question on plateau

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bigarm's smokin

Gone but not forgotten. RIP
Original poster
OTBS Member
Apr 19, 2007
1,199
11
BigArm MT
Hey everyone, I did my last smoke on sunday. I did a brisket point, about a 3#er. It hit a plateau at 165, stayed there for half an hr then dropped to 162, after about one and a half hrs it finall started climbing. I thought that with a smaller chunk of meat, it wouldn't plateau like a big chunk. Does any one know the cause of a plateau? If its already on here, I couldn't find it. Also, smoker temp was 225. Thanks, Terry
 
The funny thing about the plateau is sometimes it doesn't happen at all. I had a brisket plateau for around 2 hours. I think I read a thread some one wrote stateing that it has someting to do with the meat breaking down the string stuff in side of the meat. I forget the technical term for it, but I'm sure some one will tell you real soon. The first time it happened to me I thought my thermometer was broke. Luckily some one here told me about it. You should see how long a picnic shoulder takes. I had one plateau for over 3 hours.
 
My understanding is the plateau is a result of the internal fat melting, basting the meat from the inside which lowers the actual temperature of the meat. If I am wrong, which happens frequently, I am sure someone with more knowledge will come along and correct me.
 
I had a shoulder plateau for 3 1/2 hours last time and then creep real slow up to temp.. I too thought my thermometer was broken. Makes you want to crank up the heat too..

But, if you're looking at me for some scientific reason for the plateau....
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It's probably because the smoke gods know we want to finish and are becoming impatient and they want to screw with us... (As scientific as I get)
 
Hey, that works for me! I'm not exactly a rocket scientist! I think the smoke Gods do it so we have to consume more adult beverage while we are forced to wait! See how much they care for us!!
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If they ever find out the real reason maybe we'll learn how to avoid it. I had two brskets and 3 butts all stuck for 3 hours on Saturaday and the briskets were split into flats and point and well trimmed too - go figure?
 
The first brisket i did (point i believe not sure of the difference yet but it was about 3.5#) plateaued for around 4 or 5 hours at 135* I think thats how I got the brisket to be almost 50% smoke ring.
 
seems to me it was dutch that described it if i can remember right. the sugars in the meat start breaking down. a google search brought me back to jeff's brisket smoke(#1 hit) & deejay debi's site was the #4 hit- congrats.
 
The connective tissues take some time to break down and absorb a lot of heat during the plateau.

Hope this helps!

Take care, have fun, and do good!

Regards,

Meowey
 
Brennan -

Here's a few pictures to illustrate the difference between the point and flat.

#1 When whole you can clearly see a thick hunk of fat that sepates the two pieces of meat (see the black line?)

#2 I grab the fat and it pulls apart I just hack at the fat tissues between the two piece

#3 you can see the two pieces slowly comming apart

#4 shows the flat (The big flat hunk) completely separated from the point (the thicker irregular shaped hunk) and most of the icky stringy fat trimmed off.

Just a note: IMHO points are great for making burnt ends. There's alo of fat everywhere and it makes for a great bark. Someone here (sorry CRS) either Chad or Cajun saves up the points and smokes a bunch of them at once for a burnt end feast. Yummmmmmm!

Hope this helps.




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Meowey is right on the money. The connective tissue breaks down to collagen and water over time and steady low heat. That breakdown time is basically the plateau.
 
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