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Internal Temp Stagnates?

Discussion in 'Beef' started by cekkk, Oct 29, 2013.

  1. I've got my 2 3/4# corned beef brisket in the smoker.  The temp rose fairly steadily from the 50s to 153 where it held so long I took out the Mav 732 meat probe for a while.  It dropped.  I put it back in and now it's hanging up at 151  It's been in the low 150s for about an hour now.  It went in almost exactly 4 hours ago.  Is this why it takes so long to smoke one of these things?  I'm shooting for 190.  [​IMG]
  2. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member

    You've hit the stall. It will stay there for ????? Then the temp will start rising again. May stall again too. Very common and for every cut of meat it's different.
  3. Thanks.  I was hoping that was the case.
  4. fourthwind

    fourthwind Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    You have to be patient.  Do not turn the temp up!     What is going on is fat starts to break down in the 150 to 155 degree area.  During this time the heat energy going into the meat is being used by the fat to effectively melt.   If you increse the abient air temp, you will start the meat temp going up without the proper fat break down.    There is no way to predict how long the stall will be exactly as it will depend on the fat content.   I wouldnt expect it to be too long with tht size of roast, but you will see a difference between the flat pieces versus the point pieces on a corned beef.
  5. Thanks for the explanation.   It made no sense to me until I read that.  I took it out about a half hour ago, so it got almost 9 hours.  But that's misleading.  The wind was high and the ambient temperature dropped into the 20s.  I pulled it at 176, earlier than planned and it's resting on the counter now.  I'm going to refrigerate it overnight and steam it to 203 tomorrow, an idea written on how Katz's does it.  Never went there, but ate at a lot of delis while working in Manhattan from the 70s to the 90s, often enough that we took an apartment in Midtown.  I'm guessing if Katz's does something, most of the others did too.  We'll find out at lunch tomorrow.  I'm going to have a pastrami reuben!
  6. fourthwind

    fourthwind Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Smoking can be a problem in low temps and winds.. Unless of course you have one of my smokers [​IMG]  

    Pastrami is one of my all time favorite smokes.  I smoke until it's about 160° then foil (effectively steaming) and take them up to 194 to 196 depending on tenderness tests with my temp probe.    Anything higher and your going to have chopped meat and not sliced.
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2013
  7. woodcutter

    woodcutter Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Please post a picture when you are done and tell us how it turned out. I never steamed a brisket.
  8. Woodcutter, I'll do that.  The 203 F temp is amusing.  My DW asked if it'll blow up at 204.  Said I'll have to clean up the kitchen if it does.
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2013
  10. Here are photos taken before and during lunch.  From top, removed from the fridge on foil, after steaming, etc.  I used the 732 and removed it at 194 degrees.  The "barbecue" side read 199 in the steamer.  I think that's about right allowing for accuracy variation of the Maverick, for our 8900' altitude.  I wasn't going to get to 203.

    The final product was actually better than I expected.  It was a tad salty, and that surprised me because I soaked it for well over two hours, changing the water almost every half hour.  There was no salt added in the rub I made up for it unless it snuck in in an ingredient.  It was not dry like I thought it would be.  Maybe that was due to steaming it.  It was a little tough where I sliced it too thick, but the thin cuts were just fine.

    My sidekicks had no complaints.

    Did not have any Swiss, so I just made up my own concoction of a sandwich, using spicy mustard, the hot horseradish cream and kraut on rye. That disguised any excess saltiness and I could still enjoy the pastrami's flavor.

    I'm encouraged by the outcome.  I'm sure many of you would have done better, but it's more about the trip than the destination for me.  I might make my own next time instead of buying a corned beef.

    I'd appreciate any comments or suggestions, especially on the saltiness.  It wasn't gross, but I like salt, so if I think it's salty, it's probably going to bother lots of people.
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2013
  11. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Looks good from what I see?

    Saltiness is in the nature of cured meat.  To a degree.

    When I use a commercially produced corned beef to make strami, I usually soak it for an hour or two in cold water, changing the water every 20 minutes or so.

    Then I add my strami rub and smoke it up.  Still a salty product, but, like you, I like a little salt.

    Good luck and good smoking.
  12. pgsmoker64

    pgsmoker64 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Looks good!

    I agree with Merv on soaking a commercial corned beef.  Definitely soak at least overnight to get rid of some of the salt.

    Good luck on the next one!

  13. I thought I said something about soaking but if I did, I can't find it here.  I soaked that puppy around 2.5 hours, changing water four or five times.  So I would have thought that would have taken out more salt than it did.  I got a piece of commercial pastrami from Walmart and just did a taste comparison.  The WM was bland, not salty, but very little taste to it.  That's understandable.  I like hot foods and sauces, and have found it's very difficult to find truly hot foods in restaurants.  Tortilla Flats outside of Apache Junction warns people about their blazing chili.  I found it far from scary, and I know people that can eat peppers that would make me catch on fire.  I'm pretty sure that commercial meats are going to be suitable for the masses.

    My pastrami was much tastier but tougher than Walmart's.  If I can make my own from scratch, the salt should bee controllable.  It's encouraging.  Don't know what to do about the toughness.

    I left the fat on it.  With Fourthwind's explanation about fat breaking down causing the stall, is it possible the fat retained salt and it soaked into the muscle during the breakdown?

    Thanks for the ideas and inputs.