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Low'n Slow Question

Saturday night I did an overnight low-and-slow pork butt (picnic). The cook was 250* for about 12 hours until the meat hit 200* and was extremely probe tender. The meat turned out great, with one exception. The bottom portion of the meat that was in contact with the cast iron grate was extremely dry and tough - like it was severely overcooked. Before this, the last overnight low-temperature cook I did was a prime packer brisket and the same thing happened - fantastic meat except for the bottom that was in contact with the grate. So there was a lot of wasted meat on both cooks.

Is this common? How do I avoid this? These are indirect cooks using a platesetter. And it isn't just the edges that are dry, it's the entire bottom portion of the meat.


  • jtippersjtippers Posts: 512
    Maybe you could try filling a drip pan with water under the meat? Just a guess... Based on your description, that is the only thing I do differently, apart from using the SS grate.
    SBGE December 2012 •  XLBGE December 2013 •  Yoder YS640 July
    Location: Jasper, Georgia

  • Chris_WangChris_Wang Posts: 1,253
    edited December 2013
    I use the SS instead of CI and I have yet to have this problem... I only use my CI when I need the grid really hot for searing and grill marks.

    Ball Ground, GA

    ATL Sports Homer


  • 500500 Posts: 2,724
    Are you cooking it fat side up or down?  I think cooking it down helps protect the meat from overcooking and provides a second "indirect" barrier.
    Large BGE; Midlothian, Virginia
    I like Pig Butts and I can not lie.
    "Barbecue is a journey, one meal at a time."
  • I use the SS instead of CI and I have yet to have this problem... I only use my CI when I need the grid really hot for searing and grill marks.
    Just something to consider...the CI grate has a lot more surface touching the butt/brisket and it could be overcooking the bottom side of the meat. I'm with Chris on this one. Bob

    Alexander City,Al
  • I am making the assumption you are cooking indirect with the plate setter below the grid.  If not, that would account for the dryness from being exposed to the coals heat.  Fat down does seem to work best.  Just don't trim it too close, I had a butcher that over trimmed a beef shoulder clod and it came out dry even indirect. I also use the SS grid for low and slow.
    A poor widows son.
    See der Rabbits, Iowa
  • I've been doing fat side up. I had considered whether that might be an issue, but it seems strange nonetheless.

    And yes, I am definitely cooking indirect with the platesetter bellow the grid. I have a drip pan sitting on top of the platesetter, but I don't fill it with water. I've tried that in the past and didn't like the results (bark didn't really set).
  • saluki2007saluki2007 Posts: 3,785
    I never really notice a difference with fat cap up or down.  I would defiantly use the stainless grate over the CI grate.
    Large and Small BGE
    Morton, IL

  • try using a V rack so the meat isn't on the cast iron grate 
    2 Large Eggs and a Mini 2 Pit Bulls and a Pork shoulder or butt nearby and 100% SICILIAN
    Long Island N.Y.

  • I had the same issue with a prime brisket a couple of weeks ago.  Was using a the same setup as the OP (stainless grate, platesetter legs up, etc.).  Have done a few other briskets and never had this problem.  My original thought was that I may have gone a bit long (12 hours for a 10ish lb brisket)??  That being said, the rest of the brisket was amazing!  Tremendously juicy, tender, and, flavorful.  We'll see what happens with the next one... 
    Brisket Is My Spirit Animal
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