Sorry, but I am new to smoking, I had a MES 40 gave to me, I tried it out for the first time yesterday. I wanted to start with a smaller portion my first time, I bought a 3.5 pound Boston butt,The night before smoking, I coated with mustard and covered it completely with rub, On smoke day the outside air temp was in the 50's, I set my meat out an hour before time for the temp to come down a bit. I set my smoker for 225 and waited 45 minutes for it to get to my temp. I put the Boston Butt in and never opened the door again for almost 3 hours, and that was only to probe it and get an idea of where I was at on internal temp. Well to skip ahead, I was kinda using the 1.5 hours a pound to get a baseline of 5.5 hours of smoke time, I was looking for a temp of 190 or so, I was wanting to do a pull on it, Well I know that the time was only a baseline, but it ended up taking 9.5 hours for it to get tender enough for the bone to be free, Does anyone have any ideas on what would have caused such a long cook time on a small piece like that? but the meat did turn out with a nice smoke to it, and was pretty much the right tenderness for the pulling. I do know that I am going to have to pick up a good Thermometer for my meat temp and my smoker temp, the built in probe seemed to run about 30 degrees higher than my quick read meat thermos were showing. Any tips or answers would be appreciated, and sorry for the long post.
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That is not a long smoke time for a Boston butt. As the smoke goes on the temperature increase of your meat slows down. Also the meat might go through a stall time where it does not increase in temperature for a while. During this time, the fibers are breaking down as the meat tenderizes. It also sounds like you need a better thermometer. However sometimes probe placement may give different answers depending on where in the meat it is inserted. Be careful to not touch bone with your probe.
It sounds like you did fine for your first cook.
Thanks for the reply, I was thinking maybe for such a small Boston Butt, that I was looking at maybe 7 Hours give or take, since the 1.5 hour per pound came out to 5.5 hours. The speed at which the internal temp rose definitely slowed as time went by, 3:45 into the cook and temp was at 158 Degrees, at 2.5 hours later it had only risen 3 more degrees. I have ordered a new thermometer, with the twin probes, I wanted to be able to verify that the temp I program the smoker for is the temp that it is actually cooking at. My built in probe seems to show a temp that is about 35 degrees hotter than the actual temp. and as far as my first time, out of 3 eaters, there was only compliments, and no complaints.
I also use the 1.5 hours a pound rule but only as it applies to a larger piece of meat and to estimate when it reaches 180 degrees, not to estimate when it is done. Nest time aim a little higher and start with a larger piece of meat, maybe 7 pounds or so.
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