What did I do wrong???

Started by flipperz71, February 16, 2008, 05:33:14 AM

Previous topic - Next topic

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.


I am new to the forum, so please be gentle.. ;D

I had a 8lb pork butt (bone in)  I rubbed it and fridged it for 1 day, I left it out to room temp before puttin it in the smoker.  I had the somker preheated to 190-200 degrees and loaded for 8 hours of smoke.  Put butt in at 11:30pm and 7:30 am took it out.  The temp was around 197 degrees.  The butt was not done. 

The damper was open ~1/8 of the way
The outside temp was 24 degrees
Smoke was mesquite

I did not touch the butt after it was in,  I left it alone...

I am new to smoking big meats.  Usually I smoke cheese and sausage and it comes out fine.   I always make pulled pork bbq using a crockpot but had the bradley and thought what the heck... Now I am still saying "What the heck ??? "....

Great forum....



When you say "not done" do you mean raw in the middle or just not up to your "pulled pork standards" ?

I always do my butts by internal temperature. Best case is 190, I'll pull them at a minimum of 170 if I have people waiting. I also have a temp probe for each Butt I put in. I have had 2 in and one of them take an additional 2 hours (they were similar in size)

Another thing I learned here was the FTC method - after you take the Butt out of the smoker, wrap in Foil, an old Towel, and put in a Cooler for at least a couple of hours.
Click on the Ribs for Our Time tested and Proven Recipes!

Original Bradley Smoker with Dual probe PID
2 x Bradley Propane Smokers
MAK 2 Star General
BBQ Evangelist!


Flip,  Welcome to  the forum,you will get lots of help here, very good bunch of people!  By a temp of 197 I am assuming you mean the bradley temp?  So my guess is (Only done a few butts by no means a expert)  you are right it wasn't done ;D  Just needed more time!  Did you use a meat thermometer?  You need to get the internal temp up there like flbentrider said to around 190ish for it to pull easy.  Plus with a ambient temp in the 20's that will make things go slower too, especially if it is windy!  I was thinking if I remember right it took me around 12 hours on one that wasn't that big.  Do a search for pulled pork and you will find lots of post about it.



Thank for the reply...

I am by no means an expert or even a novice at smoking...  :o I can smoke cheese pretty good though  ;)
I am ordering a meat thermometer right now and am currently building a PID for the box. 
I was so used to throwing a butt in the crock pot for 10 hours and it "fell apart".  I guess I expected the same of the smoker.  I am sure I am not the only one who has done that when they were new to smoking. 

I am sure with the advice from this great group and some serious trial and error, I will master the butt ?!?!?!

Thanks again guys...



I have now done 5 butts in my Bradley, 2 the first batch (7lb, 8lb, bone in) and 3 the second  (around same sizes). Each time I put them in around 6:00 pm and applied apple smoke for 6 hours at 210, pulled from smoker at midnight, place on wire rack on baking sheet, spritzed with apple juice, and placed in a 210 oven. At 8:00 am they were at the plateau of 160. It stayed there until Noon. I then gradually increased my oven temp to 275. They finally hit 190 around 4:00 pm. The meat fell off the bone and pulled very easily and flavor was awesome.

I have used a method I found posted by Duster which has been great. I am almost afraid to try any other way because it comes out so good. Here is a link:

Good luck on your next try!


IMHO you really do not benefit from applying smoke any more than 4 hours.  Also, 190 to 210 box temp is fine.  You need a meat temp of 175 to 190, depending on how slow you cook it.  For me, I have found that if I smoke at 200 or less, a single 8 or 9 pound butt will take around 16 to 24 hours.  Cooking at 200 box temp or less and you can take out of smoker from 175 and up.  Also, at this temp, there is not any need for FTC (but you can).  You should at least wrap it in foil and let it rest for an hour or so.  If you cook above 205, you should take meat to 190 and FTC for best results.
Life is short. Smile while you still have teeth.

CLICK HERE for Recipe Site:  http://www.susanminor.org/

West Coast Kansan

The above advice is right on regarding the Internal Temperature driving the process to done.  Just another thought has to do with the amount of smoke time.  You might try 4 hours, I really cant tell the difference and you save pucks.  Especially a strong wood like you used could give you more smoke flavor than you really want.

4 Hours of Maple is pretty nice for pork butts on my table.  Everyone has there own preference however.   ;) Enjoy  :)

Click On Link For Our Time Tested And Proven Recipes and Register at this site for Tuesday Night Chat Room Chat is FUN!

NOW THAT'S A SMOKED OYSTER (and some scallops)


I think I will have to try 4 hours of smoke next time as well. No use wasting pucks when you don't have to. One thing I thought I read on here is that applying smoke above temp of 140 does no good anyway. Am I remembering this right? and I take it that would be an external temp not an internal right? So I would think that after 4 hours at 200 the outside of a Pork Butt would probably be above the 140. Am I correct in my thinking on this???


Man, you guys smoking for 20-24 hours must be A LOT more patient than I am.

I typically load in a 7-10 lb butt and let the Bradley do its thing.  Butts are very very forgiving of cook temps and I have yet to be able to taste a differance in a butt smoked for 20 hours at 200F vs one cooked for 12 hours at 275F.   I opt for the higher temps and faster cook times.  Typically, I load in a butt or two into the Bradley around 10 or 11 pm.  Go to bed.  Get up and check temps.   Thy are almost always done by 9 or 10 am.  FTC till game time. 

I'm all for low and slow but I'm not into starting cooking two days before I want to eat.  Besides, I think the higher temps make for a better bark anyway.   


I have found that by smoking at 200 and under that I rarely have any colligan or fat left within and it is always very juicy and so tender that I can hardly transfer the beast off the rack without it falling apart.  I have done it at higher temps with no problems, but usually have to separate some of the internal fat from the beast.  It may just be the cuts of meat that I purchase, but the very low and slow has always been just a little better for me.  When I am in a hurry I will cook it faster with confidence, I just simply like the results a little better with a long cook.
Life is short. Smile while you still have teeth.

CLICK HERE for Recipe Site:  http://www.susanminor.org/


I have done them at all temperatures and various load sizes.  I find if you "plan" for two hours of cooking per pound plus a little time to ftc you will usually be fine.  That is with a box temp of about 200.  The ftc is key.  Not only for keeping it moist and warm but also it gives you some play room in your planning.
From the forest itself comes the handle for the axe.