Smoker was and has been at 230 all day with some normal variations and 7 hours into my smoke my brisket was 150 and the internal temp was dropping. The chuckie was at 148 but it took all of 7 and a half hours to get there. First time I have ever smoked beef and I'm not real happy about this. I have sinced foiled the brisket and chuckie and put them in my oven at 350. The really weird thing was the brisket temp was at 150 for a hour and a half so I re-probed and the temp went to 152 and started coming down from there. Then the grill dropped down to 150 and I had to get a new chimney lit fast it was no longer then 20 minutes later and the grill temp was back up to 230 but the brisket was 138?????????? The current temp of the brisket is 154 and climbing so please smoke gods tell me wtf is going on!
Got problems with a 8 pound chuckie and a 4.5 pound brisket
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sounds like your standard issue plateau...just gotta let 'em ride. Temp drops when the stalls hit are normal too, just not so noticable unless you're watching the temp like a hawk. Just don't let it drive ya nuts, 'cause it will.
It did drive me crazy, so crazy I ruined the meat. Ugh I really think my grill thermometers are off, something is wrong I will try to get to the bottom of it next cook.
Ruined? Hmm, how bad? I can almost always come up wth a salvage if something gets overcooked/dried out...a leftovers dish maybe?
You may need to check the calibration of your thermometers. I try to check mine about once each month in a water pot. I bring the temp up from cold over a medium/high burner temp with all of my thermometers suspended in a grate resting over the pot to prevent any thermometers from becoming submerged. As the water temp rises, I can watch the rise in temp readings on each of the digi-probes and/or analog thermometers. I've never had a digital be off more than 1 - 2* F, but analogs are very suseptable to vibrations, shocks (dropping), bent stems etc.
Most analogs can be calibrated (small nut on the base of the stem can be turned with a wrench to change the reading) while digitals are not...you just have to note if they are off, how much and which direction (+/-). I bring the water all the way to a slow boil, which is about 12-15* below a full rolling boil, check all therms again, and then take it to a full boil for the final check.
When I remove the pot from heat, I recheck the readings about every 5-6 minutes as the water cools down to see if they are all reading close to the same temp. This can help to determine if any analog thermometers have a hanging/sticking needle from a bent stem or other damage.
Heres a link to a water boiling point chart based on elevation/barometric pressure. Water boils @ 212*F @ sea level (rapid boil), but temps drop as barometric pressure/elevation drops.
Keep on trying, 'cause you're getting closer to easy-street with every fire you build. It sounds like you're just going through the standard issues that most of us deal with every time we start dialing in a smoker...it'll come together soon. Starting out fresh to smoking meats makes everything that doesn't go quite right seem to be overwhelming, but being new to the craft amplifies everthing by about 100-fold...that includes your successes, btw, so don't ever feel like your getting excited for no reason when everything comes together. The excitement of cranking out something great to eat keeps me coming back to the thin blue smoke every time. Every smoke will present you with some learning experiences...that's why I love it so much. When in doubt about whether or not you should continue, just think about how good your dinner will taste when it hits your plate...LOL!!!!!!
Thanks for the words of encouragement, it helps. I just checked my thermometers before the cook and they were dead on. The only thing I changed since my first smoke was the actual grill thermometers I bought some aftermarket ones off of ebay. My first smoke I had these little POS charbroil thermometers and they worked great my pork shoulder turned out amazing. I think I got the thermometers too low my old ones had short stems but these new ones are longer and I mounted them in the same place as the short stem ones. I will go back to the old ones and remount these ones up a little higher and hopefully this is the last issue that I have for awhile.
Yea, when you zero in on something that makes a big change when you alter it, that's a huge step towards having future success...even if it seems miniscule at the time. I like to keep notes on things like that so I can refer back on any changes I made and what the outcome was. Keeping notes on every smoke with the cut of meat, methods incorporated in the cooking stages, dry rub blends, smoke woods etc, can all come in handy later on. I'll do anything which may tilt the scale in my favor for sucess later on, including mods and note-keeping, at least until I get the smoker dialed in to achieve reasonably good performance. Then, eventually, the comfort level will begin to grow in leaps and bounds...it's all in a day's smoke.
I guess that's part of why I do so many q-views here on the forums. I kill two birds at once...share my experiments/ideas/theories/sucesses/flops, etc with guests and members, and document it for my own personal reference if I want to make any changes in future smokes.
Enjoy your new addiction, my friend, it gets better with age!