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Pork Plateau?

WJSWJS Posts: 54
edited 2:05PM in EggHead Forum

I'm in the middle of a slow cook on a pork shoulder, and think I must have hit the plateau. This is the first one I've monitored closely, and actually paid attention to the temps. This one hit 158, then dropped to 156. Most posts mention plateaus at around 165-169. Does 158 seem reasonable?[p]Thanks[p]John


  • SpinSpin Posts: 1,375
    WJS,[p]If your dome temperature has remained constant, then I would say you just reached the plateau. The plateau temp level is a range as the meat temperature measuring devices, location in the meal of the measuring device, and the particulars of the meat itself do vary, rendering predicting the plateau temp an inexact science.[p]Your temp of 158°F is not uncommon. Ride the plateau and enjoy the result.[p]Spin
  • Nature BoyNature Boy Posts: 8,402
    That is pretty normal. What temp are you cooking at??
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  • WJSWJS Posts: 54
    My dome temp has been between 220-250 throughout the biggest part of the cook (started a little hot at 300 1/2 hour into the cook, took almost an hour to get the temp back down), so I'm hopeful it's the plateau.[p]Lookin forward to pullin some pork![p]John

  • sdbeltsdbelt Posts: 267
    I agree with Spin, this looks like your plateau. Also, to put your mind at ease, I've seen a few degrees of falling internal temp during the plateau as well. If your temp feels low, it could be that your meat therm is a little off...or you just have a "cold" butt. <gr>[p]--sdb
  • SpinSpin Posts: 1,375
    WJS,[p]A little hotter start to the cook is not a bad thing at all. As the cook is a long one, short spikes and dips in the cooking temp will mean very little to the end result.[p]Getting the dome temp to stabilize for the long cook is much like wooing a favored girl. It requires patience and the more you try, the longer it takes.[p]You know you are at the plateau when the internal temperature "stalls" - it simply stops rising. The stall can last for hours (2-9 hours), and this is a good thing. Ride the plateau out, cooking at the same dome temperature (240-250°F is nice).[p]Sounds like you are doing well.[p]Spin
  • WJSWJS Posts: 54
    Now I'm getting confused. It held at about 158 for better than an hour, then dropped to 156 for about an hour and a half. it went back up to 158 for a little less than an hour, and seemed to climb right before my eyes to 163. I figured i'd broken through and was heading forward. Now it's stalled again at 163.[p]Oh well! Go figure.[p]I'll trust in my Polder ("Accurite", yes- calibrated), keep my eye on it, and pull it when its time is right. Guess you just can't hurry these things.[p]Does this mean a double plateau?[p]John.

  • SpinSpin Posts: 1,375
    WJS,[p]Fat tends to heat faster than meat as it contains much more liquid (water conducts heat very well). Fat also renders faster than collagen (thus providing a temperature drop as it renders).[p]The plateau is when the collagen breaks down. Continue the ride and wait out the time the meat requires to be done.[p]Spin[p][p]
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