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Low & Slow - Guidelines?

edited 3:53AM in EggHead Forum
No eggsperience yet...

Is there a set of guidelines for low slow cooking?

Assume 200 degrees - how long do I cook per pound?
How long before you overcook?

Is the amount of time different for different meats?



  • Car Wash MikeCar Wash Mike Posts: 11,244
    The last thing you want to do is go to bed at 200 degrees. For a short (5-6) hour cook, 200 is fine. Then gradually bump up.
    Don't cook by time, cook by internal meat temp.

  • Typically I use a plate setter (indirect) cooking method for any low and slow cooks.
    As for @ 200 degrees, I think it will totally depend on your meet.
    I would use a thermometer in your meet to keep an eye on what your internal temp is reading. Also, I don't know of anything that cooks that low, usually people cook around 250 +-, depends on what you are cooking.
  • And thus the reason for my question.

    Let's say that I want to have friends over for dinner at 5 pm. How do I know when to start cooking? I'll be using a thermometer, but what happens it I reach the right internal temp at 3 pm. (a few hours early - then what do I do?)

  • FlaPoolmanFlaPoolman Posts: 11,675
    What are you cooking???
  • At this point, I'm just wondering if there are guidelines to work with. I assume that cooking times vary depending on the type of meat but I'm sure that there's some standard - 1/2 hour per pound, 1 hour per pound, etc.

    beef - chicken - pork - ribs - fish

    I eggspect to try cooking everything.

  • Some great pics - I can't wait to try some of the receipes.

    I guess I have to follow receipes until I get a handle on timing.
  • The best thing you can do is go the Naked Whiz web site and download the "The BBQ Forum Recipes - Over 2300 recipes collected from the Internet BBQ Mailing List. Posted 06/09/2004"
    You will find it at: along with a bunch of other cook books you can download.
    I did the North Carolina Style Pulled Pork by Elder Ward and it was the best butt I ever cooked. The recipe is 6 pages long with very detailed directions. (I checked the temp (200 degrees) at 10:15 PM and per directions went to bed, when I checked it at 6:15 AM the temp was 205.
    I just finished a two briskets (14 lbs. and 15 lbs.) that I cooked for 19 hours at 200 degrees, he last 2 hours were at 220 degrees. I used Elder Ward's technique to make my fire. I probably didn't open my egg more than 4 times during the cook.
    As they say in LA (Lower Arkansas) it was "Rite Fine".
    Or, as the say in SLA (South Louisiana) " I Like Dat, Me."
  • This will keep me busy for a while.


  • I lurk in this forum more than I should and I can not believe the inane answers that this thread has generated!

    The guy asked for some guidelines for low and slow short answer is 250º is the baseline dome temp.

    Depending on the meat you cook approximate times can run from 1 1/2 to 2 hours per pound for butt and shoulder and the same for brisket.

    Most of cooks here go by internal meat temps so buy yourself a good instant meat thermometer (Thermapen)and use it.

    Chicken doesn't usually lend itself to low and slow cooking. You'll learn what the exceptions are as you go along.

    I don't know who some of you new guys are but, some of you are giving bad advice. Not good fellas. Not good.
  • UnConundrumUnConundrum Posts: 536
    Mos, in answer to this particular question, I usually aim to be done early. It's often beneficial to let your meat rest for a bit after a cook. Some wrap their meat in foil, and a towel. I use a commercial insulated box from a restaurant supply house. It has rungs on the side that take a half sheet pan (cookie sheet). I just put the meat in the box, on a half sheet pan and seal the front. It will keep the meat for about 3 hours.... good to have on hand. (BTW, I like to have it done at least an hour early for the rest, but that's just my personal tastes).
  • Car Wash MikeCar Wash Mike Posts: 11,244
    The next thread will be "Is safe to eat"

  • Some guidelines, some trial and error, and some good recipes... Worst thing that can happen is that I make some mistakes and a few bad meals.

    I can Q well on my Weber gas, my new Egg has opened up lots of possibilities.

  • SundownSundown Posts: 2,971
    I suppose you're right Mike. Maybe Wondering Out Loud is making a point I should listen to. The bad answers, and sometimes the bad questions, are starting to make my teeth itch a little too much.

    Is it time to start a slow fade?
  • Celtic WolfCeltic Wolf Posts: 9,773
    Good luck with that.. It will be done when it is done.

    Pulled Pork FAQ

    Low and slow cooks usually refer to Pork Butt and Brisket, though it applies to any cut that is considered "tough" and has a lot of fat.

    If you set the dome temp at 200 you will never reach a meat temp of 200. This is due to the fact that the dome temp is 20-30 degrees higher then the cooking surface. Plus you will be chasing that temp all night if you are using a BBQ Guru or Stoker. Bump the dome up to 250.

    Depending on the amount of fat, bone and connective tissue it will take 1-2 hours per pound to reach a desired internal temp between 195-205. Count on 1.5 hours per pound.

    These cuts will plateau at roughly 165. During this plateau is when the fat, and collagen are breaking down. If you are anal and watch it constantly you may even see the temp drop a few degrees during this stage. It will stay at the plateau for several hours. If you are in a hurry and the plateau has broken you can foil the meat at this stage and bump the egg temp up to 300 degs.

    If it is done early wrap the meat tightly in foil and them a clean towel. Place this in a dry cooler and cover with more towels. I have had meat stay hot like this for 6 hours, but the norm is 4. Mine stayed hot so long because the cooler was out in the hot California Sun.
  • Celtic WolfCeltic Wolf Posts: 9,773
    I find myself agreeing with Wondering Out Loud. We all know MOS2401's baselines and assumptions were wrong yet the answers given were based on those wrong baselines and assumptions.

    He asked a simple question for which the answer was NO. There really aren't set universal guidelines. Each cut of meat reacts different to Low and Slow cooking.

    Now I will disagree with the statement "Chicken does not lend well to Low and Slow"

    We should educate and not perpetuate false assumptions.
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 23,014
    when i got my first egg i jumped right in with elder wards pulled pork for my first cook, it was the first time i ever made pulled pork, my first cook on an egg, and my first pulled pork that didnt come from the supermarket in a tupperware container that looked like some kind of thick stewed meat. best thing to do is give it a try, its a well written recipe. the only thing i would do differently is cook it at 250 dome instead of what was recommended, theres really no reason to cook lower, the govt doesnt recommend it, the finished product doesnt come out better, and it takes alot less time. my butts and picnics come out in about 14 hours plus or minus as opposed to elderwards cook of 20 plus cooked at a lower temp. cook at 250 dome. you will learn alot from this cook and that writeup and its alot easier than it looks. set your alarm clock to go off every 3 to 4 hours and check on things and you wont be asking if the meat is safe to eat.
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 23,014
    i love low and slow thighs and wings, i hope thats your exception. other than that, keep it safe, safe cooking temps, safe internal temps etc, themapen and a good pit temp gage, those are must haves.
  • BacchusBacchus Posts: 6,019
    Regarding the timing of dinner for your guests...I would plan to have it done 2-3 hours prior to their planned arrival. Wrap it in foil, then put in a cooler. It will keep warm for a long time.
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 23,014
    yep, i like the cooler trick, have everything except the pulling done before anyone gets there. with a brisket its really needed for it to come out right in my honest opinion, it needs the rest.
  • were legs, thighs and wings. I did not add that because he was getting too much information and I believe that sort of knowledge would come in a short time anyway.
  • TuckTuck Posts: 54
    The reason people are hesitant to give you a time is every piece of meat is different. One 8lb butt might take 8 hours to cook or 16 hours to cook. Generally, brisket and butts take 1-2 hours/lb. Spare Ribs are about 5-6 hours. Baby Backs are 4-5 hours. Mostly, I cook by temperature. About the only thing I cook by time is ribs (and thats cause temp probes aren't very accurate when close to the bone).

    When I cook pulled pork, I cook a butt till its 195F internally, then I wrap it in foil and put it in a cooler for an hour or three. It will continue to cook while its in the cooler.

    When I'm cooking brisket, I'll cook it to about 185F and wrap it in foil. I usually slice my brisket. If you want to pull it, I believe you'd take it on up to 195F like the pulled pork.

    Its a lot easier to cook by temperature. Go get a remote thermometer from Walmart or Target. You put the probe in the meat, run the wire out to the thermometer and just cook it till it reaches the temperature it'll be done at.
  • Thx.

    As a newbee, I intend to check out a bunch of receipes and try a some different things - learning along the way - I appreciate the advice.

    I thought my original question of estimatd cook times for different style meats was logical - it works for other cooking methods.

    It would appear that some of the members thought it was stupid question. Not a very pleasant introduction to the forum.

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