1st Butt taking a long time?

  • Some of the links on this forum allow SMF, at no cost to you, to earn a small commission when you click through and make a purchase. Let me know if you have any questions about this.
SMF is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.


Fire Starter
Original poster
Jan 4, 2007
Newburgh NY
Hi All,
Attempting my first butt today. I used Jeff's Rub last night. Was up at 5:30 this mornign firing up the Char-Griller. Re-rubbed the butt this morning then put her on at about 6:45 AM. Grill temp has been fairly constant around 225.

It is now 5:00 PM and the internal temp is only 162 ( I just wrapped it in foil). It is only a 6.5# butt.

Is this normal to take this long? I have cranked the heat up in the chamber to about 250 as the wife an kids are getting hungry.

Looks like I will have to make a Quiznos run:)

I am going to hold out for the pork:) Does it normally take this long. Outside temp today is about 25 - 30 degrees.

Will keep posted on how it goes.


The only error you may be making is if the internal temps are not accurate....got a good thermometer?

Just think you are at the proverbial "plateau"...thats where the butt is breaking down the fibers of the meat to make it tender...hang in there and it should be going to the 200* mark soon....all butts are different and some of them take longer than others...hope this helps!!

Maybe you should consider a Quiznos too and thrill everyone tomorrow...
Patience and good luck, I've usually got more of one than the other. Hang in there, it will take off soon.

Keep Smokin
Stop cranking up your heat…itâ€[emoji]8482[/emoji]s not worth it! :roll:
Serve up some antipasto!
Hi guys,
Thanks for all the encouragement. I did check my thermos, I actually did a fatty earlier today and took the probe from that and checked my temp in the butt. They were within 2[sup:07d996223e]0[/sup:07d996223e] of one another, so I am assuming it is right.

I'll just keep her burning and see how it goes. Thankfully, this is still a "practice" smoke and there isn't a yard full of people.

Thanks again.

No doubt the probe thermometer is near right by what you say...What we are referring to is the temp inside the smoker...have you confirmed the smoker is actually at 225*
I had a pork shoulder last weekend that got stuck for 4 hours at 175! It only happens to me with shoulders but it happens every time! Maybe it's the bone? Boneless meat doesn't do it. It there a bone in a butt?

Illini said it well. Just takes time. I have had butts that went anywhere from 11 to 16 hours. All were smoked at about 225*. Just be paitient and as someone else said, be a hero tomorrow ..... because I guarantee you that you will. Then comes the requests for repeat perfomance.
hello hello,
if you have a digital therm with only one probe-
that goes inside of cook area---
put it thru a potatoe--
so probe tip is exposed in air 3 inches..

this will tell you inside air temp..

do not use cold potatoe
Hi All,
Well I finally finished the butt. I pulled it off the Char-griller at around 9:30PM. I put it in a towel then in a cooler for 2 hrs.

It came out great!!! Nice crust (more about that in a minute), pulled the bone right out.

I do have a couple of questions (always have question :))

When you pull the meat how do you do it? I just took 2 forks and just kind of separated the meat.

As far as the crust goes, I put it to the side, do you actually eat that? ( I just used Jeff's Rib Rub and yellow mustard)

Also, the fat cap ( I did mine cap down) I just left.

I used SoFlaQuer's finishing sauce (substituted 1/2 cup cider for 1/2 cup vinegar) . Too bad I have to wrap it up and wait for tomorrow's dinner.

Now for my last question, when my wife heats it up tomorrow, what is the best method?

Thanks again for all the advice and kind words. I can't wait to do my next smoke.


There are several ways to pull the meat Chris and the forks you used are as good as any. If you have good pit gloves you can just pull it by hand. You can use Bear Paws if you have them. It can also be pulled with the dough hook in a Kitchen Aide mixer.

As for the "crust" which is what you see referred to as bark most often, I most certainly leave it in the pulled pork. It is some of the best bites I think. I am pretty sure most people leave it in but I could be wrong. I usually shake in a little rub when I'm adding and mixing the finishing sauce in as well.

You can reheat your PP with about any method you can think of. It is very hard to dry it out due to it's forgiving nature and this seems even more true with SoFlaQuer's finishing sauce added. I microwave it alot, heat it up in Food Saver bags in boiling water if frozen, and if heating up a big tray prepared early for a crowd I usually do it in the oven slowly at 200°-250°. If you cool and reheat a whole batch like that its not a bad idea to check the temp a place or two I guess to be sure it is heated enough to zap the nasties again.
Hi There cseymour!

Welcome to the boards :D

First I will post a link to a tutorial I did here complete with digi-pics just about one year ago..It is comprehensive and will answer many of your questions. :)

Go Here: http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/viewtopic.php?t=617

Also..near the end of the above linked thread I posted a link to a tute that another member did regarding beer can butt chickens...there is a mountain of information for new smokers to glean. :D

Lastly I will address the issue regarding the time it takes to smoke pork butts and shoulders...The time it takes for the muscle fiber in pork butts to break down (Cook) is directly related to the age of the animal from which your butt was obtained.

Older animals require more time to cook than younger ones because the muscle fiber is older and tougher.. :idea:

However, that does not mean that you can't provide great results from an older animal..you can and will...it just takes longer :)

There is no way to tell how long it will take..the three factors involved are age of animal, cold and higher wind speeds when queing meats in the winter zone, and smoker temperature.

As up in smoke advised do not crank up your smoker trying to speed up the process; It just doesn't work..keep it at 225 degrees farenheit..If you are using a propane unit then keeping a uniform temperature is very easy in any weather conditions...if you are using a wood/charcoal pit smoker like mine pictured in the tutorial then expect the temp to rise a bit in between adding wood chunks and charcoal..the temp will drop when adding new fuel...it takes a while for the new fuel to ignite and come up to cooking temperature.. 8)

this is why you see me use a secondary steel stove in the tute so that I am always adding hot embers to my firebox which really helps to keep the cooking temperature steady and helps to eliminate sooty smoke and creasote..

Lastly, I would like to address the temperature plateau which DeejayDebi speaks of....I have smoked many hundreds of pork butts and I find that my Butts :lol: usually reach a plateau somewhere around 160 degrees and at that point it sometimes takes three to four hours for the internal meat temperature to start rising again...I have learned to expect this and I plan around it..

I usually do two butts at a time in my smoker or sometimes a brisket and a butt and when I do this the meat goes in at 4-5pm and normally it will be ready between noon and fourpm the next day...Low and Slow

In the summer it takes a little less time because the smoker does not lose heat as rapidly as it does in the winter.

Once you have done this process several times it will all fall into place for you and the light bulb in your head will be on! meaning the confusion will go away.

Ask your family and friends to be patient with you until you have done the process a few times and can begin to project eating times more accurately :oops:

Also it should be noted that butts with the bone-in will take longer than boneless butts....

Once again check out the tute and check out the pictures and remember that Pork barbecue is very forgiving but it does take time..

warm regards and Happy Queing!

ranger72 :)

OTBS # 14
Oh Yes!

One more thing!

I have found that the easiest way to re-heat Pulled pork which has been chilled in the fridge is to simply re-heat in the micro-wave oven.

It heats the meat through and through and more importantly does not dry the meat out!


ranger72 8)
Thanks for the great refresher course on the pulled pork...one can never get enough of that learning stuff..if not already...I think your post here should be made a sticky...lots of good info...

Thank you Vulcan!

I hope cseymour gets a peek at this before it disappears into cyberspace once again :D

I usually bump this thread about every six months when we get a whole new crew of peeps just starting out on the website...Thepics answer questions quickly!

thanks again,

ranger72 :)
I am a little suspect of the fact that the butt and the fatty were the same temp. That butt shouldn't have been anywhere close to the temp of his fatty even at 3 hours, due to the difference in density of the meat and the fact that the butt was bone in. I'd pitch the therm and invest into a couple of digitals and check them before EVERY smoke.
As with everyone else here, leave the bark in there. If it's too tough to pull, cut randomly with a sharp knife.
Hi Guys,
Thanks for the links and the advice. I know I have a lot to learn but it looks like this is one learning curve I am going to enjoy.

Thanks again.

Hi gunslinger,
sorry my post about the thermos was confusing. What I meant was that I used 2 different thermos (1 was originally in the butt, the other I put in once the fatty was finished) Both those thermos had a similar temp reading from within the butt.

Sorry for the confusion.

Thanks for the replies.

Can't wait for the next "practice" ;)


SmokingMeatForums.com is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

Latest posts

Hot Threads