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Having Troubles

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Hello Everyone!


This is my first post on Smoking Meat Forums!


So I just got an 18.5 inch WSM, and I have been having trouble with my meat. It seems that my cooks take WAY longer than the time people say it will usually take. For example, today I started a 4-5 lb. pork butt at about 11:30am at 250°F. It is now 8:17pm and I had to put the pork butt in the oven because it would take all night for the thing to finish on the smoker. When the IT was at about 155°F, and it was staying there for a while, I recognized that as the stall and wrapped it in foil. When I saw the IT of the meat bump up to 165°F, I unwrapped it because I though the stall was over. Then the IT of the meat went back down to 160°F and stayed there. All this stalling stuff happened over the span of hours. Can someone please help me? I use a River Country thermometer for the smoker temp and a Thermoworks Thermopop for the IT of the meat.



post #2 of 6
Welcome to SMF, Wolfpack...

Not sure about the river country thermos, but I searched google before replying and it looks like they have solid reviews. Is this the first smoke you have done with your WSM? Did you have the lid on the whole time, or was it on and off quite a bit? The stall can certainly last for a while, but can be prolonged if the smoker is open for a bit as you contemplate what to do.

Personally, I'm not big on wrapping my cooks...I generally just cook through the stall. Generally speaking, 60-90 minutes/pound is a good average. Have you smoked anything else in your WSM?

Stick with it...takes a bit of figuring out, but once you do, it's addictive and rewarding.

post #3 of 6
For myself I usually wait until 170 to know I'm past the stall, but each piece of meat varies. Also it depends on where your thermometer was placed. I'm still a novice but I'm sure other people will chime in.
post #4 of 6
My pork butts always take a long time. Two 10 pounders took 30 hours a few weeks back in my mes 40. It is what it is. I don't open my mes door much during my smokes but if your taking your lid off a lot your losing temp big time. Think of it like a crock pot. If your thermos are accurate (I'll assume your thermapop is) keep the lid on and give yourself more time. Also I have no idea what your other thermo is that you use to keep the temp of the smoker but double check it. If it's accurate with a boil test there's not a lot more you can do but give yourself more time.
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 

hillybillyrkstr, viper32, and Jarhead1979, thank you so much for your help.


It seems that I am just impatient and need to start my cooks earlier in the morning to anticipate problems. Also I think I am lifting the lid a little more than I should. 


My finished product turned out a little bit dry, and I was a little disappointed with the flavor. To season I used garlic powder, salt, pepper, paprika(for color), and cayenne pepper. I let that sit overnight in the fridge. I made a Carolina vinegar mopping sauce to baste. Should I have basted?


Again thank you guys so much for helping me.

post #6 of 6
Nothing wrong with basting/mopping, just understand that when you take that lid off you are adding more time to your cook. I normally spray my pork butts with apple juice every 60-90 minutes after what I anticipate to be the stall. But...some of my best smokes have gone untouched (with a good leave-in digital thermo like the Maverick ET-733) until I hit the IT I was looking for. Don't give up after one smoke. You'll get the hang for it after another smoke or two.

On another note, I'll normally start Boston butts and briskets the night before I plan on serving. Figure 90 min/lb and go from there. If it gets done early, it's much easier to keep warm for a few hours than explaining to hungry guests why the food isn't ready. Plenty of information in the forum about faux cambros (foil it, wrap in towels or blankets, throw in a cooler). You can keep a smoked butt or brisket for a few hours that way.
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