Small Butt Stalled Out

  • Some of the links on this forum allow SMF, at no cost to you, to earn a small commission when you click through and make a purchase. Let me know if you have any questions about this.
SMF is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.


Original poster
Jan 9, 2017
I was smoking a small butt yesterday.  Smoked the butt at around 200 degrees for four hours put the thermometer in it was around 100 degrees.  Watched and timed the temperature rise about one degree every three-ish minutes.  Butt got to 157 degrees then stopped raising, checked smoker it was still doing it's thing an hour and a half later i turned the smoker up to about 300 to try and get the temp to raise to no avail.  Thought maybe my thermometer was broke brought the butt in after a total of 7 hours on the smoker and still reading 157 degrees temp  let it rest cut it open was still pink in the middle...Any ideas on what would cause a piece of meat to just stop cooking like that? 
They do that, it's called a stall.

Every piece of meat is different & some stall for hours & some don't.

I smoke my butts at 270-280. They cook faster & tend not to stall at all.

You can always break the stall by wrapping the butt in foil with a little liquid & putting it back on the smoker.

As you found out they need to cook until they are done, no matter how long that takes.

Definitely stalled.  

The stall is caused by the internal moisture being driven to the surface of the meat. As this moisture evaporates, it cools the surface, and so prevents the heat increasing. at the same time, it draws further moisture up from the meat.  Wrapping can prevent the stall, and lets the cooking power through.  As the meat is held in a super moist environment evaporation is minimised. Evaporation is directly related to temperature and humidity. You can also use a water pan to keep the cooking chamber humidity high. it won't prevent the stall, but will reduce the  impact and by reducing the moisture loss, will keep the meat moist.
I don't know what your definition of "small butt" is but I usually smoke a butt that that is between 7-9 lbs. 11-14 hours on the pit at 200-225 including wrapping in pink butcher paper is pretty much what I expect and get. Let us know when you try another one!
What Al said. The stall is gonna happen. Use the Texas crutch (wrap in foil with a little liquid) to push through it if your hurting for time.

Good luck is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

Hot Threads