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butt temp question

I smoked my first butt yesterday, it was big one weighing in at 7.5 lbs.  I got the fire rolling at 225, with PL in place and some hickory on the coals.  My maverick was in and it went on the grill about 9pm.  The starting temp was about 40 and by the time I went to bed it was about 100, progressing nicely.  Got up around 8am and the temp was up to about 150, stall in full effect.  I wanted to do this one without the texas cheat so I planned for hours to spare just in case.  Around noon the temp had hit about 180 and I expected it to start to speed up again, shooting for the 203 mark.  At 3pm, I'm starting to get worried because people would showing up in a couple of hours and the temp was still in the 190s and it still needed to rest and be pulled.  I ended wrapping it in some foil and got to 200 and called it.  The butt was great but I'm wondering if that slow progression at the higher temps is expected?  All in all it was about 17 hours at 225.


  • MrCookingNurseMrCookingNurse Posts: 4,629
    edited August 2013
    225 grate or dome?

    Either one, 17 hours is spot on for a naked low and slow all the way.

    I think your time line sounds fine, maybe a tad slow but that happens butt to butt variation. You knew what to do to fix it. Can always wrap and bump up the temp. Or just bump up the temp.


  • boatbumboatbum Posts: 1,273

    225 is a definite low and slow.   Butt's can be heated up more - I have hit the stall and bumped to 300 to get it finished.

    Sounds like your end product was on target - good job

    Cookin in Texas
  • MickeyMickey Posts: 18,982
    edited August 2013
    The pulling has to happen. On a pulled pork the rest is more of a timing to serve thing than like a steak. Holding in the ice chest is not important.
    Salado TX Egg Family: 3 Large and a very well used Mini, added a Mini Max when they came out (I'm good for now). 

  • jaydub58jaydub58 Posts: 2,161
    What @Mickey said about cooler time not being important is spot on; just not necessary.  I do like to do low-n-slow, and a 7-8 lb butt has taken me 18 hours in the past.
    John in the Willamette Valley of Oregon
  • ChokeOnSmokeChokeOnSmoke Posts: 1,931

    Consider 250 grate temp (275 or so dome temp) next time, I don't notice any difference in the end product and it will shave 6-7 hours off you total time.  I do 8 pound butts in about 10-11 hours.
    Many people cook them at even higher temps with good results.
    Packerland, Wisconsin

  • msloanmsloan Posts: 366
    Took me 10.5 hours to do a 7.5 butt a few weeks ago. Temps hovered between 250-300.
    gettin lucky in kentucky!   2 XL eggs!
  • AcornAcorn Posts: 163
    How much lump are you guys using to maintain a 16-18 hour cook? I am planning on cooking my first butt this Saturday.  
    Atlanta, GA  - LBGE -
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 18,694

    @Acorn-first up-welcome aboard and enjoy the Kool-Aid; self-administered :)  Within reason, you cannot load too much lump so the short answer to your question -LBGE as a reference, is about half way up into the fire ring.  The key to the long cook in addition to the fuel is the air flow.  Below is a great link worth the read for the fire building piece.  There are alternatives but this will give you a good foundation:  Enjoy the journey!


    Louisville;  L & S BGEs, PBC, Lang 36; Burnin' wood in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer.  
  • sox203sox203 Posts: 22
    Thanks guys, good to know I'm not going crazy.  I'll play with the temp and not worry about the cooler time.  It came out great so it's a good start.
  • AcornAcorn Posts: 163
    Thanks, I'm heading out to get started now........
    Atlanta, GA  - LBGE -
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