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Convinced it was luck--

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

Yesterday was the first time I've used my smoker or smoked any meat.  I own a Brinkmann 810-7080-7 Gourmet Electric Smoker, which I just purchased last Friday.  

 

Sunday, after curing it for 3 hours (as per the instructions), I let the smoker cool completely.

 

Next I lined the lava rocks with hickory wood chips that I had soaked in water for 24 hours, making sure that none of the chips touched the heating element.  My first smoke is a Pork Loin (about 2.56lbs).  We used the recipe from the Brinkmann book, which is Dijon Cognac Pork Loin.  Following the instructions precisely, coated the pork loin on the grill rack itself, filled up water basin to 3/4 full with hot water and also added red wine.  The instructions said to cook until the internal temperature reaches 180-F.

 

About 2:30pm, I inserted a wireless thermometer and put the meat on the grill to smoke.  Oh, and the temperature outside was about 89-F.  Around 4:30pm, a severe pop-up thunderstorm rolled in and the temp outside quickly dropped to 74-F with a constant wind.    About that time the internal temperature of the meat had reached 145-F.    Just before the rain came down, my wife and I decided to move the smoker closer to the house and rig an umbrella over it to keep the water off.

 

I lifted the top part off and set it on the patio, then scooted the base over with my hands.  When I lifted the top part off, the sudden rush of air caused all the wood chips to suddenly ignite.  When I put the top part back on,  the flames immediately died down.  Then in the course of the next 45 minutes, the internal meat temp rose to 150-F.  

 

This is where the problem started.  The temperature never climbed any more past 150-F.  By 5:45pm, the internal temperature then started to drop.  It dropped slowly to 142-F by 6:00pm.  This is when I decided something was wrong.  I jumped onto the forums here and looked under pork.  Person after person said that 145-150-F is a good temperature for pork loin.

 

I pulled the meat off the smoker as is, cut into it, and seen that the meat was cooked.  We ate it and it was delicious.  Perfectly tender and perfectly cooked.

 

This is what disturbs me the most.  If we would have cooked a chicken, and the temp stayed at 150-F, we most likely would not have been able to pull it off like that and eat it.

 

So what happened?  What do you supposed caused the internal temperature to stop at 150-F, and then slowly begin to cool.  Did pulling the top off cause this?  Is the Brinkmann temperature/cooking chart flawed?

 

Help 

post #2 of 3
Thread Starter 

Ok, I think I might have an answer.  Apparently this is a phenomenon called a temperature "stall".  I found a great article which describes this process.  I still haven't discovered a method of preventing this from happening or what to do when it does happen, unless the only answer is time.  When I do chicken, this may not be a problem because the skin will probably slow the evaporation of the meat.

post #3 of 3

This was probably caused by a combination.  Removing the top lost you a LOT of heat.  Then as you found out you hit a stall temp.  When you smoke large pieces the stall is normal.  You can wrap in foil to help but time and patience is the only solution.  Wait till you do a large butt or a packer brisket!  Each piece also seems be different so there in no rule for how long it will last OR if you even have 2 or more stalls.  It's just meat mass.  Sounds like you had a good meal after all.  Next time please post some picts of the finished product ( Qview ).  We like to drool.  Good luck.  Keep Smokin!

Danny

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