Big Green Egg - EGGhead Forum - The Ultimate Cooking Experience...
Welcome to the EGGhead Forum - a great place to visit and packed with tips and EGGspert advice! You can also join the conversation and get more information and amazing kamado recipes by following Big Green Egg at:

Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Instagram  |  Pinterest  |  Youtube  |  Vimeo
Share your photos by tagging us and using the hashtag #EGGhead4Life.


In Atlanta? Come visit Big Green Egg headquarters, including our retail showroom, the History of the EGG Museum and Culinary Center!  3786 DeKalb Technology Parkway, Atlanta, GA 30340.

Boston Butt using Smobot

This is the first time I've initiated or joined a discussion, mainly have been reading and trying to learn.  I cooked my second Boston Butt this past Saturday on my Medium BGE.  I've got a Smobot that I have been using for a couple of months with really good results on mainly the rib cooks I've done.  I didn't use it for the first Butt cook.  This Butt was about 5#, put it on around 8 AM with set point at 225.  Used both of the temp probes that come with the Smobot to monitor the temp.  Never opened the hood, temp held within 5 degrees of set point all day.  However, after 12-1/2 hours both the temp probes still didn't go over 190 so I opened it up and took the meat off.  Bone pulled out pretty easily and clean, pork was good but as you can imagine pretty dry.  Does someone have any input why neither of the probes got past 190?  I've also asked Smobot but I'm kind of baffled.  Thanks

Comments

  • johnnypjohnnyp Posts: 2,909

    well, my first thought is that the probes may be damaged. With other brands of probes I've used, the probe wires are pretty delicate and don't like the (sometimes) intense heat whipping around the plate setter. 

    Step one is to look at your charting for the probes.  Was it constantly linear up to 190F, then flatlined?  Or was it still slowly climbing and hadn't exceeded 190F yet?

    Next, make sure your probes are in calibration. You can do this two ways.  1) dip the probe (not the wire) in boiling water.  Should register at 212F, or so based on your elevation.  2) dip the probe in a full cup of ice, with enough water to fill the gaps, and make sure it registers at 32F. 

    If your charting indicates a probe malfunction above a certain temp, or your calibration checks indicate a faulty probe, I would present that evidence to smobot and ask for a replacement.  And consider wrapping your wiring loosely in foil to protect it.


    Disclaimer: this is the trouble shooting that I would try, but I have zero experience with smobot.


    XL & MM BGE, 36" Blackstone - Newport News, VA
  • The Smobot archive saves the actual graph of the set points and probe temps over time so I can see where the probes came up virtually together over the entire time.  About 4 hours steadily coming up to 150 then slowly creeped up together over the next 8-1/2 hours to the 190.  Obviously early on I figured it was just in the stall.  I forgot to mention I did not foil the butt during the stall.  I'll try the boiling water and see what they register.  Thank you for your help

  • I would love to see a graph of your cook.  Might generate more ideas of what may have (or have not) happened.
    The problem with a problem is that you don't know it's a problem until it's a problem.
  • Are you using a battery pack or plugging it in to AC power?

  • HeavyGHeavyG Posts: 4,943
    I use an external battery pack with mine. The Smobot uses very little power and will run for days on even one of the smallest USB batteries.

    Can't think of a reason I'd ever plug it into AC.
    Camped out in the (757/804)
  • I use a battery pack also but the fist cook I used a battery pack that went asleep with the small power draw SMOBOT uses (i have three packs that go asleep) . So, I wondered if maybe he had the same issue.

    I now have dumb USB battery pack that works great and was cheap.

  • dsleightdsleight Posts: 101
    You only had a 35 degree delta between the pork and the pit temp, it could take a very long time to reach 200+F.  I would recommend bumping it to 250-275 F around the 7-8 hour mark to push the pork up to 200+F.  You could also just cook it at 250-275F to reach the finish line sooner.  You will not notice any decline in quality cooking at the higher temps.
  • TheophanTheophan Posts: 2,133
    Strongly agree with @dsleight, and maybe more so than he.  SO many folks hear that pros recommend 225° or even lower in a wood-burning offset smoker, and suppose that 225° or even lower is the right temp for a low-and-slow cook in a Big Green Egg.  Nope.  Different cookers need different techniques, and I just don't think BGEs do that well below 250°.  It was taking forever to get that pork up to the right internal state because the Egg wasn't burning hot enough.

    I bet your pork wasn't "dry" because it was overcooked, but because it was still UNDERcooked!  It never got hot enough internally to really get soft and tender.

    I think this is a case of technology doing your wrong!  If you DON'T use a Smobot or other controller, and cook at 250°-275°, and completely ignore the internal temperatures, but probe it until it probes "like buttah," whenever that happens regardless of the internal temperature, your pork will turn out great!

    So by all means, use the Smobot if you want to, to help show you roughly what's going on in the cook, and to make sure the Egg temperature stays AT LEAST 250°, and to show you that the internal temp has risen high enough that it's time to start probing, but let the probing tell you when it's done!  Probe it a lot of places, and don't pull it out of the Egg until it's tender, regardless of what the Smobot says.
  • Thanks to all of you for comments and advise, it makes total sense.  I'll definitely try upping the set point to 250-275 next time.  RagunCajun you asked to see the graph and I have attached it but I think it probably only goes to prove dsleight and Theophan's point about the set point.  I did push the set point up to 250 right at the end but obviously then panicked and pulled it off.  The final grill temp and probe temps are after I took meat off.  Also, I had Smobot plugged into permanent power.
  • +1 on underdone.  I've found 250 is my egg's happy place with or without the smobot.
    Large BGE
    Huntsville, AL
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 16,779
    First up-welcome aboard and enjoy the journey.  Above all, have fun.
    Great comments above- with low&slow protein cooks it's all about the feel at the finish-line.  Back on the horse.  
    Louisville;  L & S BGEs, PBC, Lang 36; Burnin' wood in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer.  
  • stompboxstompbox Posts: 723
    Theophan said:
    Strongly agree with @dsleight, and maybe more so than he.  SO many folks hear that pros recommend 225° or even lower in a wood-burning offset smoker, and suppose that 225° or even lower is the right temp for a low-and-slow cook in a Big Green Egg.  Nope.  Different cookers need different techniques, and I just don't think BGEs do that well below 250°.  It was taking forever to get that pork up to the right internal state because the Egg wasn't burning hot enough.

    I bet your pork wasn't "dry" because it was overcooked, but because it was still UNDERcooked!  It never got hot enough internally to really get soft and tender.

    I think this is a case of technology doing your wrong!  If you DON'T use a Smobot or other controller, and cook at 250°-275°, and completely ignore the internal temperatures, but probe it until it probes "like buttah," whenever that happens regardless of the internal temperature, your pork will turn out great!

    So by all means, use the Smobot if you want to, to help show you roughly what's going on in the cook, and to make sure the Egg temperature stays AT LEAST 250°, and to show you that the internal temp has risen high enough that it's time to start probing, but let the probing tell you when it's done!  Probe it a lot of places, and don't pull it out of the Egg until it's tender, regardless of what the Smobot says.
    This.  All of it.  Well, other than the egg not doing well below 250 thing, it just takes longer.
  • First of all, I agree with the undercooked theory.  Secondly, all of the advice I see given is spot on and comes from a diverse group of pros.  For me, my BGE seems to work fine at 235 and upwards.  It's finicky at 225, but runs stable 230 (sometimes) and always at 235 and beyond.  I've attached a recent cook where I had the controller set at 235.  Let us know how the next one works out.
    The problem with a problem is that you don't know it's a problem until it's a problem.
  • Thanks again to everyone for your input.  RajunCajun I've actually got a whole 12# packer brisket I'm doing this coming New Year's weekend (2nd try @ brisket) and will up the set point to maybe 250 to 275 as suggested and report back with pictures this time.  At least I know that I had plenty of charcoal in my MBGE for at least a 12 hour cook!
  • Good luck and don't be afraid to run that egg with the lump up past where the firebox and fire ring join together.  Many of us here run that way without problems.  Keep in mind that your burn rate will be slightly higher at 250-275 than it was at 225.
    The problem with a problem is that you don't know it's a problem until it's a problem.
Sign In or Register to comment.
Click here for Forum Use Guidelines.