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Newbee looking for advice

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    Newbee looking for advice

    I am new to the forum....and to the wonderful world of low and slow cooking. I recently got a 22" WSM and have been avidly reading much of the articles and information on this site to prepare for my first attempt. I smoked a 4 lb pork butt over the weekend. It went very well, but I feel like there's plenty of room for improvement. I had trouble keeping the temp regulated to 225. It went higher quite a bit - even with the vents fully closed (I obviously need to replace the weak door). After about 9 hours in the smoker, the meat temp was still only reading about 180. I couldn't get it to go any higher, and was worried about the total length of time smoking. I took it out at this point, and it seemed fully cooked and tasted really good (I followed the recipe for rub etc. from the pulled pork article on this site). My only issue is that it did not seem as tender as it could have been. Did I overcook it, or not enough? Any pointers here? Thanks, Ted

    Welcome to the Pit Ted


      Welcome Aboard, Ted

      It sounds like you had the dreaded double stall... what a lot of people do at that point is wrap it in foil then finish it off to 203-205 internal in your house oven. If you didn't want to do that you could try wrapping then just reef up your pit and wait it out.
      Last edited by smarkley; June 29, 2015, 11:20 AM.



        I'm a BGE guy so I'm not qualified to comment on how to control your temp in your WSM.

        However... On your meat cooked to 180°. Your pork butt was probably in the "Stall" phase of the cook. Refer to Meathead's Porkograpy section and read about smoking pork butts. The stall will almost always happen. You have a few options of speeding through the stall though. You can use the Texas Crutch by wrapping it in aluminum foil. That will shorten your cooking time but... It has a negative effect on the bark. You can just increase the cooking temp to 275/300 and muscle through the stall and once the stall is broken turn the heat back down. Or... You can do what I do which is plan for the stall before you light your fire. A stall can last from 2 1/2 hours up to 4 or 5 hours. About 3 hours is common I think.

        Most of us here in the Pit like to cook our pork butts to 203°. In my opinion your pork butt at 180° was not completely done cooking. Edible but not at its best yet. Read all of Meathead's info on pork butts and you will be all set.

        Welcome to the Pit.


          Sounds like not enough time, 9 hours isn't that long at 225 even for such a light butt. What are you measuring temp with, and where do you put the probe? Did you listen to Harry Soo seminar? It is in the Seminar section and I recommend it to all WSM guys, and anybody else really.


            Thanks for the responses, everyone. I appreciate it. I was using a maverick ET732 to measure temp and had the probe pushed into the center. I did all the reading of Meathead's info on pork butts, but have not listened to the Harry Soo seminar. I will check that out next. Thanks!



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