Author Topic: Meat not coming up to temp?  (Read 577 times)

Jammy

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Meat not coming up to temp?
« on: July 24, 2017, 07:36:41 PM »
Hi Everybody-

I have the #1 and have done 4 smokes so far. First three with poultry and 4th with a small (3 pound) brisket. I am happy with my progress with playing with wood types/amounts. My problem is that the meat does not seem to get to the desired internal temperature.

Most recent example, my 3# brisket. I brined it overnight. I figured on 1.5 hours per pound. Put a pan of water in the floor of the box, a regular size foil loaf pan maybe 1/3 full. Used a dual probe ThermaPro and the box temp seemed to be reading correctly. The meat stalled 2.5 hours in at 159-161 for 4 hours!  ??? I was determined to let it ride and it did inch up to 175 but I was going for 191 IT. After 9 hours (for a 3# brined brisket!!) I gave up and pulled it and let it rest for 2 hours. It was done and tender in the thick part (where my temp probe was) but predictably dry in the thin part.

The meat not appearing to come to temp is a recurring theme for me. One smoke I did chicken breasts and waited for the temp to read 165 using my ThermaPen. It never read above 160 but I have been cooking chicken breasts forever and knew they were done....pulled them and they were of course done. My ThermaPen has worked like a charm in other situations and I do check it from time to time against boiling water.

Other variables may include the hot weather conditions I am smoking in? N TX summers can be brutal. Maybe I am not probing correctly? The dual probe I used last I simply stuck the end of the probe into the thickest part of the meat. Maybe I need to "tunnel" it into the meat more for greater contact area?

All of my smokes have run way longer than I expected based on the knowledge I have gathered from this forum, which is a real bummer. I'm pretty sure my IT is being hit at a time earlier than I am apparently able to detect. Any sage advice?
Cowtown (Ft. Worth) Texas
Smoker novice since there are so many great BBQ joints around

old sarge

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Re: Meat not coming up to temp?
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2017, 09:20:47 PM »
Welcome to the forum from SE Arizona.
I am not sure what is happening with your smokes. What temperature are you smoking at?  Have you tried smoking without the additional water pan?  Your ThermaPro confirms that your box temp seemed correct, so I would try a smoke without using a water pan and see how that goes.  Here is a link that explains the stall.  Hopefully some folks with the Model 1 will be along to share their experiences with the little guy.
http://amazingribs.com/tips_and_technique/the_stall.html
David from Arizona
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Jammy

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Re: Meat not coming up to temp?
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2017, 07:36:07 PM »
Thank you, Old Sarge!

I am smoking at 225 - 250 depending on what recommendations I read for a certain recipe.

I have NOT tried without the water pan as I am paranoid about dryness since I am thus far smoking small amounts of meat. I had wondered if the water pan was acting as a heat sink of sorts.

I am also placing my meat as high in the box as I can...read that alot on this forum! That leaves a lot of unused space between the heating element and the meat (again, as I am thus far working with small amounts). Could that be a factor?

Thanks for the link on the stall. I was researching that like mad this past week to anticipate what my brisket might bring...and stall it did!

Thanks to everybody on the forum for all the wisdom you share!
Cowtown (Ft. Worth) Texas
Smoker novice since there are so many great BBQ joints around

SconnieQ

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Re: Meat not coming up to temp?
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2017, 09:42:11 PM »
When you cook relatively small pieces of meat, the number of hours per pound goes up. A 3 pound brisket to me indicates it is a brisket flat. And a really small one at that. A full flat would probably be around 5-7 pounds. A 3 pound flat is probably the thinnest end of the brisket flat, and most likely, has had almost ALL of the fat trimmed by your grocer. I would expect 1.5 to 2 hours per pound minimum for such a tiny brisket. 3 hours per pound is odd. The stall can last for several hours. Yours does not seem abnormal. A flat is a dense cut of meat. In the end, it might seem dry, no matter what you do. That's the reality of the thin part of the flat. That's why getting a whole packer is desirable. What you probably got is the least desirable part of the brisket. And it was probably over-trimmed. Always use a water pan for brisket. It is essential. I disagree with not using a water pan for brisket. Don't go beyond 225 as your set temp for brisket in the #1. Don't use a thermometer that requires you to open the door (like thermapen). Ever. Thermapen is fine for the grill, but since it requires you to open the door, it's not useful for the SI. Sounds like you were using the thermapen for the chicken breasts, which would require opening the door, and would significanty extend the smoke time, and release valuable heat and moisture every time you temped them, requiring a fair amount of time for the box to recover it's heat. Use wired thermometers ONLY, that you can run through your exhaust hole at the top. Keep the door closed. Sounds like you are confident that your box temp is correct, and there is not an issue with your element, so maybe it is just patience, and the excitement and fixating on the smoker due to the newness. Continue to test your thermometers. If they test okay, then trust your thermometers, allow plenty of time for the cook and the rest, and leave the door closed until desired temp is achieved, wrap, and give plenty time to rest. Have you tried anything besides chicken breasts and a mini-brisket? Both are relatively dry cuts of meat in general.
Kari from Madison WI "77 Square Miles Surrounded by Reality"
SI Model #1 with "Libby the dog" poultry skin eating accessory
Weber Smokey Mountain (are we still friends?), Weber Kettle Grill (stop complaining WSM, I still have a chance)
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Jammy

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Re: Meat not coming up to temp?
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2017, 12:01:13 PM »
Thanks, SconnieQ

It sounds like I need to commit to a larger cut of meat to get to a better finished product. I do think my thermometers are OK. I will keep playing around. Thanks again, everybody!
Cowtown (Ft. Worth) Texas
Smoker novice since there are so many great BBQ joints around

AlinMA

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Re: Meat not coming up to temp?
« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2017, 11:56:00 AM »
Hi Jammy....First things first. Welcome aboard from  N'East MA!
"It sounds like I need to commit to a larger cut of meat to get to a better finished product."
A larger cut is not the solution....
I am not a big fan of Brisket but do smoke a lot of Pork Butts in the 3 to 4 pound range some of which are for slicing and some for pulling. Pork Butts experience  the "stall" as well. My last smoke was with a butt that weighed 3.8 lbs.... It reached 175 internal temperature in 10 hours and 190 in 12.5 hours.
My suggestion would be for those items that experience the "stall" go with the time recommended for the larger cuts as weight has little to do with it.
Also invest in a probed system such as the Maverick ET-733 so that you can monitor both the  temperature of the meat and the smoker. With the analog temp. setting on The SI#1 what you see on the dial may not be what you get. On my unit if I dial in 225 the actual average is about 9 degrees under so I adjust accordingly. Opening the smoker to check temps. could cause combustion and will certainly add time to the smoke. I have been doing this for over 2 years on my SI##1 and have seen no fluctuation. When inserting the probe I always try to insure that it is not in the fat. Bear in mind that different cuts of the same meat could have some variation in smoking characteristics.
Being in the Northeast I have used the smoker in all weather conditions from in the snow with temps. below zero to the mid 90's with high humidity (high for here) and have experienced no significant impact on time. I usually start to see smoke in about 15 +/- a couple.
One final thought...Keep a log of what you smoke with the specifics that you want to control.
In my case it proved to be a valuable resource especially starting out.




« Last Edit: July 30, 2017, 11:58:19 AM by AlinMA »
Al from N'East MA
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Maverick 733, Igrill mini
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Rkytooz

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Re: Meat not coming up to temp?
« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2017, 09:45:33 PM »
Hey everyone. I have a question about the temp also on the SI1. Can't seem to keep it constant. I use a small loaf pan with water n it. I use a maverick ET 733dual probe. So far I have cooked 2 pork shoulders,and an 8lb brisket. weather outside has been in upper 90's. Both shoulders were about 6-7 lbs. During the cook about 9-10 hrs long,the temp just keeps bouncing up and down. Alarms keep going off on the maverick and also go out and either raise or lower the thermostat on the smoker. I used the suggested 6-8 oz of wood and only wood(combo of oak and cherry). Can't seem to keep it constant for more than 45-1 hr. Any other advice  would be greatly appreciated. Can't figure out what Im doing wrong. I've tried tweaking everything I can think off. No complaints on finished product, just constant temp fluctuations. Thanks in advance.





SconnieQ

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Re: Meat not coming up to temp?
« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2017, 11:41:55 PM »
Hey everyone. I have a question about the temp also on the SI1. Can't seem to keep it constant. I use a small loaf pan with water n it. I use a maverick ET 733dual probe. So far I have cooked 2 pork shoulders,and an 8lb brisket. weather outside has been in upper 90's. Both shoulders were about 6-7 lbs. During the cook about 9-10 hrs long,the temp just keeps bouncing up and down. Alarms keep going off on the maverick and also go out and either raise or lower the thermostat on the smoker. I used the suggested 6-8 oz of wood and only wood(combo of oak and cherry). Can't seem to keep it constant for more than 45-1 hr. Any other advice  would be greatly appreciated. Can't figure out what Im doing wrong. I've tried tweaking everything I can think off. No complaints on finished product, just constant temp fluctuations. Thanks in advance.

Temperature swings are normal with an analog controller like on the #1 or the "non-D" models. You can expect the temperature to go as much as 30 degrees above and below your set temperature. It will all average out in the end, and is not a problem. Precise temperature is not necessary for most things you smoke. Your indoor oven does the same thing. You set it at a temp, and it cycles on, going slightly above your set temp, then cycles off and drops slightly below your set temp, then cycles back on again. As your #1 becomes more seasoned, the temperature swings will be less, but probably still 20 degrees give or take. Don't obsess about the box temp. I don't even bother to measure it any more. I only measure the meat temp. If you are someone who absolutely must keep a precise temperature, you can purchase a stand-alone Auber, but you don't really need it.
Kari from Madison WI "77 Square Miles Surrounded by Reality"
SI Model #1 with "Libby the dog" poultry skin eating accessory
Weber Smokey Mountain (are we still friends?), Weber Kettle Grill (stop complaining WSM, I still have a chance)
Anova WiFi Precision Cooker (sous vide)

AlinMA

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Re: Meat not coming up to temp?
« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2017, 11:56:45 AM »
Hey everyone. I have a question about the temp also on the SI1. Can't seem to keep it constant. I use a small loaf pan with water n it. I use a maverick ET 733dual probe. So far I have cooked 2 pork shoulders,and an 8lb brisket. weather outside has been in upper 90's. Both shoulders were about 6-7 lbs. During the cook about 9-10 hrs long,the temp just keeps bouncing up and down. Alarms keep going off on the maverick and also go out and either raise or lower the thermostat on the smoker. I used the suggested 6-8 oz of wood and only wood(combo of oak and cherry). Can't seem to keep it constant for more than 45-1 hr. Any other advice  would be greatly appreciated. Can't figure out what Im doing wrong. I've tried tweaking everything I can think off. No complaints on finished product, just constant temp fluctuations. Thanks in advance.
+1on Kari's comment

Also.....To address the alarm issue determine the +/_ swings and the average temperature then set the Maverick to accommodate the swing using the Hi/Lo setting.
After 2+ years with the "little guy" I rarely monitor the box temp. I may check the temp every 2 or 3 months to see if there is any significant change.
Al from N'East MA
Smokin-It #1
Weber Spirit 310
Maverick 733, Igrill mini
Love my Rubs