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Why do I cook so slow?

I'm just curious why my low and slow cooks seem to take longer than most peoples?

A couple examples:

-10lb shoulder @ 225 grate temp on BGE for 20 hours.
-10lb brisket on right now for 17 hours @ 225 grate temp on BGE and internal is 185, not probe tender yet.

I run a Maverick and a Digi-Q and the temp reading are near identical.

I also run a fan off the DigiQ so temp fluctuations are within 3-4 degrees the whole time.

I do not peek, in fact the shoulder didn't even see the light of day until 16-17 hours in, the brisket I have on now was sealed up for 15 hours right up until I probed it a few times. Even then, temp drop was only around 10 degrees and picked back up within 10 minutes.

I'm at 1,580ft above sea level. I'm stumped.


  • Hi54puttyHi54putty Posts: 1,872
    Seems like most people cook around 275ish. That 50 degrees makes a big difference on the length of the cook.
    Winston-Salem, NC 
  • EvilsportsEvilsports Posts: 37
    275 grate or lid, because I'm right around 275 lid temp when I hit 225 at my grate?
  • Charlie tunaCharlie tuna Posts: 2,191
    Some cuts just take longer than others, i have had butts take two hours more to cook while cooking in the same batch.  And the one that took longer was the smallest!  I think it has to do with fat content??  The two monitors matching each other pretty much rules out calibration problems.
  • ParallelParallel Posts: 433
    I cook at 250° grate temp for low and slow. IMO anything less is TOO low and TOO slow.

    Every time my elbow bends my mouth flies open.
  • Charlie tunaCharlie tuna Posts: 2,191
    The slower you can cook during the smoke portion(up to 160 degrees) of the turbo cook, the more smoke you will expose the butt to, and at the same time, you will keep more juices in the butt for the wrapped portion of the cook where you can raise the cooking temperature.  The juices will be captured inside the foil for mixing back into your pulled pork!
  • EvilsportsEvilsports Posts: 37
    I haven't been wrapping either pork or brisket.  I figured I'd start off as simple as possible. 
  • SkiddymarkerSkiddymarker Posts: 8,347
    250-275 grid is my target temp for butts. Lately, meaning the last two smaller #7 butts, at the stall, I've foiled /juiced and been done in less than 6 hours. Cut of meat makes a difference, I cook at sea level, not sure if the altitude has an effect. @MightyQuinn cooks in mile high country and have never heard him talk about altitude. 
    Delta B.C. - Move over coffee, this is job for alcohol!
  • I'm a 250-275 guy too
    1- LGBE
    1- KBQ C-60 (The Dishwasher)
    I- Blackstone 36" Griddle
    1- Sweet-A$$ Roccbox Pizza Oven
    1-Very Understanding and Forgiving Wife
  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 28,817
    I usually cook at 250*. I have done roasts at 200* where my target temp is 125* or thereabouts. If you are trying to cook meat that is going to cook to 200* you really need to be higher than 225*


    Caledon, ON


  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 5,940
    I've never used a pit controller, bat am I right to suppose that the sensor at the grill level is what guides the blower? If so, the long duration is because at 225F, the cook will take as long as you are experiencing.

    Without the blower controlling the grill level heat, an ordinary long cook will produce about the same temp at the grill as the dome.

    Before the real mechanics of why the stall/plateau happens was demonstrated, I, like many people believed the key to a very tender piece of 'Q was cooking just above the boiling point. Enough heat to melt the collagen, but not so much all the moisture was driven out. As it turns out, the collagen isn't why there is a stall. It is that the meat cannot get up to tender temperatures (195 - 205) until much of the water has evaporated. The only advantage of a 225 grill level temp is that it keeps the meat in smoke longer.

    Collagen breakdown is very fast at 180F. At 250F, the stall happens around 165. The higher the temp, the higher the stall. I don't know what ambient temp would cause the stall to happen at the same time the collagen was breaking down. My guess is around 290F.
  • AltonAlton Posts: 468
    I'm a 250-275 guy too

    Is that the Dome temp?
    PROUD MEMBER OF THE WHO DAT NATION!!!!! Stuck in Dallas.......
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