Opinions on my first smoke?

Discussion in 'Pork' started by slimva, May 19, 2014.

  1. slimva

    slimva Newbie

    Hey guys, new here, just posted in Roll Call.  It is taken extremely long for my Boston Butt to cook.  Mind you I did stall it for a while to sleep.  I'm just curious if I have anything worry about, safety wise or not.  Step by step details below.


    8:30AM: Turned on the smoker, opened the 8lb Boston Butt, threw a bunch of Pappy's on there

    9:00AM: Put it in the smoker along with some apple wood chips.

    3:00PM:  As the smoker has been sitting around 225-250F (analog, so I had to mess with it from time to time to adjust it right), I put in my CDN digital thermometer in the center of the cut.  154F was the reading

    6:00PM: 154F it seemed to hit an early plateau.

    7:00PM: 156F  Progress

    8:00PM: 158F

    9:00PM: 162F

    At this point we were planning on committing to the long haul and eating it in the middle of the night, but the woman and I were dead tired.  So to make sure I didn't over cook or dry it out, I adjusted the smoker to 200+F but below 225F.  


    5:30AM: 154F  The temp dropped.  But the smoker was still sitting at/over 200F.  Removed the therm probe and placed it in a new section to confirm.  154F still.  Adjusted the smoker to 225-250F as I had yesterday.

    3:00PM:  When I last checked, it's at 180F.

    Now, it might have taken a while yesterday because I did open it a few times to add some more chips.  From what I've read that can slow down a lot.  My only concern is, I didn't put the probe in until 3PM Yesterday.  Is it safe to assume it progressed through the danger zone as it should?  I also think that with it being at 154F at 5:30AM today, it did not decrease past that back into the danger zone considering it stayed at a oven temp of 200+F?

    I'm just cautious, so please bear with my noobness and questions.
    Last edited: May 19, 2014
  2. pgsmoker64

    pgsmoker64 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    I would say as long as you kept it above 140 IT and you didn't inject you should be good!

    When you dropped the pit temp you increased  your cook time.  I know people that insist on cooking butts at 200 to 205, and I used to be a 225 guy.  However, I have recently joined the 275 club.  I can cook a good size pork butt in 8 hours now by cooking at around 275 and it still comes out juicy and tender with a great smokey flavor.

    As far as safety, if you have the least doubt that you stayed out of the danger zone, then better safe than sorry.

    Good luck,

  3. slimva

    slimva Newbie

    Thank you.  I feel that it stayed out of the danger zone.  Only two of us eating it so if we got sick, it's on us.

    It's at 189 right now.  When it gets to 190-195, I'm going to remove the temp prob and sit it in the smoker and see if there is a difference between the analog and digital readings.  I've wondered if maybe the analog door thermo is off or not.
  4. golfpro2301

    golfpro2301 Smoking Fanatic

    What are you using to monitor the cooker temperature? If you are using the stock thermometer it might be reading a bit high. Remove it and test it in boiling water. If you cant remove it test it against a therm you know is accurate. You make your smoker set to 225* but it might actually be in the high 100's
  5. slimva

    slimva Newbie

    The stock thermometer for the smoker temp and a CDN digital thermo for the meat.  The butt just hit 190, so it's resting now.  I let the digital thermo sit in the smoker and it went up to 270, and the smoker was halfway past 250, so it seems they are on par give or take.
  6. golfpro2301

    golfpro2301 Smoking Fanatic

    Did you test the CDN in water? You are pushing 24 hours for a boston butt so something it a little off. If not then you hit the mother of all stalls it sounds like. Next time try wrapping it once it gets to 165. This will help it push thru the stall quicker.
  7. slimva

    slimva Newbie

    I have not, but I will.  
  8. slimva

    slimva Newbie

    Here are the pictures of my first smoke.  I'm definitely going to calibrate/check my thermometers and cook my next one at 275.

    Last edited: May 20, 2014
  9. jp61

    jp61 Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Looks good from here! Nice job!
  10. slimva

    slimva Newbie

    Thank you.  I'm definitely removing more fat from the outside and applying more rub at the beginning next time.  None the less, it was super moist, a bit greasy from all the fat, and the bark... I now know why they call it bark.  So delicious.
    Last edited: May 20, 2014
  11. hillbillyrkstr

    hillbillyrkstr Master of the Pit Group Lead

    Be careful about trimming to much fat....
  12. brooksy

    brooksy Master of the Pit

    If you're going to cook at a higher temp leave the fat alone simply because you're going to be rendering more fat at the higher temp. Just my opinion.

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