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Queation: Is this normal for Pork Butt

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by bjustice22, Dec 20, 2013.

  1. I have an 11.6lb bone in butt and had been in the smoker for 24 hours now!

    I have my MES at 225* and it has been the entire time. This is my third go at pork butt but haven't had one quite this big.

    I don't mind the long smoke at all, but is this a normal smoke time for a piece of meat this large?
  2. Hello.  The big question is what are you using to that tells you the temp is 225?  If it the therm on the smoker these are well known for being inaccurate.  They are cheap and useless on almost any smoker you buy.  If using that therm I'd bet actual temp is 20-50 degrees off what the therm is telling you.  NO. IMHO It shouldn't take that long even with a long stall.  Check the IT.  Good luck.  Keep Smokin!

  3. demosthenes9

    demosthenes9 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Ditto what KC said  :)

    BTW, unless I missed it, you didn't say what the internal temp of the butt is currently.
  4. I was using both my MES30 and Maverick ET732. At the start the maverick was holding steady at 225-230 for the cook chamber. Unfortunately the maverick meat probe shot up to 285 midway. I called customer service and said they can short out due to moisture... They suggested I use the cook chamber probe as a meat probe for the time being.

    Both the MES probe and maverick were consistent. I pulled the butt right at the 24 hour mark once it reached 200.

    I'll pull it bright and early in the morning just in time for my company "holiday" party.

    Any suggestions for protecting my new probe (once it arrives) from moisture?

    Thanks and Merry Christmas!
  5. cliffcarter

    cliffcarter Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Once again the reliance on the "temp gauge is off" explanation for the long cook times is incorrect. The low cook temperature of 225° and the large size of the butt are the reasons your butt took so long to cook. Next time turn the cook temp up to as high as your MES will go and cook faster.

    Cooking at 225° is not a hard and fast rule for good BBQ, I cook my butts at 285°-300°, they get done at a rate of less than one hour per pound. I no longer have to do long overnight cooks and the cooks are much more predictable. I think the overall quality of the final product is better when cooked at higher temps as well.

    Merry Christmas to you too.
  6. Hello.  Without any relevant info I "jumped" to the wrong conclusion ( my error ).  I totally agree with Cliff and I too smoke butts and brisket in those higher temp ranges.  I have found no reason to do the overnite cook any more.  The final product does not suffer at all.  Good luck.  Keep Smokin!

  7. demosthenes9

    demosthenes9 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Not to start a pissing match, but when "trouble shooting", one engages in something similar to "triage".   You look first at the most likely culprit.  IF/when that is eliminated, you proceed to the next thing that is most likely the problem.

    Believe it or not, it's often the case that people are relying on a flawed thermometer/gauge that came with their smoker, which means that their chamber temps weren't what they believed them to be.

    Unlike you, I do smoke butts low and slow around 225 and 24 hours is an exceedingly long time for a butt to take, even one that's a "whopping" 11.6 lbs.   For most, that kind of time would definitely raise a red flag and lead them to wonder why it took so long.

    As for the advice you gave,  it's spot on for the most part, though it's different strokes for different folks.  Some of us still prefer low and slow   :)
  8. foamheart

    foamheart Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Yes! That's simple.

    Its because you are going low and slow the old fashion way. My last Pulled Pork butt done low and slow at 220 took forever.

    Hang in there and you're patience will be rewarded!

  9. geerock

    geerock Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Interesting thread. Dont know why someone would discount the theory of wrong temp reading for an overly long cook.....especially on an MES. They are notorious for reading much lower than the readout. After finding that he had a Maverick (although one that was ready to fail so it too is suspect), I thought the same about cook temp like I always do when folks are taking a day to cook a piece of meat....except when I see MES 30 or 40. Then that becomes my first thought. Why everyone sets everything at 225 is beyond me. Especially large butts, shoulders, and brisket. Your stall is going to be harder to drive through and there is no difference in finished product to use a higher temp. The only thing I smoke at 225 anymore is ribs and maybe some poultry. 255 to 265 is still pretty low and slow. Try it. All you have to gain is time.
  10. foamheart

    foamheart Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    That was my reason, also a 12 pound butt at 225 degrees? 24 hours is definately not inconceivable. Mine did the same thing in an MES30 in the summer. Inaccurate is a problem with MES, but not all are afflicted with that problem.
  11. cliffcarter

    cliffcarter Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    IMHO the most likely culprit for long cook times for butts and brisket is low cooking temperature.

    If his cook chamber gauge was reading 285° and his butt took 24 hours to cook or it was reading 225° and it cooked in 10 hours, then it is reasonable to conclude that there is a temp gauge problem.

    I prefer Occam's Razor to triage for problem solving, the simplest explanation that fits all the available facts is the correct one.
  12. If you are given all the facts  The original facts were 11.6 lb butt.  225 degrees cooking temp. 24 hrs. smoking so far. Not done yet.  Hind sight and arm chair quarterbacking are easy. I still smoke most things in the 280-325 range.  Just saying.

  13. cliffcarter

    cliffcarter Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    The facts given in the OP's first post were as you state, given that the most common rate of cooking (cited on many BBQ forums, including this one) at 225° is 2 hours per pound for butts, then an 11.6 pound butt will take 23.2 hours. Close enough in my book. BTW I'm with you on higher temps, especially for large cuts.