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First pork (shoulder) butt, yay, but THE DANG STALL! TWO!!!

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  • abandonedbrain
    Club Member
    • Jul 2016
    • 122
    • Lower Peninsula, MI

    First pork (shoulder) butt, yay, but THE DANG STALL! TWO!!!

    OK, I decided to take the plunge into smoking pork butts this week. I picked up a 9# in cryo-vac at the local supermarket (Meijer generally has good meats, but I prefer Costco... but the price was $1.98/lb on sale. Meijer it is!) on Friday night, and trimmed and dry-brined Saturday morning. 1/2 tsp per pound of kosher salt looked like a ton at first, but by the time I was done I realized it was just right. This was bone-in, BTW. 9#, but I trimmed MAYBE 1/2# off. Covered it with plastic wrap in a Pyrex dish and into the fridge it went.

    Wifey wasn't happy I used this as an excuse to skip church today... Fired up a little less than a half chimney of Kingsford blue (new bag last week), and set up my Weber 22" kettle for the 'snake' method, with two trails on the bottom and TWO trails on the top (I can't hit 225F for the life of me without that additional line of briquettes). Grabbed five chunks (fist-sized) of applewood and laid them out for the first three hours. I then added a big drip pan in the middle, with a small amount of hot water, and a smaller pan up top for humidity for the first three hours of smoking. Dumped on the hot coals, scrubbed down the grate and warmed it all up.

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    Took the butt out of the fridge at 39F, and put MMD on it without any additional water (it was pretty damp from the salting). Sat it for about 10 minutes, then onto the grill at about 235F. I waited about 15-20 minutes to let the temps in the grill stabilize before tweaking the vents to bring it to 225F. Temps were tested with an ET-732, and spot checks were made throughout the day with a Thermapen Mk3. Meat was officially in the grill at 6:30AM

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    I kept good records of the temps throughout the day, up until... the stall. Temps in the grill were almost perfect all day long, sitting at or near 225F; I was REALLY proud of myself, as it was 52F with 97% humidity in the morning, and hit 75F with 40% humidity and some gusts of 8-12MPH by late afternoon.

    At about 6 hours, I hit 150F and it just stalled out. I thought, Cool, I'm ready for this. Got my Pitmaster subscription, got my Meathead book, I know all about the stall. Right? Right. Waited it out, and at almost 8 hours the temps started climbing to 160F. And then at about 10 hours the very slow climb stalled out AGAIN at 167F!

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    (that's at 6.25 hours, 151F, so no stall yet, no darkening happening)

    Between 10 hours and this message being written at 12.25 hours, it's gone from 167F to 172F. I finally had to add briquettes at 10 hours, but just another 3-4 inches of snake (16?). At 12 hours, I added another 4-5" (maybe 20, I started just dumping them on because I was getting perturbed that I couldn't keep the temp up now, hovering around 205F). 12.25 hours in, I'm hovering around 250F (so I'll try to tweak that back down, but not too much). I "swept" the ash out with the arm under the kettle (very very slowly, almost no dust raised) to make certain I didn't have an air blockage. I've had to use three binder clips on the lid all day today, as I noticed smoke early on coming from all over the lid. Clips did the trick.

    I just saw the temp tick up to 174F, so MAYBE I've finally powered through the second stall. On my way up to 200F, am I likely to see another?

    Hopefully putting these small shots in the message will allow one to click on them and get larger images; I've never done this, so if it doesn't work that way, just ask and I'll post larger shots if needed.

    Greetings from beautiful (today) West Michigan!

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    Last edited by abandonedbrain; September 18, 2016, 05:11 PM.
  • AZRedneck
    Club Member
    • Sep 2016
    • 360
    • Arizona. 90 miles from water and 9 miles from hell.
    • Pit Barrel Cooker
      Weber Kettle 22.5
      CharBroil Gasser 5 burners
      3 x Thermapen
      MAV 732
      Anova Sous Vide

    #2
    Hang in there, be patient. My first brisket yesterday stalled twice and was in the smoke for 19.5 hours and came out fantastic! Trust the science, don't raise the temp, and grab another beverage. Life is good!

    FYI after my second brisket stall the temp climb was very slow... My bet is all that yummy goodness is rendering itself into a masterpiece.
    Last edited by AZRedneck; September 18, 2016, 06:30 PM.

    Comment

    • RonB
      Club Member
      • Apr 2016
      • 12679
      • Near Richmond VA
      • Weber Performer Deluxe
        SNS
        Pizza insert
        Rotisserie
        Smokenator 1000
        Cookshack Smokette Elite
        2 Thermapens
        Chefalarm
        Dot
        lots of probes.
        CyberQ

      #3
      This is a great writeup and very nice photos too.

      Comment

      • PaulstheRibList
        Founding Member
        • Jul 2014
        • 1584
        • Lake Charles, LA
        • Started Low-N-Slow BBQ in 2012. Obviously, it's taken hold (in chronological order:
          1.) A pair of Weber Smokey Mountain 22.5's
          2.) #LilTex, a 22" Expensive Offset Smoker (looks like a Yoder Witicha)
          3.) #WhoDat1, a HUGE Gravity Fed Insulated Cabinet Smoker (cooking chamber 3'x2'x6')
          4.) A Full Size Commercial Dryer/converted to Vertical Smoker.
          5.) Jambo Backyard stickburner (my FAVORITE Pit so far)
          6.) GrillMeister, a huge 24"x48" Adjustable, Charcoal Grill from Pitmaker.com
          7.) 22" Weber Kettle with Slow-N-Sear
          8.) Vault insulated reverse-flow cabinet smoker from Pitmaker
          9.) BarbecueFiretruck...under development
          10.) 26 foot BBQ Vending Trailer equipped with HUGE Myron Mixon 72xc smoker is HERE, Oct 2016!
          11.) Opened www.PaulsRibShackBarbecue.com Food Trailer officially in March 2017
          12.) Austin Smoke Works 500 Gallon Propane Tank Offset Smoker, named "Lucille" as travel pit for PaulsRibShack, Oct 2018.
          12.) Opening Brick & Mortar location at 4800 Nelson Rd, Spring 2019. Had a pair of 1,000 Gallon Austin Smoke Works pits, both in RibShackRed for our new place!

          Fabulous Backlit Thermapens, several Maverick Remote Thermometers (don't use any remotes anymore), Thermoworks Smoke, Other Thermoworks toys, Vacuum sealer, lots and lots of equipment...

          I'm loving using BBQ to make friends and build connections.
          I have #theRibList where I keep a list of new and old friends and whenever I'm cooking, I make 1 to 20 extra and share the joy.

        #4
        Love it! Except for the skipping church part. (I am the Bishop of BBQ, after all...)

        On Butt's, feel free to up that temp to 250 or even 275. You will power through the stall faster.

        Show us a picture of the pull when you are done. It very well may get to probe tender below 200 degrees IT if you have been in the heat that long.

        Comment


        • abandonedbrain
          abandonedbrain commented
          Editing a comment
          Apologies, your grace! I'll make certain to bring an offering to our priest next Sunday!
      • abandonedbrain
        Club Member
        • Jul 2016
        • 122
        • Lower Peninsula, MI

        #5
        Originally posted by AZRedneck View Post
        Hang in there, be patient. My first brisket yesterday stalled twice and was in the smoke for 19.5 hours and came out fantastic! Trust the science, don't raise the temp, and grab another beverage. Life is good!
        Truer words...

        FYI after my second brisket stall the temp climb was very slow... My bet is all that yummy goodness is rendering itself into a masterpiece.
        As a technician, it drives me batty when things don't go quite as planned, but at almost 50 I've just learned to deal with it. Usually by grabbing another beverage.

        It's at 187F now, at 14 hours, with the grill at 275F (suddenly creeping up on its own, though the sun's down). If I burn through what's left of the coals in the grill, I'm just gonna move it inside to the oven at 250F to finish it (but no foil tent). I don't wanna soften this bark:

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        Last edited by abandonedbrain; September 18, 2016, 06:39 PM.

        Comment


        • AZRedneck
          AZRedneck commented
          Editing a comment
          If the bone falls out during the transfer, it's done! :-)

        • PaulstheRibList
          PaulstheRibList commented
          Editing a comment
          Looks great!
      • Abom
        Club Member
        • Sep 2016
        • 199
        • Verona, PA
        • (RJ) Kamado K7

          Weber 22" kettle

          Thermapen

          DigiQ Dx2

          GeneCafe Coffee Roaster

        #6
        The last cook I did was 4 butts at a rock-steady 225 and that took 18 hours. Sounds like you're right on schedule.

        Comment


        • abandonedbrain
          abandonedbrain commented
          Editing a comment
          Still waiting to pick up a PBC, so I can do more than one of these bad boys! FOUR?! Awesome.
      • kenrobin
        Charter Member
        • Jun 2015
        • 352
        • San Francisco Bay Area
        • Cookers
          - 18" Weber Smokey Mountain (2000)
          - Weber Genesis EP-310 (2013-2015)
          - 22.5" Weber Master Touch (2015)
          - Traeger Pro Tailgater (2015)
          - Mak 1 Star General w/ wi-fi (2016)

          Thermostats
          - ThermaQ
          - Thermapen
          - ChefAlarm
          - DOT
          - iGrill2

        #7
        I'm smoking a butt as I peck this out on my iPad. I wrapped mine at around 163 (8 hours, 18 mins). i started by keeping the temp on Mak 1 Star at 225. After 9 hours, 10 mins my internal temp was only at 165 even though the butt had been wrapped for 1 hour so i increased the temp on my Mak to 250.

        Now I'm at 10.5 hrs and the internal temp is 180. I guess dinner is going to be late tonight!

        Comment


        • abandonedbrain
          abandonedbrain commented
          Editing a comment
          And how did yours turn out? Mine was... heavenly!
      • abandonedbrain
        Club Member
        • Jul 2016
        • 122
        • Lower Peninsula, MI

        #8
        Originally posted by PaulstheRibList View Post
        On Butt's, feel free to up that temp to 250 or even 275. You will power through the stall faster.

        Show us a picture of the pull when you are done. It very well may get to probe tender below 200 degrees IT if you have been in the heat that long.
        As the night wore on, temps crept up to 280F at its hottest, and I was practically closing the lower vents to control it. However, it finally did hit 200F (after 15.5 hours!), and once I pulled it off the grill, the bone practically jumped into my hand.

        Pork butt porn attached:

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        "Haz some?"
        Funny story... I was jamming pulled pork into self-sealed vacuum seal bags at 10:30PM, just trying to get everything sealed up before it cooled to the danger zone (I homebrew, so I'm very familiar with bacterial dangers under 140F), and in my haste to get all the bags filled, I forgot to seal the bottom of one of the bags before starting to fill it. I wondered why I felt my dog licking my boot, looked down, and found him licking up the remains of almost a cup of pork! Needless to say, he stuck by me like glue for the rest of the night... and can you blame him?

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        Comment


        • PaulstheRibList
          PaulstheRibList commented
          Editing a comment
          Oh my! Well, you were caring for your pup with some delicious treats!

        • Steve R.
          Steve R. commented
          Editing a comment
          My dog's favorite thing in the world is to hang around outside with me while I'm cooking something!

        • Craigar
          Craigar commented
          Editing a comment
          He knows which side his bread is buttered!
      • abandonedbrain
        Club Member
        • Jul 2016
        • 122
        • Lower Peninsula, MI

        #9
        Oh, and thanks, all, for talking me off the ledge!!!

        Comment

        • DWCowles
          Founding Member
          • Jul 2014
          • 9709
          • Smiths Grove, Ky
          • Hi, my name is Darrell. I'm an OTR truck driver for over 25 years. During my off time I love doing backyard cooks. I have a 48" Lang Deluxe smoker, Rec-Tec pellet smoker,1 Weber Genesis 330, 1 Weber Performer (blue), 2 Weber kettles (1 black and 1 Copper), 1 26" Weber kettle, a WSM, 8 Maverick Redi Chek thermometers, a PartyQ, 2 SnS, Grill Grates, Cast Iron grates, 1 ThermoPop (orange) and 2 ThermoPens (pink and orange) and planning on adding more cooking accessories. Now I have an Anova sous vide, the Dragon blower and 2 Chef alarms from Thermoworks.

          #10
          Beautiful!

          Comment

          • fuzzydaddy
            Charter Member
            • Nov 2014
            • 4956
            • Winchester TN
            • Hardware
              Slow 'N Sear Deluxe Kamado.
              Slow 'N Sear Kettle Grill.
              Slow 'N Sear (1.0, Deluxe, 2.0), DnG Pans/Racks, Easy Spin Grates, Elevated Cooking Grates.
              Weber Chimney starters (regular and half).
              Joule.
              GrillGrates, GrateGriddles.
              Maverick XR-50 [my favorite].
              ThermoWorks Smoke & Gateway, Thermapen, Thermapop, ChefAlarms, DOT, probes

              Consumables / Favorites
              KBB (short cooks), Weber (long cooks)
              Ribs (beef & pork), Pork Butts, Chuck Roasts, Pork Tenderloins.
              SnS Grills salt free rubs: Not Just for Beef & Rocky’s Rub.
              MeatChurch Holy Cow. MMD, BBBR, S&G, Herbs de Provence, SPOG.

            #11
            That's some great looking pulled pork and you made your dog's day!

            Comment

            • fzxdoc
              Founding Member
              • Jul 2014
              • 5070
              • My toys:
                Weber Summit Charcoal Grilling Center (WSCGC) aka Mr. Fancypants
                Pit Barrel Cooker (which rocks)
                Weber Summit S650 Gas Grill
                Weber Kettle Premium 22"
                Weber Jumbo Joe Premium 22" (a weird little 22" kettle mutant on 22"-long legs) (donated to local battered women's shelter.)
                Camp Chef Somerset IV 4-burner outdoor gas range


                Adrenaline BBQ Company's SnS, DnG and Large Charcoal Basket for WSCGC
                Adrenaline BBQ Company's Elevated SS Rack for WSCGC
                Adrenaline BBQ Company's SS Rack for DnG
                Grill Grate for SnS
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                Grill Grates: six 19.25 panels for exact fit for Summit S650 gasser
                2 Grill Grate Griddles
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                Fireboard Extreme BBQ Thermometer Package
                Fireboard control unit in addition to that in the Extreme BBQ Package
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                Pit Viper Fan new design (to pair with Fireboard Fan Driver Cable)
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                Thermoworks Thermapen MK4 (pink too)
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                Maverick ET 733
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                Shun Classic 8" Chef's Knife
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                Shun Classic 3 1/2 inch Paring Knife

              #12
              Great photos, abandonedbrain , and what a cute little guy, your dog. Glad to hear it all turned out so tasty for man and dog.

              I often hit 2 stalls with chuck roast, too, when making pulled beef. The second one occurs after 203, since I take chuckies up to 208. As others have said, ramping up the temperature works.

              Kathryn

              Comment


              • abandonedbrain
                abandonedbrain commented
                Editing a comment
                It was logical to do so; the math and science say so (logarithmic curves and such), but I absolutely wanted to stick to Meathead's recipe as closely as humanly possible this first time!
            • Danjohnston949
              Former Member
              • Dec 2014
              • 4419
              • 1410 9th. St. N, Fargo ND

              #13
              @abandoedbrain, 👍👍Absolutely GGGRRRREEEEEAAAAAATT Looking Butt!👍👍. I fall in the Raise the Temp Camp at the Stahl! I think you actually could increase the temp after 3-4 Hrs in the Smoker! I often increase it from 225*-235* to as high as 350* F to reduce or eliminate the Stahl! I Smoked 2 - 9#+ Butts and 3 Racks St Louis Ribs last week on my OK Joe Highland COS! The took 10-11 Hrs? Typically for one Butt I Smoke it on my 22 1/2" Weber with a BBQGURU DigiQ DX-2 Temp control, S 'n S (Slow and Sear) and SS Baffle plate! An awesome Smoker Combo for Small Cooks!
              Eat Well and Prosper! From a Backyard Cremator in Fargo ND, Dan

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              Comment

              • smokinfatties
                Club Member
                • Oct 2015
                • 521
                • Upland, CA
                • Paul Arquette

                  18.5" WSM + stoker
                  KBQ C-60
                  Weber 22" Kettle + S'n'S + GrillGrates
                  BGE XL
                  Yoder YS640

                #14
                Danjohnston949 that black lab doesn't look to happy with you for not dropping a bunch on the ground for him!

                Comment


                • Danjohnston949
                  Danjohnston949 commented
                  Editing a comment
                  smokinfatties, You have that Right! Belle considers Herself the Queen Bee! She doesn't care hat the other Two Think!
                  From a Backyard Cremator in Fargo ND, Dan
              • kenrobin
                Charter Member
                • Jun 2015
                • 352
                • San Francisco Bay Area
                • Cookers
                  - 18" Weber Smokey Mountain (2000)
                  - Weber Genesis EP-310 (2013-2015)
                  - 22.5" Weber Master Touch (2015)
                  - Traeger Pro Tailgater (2015)
                  - Mak 1 Star General w/ wi-fi (2016)

                  Thermostats
                  - ThermaQ
                  - Thermapen
                  - ChefAlarm
                  - DOT
                  - iGrill2

                #15
                abandonedbrain my pork shoulder turned out great! First we made tacos, nachos are up next!

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                Comment

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                Finally, A Great Portable Pellet Smoker

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                Green Mountain's portable Davy Crockett Pellet Smoker is one mean tailgating and picnic machine. But it's also gaining popularity with people who want to add a small, set it and forget it pellet smoker to their backyard arsenal. And with their WiFi capabilities you can control and monitor Davy Crocket from your smart phone or laptop.

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