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Plateau Question

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
First off, hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. Just a quick question on the dreaded plateau. The last two times I have done beef, one a chuck roast and the other a brisket, I have noticed that during the plateau, the meat lost 10 degrees in temp both times. After about two hours with the brisket, I gave up and put it in the oven. Is this normal, or am I screwing something up? They were seperate smokes, and done over charcoal with the temp averaging 230 to 255. I kept a close eye on the temp, and did not notice it drop drasticly during that time. Thanks in advance!!
post #2 of 19
I have been meaning to corner Meowey on this. He had said <I THINK!> that the plateau was basically an endothermic reaction within the meat as the collegen and connective tissues break down.

Meaning, the process of this breakdown ABSORBS heat from the environment as it takes place. As soon as the process is complete, you'll get a jump in temps back to what you had at the start, then it would start to climb again.

Think of it as placing a chunk of ice in the smoker.

Is this essentially correct, Meowey?
post #3 of 19
I've experienced a little drop in temperature during some plateaus but I've mainly been doing pork butts. I don't know if that carries over to beef. A 2-hour plateau isn't unusual at all. I've had some go almost 4 hours. You just have to be patient.

Hope this helps.
post #4 of 19
Sometimes the temp will drop. It has something to do with the contective tissues and collagen breaking down I believe. Once the meat tissues are done breaking down then the juices will heat back up and start to climb again. Just hang with it next time and let it do it's thing.
post #5 of 19
That's my understanding, although I don't think I've ever used the term "endothermic". I may just need to add that little gem to my vocabulary.

As a wise man once said,(although I don't think he was referring to meat smoking plateaus) Patience, Grasshopper!

Take care, have fun, and do good!


post #6 of 19
Thread Starter 
Ahhh, patience is a virtue. I knew it after I did it that I was being too impatient. Just wanted to see if anyone else has experienced that. Thanks!!
post #7 of 19
I Want Patience now!
post #8 of 19
If they haven't experienced this they've been really lucky so far! PDT_Armataz_01_11.gif
post #9 of 19


the brisket i did weds. night went into a 6.5 hour stall where it only rose 5 degrees in 6.5 hours. i banked the coals at 4 am and figured that if th temp didn't rise after i took a 2 hour nap i would foil it and when i did foil it the temp went from 160 to 201 in 2 hrs and 15 min then i wrapped it in a huge beach towel and put it in a cooler where it sat till i tried to cut it at noonish but had to shred it cause the knife would just rip it apart and i had to wear gloves, new and clean, because it was so hot i couldn't hold on to it.
post #10 of 19
I'll bring the buns, what time is" samitch time"?

post #11 of 19
Talking about plateaus, i'm smoking a chuck right now. It's been on for 5 hours. It hit 146 around in around 3 hours. Checked it 30 minutes ago when i reloaded with a fresh chimney of charcoal and it is down to 140. Smoker has been running at a steady 225 - 235.
I have to admit i've done the foil thing (texas crutch i've heard it referred to on some other forum) with a brisket before. Going to be patient with the chuck and see it thru.

Also i have a fatty on as a back up. Daughter has to leave for work in 3 hours, can't have her going hungry icon_rolleyes.gif
post #12 of 19
just be patient, it will all be ok!
post #13 of 19
are you gonna pull it, or slice it.? If you are gonna pull it, might wanna leave the fatty for her, if you are gonna slice it at 175-180, she may be able to have some beef before work!icon_smile.gif
post #14 of 19
I'd like to pull it, if it's ready for slicing in time then i'll slice it. If not i'll keep it going and it'll make good dinners for a few nights maybe even soem french dips.

Can always get another one and try another day. Starting to run a little low on charcoal too. May have to shovel some coals out of our wood stove in the living room PDT_Armataz_01_20.gif .
post #15 of 19
I posted some qview a while back and asked the same question.... i had something go down in temperature during the plateau 14 degrees.... it was my first time seeing the meat temp go down and smoker stayed steady....225.... I hung in there and after 1-2 hours it started climbing again.... Turned out good....
post #16 of 19
Good plan as long as it's hardwood. Did a couple racks of ribs like that last fall. Out on a beachfront place with a "chiminea" or whatever burning apple and maple.. Yummy stuff!
post #17 of 19
The chuck finally started rising again after about 2 1/2 hours after dropping 8 deg. Was at 175 at 3:30 so took it off the smoker and let it sit a while then sliced it up. This also saved me having to carry buckets of hot coals through the house. Don't think the wife would of been too happy since she cleaned most of the day
Next one i'll either get up eariler or plan it for a day when no-one has to work.
post #18 of 19
and remember to keeps lotsa charcoal on hand!icon_redface.gif
post #19 of 19
I will next time. This was first smoke since making mods to the char griller pro. Thought two bags of lump would be enough.

This was the best smoke i've done using lump though. Tried lump charcoal before the mods and it would get real hot then not last so long. So i stuck with the briquettes.
Now with the oven liner baffle plate, downward extension of the chimney and a modified charcoal rack in the firebox it's a totally different smoker It's has more stable and longer cooking temps, and complete burning of all coals.
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