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Time for a real fight: 225 is a dead tradition, better que at higher temps.

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    Time for a real fight: 225 is a dead tradition, better que at higher temps.

    I'm sure this won't cause any controversy, but I see a LOT of talk about the infamous 225, just about everything references it, beginners won't veer from it, and traditionalists seem shocked when we say we cook at 275+. I think it is time for this myth to get busted, anywhere from 225-325 is gonna be just fine in my opinion.

    Where did I get this? When I first started learning here I noticed several mentions of restaurants using high temps, notably the 425 for the Rendezvous Ribs. I watched cooking shows like BBQ Pitmasters and noticed that many of the teams used much higher temps, most notably Myron Mixon who seems to win everything cooking at temps much closer to 300. Most of the competitors on that show cook at at least 250. Someone mentioned that Franklin cooks 285+, they say they have proof but won't give the source, but he does point to the question of how could you maintain 225 in a stick burner with hundreds of pounds of cold and warming meat, opening often to move the meat around the temp zones as Franklin himself mentions. He says Franklin never says 225 which I thought I remember, so I watched it again here. He mentions at 1:30 he is cooking this one at 250, then just after that he says this smoker is much smaller than he is used to and "i'm gonna try to keep it pretty low, about 250 degrees" which leads one to believe that not only is he teaching you to cook at 250, but also that he considers that "pretty low".

    Add to that the PBC which while relatively new to the scene, most agree puts out excellent food at 275+ and I think this gives a picture of a trend that has been happening for quite some time, but just now getting to the backyard cooks. The pitmaster show has been on for years, and most of those guys have restaurants, I can't imagine why they would cook slower in their restaurants when all that would do is hurt them financially.

    Thoughts?

    #2
    250 is the new 225. YMMV. you can hit the target temp you are going for much faster at the higher temp, but the risk of overshooting is greater. You also leave less time for the salt on the surface to reach further into the meat (you did dry brine, didn't you) and you also give the meat a bit more time to receive smoke
    Last edited by CurlingDog; June 18, 2015, 08:47 AM. Reason: spelling correction

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      #3
      John Very interesting observation. I can say it warrants more looking at. I have done Butts at 250-275 to get them done quicker and not noticed any issues. Good food for thought....(no pun intended).

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        #4
        It doesn't seem like a lot, but those higher temps drastically reduce cooking times. A big pork but at my normal 275 takes less than 10 hours, but I usually wrap which seems to be a multiplier as 6 hours usually gives me cooking time plus an hour rest or more. The brisket I do at this temps is 4-5 hours and I like it better, Jerod Broussard finished a packer in like 3.5 hours if I recall.

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        #5
        Boston Butts are very forgiving, so I think any of the above mentioned temps will yield essentially the same results. I've used various temps myself. I am not sure other cuts of meat, like brisket will be as forgiving. I cook on a BGE, so I typically put the Butt on at 225 the night before for 12 to 16 hours and put in a ice chest wrapped until it is time to serve. I like the way it allows me to pull out the excess fat.

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          #6
          I smoke in a Large BGE. I do long low and slow cooks at 225 if I planned the cook properly. If I get a late start I crank it up to 250/275°. I'll also power through a stall at 325° too. I prefer a low and slow cook at 225° without a wrap and I always plan on finishing my cook 2 hours before I want to serve it. Just my preference.

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            #7
            FWIW since you mentioned Franklin, that's not the only video where he mentions higher temperatures - I've watched a few of them recently and always noticed that he's well above the standard 225°. I specifically remembered the pulled pork video, and in there he's saying "So we've got a cooker up to 275°, that's always kind of my go-to temperature." And from what I remember of the other videos 275° seems pretty common.

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            • DWCowles
              DWCowles commented
              Editing a comment
              He also stated in his book that he cooks at 275 F.

            #8
            Plenty people cook briskets well above 300.

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              #9
              I seem to have no problem at all to maintain 275 on my yoder using hickory. add one small piece and one larger piece alternately. :30min then wait :45 or so and add larger one. So just for ease I have adopted the 275 range.

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                #10
                Originally posted by wile_e8 View Post
                FWIW since you mentioned Franklin, that's not the only video where he mentions higher temperatures - I've watched a few of them recently and always noticed that he's well above the standard 225°. I specifically remembered the pulled pork video, and in there he's saying "So we've got a cooker up to 275°, that's always kind of my go-to temperature." And from what I remember of the other videos 275° seems pretty common.
                In his new book he said he cooks at 275 all the time.

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                  #11
                  NNOOOOOOooooooooo! Say it ain't so Joe!

                  I've learend that 275 for my butt is fine, and have done briskets the same way.

                  I still like my ribs lo and slo. The whole point is tender, yes? If you push too hard you might get done before you get tender, then you get dry. I'll keep the ribs low for now.

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                    #12
                    Less controversy than I thought it seems, or maybe we are just an open minded bunch. One of the top questions I see about the PBC is how it's good if not cooking at 225 so I figured more people were pretty glued to that idea. Way to go us!

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                    • mtford72
                      mtford72 commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Commenting on your earlier post - in some of his videos, (brisket from memory) Frankin specifically states '275 is our go to temperature'. I thought 'if it's good enough for him...". I run the weber kettle around there, and deliberately keep the PBC at 290 to 300.

                    #13
                    As a pellethead I have to stat out at 225 or even less for the first couple hours to get some decent smoke (and Nox/CO of course) and then 250 from there on out. I might start pushing 275 going forward and seeing if I notice anything. It takes 14-16 hours at 225 to do a 14 pound brisket w/o wrapping and who needs to wait that long>???

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                    • Jerod Broussard
                      Jerod Broussard commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Well, if you are studying Chinese....

                    #14
                    i read somewhere on this forum that if you cook above 225 you have to go higher as a finishing temperature (207ish) in order for the meat to be as tender. i can't remember if it was beef or pork or both. is there something to be said for meat that is cooked at 225 will end up being more tender because it spends more time at each temperature and therefore heats more uniform which melts more connective tissues making it more tender overall? maybe also if you cook lower you don't have to faux cambro? i don't have a lot of experience with this (i mostly try to cook at 230 as long as i can) so does anyone have any thoughts on this or does this just apply to beef and not pork?

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                      #15
                      DeusDingo Yeah I think it has more to do with time in a range, but not sure where you got the higher finishing temps. I try to rest for a few hours when possible, I can't imagine it getting more tender than it already is, my pork butts won't stay together if you pick them up.

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