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Ag76 10-10-2005 11:17 AM

Brisket & Boston Butt Pork Roast Questions?
I cooked a 6-7 lb Boston Butt last weekend for approximately 10 hours at 225.

I cooked a 12 lb Brisket this weekend for approximately 14 hours, 7 with no foil, and 7 in foil.

Both were cooked at the 225-250 degree range. I could not get either one above 165 to 170 internal temp. They looked like they were drying out, so I took them off. The probe never went in what I would call easily.

Should I have left them on however long it took to get the Boston Butt to 195 and the Brisket to 185 internal temp?

G$ 10-10-2005 11:23 AM

One man's opinion, yes. I would have thrown them foiled in to a 250* plus oven. Sometimes, I will briefly throw them in a 275 oven to get un stuck, and quickly brigng the oven down to a more 'normal' range.

I rely too much on intenral temps, and not enough on feel, but either way, i may have tried a hot bun to unstick them.

thillin 10-10-2005 11:29 AM

The 7 pound butt I did Friday night took 16hrs in the smoker to get to 195*. In the cooler it hit 205*. 4 hrs later 185* and I pulled it. This was the first one I injected. I also spayed w/apple juice whenever I put something elso on or removed something. Foiled it at about 155*.

Last But was 3.4lbs and took about 10 hours. Just sprayed that one. Neither one dried out.


Solidkick 10-10-2005 12:36 PM


Are you taking the meat straight from the fridge to the cooker, or are you letting it warm up a little at room temp before adding to the cooker? Also, is your 225*-250* reading you're talking about at grate level, or from a thermometer stuck up high in the lid or off to the side?

Sounds like you may just be getting to the "sticking" point of your butt and brisket.
If you wear out feeding the cooker, move them to the oven to finish.
I cook by internal temp as well, but I use it more as a guide to when I'm looking for the probe to slide in and out with easy than rather it has to hit a certain temp. A probe may slide in with no resistance on one butt at 190*, the next one, 198*

VitaminQ 10-10-2005 12:38 PM

It's hard to do sometimes, but you gotta leave 'em in till they're done. The temps give you a pretty good idea, but there's a lot of room for variation. Checking with the probe just for ease of entry is the best thing you can do, IMO. I always cook butts and briskets at 250 plus or minus 15 degrees, but I also mop like hell after the first five hours or so. Everytime I do anything to the cooker (add fuel, check temps, fill water pan) I figure I might as well mop. It's served me well so far. I d cut back a little bit toward the end so the bark crisps up a little.

Ag76 10-10-2005 01:13 PM

Thanks for the help guys. I was figuring you could go by 1.25 hours/pound. That does not appear to be the case. I will leave the next brisket in to 185, and the next butt to 195, regardless of how long it takes.

Ag76 10-10-2005 01:16 PM

SolidKick: Yes I was going straight from the fridge to the pit. Should I let them warm up some before putting them on?

My thermometer is a high quality industrial thermometer permanently mounted where it was designed to be in the top of my LyfeTyme pit near the smoke stack end.

thillin 10-10-2005 01:38 PM

Ag, I could have used your help last week when I was cutting and loading wood in Chandler. Got about a 1/2 truck load from one limb. Might cut more in a couple of months. Anytime the wind gets up, limbs fall. I would have split the pecan with ya.


Ag76 10-10-2005 01:56 PM


Let me know next time you need some help. If I can, I will be more than glad to.

Jeff_in_KC 10-10-2005 03:20 PM

Ag, I learned that while it it the most frustrating time (the hang/stuck time), it is also the most important. This is the time that the connective tissues and collagens are breaking down and the meat is becoming tender. Odds are that your butts and briskets are not drying out at that temp, although the exterior may look like it. Be sure to spray your pork butts and if you find it necessary, your briskets too (I quit spraying briskets altogether).

DWFII 10-10-2005 06:14 PM

I don't know who came up with the 1.25 hour per pound formula, but I think it's more wishful thinking that fact. I've never ever heard of anyone doing a butt in the neighborhood of 4 lbs in less than 3 hrs. per lb. And even when you get in the 7 lb range, almost every story you read it's 16 hrs or so.

My experience...and it's none too that if you're cooking low and slow (220-240/250) you're not in any danger of drying the meat out regardless of how long it's been in there (within reason) unless it's a particularly lean cut to begin with. Briskets and worries.

Ag76 10-10-2005 06:48 PM

Most of the above comments are on butts. How long do you guys think that the 12 lb brisket should have taken to get to 185 internal temp when cooking at 225-250? Thanks.

Neil 10-10-2005 07:01 PM

Maybe my Nu-Temps are off but I've been pulling and separating the point from the flat at 170 and they have been the best I've ever made. The point gets cubed, rerubbed,and back in the smoker for burnt ends and the flat just gets sliced up and chowed.

rookiedad 10-10-2005 10:04 PM


Originally Posted by Ag76
SolidKick: Yes I was going straight from the fridge to the pit. Should I let them warm up some before putting them on?

My thermometer is a high quality industrial thermometer permanently mounted where it was designed to be in the top of my LyfeTyme pit near the smoke stack end.

do you moniter temperature at grill level? high mounted thermometers can read higher temperatures than where the meat is. i keep an oven thermometer right next to the meat on the grate. give that a try to see if there is a difference.

Ag76 10-10-2005 10:17 PM

Thanks. I will try that.

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