butt at 205 at this time.  The MES was correct.  What is your ideas on what could have caused the 180 degree Butt after 21 hours of cooking as what I thought was 225-230?


Thank you


post #2 of 10

The simple answer is that it happens. I have some that finish quickly and some that take forever. Every piece of meat is different and sometimes you just get lucky enough to buy the most stubborn of butts.

post #3 of 10

Well to test out you theory about your two probes being off stick them in some boiling water and they should read 212 degrees. Once you know if your two thermometers are accurate or not then  we can figure out what happened.

There are way to many variables that go into how long a piece of meat will take to come up to finishing temp (size, thickness, fat content, smoker temp, etc) that it is pretty much impossible to know how long it will take to finish for sure that's why you need to have accurate thermometers and learn to trust them.


One  other thing I just though of is that the probe you were using to monitor you meat could be off and you were actually at a higher internal temp then you though. Calibrate all of your probes and let us know if they are accurate or not.

post #4 of 10


post #5 of 10
Did you foil the butt mid way? That tends to speed things up. I have an mes 30 and the factory therm is off by about 12 degrees depending on the rack. I've never heard of an mes owner with an accurate factory therm. Some butts just take forever if you don't foil. I bet it hits 205 if you leave it on for another hour or two.
post #6 of 10

In an MES the temp will read Higher near the top vent beause heat rises and it is directly over the coil. Temp at the meat is what is important. Also if you set the MES at 225* you will get temp swings from 215 to 240*F as the Coil cycles on and off. You need to leave the probes in for at least an hour and you look for an average of 225*F before you go adjusting up or down. I would venture a guess that your Smoke average was closer to between 190 to 225*F and at that temp 205* IT could easily take 3 hours a pound...JJ

post #7 of 10

I agree with all these comments.  Check your probes, but sometimes with large chunks of meat you get a plateau.  Check out Jeff's big mistake http://www.smoking-meat.com/nov-2005-more-turkey-tips-and-recipes.html to see what he did.  I have used this method and it worked great for me. 



post #8 of 10

I just did a 6 lb. butt ar 180 for 19 hrs. and it was 176 bumped it up to 215 for 2 hrs it was only 180 bumped it again to 250 and foiled had 205 in about another hour.  Yours was almost twice as big so if you were just 10 or so degrees off it could take that long ,imho



post #9 of 10

I alway cut a butt that size in half. 2 five pounders usually take 8-10 hours, plus you get more bark.

post #10 of 10

i always cook them around 250 degrees and foil them at 160 and ive never had one go over 12 hrs.. usually 8-10 hrs max...i say if u get towards the 8-10 hrs mark and ur meat temp is still low i would wrap it and turn up the heat... low and slow doesnt have to be at 225 exactly.. its ok to go up higher...

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SmokingMeatForums.com › Forums › Smoking Meat (and other things) › Pork › HELP--After 21hrs @225 the pork butt only reached 182 degrees, WHY?