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Butt - Temp Drop - Need Help

Hello All,

I've been cooking a 7 pound butt for the last 15 hours and noticed the Butt temp dropped from 171 to 163 when I got back from lunch. The BGE temp was around 240 at the time but was hovering around 200 when I got back. I quickly opened the vents to up the temp to around 240. Do I need to open the grate to check and see if more lump is needed? Will this butt ever finish?

Please help!




  • Keep her going.  All will be fine.  As long as the Egg temp is up, whatevere inside it will approach that temp.  Good Luck.

    GEAUX TIGERS!!!!!!!!!

  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 10,546
    If you can control your temperature by adjusting the vents then you have lump to burn.  The temperature drop is not uncommon with the stall although I don't usually see one that large.  You can take the dome up to 300-320*F or so to power the pig home-if pressed for time.
    Louisville;  L & S BGEs, PBC, Lang 36; Burnin' wood in the neighbourhood
  • WolfpackWolfpack Posts: 1,970
    Im no expoert but You should be fine- the drop in butt temp temp is probably from a combo of hitting the stall and the lower dome temp. If your temp was still 200 your fire is still lit and 7 hrs not enough to burn up all of your lump. You may not see the butt start moving up again for a while- you are in the stall and it is very normal.
    Greensboro, NC
  • WolfpackWolfpack Posts: 1,970
    If you want it to finish faster take the dome temp up to 300-
    Greensboro, NC
  • Hey @atlegg22 that thing has got to be close to done I would guess. It might be worth popping it open to take a look and give the lump a stir. If you do so you can also check to make sure you have enough lump to keep going. Worst case scenario you're out and you'll lose some heat while you're taking a look. If that's true you might want to just finish in the oven since relighting and stabilizing will take a while. After 15hrs you should have plenty of flavor in that baby. Hope it turns out well, let us know how you decide to proceed. None of us is as smart as all of us, and we can all learn from things like this.

    Cheers -

    Finally back in the Badger State!

    Middleton, WI
  • Thanks guys! I just opened up the dome and saw some lump. Still no increase in meat temp from 163 but the dome temps are up around 270ish.... Hopefully something good will happen soon :)
  • henapplehenapple Posts: 15,577
    It'll happen...never know what a roast will do. You could always crutch it if you're in a hurry although it might affect the bark.
    Green egg, dead animal and alcohol. The "Boro".. TN 
  • Just had this very exact thing happen to me this morning.  Butts were showing 195 degrees and I was all but ready to pull them off and foil 'em up.

    Then, all of the sudden the temp dropped to 180, I left 'em to keep doing their thing.

    I kept the dome temp around 250'ish and they got themselves right and finished-off.  I pulled them at just a smidge below 200 degrees and they have been wrapped for the past 2 hours.  I'm going to open them now and shred them for dinner.

    So, net net:  they are all different and do different things.  As Mr. Lou reminded me earlier today, that bone needs to work itself free and until then, it ain't done!   Take them to 190 and enjoy the trip!
  • you are just in the stall. The temp drops (although not normally that much but it can happen) through evaporative cooling when it starts losing it's inter muscular water. Totally normal and you'll be fine. Listen to Lou bout how to power it home if you need to. You are right on track so pop a top and let the egg do it's thang

    Keeping it Weird in the ATX
  • So it looks like it might be out of lump because both vents are open completely and its losing temp (now at 243). The meat is at 186. Should I transfer it to the over and if so, what temp and how long? Is the min temp I need 195? Thanks!!
  • You can throw it in the oven to finish. Put it in at 275 or so unless you are in a hurry. If you are in a hurry, wrap it in foil and go 350 until the bone pulls lose. Should be around 195-205.

    you should be able to get it done fairly quickly since it is obviously through the stall at 186

    Keeping it Weird in the ATX
  • Thanks. Looking to be able to eat in about 1.5-2 hours so I'll try wrapped @ 350. Thanks a ton!!
  • it will be done in 30-45 minutes at 275. Once it starts to climb that high, you are close. It will be done in 20-30 at 350 so you may be pushing it too much. I like to get them done early then hold them FTC (Foil, towels, cooler) for a few hours so when you get done, transfer to a cooler and wrap in towels. It will stay warm for 4-6 hours easy that way. It will be ready to roll when you are ready to eat.

    Keeping it Weird in the ATX
  • I've had this happen before. The cause (I believe) was loading the fire box with too many pieces of small coal. When they burned up, they clogged the air vents, negating any adjustments I made to the lower air inlet. Lesson I learned was any time I'm doing a long, low and slow burn I make sure I have plenty of fresh, larger pieces of coal...
  • Good to know Nativetexan. It was a last minute setup in the dark and I used some old lump (small pieces on the bottom) and added a new bag on top.
  • atlegg22 said:
    Good to know Nativetexan. It was a last minute setup in the dark and I used some old lump (small pieces on the bottom) and added a new bag on top.
    nope. Don't do that for low and slow. N-tex is correct. Start with fresh lump (and use bigger pieces) on low and slow until you really get the hang of it. It will help with airflow. once you got it, you can slack off a little....and then a lot :)

    Keeping it Weird in the ATX
  • I had almost the exact thing happen on my last butt cooking.  Mine dropped from 173 to 163.  My grid temp dropped like that too.  It must be the Mayan gremlins rearing their ugly heads!
  • You guys using drip pans?
    Keeping it Weird in the ATX
  • Yes, using drip pans but not sure if there were any advantages to using it. The pan was filled with a charred block when I removed the butt.
  • Was just wondering if your butt was leaking liquid dorectly into your fire since your fire went out around the time it stalled. The stall is when all the liquid comes out of your butt/brisket so I was Just trouble shooting a little.
    Keeping it Weird in the ATX
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