To avoid the STALL cooking temperature?

Discussion in 'Pork' started by maple sticks, Mar 16, 2014.

  1. maple sticks

    maple sticks Smoking Fanatic

    What is the lowest temperature you can use when smoking butts and avoid the stall? Or say 95% of it.
  2. bigwheel

    bigwheel Smoking Fanatic

    Depends on what kind of pit you have. If you have a Ole Hickory and a full load of meat you can cook at 195 for days then eat it with a spoon. For most pits trying to warm it to death with low tortuous cook times dry it out and turn it into a large hunk of a Cajun pork jerky variant called Tasso. Lowest i go is 250 and preferably closer to 300. I dont fret about stalls. Cooking it till its done works well.
  3. cliffcarter

    cliffcarter Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    285° IMHO. Like bigwheel I prefer 300°, no stall for me.
  4. woodcutter

    woodcutter Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I put a butt on at 3:30 this morning and have been running at 255 the whole time. The IT is now 190 at almost 11 hours. It was stalled at 168 for hours and stalled again at 184. The butt has a lot to do with the stalls. Some seem to sail right through it and others? I noticed an improvement smoking at 250 vs. 225 (except today).
  5. Hello.  Why lowest temp?  Push that butt to 300-350.  325 ideal, push through the stall.  Results will be the same.  Keep Smokin!

  6. The stall is where all the good stuff is happening to make the meat nice and tender. Unless you have a deadline IMHO it is best to just let it ride.

    You can push through the stall with higher temps and get good results, but there is a higher chance of tough meat when you do that
    maple sticks likes this.
  7. bigwheel

    bigwheel Smoking Fanatic

    Tough meat comes from drying it out from cooking it too slow.
    maple sticks likes this.
  8. Not always. Cooking to hot and not giving the collagen and connective tissue time to break down can and will give you tough meat. Otherwise I coild cook a brisket at 500 and have it done in under an hour
  9. jckdanls 07

    jckdanls 07 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    You could also wrap in foil when it gets around 160` IT ... that will push it through the stall quicker as well ....
  10. maple sticks

    maple sticks Smoking Fanatic

    Thats why I would like to know opinions as to how low a temp could be used and still avoid the stall.
  11. notoast

    notoast Newbie

    +1 with JeepDriver. describes how/when collagen is converted to gelatin. This conversion is an endothermic process (i.e. it absorbs thermal energy) which is why the temperature usually stalls around 160F when slow cooking. If you want fall apart tender meat, you must wait for the conversion to happen!
  12. cliffcarter

    cliffcarter Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Again, 285° IMHO.

    I've never had a problem with collagen and connective tissue not breaking down on a hot and fast butt cook, but I did when I cooked them low and slow.
  13. maple sticks

    maple sticks Smoking Fanatic

    Thanks cliffcarter I will try that on the next one. Thats only 20* more than I currently use.

    At 265* I don't have near the stall I did at 225* but also being aware of the time collagen

    needs to  converted to gelatin wanted to be as close to no stall as possible without excessive heat.
  14. demosthenes9

    demosthenes9 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    You are reading too much into what's on that page.  Long story short, you are seeing a correlation and wrongly assigning causation to it.   Yes, collagen breakdown does occur around 160 degrees, but that happens regardless of the temp that you are cooking at.

    The "stall" is caused by evaporative cooling, which also happens around 160 degrees.   Basically, the meat is sweating which lowers it's temp.    There are three options available.  You can ride it out at 225, you can wrap in foil which prevents the meat from cooling as it sweats (think rubber raincoat effect), or you can crank the temp up to counteract  the cooling and shorten/power through the stall.
  15. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Well I normally wrap about the time a butt stalls so problem solved.  I will crank up to about 285 if the natives are getting restless but if I have planned properly hurrying the stall just reduces visiting and drinking time!
  16. jckdanls 07

    jckdanls 07 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    I like your thinking....
  17. bigwheel

    bigwheel Smoking Fanatic

    A good rule of thumb for big meats dispensed by an old boy named Smokey Hale years ago is..What ever you expecting the terminal temp of the finished product to be cook it 60 degrees hotter minimum. That is you have a butt which prob gonna finish around 200 it needs to be cooked at least 260. Same for briskets. Does not apply to barnyard avians.
  18. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I'll smoke butts, shoulders, and briskets until they reach the first stall.  I typically smoke them these days around 265F because that's where my leaky WSM likes to cruise.  As soon as it hits the first long stall, usually around an IT of 160F + or - 5F, that's when I wrap it with drippings, juices or broth.  Takes me about 30-45 minutes of watching the temp to confirm the stall.  Then I open up the vents and let the smoker cruise up to around 290F-335F or so, where ever it wants to settle down.  Once the meat is wrapped it is no different that sticking it in the oven.

    I take it off the smoker when it has reached my IT target temp.  Wrapping and the higher temp powers it through the stall but I still get all the connective tissue melting that occurs starting around 170F and higher.  I also capture all those "sweat" juices to use as au jus.  I've pulled 6-9 lb butts and brisket flats off the smoker as soon as it hit my target temp, often 60-90 minutes after wrapping.  Then I let them rest covered for 90 minutes or longer.  Always tender and juicy but the bark is soft.  Don't care about the bark, just the flavor.

    When you wrap meat you are basically braising it in the juices/drippings you add while wrapping.  Liquid conducts heat 25 times more effectively than air so a sealed roast is going to finish much quicker than an unwrapped roast.  You give up a crunchy bark but it will taste the same and be done in MUCH less time.        
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2014
  19. bigwheel

    bigwheel Smoking Fanatic

    Ok..I am convinced. Yall are nutty peeples.
  20. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    But of course!
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2014

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