Why did my butts take 19 hours?

Discussion in 'Pork' started by deserttoad, Jan 24, 2010.

  1. deserttoad

    deserttoad Smoke Blower

    Just wondering if someone might have some input on this. I did two 7 lbs butts in my WSM yesterday/last night. I maintained a grate temp right near 250 the entire time. After 12 hours I finally tented them and finished in the oven at 250. The meat plateaued around the usual 160 for a few hours, and the climb to 195 once the temp started to move again was over 6 more hours.

    I planned it for pulled pork sandwiches today with spicy slaw and a zingy carolina sauce, so it all worked out just fine. I'm more curious to know why my thought of 12 hours was so out of whack!

  2. fire it up

    fire it up Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    19 hours!? ! That is a really looooooong time.
    If it were on just one butt I would have thought you just had some bad luck going on but if both were running the same temp for that long I would start calibrating probes and changing batteries to make sure they were reading proper temps.
  3. denver dave

    denver dave Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    I just did a butt yesterday. It stabalized at 165 for a couple of hours then to 200 in about 12. Came off great. Your temp gauges or sensors may be out of whack. [​IMG]
  4. flyfishjeep

    flyfishjeep Smoking Fanatic

    I did mine yesterday for the first time and it took 13 hours (9.4 lbs). If it turned out moist all the way around and not dry then it may have just been that piece of meat...
    The location of your probe may have affected the temp.
    Try it again another day and see what happens.
  5. deserttoad

    deserttoad Smoke Blower

    Thanks guys. I was using my maverick probes, and did double check them. The pork is fall apart tender and juicy, so I guess all is well. Just glad I wasn't expecting to have them for dinner last night!

    They went in at 7 lbs each and came out at 4lbs 6oz and 4lbs 1 oz. Maybe just a lot of fat to be rendered?
  6. tasunkawitko

    tasunkawitko Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    an excess of fat should cause them to cook faster, not slower, due to the insulating properties of the fat.

    if your thermometers are accurate, then it is possible that it could have simply been a tough piece of meat to begin with and needed a lot of time to break down a lot of collagen.
  7. bbally

    bbally Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Resonant infrared Water activity. Stab them with a big fork next time the stall. You will be amazed.
  8. grillin_all_day

    grillin_all_day Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    I had a similar incident in Oct. In my case though, I got a bad cut. While the meat was great, I had a bone that went through the center, almost all the way to the other side of the butt. I didn't know about it, so I stuck my probe in like I normally do. It took forever for mine to get up to temp., but that was due to the probe being too close to the bone. I never had a cut like that from the butcher I got it from.

    Were you using the Maverick ET-73? Reason why I ask, is mine had some "fits" the other day when I smoked my brisket. It would get up to 50 degree spikes on the grill probe before it finally leveled out. I guess I gotta change my batteries, or look into some new probes [​IMG]
  9. tasunkawitko

    tasunkawitko Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    a couple of suggestions:

    it's always good to have a reliable, old-fashioned analog probe thermometer for a backup, just in case you're not sure about your digital readings. these things are cheap and can be calibrated and checked just as easily as anything else, but the factor of batteries is eliminated. i personally prefer the digital ones, but i always have an analog as a backup if i am unsure of what i am seeing.

    another thing is to learn to observe and read the signs that your meat is giving you. those signs should reinforce (or, looking from the other side, they should be reinforced by) the readings on your thermometer. for instance, if your bone pulls right out of the meat like it is melted butter in spite of the fact that your thermomenter says it is only 169 degrees, you can rest assured that it is done.
  10. oneshot

    oneshot Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Hey bally, you got my attention!!!! Would you explain this resonant infrared water activity????? I don't have a clue as to what that is...[​IMG]
    Thanks buddy...[​IMG]
  11. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    At first read of your thread I thought of the probe thermo meter is wrong but then you siad you tested them so that was out. Next I would think of a tough hunk of meat. But I hear this method of poking it with a fork and I guess that is to release some of the liquid out of the butt to break the stall. Now thats the first I have heard of that method but coming from Bbally I would take it to be true because he seems to know his poop about smoking. But I have had some butts take for ever it seems too. I just ride it out.
  12. bbally

    bbally Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    First the information: I am a trained Atomic Spectroscopist.

    Everything in the world vibrates. The vibration can be stable (resonant) or unstable (free running) things go from unstable to stable when to sides of an energy equation come into balance.

    Just as a glass rings at a certain frequency when tapped, everything else rings as well. It is just that some ringing is a frequency higher than the ears can hear or the eyes can see.

    Heat is light, in the infrared range, it need a different receptor to "see" your body has infrared eyes in it skin.

    When a chunk of meat gets to a certian crust hardness very little IR activity is passing through it to the center. The IR bounces off or runs along the crust in what is called the skin effect.

    On the inside since very little is getting from the outside to the inside the water molecules begin to pass infrared energy between themselves. This starts to cause water currents inside the meat. Which circulates that water in eddy currents. When they balance they are in resonants. A tank circuit in resonants is very stable. It takes a disturbance to interupt the currents and start the free running exchange of energy again.

    At least that is my theory on stall.[​IMG]
  13. slareau

    slareau Fire Starter

    I've had butts take around 2 hrs/lb which seems to be on the high side from what people report here. That's at about 225 grate temp in my GOSM. I've been double probing the butt too just in case I had a bad probe placement the first time.
  14. oneshot

    oneshot Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    So a couple pokes with a pronged fork will help to speed up the stall???
    Will that hurt the juicieness of the meat????
  15. deserttoad

    deserttoad Smoke Blower

    Well I guess there are no problems with it taking so long, and I must say it was well worth it! Made up pulled pork sandwiches on homemade rolls with a nice carolina style vinegar sauce and threw the slaw right in the sandwich. yum!!
  16. werdwolf

    werdwolf Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    That just sounds to dang impressive not to be true! [​IMG]
  17. pignit

    pignit Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I think Bally's post would support what I've been reading concerning humidity levels and smoke absorbtion. Proper humidity levels keep the outside from getting too hard for heat / smoke absorbtion and less stall time.

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