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HELP: Pulled Pork temperature stall/plateau???

Discussion in 'Pork' started by jpdeuce, Feb 20, 2011.

  1. jpdeuce

    jpdeuce Newbie

    I've had my GOSM big block for about a year now.  I've done pulled pork, brisket, ribs, big turkey, and chicken all with decent success.  One issue I have been having, and I assume it's just because it's a gas smoker, is not being able to get a good hard bark on my pork/brisket.

    So, what I figured was causing the biggest issue was all the moisture during the foil stage.  The meat does melt in your mouth, but I really want to get some bark.  So the last couple of porks I've done, I skipped the foil stage and just left it uncovered on the smoker the whole time.  

    I've tried this the last 2 times with pork and I've also noticed a huge issue of not being able to get the pork temp higher than 165 or 170.  If it's going to pass that temp it must take FOREVER.  I've had to pull the porks off the smoker and throw them in the oven at 350 to get the temp to go up after that.  

    Am I doing something wrong?  Is this a by-product of not doing a foil stage?

    Thanks for any tips/advice in advance.

  2. realtorterry

    realtorterry Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Are you using a pan? if so make sure its ot sitting in its own juices. I would try spritzing it with like an apple juice/captain morgan mixture beofre foiling. it kinda give it a good carmelization & leads to bark formation
  3. scarbelly

    scarbelly Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member

    What you are experiencing is called the stall - it happens a lot. I have had them stall for several hours they shoot up like a rocket. Some folks turn the meat over or relocate the temp probe the rest of of us just wait it out. Hang in there it will get thru the stall in time  
  4. adiochiro3

    adiochiro3 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Scarbelly is right -- stall.  sometimes a long time; depends on the individual slab of meat.  wait it out, and your patience will be rewarded!

    I don't think the lack of bark is due to the propane.  It should be a matter of how long you foil.  Others should be along to confirm that.

  5. jpdeuce

    jpdeuce Newbie

    I don't use a pan.  Usually, the meat is sitting right on the grate of what ever shelf it's on.  I typically spray it with an Apple Cider Vinegar spritz during the smoke.  When I was foiling it I would pour a little beer in the foil "bowl" before closing it up.
  6. jpdeuce

    jpdeuce Newbie

    This is a little frustrating because I'm usually smoking for a big group.  I usually allow for the 1.5-2 hours per pound of biggest slab of meat on the grate.  The last 2 times the stall has delayed dinner for 20+ people, so it gets frustrating.

    As for the bark, I thought the foil was CAUSING the lack of bark...so I went to using no foil.  You guys think I should stick with the foil stage?
  7. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    You could start earlier, because you can always hold it for hours in foil, towels, and placed in a dry cooler.

    When I do stuff like Chuckies & butts, foiling it at 165˚ internal temp (230˚ smoker temp) gets it finished a lot quicker than not foiling.

    The 3.5 pound Chuckies, once foiled at 165˚, get to 200˚ in about one hour & 10 minutes.

  8. SmokinAl

    SmokinAl SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I foil at 165 like most of the other guys, and yes foiling gets the temp up faster. My butts are usually in the 9-10 lb. range & it takes 6 to 8 hours to get them to 165. By then they have a nice bark, and yes foiling softens the bark, but the flavor is still there. As for trying to time it right , what Bear said is the easiest way to make sure it's ready on time. Start much earlier than you estimate the finish time to be. It will stay hot in towels in a cooler for 6+ hours, then take it out & pull it just before meal time.
  9. I have a GOSM Big Block and just love that smoker. I have done a bunch of boston butt smokes usually smoking two to four at a time and i have quit using foil and just leave it on the rack until i get to 205. I like a nice bark and didn't care for it softening up during the foil stage. I always finish mine on the smoker and never use the oven... I don't have anything against an oven, I'm just pretty lazy and don't feel like moving the meat around. i only smoke when i have plenty of time and beer so I can savor the entire experience. I try to hold the smoker at about 225 and try not to open that door any more than I have to.

    If I have a firm deadline for a planned meal and thats often the case when i smoke, I get started at least twenty hours ahead of time and I have never missed a deadline that way. If I get to temp early and do sometimes, I will foil and towel and hold in a cooler. It amazes me that you can hold these for several hours this way and still be too hot to handle when you pull. I would rather not do this though since it does soften up the bark. I love smokin butt! :)
  10. jpdeuce

    jpdeuce Newbie

    I love this smoker too.  Since you have the same setup and are doing it the same way...how long per pound does it usually take you to get to 200?  It seems like the pork is staying in the 165 range FORever.  But I'm probably not being patient enough because I've got the deadline and haven't allowed for enough time.
  11. chris_harper

    chris_harper Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    One reason I smoke it one day and eat it the next couple of days. Everything I have smoked had a stall, except fatties of course.
  12. flash

    flash Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Try to go to 170º before foiling, also using a rub with a fair amount of brown sugar will help form the bark. I sometimes even add alittle more before the foiling. Another thing is once you get around 190º or so, you could open the foil up and let the butt reharden the bark some. Sometimes the pan method is better for this, easier to remove the covering foil this way.
  13. jpdeuce

    jpdeuce Newbie

    I haven't used a pan before, but maybe I should try it out.  So, do you just cover the pan in foil then, instead of completely wrapping the pork?  That would make things a little easier I would think.
  14. flash

    flash Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Don't use too big of a pan, as compared to the butt. It probably will take a little longer to finish this way that wrapping tightly to the butt, but it does work and will trap alot of juice. If you do get alot, you can always remove some of it when you get ready to top  it with the foil. Just don't take all of it out.
  15. tyotrain

    tyotrain Master of the Pit

    What rub are you using.. the more the sugar the darker the bark that is what i find. I as well foil at around 170F and yes it sounds like you are hitting a stall.. I had a 9 pound but few weeks ago take me around 16 hours to cook thats with rest time so you just have to wait it out.[​IMG]
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2011
  16. SmokinAl

    SmokinAl SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Let us know how this all turns out! With Qview of course!
  17. big krim

    big krim Newbie

    When I smoke pork butts, it's my belief that you don't cook to time.  I generally use 18 hours as a general guideline, so I can figure out when to start.  But, I always cook through 200 and get it to 203-205, and then let it sit there for another hour.  Some say to pull it at 195, but I've had great results going over 200 internally.