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My first low and slow

Big Daddy DBig Daddy D Posts: 5
edited 8:59AM in EggHead Forum
I started two 8 pound pork butts last nite. The temp was steady at 230 degrees at 11 pm when I went to bed. When I got up this morning at 6:30, the temp was at 300, and the internal temp was at 205. I am only 10 hours into what I thought was an 18 hour cook. What happened? Why did the temp rise during the nite? Should I take the butts off because of the internal temp? Someone please help!


  • Take em off, double wrap in foil, put in an ice chest (preheat with hot tap water if you like), cover with some towels for a couple hours.

    What time were you wanting to serve?

    If you were planning on serving around noon, you could hold them in the ice chest and pull right before serving.

    If you were planning on serving this evening, I would pull them after a couple hour rest in the cooler and either vacuum pack or zip lock the amount you need this evening and reheat in by dropping the bag in boiling water just before serving.
  • Congrats. You just screwed up your first low and slow. If you are too lazy to wake up every few hours to check on the temp then maybe you should get a BBQ Guru or Stoker.
  • Big Daddy

    Your pork but should be fine - 205 internal temp is fine

    The process forward depends on when you were planning to serve or pack up for future use
  • Thanks Frank, I was shooting for noon, and I will take your advice. Do you have any idea why the temp went up? It stayed at 230 for two and a half hours. I thought it was steady enough for sleep.
  • Butts are done when they are done. Given the size, I would have expected it to finish between 14 an 16 hours at 250 dome. Second, once you put a large chunk of meat in it sucks a lot of heat from the egg. If your temps are adjusted in the beginning, they will probably creep up as the butt warms. Next time, calibrate your dome themometer, and monitor temps every 3 hours during the night or buy a Maverick ET-73 to monitor things while you sleep.
  • why are you saying its screwed up??? its just done early....yes, he should have checked it for temps as he obviously had a temp spike and lost control of where he was during the night....and i own a guru so i can sleep all night in peace....but 205 internal temp is far from screwed up. ..

    but 205 internal temp on pork butts that size is no way ruined or unsalvagable....go pull the damned things. ..

    taste it!!

    doest it still taste good???

    does it have any moistness to it??

    or is it totally dried out???

    add some apple cider vinager to it, add some apple juice to it, add some bbq sauce to is it now??? moist and flavorful enough to serve??...

    ok....if it is, then seal it up in large baggies and refrigerate till later today when you are ready to serve it....

    when you are ready to serve, put the pulled pork in a large serving tray, sealed very tight with aluminum foil, and warm it up in your oven at around 250 -300 degrees till warmed up....taste it again....if its not moist enough, again treat it with a little of the vinager/juice/sauce mix....

    you be the judge...but i'm betting it will be fine!....and still better than anything your guests have ever eaten before....
  • Thanks civil, what is a maverick et-73, and where do you find them?
  • if you had big chunks of wood in there, perhaps one of them caught fire rather than just smoldering. ...depends on just how tight your vents were....typically to maintain lo and slo temps, you bottom slot should be open about the width of a credit card and the daisy wheel holes on top are just open enough to maintain that temp as well ....

    but sometimes it comes down to "S$%T happens"...between snuffing your fire and having a spike like that ....before i started using gurus for overnight cooks, i would check my eggs every 2 - 3 hours just to make sure somethng like this didn't happen... peace of mind.....
  • If you only had the butts on for a few hours, it could be that you really had a 300 degree fire with the way the vents were set and as the butts warmed up the dome temp went up.

    I wouldn't worry too much about it - your butts are fine.

    When I first started reading your post, I thought it was going to be:

    "I got up and the dome temp was 180 and the butts were at 120"
  • i agree with you frank. ..and once i read his response to you that he is serving at noon. ..i further agree with you...wrap them whole....pull them later, and then if they are a little dry, do the vinager/juice/sauce mix to moisten them up if need be....i think he's gonna be just fine and have a great end result....
  • Mad Max thanks a bunch, this is all pretty new to me. Where do you find the electronics you are talking about? Gurus, digiques?
  • if you are doing a lot of overnight cooks, you just can't be a bbq is their website....

    you can go from the most simple (the nano) that simply holds pit temps - thats all i use....up to the fancy shmancy that controls multiple pits with remote controls etc....

    they are extremely well made, very accurate, and fred/bob/kenny provide the best customer service around!!....depending on where you live, you will see the guys at local bbq competitions competing as well, and you can find their stuff often times sold in specialty retailers that also sell bge's and other smokers...
  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 5,506
    I used a Maverick for a couple of years. At first I'd set it up with alarms. As I became more confident, I'd just keep the remote monitor bedside, and crack my eyes open a few times during the night to see what temp was reported. Eventually the probe wires failed, so now I just get up after 4 hours to check the dome. 4 out of 5 times, everything is fine, but having caught 2 fires just about to go out, I prefer to look anyway.
  • Thanks Max
  • Village IdiotVillage Idiot Posts: 6,953
    There are cowards and there are über cowards.

    You are a coward if you flame someone anonymously.

    You are an über-coward if you flame someone while pretending to be someone else.

    I am no fan of Tweeve, but your post is not his style. Besides, it was much too early for a post from California.

    Dripping Springs, Texas.
    Just west of Austintatious

  • BuxwheatBuxwheat Posts: 727
    Screwing up is when you don't get up to check on your egg and then find the temp down to 140 when you do. Butt is forgiving, and easy enough to remedy if it does get a little dry. Congrats on waking up to a finished butt rather than a cold egg!

    PS: I haven't read the rest of the posts yet, but I would always check the meat temp w/ a Thermapen before removing just to make sure my probes were accurate, not touching bone, etc.
  • BuxwheatBuxwheat Posts: 727
    Here are some Linkys to BBQ Guru and Stoker:

    BBQ Guru

    I used a Guru for the first time Friday night. Got a great night's sleep for the first time during a Lo n' Slo. Pit temp was right on the set point when I got up. Only mistake was not trusting it and used too low a cooking temp. Here are the posts:

    First Impressions
    Finished w/ Photo
  • That is quite surprising that your butts cooked from fridge (right?) to 205F in 7.5 hours - even at 300F, that's really fast.

    I think you may have a thermometer calibration issues here as well. Once the egg has cooled down I would check it.

    I'm not a huge fan of stokers or guru's b/c although they are fun toys, they just usually aren't necessary. If you have the egg stabilized for an hour, it should hold temp just fine within 20F overnight. It does help those worry warts though.

    PS Sorry about my doppelganger, and thanks V.I. for the defense - did you know I found out who the person who impersonated me was that started out problems?
  • I have only done a couple of slow cooks but my egg never stabilizes completely. I have been very patient in adjustments and all but it tends to head upwards after a few hours and once "stabilized" again (for an hour or so) it will decrease in temp. I have a medium egg and that may have something to do with it.

    I would never get a full night's sleep with an overnight cook....and as much as I like gadgets I just can't bring myself to hooking an automated temp control to the egg...I have a gas grill that has all the gadgets I need.

    Any comments on the stabilization issue would be appreciated.

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