Butt from Hell

Discussion in 'Pork' started by callmetut, Jun 11, 2011.

  1. Okay... while I admit I'm a newbie to smoking... in a smoker... this is nothing like any of the threads I've read and read and read...

    I have pics and if this thing ever gets done I'll post the final outcome.


    Rubbed the butt (no jokes, ya'll know what I mean), the night before I was going to smoke in my MES 4 with mustard and a simple rub. I then wrapped it in plastic wrap.


    In the morning I unwrapped it and inserted the probe while the smoker was heating...


    and placed my rear end (yeah shoulder) in the smoker set at 230... at 1030 am


    Now I read about hitting a stopping point when the temp stops but it was 12 hours later the 6.3lb butt finally made it to 165 degrees


    wrapped it in foil... about 1030pm


    and moved the temp up from 230 to 250... at 1045pm... it decided to rain...

    I quickly turned on my conventional oven and set it to 250... then moved the wrapped butt into there (as soon as it preheated of course)... moved my hot smoker into the covered back porch and started a fan blowing on the inside to cool it off.

    Now at 115 in the morning the butt from hell is just hitting the 190 mark at this rate I can remove it from the oven at 4am and let the thing rest in my cooler while I sleep a couple hours before going to work.

    I checked the temps using a different probe themo I dropped into the vent and it (the smoker) was at 230 (still) at 10pm.

    Any ideas? Or was I just lucky...?

  2. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    We have all experienced the mega stall.

    Hang in there...

  3. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    Sounds like your temps may be running a lil low in the MES. But it could be like you said , The butt from hell.
  4. chef willie

    chef willie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    one never knows.....my butts always take longerrrrrrrrrr than expected
  5. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Some take a long time, and some can surprise us in being a relatively short smoke (not often).

    The important thing is that you got from 40˚ to 140˚ internal temp (Danger Zone) in no longer than 4 hours.

    If you did that, the long time doesn't hurt anything, except your timing for Dinner.

  6. Tut now that is one long stall on your butt!! Can i offer a suggestion...don't probe your butt until the 4 hour mark...this will make sure your are safe with the 40*-140* because you haven't peirced the meat to encourage bacteria growth.

    Get a quality dual probe thermometer that way you can keep a eye on the chamber temperature along with the meat temps at the same time. A quality thermometer is the most important tool a guy needs to turn out great Que....we cook to temperature not time...[​IMG]


    read this it explains 40"* to 140* completely...it is a great read.
  7. A follow up....

    I finally hit the 205 around 330am (I used 3 different thermos and they were all reading the same so I don't think that was the problem) and removed it then wrapped it in a couple towels. Put it in the cooler I had and told the wife I'll pull it when I got up in about 5 hours. She didn't like the idea of it "just sitting out" for so long (and I really didn't feel like arguing with her right then).... So a little after 4am... only a pityful 30 minute or so rest...


    the temps were still about 190...


    Came out nice and tender... the bone slid right out and was clean... meat was very moist (not wet or mushy moist), I used the finishing sauce and decided that next time I had better start a bit earlier just in case it happened again.

    All and all, good learning experience, but then again... I like to cook.

    For other newbies a few tips:

    1. Foil cover your drip pan (I didn't)

    2. Spray your racks for easy cleanup (I didn't)

    3. If you purchase a new wireless thermo like I did make sure you have AAA batteries around (I didn't)

    4. Test you spritzing bottle for the type of stream it produces if you use one (I didn't and will be getting a new one)

    5. Use the vent opening to pass yout probe wire through (I didn't)

    5. Start early
  8. hewgag

    hewgag Fire Starter

    Ok.. a thought comes to mind... and I am SURE you probably did this correctly.. but... did you make sure to NOT poke your thermo probe directly up against the bone? I have found that this can give inaccurate temp readings. I usually probe in at an angle until I hit bone and then pull back about 3/4 of an inch to 1 inch. Bone can act like a heatsink pulling the heat out of the meat and venting it out the cut ends of the marrow.

    And most importantly....... how did it taste??? Cause it looks really good!! [​IMG]
  9. talan64

    talan64 Meat Mopper

    I started mine (thread with qview to come) last night at midnight @ 180 (reality is about 190).  At 8:30 this morning it was @ 151 deg IT.  Creeping up 3 hrs later I'm at 157.  Will be wrapping in foil with some liquid @ IT 170, and bumping temp to 225. Last time I did similar to this for brisket, and once it hit 170 and I wrapped it and bumped the temp, it took off and was done 2 hrs later. 

    I like starting at midnight, since I know it'll be done for dinner the next day, and if it finishes up early, it just rests wrapped in towels a little longer. 

    I'll be posting my start to finish qview, when I get the finished product with "money" shot.
  10. Talan... I gather you don't spray your smoking meat while it's cooking then?

    I'm wondering if opening the door with only one residual heat source besides the internal heater may of caused me too much heat loss over the cooking period.

    I may start my next one as you did, I currently work till 130am and could start off after getting home if I setup prior to going to work.

  11. talan64

    talan64 Meat Mopper

    I spray first thing when I get up. Then about every hour until it gets foiled.

    Between foiling for the last 20 - 30 deg, and taking the temp high enough for the internal fat to render, I have had nice moist meat so far doing it this way, and complete before dinner time. 

    I start it this way, because I don't know all the approx times yet, for the different cuts / sizes.  But then I am creating a log that I can reference for the next time.
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2011
  12. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    I was not questioning the temp of the meat . The cooking temps on the MES have been  known to be as much as 30° off from what the digital readout says.

    Either high or low..

     You may be cooking at   lower temps than you think?
  13. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Yeah... spraying does not accomplish a lot on something like a butt, and evert time you open the door you add approx 10 min. to your total cook time, so if you open the door 6x you have added about an hour to your cook time.
  14. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Looks like it turned out real good!   [​IMG]
  15. I finally registered on here just to respond to this post!  I know it wasn't really funny but I darn near had a stroke laughing so hard.  Only reason it was so funny was this same thing happened to me last weekend!  My daughter was graduating from high school and we had some family in and I decided some nice pulled pork would go a long way.  I brined and rubbed the 8 lb pork butt the night before and got up at 5 am to start up my smoker in plenty of time to eat 12 hours later.  I had just bought my 40" MES and was eager to give it a shot.  I had already read that opening the door to spritz is down really wasn't necessary so I never opened that door.  I had also read the temperatures ran a little cool so I set the smoker to 235 degrees had the meat on by 5:30 am.  About six hours later it was at 150 degrees and it stopped.  Now I knew that the fat began rendering at this temperature and it would slow way down but I had no idea how long.  Finally at about 1 pm it had creeped up to 160 and I began to get a little nervous.  At about 2:45 it hit 170 degrees and I took it off to wrap it in foil and spritz it down and back on as quick as possible.  I was like a pit crew at the Daytona 500.  I had that meat off, spritzed, wrapped and back on about 1 minute.  I raised the set temperture on the smoker to 275 degrees to help speed it up.   I figured at this point, the rest would go quickly.  Wrong!  It seemed like forever before that temperature started rising again.  I wanted to get it to around 200 degrees before pulling it and I knew that 190 was about the minimum but I didn't have much choice. I had hungry people staring me down and I could see the "serve or else" look in there eyes.  At 5:30 and the butt at 187 degrees, I had to make the pull.  The bone still pulled out easily and the thinner part of the butt fell apart with no problem.  The thicker parts required a little more teasing with the forks but it did pull.  Overall, it was still very good.

    The main lesson I learned here is that it's generally not a good idea to fire up a brand new smoker for the first time for an event with a time schedule.  It takes a little time to learn how it cooks.

    Sorry to laugh and it wasn't really at you.  It was more at myself because I know EXACTLY how you were feeling!
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2011
  16. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    One quick suggestion for you----When you foiled it at 170˚, it would help if you put whatever juice you are going to add or "spritz" in the Nukulator, and bring it close to boil first. Then it may not take so long to start rising again.

  17. roller

    roller Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    I guess everyone has their own nightmare with a Butt. I know that I sure have mine...they will make you drink all night..lol
  18. Thanks for that suggestion Bear!  You are right, I pulled some apple juice straight from the fridge and that was not a good idea!
  19. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

  20. Eman the day before (the day I purchased and brought the smoker home), I did some temp checks first checking my old digital probe in boiling water, then setting it in the middle of the smoker and placing the smokers probe next to it. The smoker seemed to hold constant temps at 200, 220, and 250. The smokers probe otoh was reading 15 to 20 degrees low. Since my old probe was reading of itself when I did the water test (237 in boiling water instead of 212) I went out an bought a new thermo that morning just before smoking (hence the comment about making sure you have batteries of the right size) I tested the new thermo in boiling water prior to using it (and again my old one at the same time). The new one read about 5 degrees low which I used as a basic guide while cooking i.e. 200 degrees was actually 205. around 10 pm or so I did put my thermo that I wasn't using down the rabbit hole (vent) and took a reading... it seemed to be hitting the set temp. I'll be checking it out again before smoking again just to make sure.

    On the comments of "it sure looked good..." it tasted better.

    Is there a semi guide on weight loss? as an estimate I started with a 6.3lb boston butt and ended with about 20 percent weight loss, the bone was kinda large (fat dog was happy). The pictures of the whole roast (butt) didn't give it justice, it didn't look shrunk.


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