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Why it took so long?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Yesterday I smoked a 3# Pork Butt. The temp was at 225. After 8 hours the internal temp was 175...I finally finished it off in the oven at 250.

Anyone else have this happen to them?


post #2 of 20
Sure have Lloyd...were you using a probe thermometer or the one on your smoker? My GOSM thermometer reads 125 degrees hotter than the temperature actually is, so you just can't rely on those things. The other possibility is you "hit the wall"...it just happens sometimes that the temp gets to a certain point and stays there.

You made the right choice...just finish it off in whatever works.
post #3 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thanks Hoser. I checked the probes I use...They are accurate. Internal temp was 225-235. I guess I just have to trust my knowledge. But I was hoping for about a 4.5 hour smoke.
post #4 of 20
some meats just take longer but did you open the smoker often. There is a significant recovery time every time the smoker is opened
post #5 of 20
Thread Starter 
I just opened it every hour for the apple juice spray...Guess I just had a hunk of meat that took a long time to cook...Live and learn...
post #6 of 20
If you figure out a way to get a butt to 200 in 4.5 hours at 225 to 235 be sure and post it. It takes me that long to cook a chicken.
You may want to kick the temp up a notch. I try to keep PP at 245 - 250 range. I use the MES most of the time so if I'm getting close to done I can set the temp on 200 overnight and go to bed and it really doesn't matter how long it's in there. Same thing as being in the oven. When I'm cooking with the Joe or the gas I won't go more than 8 or 10 hours in the smoker before I pull it out and finish it in the oven. Sounds to me like your right on track. I've always figured a butt to take somewhere around 10 hours give or take a couple hours. Regardless..... sounds like it got done and that's the important part.
post #7 of 20
You may have hit the dreaded "plateau", which happens to all of us. Sometimes the plateau is average time, but other times it seems the temperature is stuck forever.
You just have to be patient and wait it out. Yesterday I did some spareribs and I allowed myself 8 hours cook time over all but figured it would be a 6 hour smoke. It ended up being 7 hours. Pit temp was on average 235 the entire time with the last half hour being 300 to put a nice bark on the meat.

Larger "chunks" of meat such as butts will always hit that plateau and just hang sometimes for 2 - 3 hours and even longer on very large ones. I had one hang for almost 5 hours years ago and I was really beginning to doubt what 3 different thermometers were telling me but patience prevailed.

Main thing is always allow yourself more time for the cook and try not to time it for your exact dinner hour. Better to get done sooner, wrap up and toss in the cooler than planning on a 6:00 meal time and find out the meat won't be done till 3 or 4 hours later.
post #8 of 20
Once I put a butt on.... I don't open the smoker. I may open it and check on it after 4 or 5 hours but I leave it alone. I don't know what kind of smoker you have but recovery on an electric is usually very slow and even some coal or stick burners although you can get them back up to temp quicker. I think the method has a lot to do with your equipment. Honestly it sounds to me like your doin fine. Butts just don't get done that quick.
post #9 of 20
Thread Starter 
"If you figure out a way to get a butt to 200 in 4.5 hours at 225 to 235 be sure and post it. It takes me that long to cook a chicken."

I thought it was about 1.5 hrs per pound....A 3# butt X 1.5 hours = 4.5Hours
post #10 of 20
It's hard for me to picture a 3# butt, but those figures don't seem right.
post #11 of 20
That's pretty much true but that calculation doesn't take into account the "stall". Every time you open the lid to spritz or mop, you're just tacking on time to the smoke depending on how quick your smoker recovers. I open my lid or door twice, once to put the meat on and one more time to take it off. Try bumping your smoker temp up to 250 as it won't hurt anything or take away from the quality of the finished product.
post #12 of 20
I honestly have never paid any attention to time calculations according to weight. Not that it isn't a good rule of thumb but I've always gone by my own times after I've smoked something once. The thing about a shoulder or a brisket is the connective tissue has to break down to make a tender cut out of it. The only way to know how long a piece of meat is going to take to smoke is to smoke it on your smoker at your temps with your method and see how long it takes to get to temp.
post #13 of 20
This pretty much sums it up.
post #14 of 20
yep - a wise man once said that there is cooking meat until it is done and cooking meat until it is barbecue - those are two different things- even with a smaller piece of meat, those connective tissues need to break down and it is going to take time.

anything could add time to that, such as too-low smoking temps or opening the door. i smoke @ 250, so opening the door isn't too dramatic of an experience. i would suggest smokng at that temperature as well.
post #15 of 20
Cooking by time is just a "ballpark" estimate which imo assists with basic meal planning as to how things will get cooked and have everything done at almost the same time. No two pieces of meat are the same and should be treated as such. Cooking by internal temp is the prefered method. By the way TW, who was that wise man?
post #16 of 20
I had the same query with my first 4# Butt...
no way it was done in the 1.5/lb rule... I almost went 10 hrs. You put it in your oven Roberts...I put mine in my Rival Turkey Roaster. Same thing but it needed it to get done.
post #17 of 20
...AND, at what temp do you take it off the smoker and wrap it??? My butt came to a stall at about 165* and I thought I had to keep it in there til about 190*... or is the 'foil' time suppose to increase the temp too?
post #18 of 20
There is actually two different foil times. The first is a matter of choice as to when you feel that the meat your smoking has gotten to a point that you have created the amount of bark you are happy with, you have introduced all the smoke flavor you are wanting and I prefer to hit 160 = 170 degrees. If I'm planning to foil, this is when I do it. I've also foiled at 190 to get it done in the oven at a higher temp cause company is comin. At this point you are baking and not smoking so it actually doesn't matter where the heat source is coming from... your already hot smoker or a preheated oven... etc. You are baking. The next time to foil... unless your already foiled up, is when you take your meat off and let it rest. That again is a matter of opinion. I have taken butts out at 190 and I've taken them out at 205. I think it has to do with the cut of meat. I've learned through the forum how great this rest period of time is. I always at least rest my meat in the foil with a couple of towels over it for an hour or so at the minimum. (OK..... I might have pulled off a chunk to taste test.... or two). If I need to I can wrap it in towels and put it in the cooler and still serve it piping hot 4 or 5 hours +. Gives you a lot of room for error.
post #19 of 20
Mikey - that was Ed Pawlowski of the BBQFAQ:

post #20 of 20
I dunno. The last butt I did was 3lbs, and it hit 205* in about 6 hrs. I can't imagine why the 3 pounder the OP is talking about took so long. Must have been the butt of the demons.
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