Monday, June 27, 2022

Pulled Pork AAR

So yesterday I smoked a pork butt.  It came out really well but I thought I'd follow up.

One weirdness was the probe thermometer seemed to get stuck at 133 degrees.  After an hour without any increase in temperature I got the meat thermometer which showed 145 - 150.  So I finished using that which meant a lot of opening the grill.

Another weirdness was that the temperature stopped going up after 6 or 7 hours.  This may have been because the weather clouded over and the outside temperature dropped.  I double wrapped the pork in foil and finished it in the oven at 300 degrees.

It had a nice dark bark which was nicely but not overly smoky.  It was nice and juicy (thank you, Mr. Brine!).  I now have a bunch of containers that are in the freezer.  All in all, it was a good experience.  You would only do it on a lazy summer day when you have 8 hours to mess around with things, but it was as good BBQ as I've had down here in Florida.  Winning!


B said...

your lack of temp rise may have been simply the meat starting to dry.

SiGraybeard said...

I've been waiting to see if you did a follow up post on how it came out. Good to hear you were happy with it.

Go to a barbecue website and search on "the stall." It's pretty much a normal part of the process. I see the stall at about 160 to 165 on my thermometers. It can take hours to start going up again. IIRC, this is when the connective tissue that makes meat tough is breaking down, and the process absorbs heat (endothermic?).

I use an electric smoker that isn't as macho a heat source as yours, but have cranked up the chamber temperature from 225/230 to 250. Even then, I've had 8-10 lb. pork butts take 14 hours and some more like 16 hours.

Birdchaser said...

The temp not moving is called the stall, perfectly normal just leave it alone it will take off again.
I gave up on temp probes a long time ago. My Weber will run 10/12 hrs, then I wrap the butt in aluminum foil then an old towel & into a cooler for an hour or so , perfect everytime. I don't keep track of the meat temp just the smoker.

TheWagoner said...

You hit what is known as the plateau. At 165° the fibrous material resists breakdown and absorbs all of that heat. It takes a few hours to break through that plateau and get to the desired temp of 195° of doneness. Pull the butt off at that point and wrap in foil then towels, then into a styrofoam cooler for about an hour. All I learnt about smoking butts was from the website/forum the smoke ring. Not wanting to start a war in here, but the seasoning comes from the choice of wood and not the rub. Texas que is heavy on post oak, and I love that taste in my briskets. For east coast/VA/nc cue, I use half hickory and half oak.
One reality of facts I have discovered over my many years of enjoying lots of different bbq is that restaurants that have great meat don't have good sauces. If you smoke great bbq, you don't need sauce. Those places with really good sauces? Likely to have really good sides too!!

Wayne said...

You smoked a pork butt? Where did you find the rolling papers big en?

Old NFO said...

SiG et al are correct. Stalling is normal... and frustrating!

Murphy(AZ) said...

Here at the Old Folks Home, we smoke meat (pork butt, brisket, ribs, sausage, poultry,) year-round. Summer heat or Winter cold have little effect on the need for smoke in old people's diets.

And Cole slaw. Gotta have Cole slaw.

And smoked beans.

DANG! Now I'm hungry!

Chris Nelson said...

Notes on large pieces of meat. After 5 to 7 hours, you aren't going to get much more smoke flavor on the meat and you will have a decent bark. So save the wood, wrap the meat and finish it off in the oven unless you want the extra hassle.

West Texas folks use mesquite wood on their pits and smokers. It's the favor of my childhood.

The guys are right about the stall. You should always have more than one decent thermometer if you are smoking. A good thermometer also comes in handy if you are reverse searing steaks and such. Best way to do steak IMHO and Alton Browns.