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At what temp does the plateau start and stop?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
What temp does the plateau start and stop? I assumed it started at 140 and stopped at 180. Is that correct? Entrophy huh? Who would have guessed you needed to understand the second law of physics to smoke!
post #2 of 17
My experiance has been it starts when it wants to and ends when it has teased you to the point of herri kerri....LOL PDT_Armataz_01_01.gif
post #3 of 17
Alot of factors can come into play, that determine the plateau's start/stop temps, and duration:

1. The initial smoker rack temp
2. Continued average temps
3. Type of meat
4. Amount of bone mass versus meat mass, or lack of bone
5. Fat content/marbling and/or fat cap thickness
6. Cook chamber humidity
7. Size of the surface area of the meat/overall weight/thickness

I've seen plateau's start between the upper 140* ranges and into the mid 150* range. Where ever it starts, it generally continues slowly through for another 10-12*, and then begins to climb more afterwards. I have noticed I/Ts that actually drop a few degrees just entering into, or after begining the stall.

When I'm doing a smoke, I try to stretch out the plateau for tougher cuts of meat in order to help with breakdown of the connective tissues. This technique is not always easy to's a internal temp/timing/chamber temp control issue.

post #4 of 17
I think the last one I did, it started about 152....and lasted awhile there. I just threw one on at 11:30, a small one though....Will see where I stall on this one...
post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 
Great explaination Eric. It makes sense and and explains the herri kerri fellings too. I have a full smoker on the palteau for 12 hours between 140 and 185. I should breakthrough anytime.
post #6 of 17
Yeah, don't let it get under your skin...the plateau is dreaded by most. I welcome it, knowing that this is where I will get really good interior product results if it goes right. Some members here have even commented while I'm in the middle of a progressive qview, saying 'hope you make it through the stall OK', amoung other things. It'll drive ya nuts if ya let it. You'll think your temp probe has lost it's marbles or something. I don't sweat the dreaded stall.

The plateau should be over somewhere in the lower 160* range, depending on where it started for each individual piece of meat. If you have a probe in it, and are watching it fairly closely, the temp reading will not change for (example) 8-12 minutes at a time.

At 170* + is where it's time for pulling to foil up, if that's what you're planniing...but the meat is much closer to done at that point.

Just be patient with it, and understand that a longer plateau means it was doing you a good job of breaking down the meat, for a more tender finished product.

Good luck with the smoke!

post #7 of 17
My sentiments exactly. Roll with it.
post #8 of 17
All of my plateau's have come from 0 to 195 and they start and stop on their own good and well time. So really somewhere between 150 and alittle higher or lower and they quite it dam good and ready.
post #9 of 17
Yesterday on my chuck roasts they stalled at 155 and then again at 165. after that the temperature shot up like a rocket.

Pork butts as I recall were usually around 165.
post #10 of 17
I always welcome the plateau, because it gives me a chance to go get another beer PDT_Armataz_01_05.gif! Actually, it gives me more time to work on other projects ...and you know that beer thing!

Don't sweat it...good things are happening!
post #11 of 17
well put^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

I always welcome the plateau, because it gives me a chance to go get another beer PDT_Armataz_01_05.gif! Actually, it gives me more time to work on other projects ...and you know that beer thing!

Don't sweat it...good things are happening!
i like what he said even better beer,beer beer after a dozen or so ya just don't care.
post #12 of 17
With briskets, mine always stall at 150F like clockwork. When they un-stall is up to the individual piece of meat.
post #13 of 17
I know that this may sound like heresy but sometimes a stall can be assisted along by giving the meat a bit of a shock like bouncing it on the counter. Also by foiling it at the point of stall.

I suppose that it breaks down the gristle and fats far better for a more tender end product if left alone to its own devices, but sometimes you just don't have the time. ( or patience )

The drop in temp during a stall is caused by the juices starting to move throughout the meat thus evening out the temps and causing a slight drop.
It just means that things are happening. Its frustrating though.

I have many times given myself an extra 4 or 5 hours to allow for the stall then have it stall even longer than that. It is at this point that Supuku seems like a reasonable solution. PDT_Armataz_01_05.gif
post #14 of 17
I would say of allllllllll the stalls I have had they mostly occur at 147 but then if they pass that generally 154.
Not always but that has been the average.
Hell, had a butt one time not stall at all and she was 8# almost and was finished in 5 or 6 hours, completely to pulling 205 stage.
post #15 of 17
Thread Starter 
I smoke at around 230 degrees. I would geuss the length of the stall will also be longer at a lower temp and shorter at a higher temp. I assume you can turn up the temp and blow through the stall resulting in less tender meat?
post #16 of 17
You never want to crank the temp up to get out of a stall. The fats need time to break down properly for the meat to come out perfect and once you make it through the stall it will rise rather quickly, or at least quick compared to the 3 hours you at there watching the temp not move or even toy with you and go down a bit but just keep a steady temp and eventually you will make it through, and you will be happy you did.
post #17 of 17
For me, I've found that usually my temps rise pretty steady till around 135-150 during the first 4-5 hours of cooking (on a 6-8 lb butt) the next 2 hours (6,7) it steadies out around 155-165, my plateau, I hit 170-180 after 8-9 hours, 190 around 10 hrs ( I foil at 180 ish) usually after 11 hours I have hit 200 and then I let it rest in the cooler wraped in a towel untill it's time to eat.
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