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First overnight - a better understanding of the stall.

733102243733102243 Posts: 38
edited October 2012 in EggHead Forum

6lbs pork shoulder - figured on 12hours. Couldn't get temp to stabilize - first 2-3 hours 200-225 (grid). Then - up to 240 for a couple. Started cook at 9pm Saturday was up most of the night - Maverick beeping etc. Plateau 160-180  lasted from 5am until 10, when I finally got smart and raised grid temp to 275. Removed meat @ 11:45am Sunday - Foil/Cooler til 1:30 or 2. Bark was a little crisp but otherwise Really delicious.

As much as I've read about the stall (here, nakedwhiz, amazing ribs), there's nothing like experiencing it first hand - and given what I've read, the next one will be much the same and different at the same time.

Observations - my previous two cooks were ribs only 5 hours or so - but,

1- Previously,  I sorted the lumps and built the fire carefully - this time, I just dumped the bag. So -now I'm a 'lump sorter;. It just makes more sense. My mind needs order and will find ways to justify creating order.

2- Given the hours involved, I probably 'rushed' the fire placing the PS/grid/meat on too soon. Will let stabilize longer next.

3- CyberQ before I do another overnighter. I don't need to be tweaking a fire all night. Adjustable rig so I can cook more ribs at a time.

4 - Will buy a much larger piece of meat - between the sheer flavor and the shrinkage, there's not much left. :-)

I pulled it and packed some in vacuum bags and pulled and chopped the rest for sandwiches.

First 'real Eastern NC BBQ sandwich" I've had in 25 years at least. Made a credible BBQ slaw - (Miracle whip is the key)




  • GriffinGriffin Posts: 7,674

    Congrats on your first overnight. It can be nerve racking.

    Seems like maybe you didn't have it stabilized when you threw your meat on. I light my fire, throw inthe placesetter and grate and then stabilize it. Once its stable, throw your meat on and don't worry about the temp, it will drop but it will slowly come back to your pre-stabilized temp.

    One last thing, if you are gonna do a 6lb pork shoulder, might as well do 2. Doesn't take much longer and doesn't use more charcoal. Just maximize the space on your grill. More to vac seal for leftovers later.

    Rowlett, Texas

    Griffin's Grub or you can find me on Facebook

    The Supreme Potentate, Sovereign Commander and Sultan of Wings


  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 5,952
    I went thru a couple of cooks like yours.

    As Griffin said, put the PS and grill in soon as the lump is lit. I know for sure the PS absorbs a lot of heat, and when a cold one is put on, the dome temp will drop. I can't prove it, but I also think that when a PS is added later, it changes the air flow enough that some of the lump is damped, while other lump need to start up.

    I'm a lump sorter too. I have never had a problem w. a careful stack. It may be chance, but the amount of time to do it is not too big.

    If I was catering a party, I would buy a pit controller. But the Egg is remarkably stable. I've learned to wait the extra hour to get the temp I want. I do check every 4 hours during all nighters (I'm a lite sleeper). 9 times out of 10, there are no problems.

    Next time will be even better.

  • DocWonmugDocWonmug Posts: 300
    +1 on stabilizing the temp. Best cook I've had was when I lit the Egg and then ignored it for about an hour.
  • BENTEBENTE Posts: 8,337

    congrats on a successful cook!!! i have never sorted lump in my life. i understand you "have" to do it. but i have always been a dump it and light it kind of guy! i think i did 10 or 12 overnighters before i got my guru best money i think i have ever spent for a restful nights sleep. plus when you wake up and walk outside your nose is not used to the smoke smell and it smells so good!


    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

  • Thanks all-

    1 - letting the fire stabilze with the placesetter (and I assume the drip pan w/water) will make a difference. The grid temp didn't exceed 219 for a couple of hours. I did get some sleep when it stabilized at around 235 - as it did with my rib cooks.

    2 - The platesetter has to change the airflow so gdenby your suggestions make sense. Also, I used only one firestarter where I usually use 2.

    3 - Im a few days, I will be a lump sorting Egger with a Cyber-Q. Cooking 2 6 or 7 lb shoulders makes great sense.

    4 - Thanks again for all the information and assistance here. I am a decent cook with a lot of years under my belt :-) but honestly - I really owe my first 3 attempts to this forum and NakedWhiz.

  • jfarleyjfarley Posts: 145

    I had no clue about the stall until I got my Egg last June because I had never gone so low and slow. When I asked here I was given great advice from many on how normal it was. I thought something was wrong with my first pork shoulder cook, but now look forward to when it happens. This site is really good at giving a scientific explanation with an experiment on why it happens:

    LBGE - July 2012
    Valencia, CA
  • Thanks for the link -

    Here's another - says much the same but -

    There's no way to anticipate the stall without experiencing it!

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