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Why did my pork shoulder stall at about 10 hours?

jfarleyjfarley Posts: 142
edited July 2012 in EggHead Forum
I'm doing my first Boston Butt (2 at 7 lbs). Started at 4:30 am local time (Pacific). I'm currently at about 12 hours total time at 230 degrees(although I did kick the temp up to 270 about an hour ago). For the last hour or two the internal temperature just seemed to stall, in fact, it decreased several degrees from 186 to 182 about 1.5 hours ago. The cooker temp never decreased. Is this normal? It seems they just don't want to get to my desired temperature of 190 degrees. I probed with an instant read thermometer to make sure my digital is accurate. Is this normal?
LBGE - July 2012
Valencia, CA

Comments

  • travisstricktravisstrick Posts: 4,396
    totally normal and exactly what you want to happen.
    Be careful, man! I've got a beverage here.
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 11,231
    Totally normal. You're right to increase the temp.  When it drops, that just means the evaporative cooling is exceeding the net amount of heat the meat is receiving.  Nothing wrong with that, but cook a little hotter and it may be a little moister.  Hard to screw up a butt.  I don't even look at the temp until 12 hours in.
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  • TjcoleyTjcoley Posts: 2,989
    I used to cook my pork at 225 dome and it would sometimes take 24 + hours.  I've since learned from this forum that 225 dome temp is too low and I needed to bump it up a bit.  Better to be done early as you can always foil it, wrapped in towels and into a warm cooler and it will keep for hours.  I pull it off at 195 - 200.
    __________________________________________
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  • jfarleyjfarley Posts: 142
    Thanks for the confirmation that all is well folks. Having worked in the refrigeration industry, I'm thinking of the concept of "latent heat". Latent heat describes how the heat applied to an ice cube at 32 degrees does not change its temperature, but instead works to change its state from solid to liquid. I'm thinking the same process may be going on here??? There was clearly heat continuing to be applied to the shoulder. Perhaps it was just working to change its state to "awesome" instead of changing its temperature.

    Sorry if I'm a bit too scientific here...
    LBGE - July 2012
    Valencia, CA
  • DuganboyDuganboy Posts: 1,118
    Thanks for the confirmation that all is well folks. Having worked in the refrigeration industry, I'm thinking of the concept of "latent heat". Latent heat describes how the heat applied to an ice cube at 32 degrees does not change its temperature, but instead works to change its state from solid to liquid. I'm thinking the same process may be going on here??? There was clearly heat continuing to be applied to the shoulder. Perhaps it was just working to change its state to "awesome" instead of changing its temperature.

    Sorry if I'm a bit too scientific here..
    I laughed when I saw your topic title.  I thought you were questioning why at "10 hours", not why period.  Go to www.amazingribs.com and read Meathead's scientific article about what the stall really is.
  • DuganboyDuganboy Posts: 1,118
    Don't know how that got screwed up above.  My post is attributed to jfarley.
  • jfarleyjfarley Posts: 142
    Don't know how that got screwed up above.  My post is attributed to jfarley.
    That's OK Duganboy, I'm not the worst one your post can be attributed to. :)

    I'm looking forward to reading the article. The bottom line for today - the pork came out great!
    LBGE - July 2012
    Valencia, CA
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 11,231
    Thanks for the confirmation that all is well folks. Having worked in the refrigeration industry, I'm thinking of the concept of "latent heat". Latent heat describes how the heat applied to an ice cube at 32 degrees does not change its temperature, but instead works to change its state from solid to liquid. I'm thinking the same process may be going on here??? There was clearly heat continuing to be applied to the shoulder. Perhaps it was just working to change its state to "awesome" instead of changing its temperature.

    Sorry if I'm a bit too scientific here...
    Very good.  That's exactly what it is - latent heat is a common HVAC term.  I posted earlier "evaporative cooling" - the moisture in the pork is evaporating and reducing the rate of temperature rise.  This typically occurs around 160 F, depending on your cook temp, and is called a "stall".
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • jfarleyjfarley Posts: 142
    Thanks nolaegghead!

    It seems the "stall" is also where everything good is happening to tenderize the meat. I've never had a cooker I could keep consistently this low. That's why I had not experienced it before. I'm loving the learning curve I'm going through and appreciate everyone's feedback. Thanks also to Travis, Tj, and duganboy too!
     
    LBGE - July 2012
    Valencia, CA
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 5,079

    @ jfarley-here's a great site for pulled pork, explains the stall (as you sorted out), Texas crutch and has lots of good info.  Btw-his main site is a wealth of good material.

    http://www.amazingribs.com/recipes/porknography/perfect_pulled_pork.html 

     

    Louisville
  • jfarleyjfarley Posts: 142

    Thanks lousubcap. I spent a few hours on it yesterday. I found this one too that describes an experiment to prove the stall is related to evaporation. Gotta love this stuff.

    http://www.genuineideas.com/ArticlesIndex/stallbbq.html

    LBGE - July 2012
    Valencia, CA
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