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Long plateau on pork butt OK? Help pls.

edited 4:48PM in EggHead Forum

I am in my 19th hour of 2 butts about 8 lbs each. In the last 9 hours they have only moved 11 degrees from 160 to 171 egress. The large Egg has ranged from 200 to 250 but spent much of the time at 210. Is this long plateau normal?

Any advice much appreciated. Mahalo, scott

Ps: I have only had my Egg for one week but love it. I have done beer can chicken, a rib roast, pizzas and burgers. This is my first low and slow cook.

I tied the boneless butts up tight. Could this be causing the long plateau?


  • YBYB Posts: 3,861
    You can wrap them in double foil and kick the temp up to 275° to 300° to finish them and they will be good.
  • BBQMavenBBQMaven Posts: 1,041
    The lower the dome temp the longer they will stay in the plateau. When your dome is 225 your grid temp is around 200.... takes a long time like that.... I'd simply bump the temp up to 275-300 for the rest of the time. I wouldn't foil to keep the bark as is.

    I've been where you are and had to finish the last hour at 325-350 --- still turned out GREAT....

    Bump it and let the Egg do the magic!!!
    Kent Madison MS
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 16,174
    Welcome-I'm new to the BGE and brought some old water/gasser smoker history with me. I too was wondering about the long plateau time until I found out (courtesy of this forum) about the dome to grid temperature off-set. As mentioned above, it can range from 20-40 degrees with the grid being lower. Almost all temperature references here are dome temp. So, next time dial it up around 30-40*F and the times will come down.
    Good luck and Happy Fourth-
    Louisville;  L & S BGEs, PBC, Lang 36; Burnin' wood in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer.  
  • Mahalo nui loa everyone for your advice and help. I will bump the temp to about 275-300 and finish these off that way.

    After they hit 200', I will let them rest in the cooler for 30 to 60 minutes. Do I then trim off the blackened parts before pulling? Thanks.
  • BBQMavenBBQMaven Posts: 1,041
    As I pull the pork, I like to cut the bark off and reserve till I'm through pulling. Then chop the bark and then add it back to the pulled pork for flavor!
    Kent Madison MS
  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 5,829
    I would suppose by now you have wrapped the butts in foil, and boosted the temp.

    Short answer. Cook at a higher temperature, dome around 250.

    For future reference, temperature like pressure. If the meat needs to get to 195, you could, theoretically, cook it at 196. But it would take forever, or close enough to it, to push the heat into the center of the butt. A lot of what the heat is pressing against is water, about 60% of the meat's weight. At 210, the water is evaporating ever so slowly. The plateau ends when a lot of that water is gone. The meat should be at a grill temperature of something like 225 F. As mentioned, a dome reading of 250 usually means the grill at the raised level is around 225 for several hours at least, after placing the meat on.

    Some people cook as high as 350, altho my experience is that tends to burn a little of the meat.
  • Thank you folks. Next time, I will shoot for a dome temp of 250. I can't wait to try my first pulled pork! Mahalo, Scott
  • Wow, pork butt is easy even for beginners like me. Thanks to all for your help. The butts turned out great. I pulled one and added a little apple juice and some spices. I pulled the other and added Deb's Soul Food Sauce (from COSTCO, great stuff!).

    The meat literally just fell apart and was very moist and tender.

    Next time, I will work with 250 on the dome temp to avoid the long plateau.

    Happy 4th to all!
  • BB1857BB1857 Posts: 131
    I went thru something similar last Saturday night. Egg stabilized at a tick over 200 from 1am until about 9am. Ended up bumping it up to 275 and it turned out great. Butt cooked for 16 hours total. Man it was good though. The party goers were going nuts for it!
  • Wilco76Wilco76 Posts: 18
    I am glad you asked that question. I bought an BGE over the Memorial day weekend on the suggestion of my wife! Can you believe that? She actually asked me if I ever thought about buying an Egg, which I had...but then asked me to go get one! She is still learning how to use it (which is okay with me!) :P

    Anyways, the first thing I ever cooked on it was a beef brisket! Long, slow cook. I rushed out to the store around 8pm that Saturday night after putting together the BGE and bought a 6lb'r. I have no experience in smoking, rubs, good cuts or bad. Anyways, I knew I was buying a flat cut brisket. Got that thing home and rubbed it down with some Stubbs Rub with some Stubbs Moppin Sauce handy for the finish.

    Started the burn about 10pm. Meat on around 11pm. Got it holding around 250 before going to bed around midnight. Got up at 4:30am to check the temp which had dropped to 220. Cranked it up to 250. Got back up around 7am and it had dropped again, so I cranked it back up. (At this point, I wish I knew about the stirring stick!) Got it to about 175 internal temp by 10 or 11am. Wrapped it in foil and stuck it a cooler for a 2pm lunch that was a couple hours drive away.

    All in all, it turned out okay. It wasn't super-tender, but I was amazed that I was able to cook something on a BGE overnight! Was it the best decision? Who knows! I did have fun, learned a little bit, got to experience what the BGE is known for...I do wish I would have impressed the lady a little bit more, but she has loved everything that has come off of it since!

    I am glad to have just learned about the dome temp vs. the grill temp. I will say too that this forum has been absolutely fantastic! It's nice to have people that are willing to share and help us newbies!

    Keep on cookin'!
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