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Help! First timer!!

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I am a first time smoker. I am smoking a Boston Butt (Pork shoulder), no bone, tonight so we can have pulled pork sandwiches tomorrow for Thanksgiving. My plan was to smoke it for up to 6 hours or until it reached 140 degrees, then to wrap it in tin foil and place in my oven at 225 degrees until done at 210 degrees. My problem is that I reached 140 degrees in my smoker MUCH faster than I had anticipated. I was eagle eyeing the smoker to ensure the temp didn't go over 225 degrees. There were a couple of times it did get up to maybe 250 but not for very long, maybe 5 minutes or so until I could regulate it back down to 225. There were also a couple of times when the internal temp dropped to about 200 or so, but nothing that seemed too drastic that I didn't get it back up to temp in time. Have I done something completely wrong here? Any advise is GREATLY appreciated. My set up is a CharGriller with the side fire box. I lined the inside of the cooking chamber with foil. I was using apple wood soaked in water for about 3 hours prior to smoking.
post #2 of 12
Was the 250 your meat temp or the smoker temp? When my smoker is at 225, it takes a long time for temp changes in the meat. Hours at times.. My first guess is that the thermometer probe could be too close to the surface of the meat and likely showing more of the temp of the interior of the smoker than the meat. Make sure the probe is in the middle of the meat. It could also be a thermometer malfunction.

Does the probe easily slip into the meat? That is a sign that the meat is getting close to done too. What kind of thermometer are you using? What is the temp of the interior of the smoker?
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
The 250 was the cooking chamber temp, not the temp of my meat. I believe that my thermometer probe was inserted to be near the center of the meat. I can't recall how easily the probe went in. The thermometer I am using is the one at this link, http://www.hawgeyesbbq.com/therexlg.jpg.
post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 
I just realized that I didn't include how long it took to get to 140 degrees. It was almost right at 3 hours from the time I placed the butt on the rack until 140 degrees. Am I in trouble here?
post #5 of 12
make sure the probe is not TO close to the bone.........i pull my butts about 195......wrap em and let em sit........keep the probe in the meat.....just insert it in the foil..............then maybe you have to pull it tonite..........np.........just reheat it tomorrow.......you ARE pulling it, right?

d88de........ just 15 minutes south of ankeny
post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
Actually my Butt (pork shoulder) doesn't have the bone in it. Got two at CostCo for a very good price. Yes, I am pulling it for sandwiches. You are 15 minutes south of Ankeny? I am in Ankeny. See you're a Hawkeye. I was at the game last Saturday, unfortunately!!
post #7 of 12
well........south side.........but alot of smokers in this area.........

nice to have another


post #8 of 12
I have a CharGriller and found that the built in thermo is not even close to accurate. I measure the temp of the smoking chamber with a digital probe thermo. It sounds to me like the temp of your smoking chamber was much hotter than 225°F. That would account for the meat getting to 140°F that quickly.

Hope this helps!

Take care, have fun, and do good!


post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the tip!!
post #10 of 12
I wouldn't worry so much about temperature fluctuations. I think if you average between 200-250 for the entire smoke you should have no problems. I have a CG also and when I first fire her up my temps might get as high as 260-270 but then slowly decrease over the next 3-4 hours. When it drops to below 200 I'll load her back up.

post #11 of 12
Butt are slow but very forgiving - not to worry!
post #12 of 12
I might have missed it, but how big was the cut of meat? If we are only talking a 4 pound piece, then the quick temp wouldn't surprise. If this was pushing 9 or 10 pounds, then a couple of hours was pretty quick.

Other factors, what temp was the meat when it went on the smoker? Fresh from the fridge verse room temperature can be a difference of 40 degrees or so. That can make a big difference too.
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