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Butt temp dropping...

acertainacertain Posts: 24
edited 7:24PM in EggHead Forum
When I went to bed last night at 11:00, I thought the egg had stabilized at 240-250; however, when I got up to check at 1:00, it was up to 325! :ohmy:

I spent the next couple of hours working it back down to 230-240, where it still is (7:45 PDT). OK, no problem, right?

Well, my question is that at 1:00 when I started cooling it off, the butt temp was 171, and it got up as high as 177 as the egg was cooling, but then it started going down. Now it's down to 164! Should I be concerned? It seems a little strange to me that something that is colder than its surroundings can get even colder, even if the temperature difference isn't that high. I understand that the heat energy could be going into breaking down fat and cartilage, etc., but have other people seen this in practice? Do I need to get the temp up higher?




  • BENTEBENTE Posts: 8,337
    it should be fine... just leave it alone.. it is called the "plateau" it is when the connective tissue is breaking down..after awhile it will start going up...

    just "Trust the Egg" ;)

    happy eggin


    Anderson S.C.

    "Life is too short to be diplomatic. A man's friends shouldn't mind what he does or says- and those who are not his friends, well, the hell with them. They don't count."

    Tyrus Raymond Cobb

  • ZippylipZippylip Posts: 4,711
    are you sure your dome temperature is what you think it is? The butt will plateau, but I don't think I ever had one drop that much in temp. The other question is w/n your probe is accurate and/or malfunctioning, did you move it?
    happy in the hut
    West Chester Pennsylvania
  • FidelFidel Posts: 10,172
    Your probe may be in a pocket of fat or hitting bone.

    Pull it out slightly or put it in another part of the butt.

    Plateaus are normal, but a 13 degree drop is larger than I have ever seen in a butt cook.

    Personally I would let your egg run wherever it settles. If that is 240, 260, whatever, it will be fine.
  • Big'unBig'un Posts: 5,909
    Like Terry stated, it's in the plateau. This where all the magic happens. During the plateau, the meat reaches a temp that starts to break down the fats and collegen. It can last up to three hours. When this starts, the temp can actually fall as yours did. The plateau usually starts around 160F, but can start as high as upper 170Fs. Let it go, and know that right now your pork is getting super tender. HTH. Enjoy!
  • acertainacertain Posts: 24
    Thanks for the responses. I'm pretty sure the dome temp is accurate; I calibrated the BGE thermometer last night against a Thermapen.

    I did pull the probe out a little bit, and the temp dropped another 2 degrees. I think maybe what happened is that I stuck the probe in too far and it actually got past the center and towards the other side. So while those temps reflect what that part of the meat was doing, in reality there was a cooler center which was bringing the temp back down. Although, it does still seem like a lot.

    Oh well, I'm sure it will be edible. Now I just hope it gets done in time for the 40 people I'm having over at 3:00! :ohmy:

  • Big'unBig'un Posts: 5,909
    I think you'll be fine, but you can always push the temp up to 300F toward the end to have it finish with enough time to let it sit and have the juices redistribute.
  • thirdeyethirdeye Posts: 7,428
    Good, it sounds like you are back on track. That was a suspiciously large slide in plateau temp, usually the slide is only a few degrees. This is a secondary reaction and happens because the flow of liquefied collagen and fat is drawing heat out of the meat.
    Happy Trails

    Barbecue is not rocket surgery
  • acertainacertain Posts: 24
    Well, now my temps are dropping again. I dropped a thermometer on the grate, and it turns out the grate temp was around 180. I'm not sure how there could be a 50-60 degree difference between dome and grate, but I've cranked the dome up to about 300 and the grate is now at 220 or so... The joys of learning a new cooking medium.... I may have to throw this one in the oven.

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