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Boston Butt: How Long is Too Long?

 
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cobol sam



Joined: 05 Sep 2010
Posts: 8
Location: Iowa

PostPosted: Sun Jul 03 11 8:41 pm    Post subject: Boston Butt: How Long is Too Long? Reply with quote

I'm on my second year of smoking, and I usually do ribs or a boston butt 3-4 times in the summer\fall.

Whenever I have done boston butt in the past it seems like it takes me 22(ish) hours to reach a temp of around 200 degrees in the middle of the meat. This seems long to me.

I have checked, my probe is not resting on bone, another digital probe at meat level indicates between 212 and 250 degrees during the cook. I've got 2 butts in right now, they've been in for the past 18 hours and they are only at 180 and plateaued.

Am I doing it wrong Smoke Ring? Smile


-- PS - I'm usually pretty happy with the results, but this time, it feels like it may go longer than 22 hours even!
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Jarhead
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Joined: 11 Oct 2009
Posts: 7355
Location: Marionville, Home of the White Squirrels, Missouri

PostPosted: Sun Jul 03 11 9:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When is the last time you checked your thermometers and probes?

Boil some water, check the temp. If it is not approx 212*, either calibrate it or toss it.
Check it in ice water, should be approx 33*. If not, see above.

You didn't mention how much your butts weighed or cooker temp. I figure 1-1/2 to 2 hours per pound @ 225*-250*.

Cook until you can remove the wiggle bone easily. That beats a thermometer any day.

If you cook too long they will be mushy and not pull well.
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Pit Boss
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Joined: 04 Sep 2008
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Location: Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina

PostPosted: Mon Jul 04 11 3:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thermometers used for bbq don't need to be calibrated. Heck, you don't even need to look at the temperature. Use it as a probe and "feel" your way to tender.

I would suggest using an oven thermometer to check thermometer on your pit. I also suggest never cooking below 250 if you're overly worried about time. 250-275 and your cook times will drop drastically.

Good luck.
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Jarhead
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Joined: 11 Oct 2009
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Location: Marionville, Home of the White Squirrels, Missouri

PostPosted: Mon Jul 04 11 6:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pit Boss wrote:
Thermometers used for bbq don't need to be calibrated. Heck, you don't even need to look at the temperature. Use it as a probe and "feel" your way to tender.

I would suggest using an oven thermometer to check thermometer on your pit. I also suggest never cooking below 250 if you're overly worried about time. 250-275 and your cook times will drop drastically.

Good luck.

I beg to differ with you PB.
ServSafe, the Health Department, the USDA and several Universities give you a guideline for temps. The rest of The Smoke Ring probably will too.
Otherwise, you Sir, are a lawsuit waiting to happen, from friends, relatives or customers. Make one sick, and they will come after you for negligence.
Have you ever heard of or taken a class in food safety?
Good point on the grate temps. Map out your cooker, in at least 6 different places, with an oven thermometer.
To each his own on pit temps. I run a Fast Eddy and start at 180 for 2 hours to get more smoke, then to 235 to finish.
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Cory Hess
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Joined: 03 Jun 2010
Posts: 240
Location: Twin Lakes, WI

PostPosted: Tue Jul 05 11 1:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jarhead,

When Pit Boss is saying that you don't need to check the temperature of the meat when BBQing he's well within safety guidelines. The USDA guidelines for pork say that it should be cooked to 145 degrees internal temperature. When the probe slides in easily you are well above any danger of serving raw meat.
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cobol sam



Joined: 05 Sep 2010
Posts: 8
Location: Iowa

PostPosted: Sat Jul 23 11 6:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks all, I forgot I had this post sitting out here. I am usually running my smoker at 200 - 250. I like to be around 225-235 most of the time.

Does 250-275 really count as slow cooking?
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Pit Boss
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Joined: 04 Sep 2008
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Location: Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina

PostPosted: Sat Jul 23 11 8:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jarhead wrote:
Pit Boss wrote:
Thermometers used for bbq don't need to be calibrated. Heck, you don't even need to look at the temperature. Use it as a probe and "feel" your way to tender.

I would suggest using an oven thermometer to check thermometer on your pit. I also suggest never cooking below 250 if you're overly worried about time. 250-275 and your cook times will drop drastically.

Good luck.

I beg to differ with you PB.
ServSafe, the Health Department, the USDA and several Universities give you a guideline for temps. The rest of The Smoke Ring probably will too.
Otherwise, you Sir, are a lawsuit waiting to happen, from friends, relatives or customers. Make one sick, and they will come after you for negligence.
Have you ever heard of or taken a class in food safety?
Good point on the grate temps. Map out your cooker, in at least 6 different places, with an oven thermometer.
To each his own on pit temps. I run a Fast Eddy and start at 180 for 2 hours to get more smoke, then to 235 to finish.


You really have no idea what I was talking about, do you? LOL

Since you asked...yes I have taken a class in food safety. I'm also ServSafe certified. After a decade in this business I was forced to take this class so that I could have this useless piece of paper hanging on the wall. You seem to insinuate I don't know about food safety. LOL

I have managed or owned restaurants for ten years (I've been an owner for 7 out of the 10). It's a fair guess to say I know a little about the subject. LOL

I stand by my thoughts that you can cook a pork butt or brisket w/o a thermometer. My point being...you don't need to know the temperature to determine when it's done. You only need to determine the tenderness. At that point you are so far beyond "food safe" temps it's a little ridiculous.
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