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I think I’m in trouble!!

gnarbrah

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Joined May 17, 2014
Hey all - I was tapped to do two pork butts for a party today and decided to start them at midnight rather than risk them stalling (as is usually my luck) and not making dinner time. They are two approximately 7 lb boneless butts. I got the smoker up to temp and put them on at midnight. Temp dropped but worked back up to 210 (and rising) around 1am. I adjusted the air down a bit and went to bed. Got up at 3am and the temp had maxed out around 225 and had dropped to 160! I cranked it back up and it rose to about 270 and slowly came down to about 210 at 7am as it ran out of charcoal.
my major concern is it was under 225 for quite a while and I didn’t hit 140 internal temp until about 5:15am. Are these trash??
 

912smoker

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Agreed. Get that fire going and get a thermo. They are much less expensive that the potential loss of quality Q
 

gnarbrah

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Joined May 17, 2014
I’ve got an igrill2 but couldn’t find how to set the alarms. I’ve never done an overnight smoke before but wasn’t too worried as the mini wsm has always been good to me. This is the ugliest graph I’ve ever seen!
First shot is the beginning. I went to bed around the 225 peak. At the low point is when I got up at 3 and cranked open the vent.
Second shot is the internal meat temp. Shows hitting 140 just after 5 hours. My big concern is the pit temp was below 225 almost the entire time!
 

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SmokingUPnorth

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Like others said you’ll be fine. Did you change anything with this cook compared to others?
 

gnarbrah

Meat Mopper
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Joined May 17, 2014
Used kingsford professional and usually use blue bag. Only thing I can think of is I closed the vent too much when I went to bed.
 

gnarbrah

Meat Mopper
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Joined May 17, 2014
So I’m really confused. It seems like I broke all the rules of 40-140-4. Has anything like this ever happened to you guys? Does boneless matter in this scenario? I’ve always heard that bone in is better as that part of the meat hasn’t been exposed to the elements.
 

mike243

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Bone in or out doesn't make a difference, not injecting is 1 of the rules I have read but I don't inject any way
 

gnarbrah

Meat Mopper
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Joined May 17, 2014
Yeah no injecting here either. I’m no food scientist but would bringing it up to 200+ internal temp kill anything that might be nasty? I’m at 175 now and babysitting the pit temp around 250.
Are boneless butts considered “intact”? Can’t seem to find any info.
 
Last edited:

apn73

Fire Starter
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Joined May 23, 2020
You're fine, finish them up in the oven if you have to, 185-195 intetnal temp is the pulling tempeture, 170 if you're slicing.
 

gnarbrah

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Joined May 17, 2014
Just hit 184. I think I’ll let them run and see if I can get them to 200. I’ll probably pull them in an hour and a half regardless.
 

GonnaSmoke

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Just hit 184. I think I’ll let them run and see if I can get them to 200. I’ll probably pull them in an hour and a half regardless.
You're well beyond the point of the pork being safe to eat. Something magical happens to butts at around 195℉. That's where it begins to get easier to make pulled pork. If you want to pull it easily, you'll need 200℉ or higher. Anything less and it will be harder to make pulled pork, but can be sliced and certainly will be safe to eat, as stated earlier.
 

Workaholic

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Joined May 12, 2019
I am curious about something. How long after adjusting the vents to get 225 before you went to bed? I normally try to give my WSM a half hour to an hour after an adjustment, to settle in, and make sure that she's going to maintain the temp I want. Was it cooler last night than it normally is when you smoke? If so, that could have effected things some, as well. Take them to a temp of 203, and allow them to rest a couple hours, if possible. They'll virtually fall apart, when you pull them, and will be completely safe to eat.
 

gnarbrah

Meat Mopper
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Joined May 17, 2014
It was my first overnight smoke and I definitely made some errors. Should have started it earlier and given myself more time before I was about to pass out to let it settle in. I got the charcoal in the smoker about 11:15 and let it get to about 235 before I put the pork in at midnight. The temp of course dropped so I opened up the vents to ramp it back up. It was climbing steadily and got to 210 when I made the “adjustment” to where I thought it would settle down around 225-250. At this point it was 1am and I passed out. Got back up at 3 to check and that’s when I saw 160 and freaked out. Next time I’ll make sure it’s stable before I take a nap. Should have started it around 10 to give myself that extra time. Live and learn...
They just hit 194 so I can see the finish line.
I’m still just a bit concerned about the whole 40-140 thing as these are boneless.
 

Workaholic

Smoke Blower
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Joined May 12, 2019
I don't think you have anything to worry about with the 40-140 thing. Take them up to 203, and your good. I do worry about those temps like your talking about with turkey, but pork is a bit different. You can always crank the temp in the smoker up to 275 for the last bit to finish. The one thing I have noticed since I got a wsm, is that intake settings are different for each smoke. With my offset, I could set it at 1/4 open, and maintain the temp, as long as I went out to feed it every 45 minutes, which explains why I now have a wsm instead.
 

chopsaw

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Does boneless matter in this scenario?
Just FYI ,
De-boned and rolled is no longer considered intact , because you exposed the inner part where the bone was to air . If you roll it / fold it back on itself , you have " outside on the inside " If you lay it flat nothing to worry about .
That being said , in this situation I don't see any trouble with what you have . Just mentioning this because you asked , and something to understand going forward .
Enjoy the party .
 

schlotz

Master of the Pit
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Glad it all worked out for you! I ceased doing over night smokes on butts when I started doing them at 250º-270º, usually with bone-in 9#'ers. Simply could not tell the difference, and so much easier to monitor.
 

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