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Hello all, I just purchased a smokette 008 and I have smoked my first boston butt. Have to say it turned out very well.

I had two in the smoker, both about 6lbs after 12 hours the temp just seemed to stop at 176. Family was starving they made me pull them off. They pulled fine, I am wondering if my ploder is out of whack, or maybe that was the point where they should get stuck for awhile.

Next up Baby Backs! then some brisket, chicken, salmon...
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What you are seeing is called a plateau. Usually for pork, this happens around 170° F-180° F. Around the 175°F range the fat is beginning to render out and the connective tissues (collagen) is dissolving into forms of gelatin. You do not want to rush this step or cut it short. This is when the magic happens. And, don't be alarmed if the temperature actually drops a couple of degrees during this phase.

Also, I've seen a lot of folks talk about taking pork shoulders out at temps of 170°F to 175°F. This is not hot enough for barbecue. A pork shoulder should hit a temp of 190°F before it is taken out.


Smokey is a great reference...

Oh, and...

Later on,
Last edited by Former Member
RG- My experience with the 008 is just a little different than what crousetech describes. But, that is what is great about this forum, and the Cookshacks we use! We all can get great BBQ with different ways of going about it.

I find the plateau occurs around 165 degrees (give or take a few degrees), and lasts about 3 hours or so ( when cooking at 200-250 degrees).

I remove my butts at an internal temp of about 185 degrees, and, let them sit in a cooler (wrapped in double, heavy tinfoil, and a few towels until we are ready to eat. I pull the pork just before we and my guests are ready to eat (it makes them almost salivate to get to the dinner table!- especially after a few adult beverages)

There are numerous posts on the forum about the plateau, and about when to remove the butt from the CS. Smokin's 101 is a classic and excellent guide for this (if it is now available?).

Another important point is where you insert the Polder. If it is touching a bone, it may be very misleading. Assuming the Polder is calibrated properly, it should indicate the plateau as described above.

And, as GLH will say, do not open the door!!!- it adds to the cooking time.
My experience has been the same as Bobby Que's. I've most always hit the plateau at right around 165 degrees it'll sit there for a few hours then move on up. Once it's hit 175* it's past the plateau and will cook much quicker. Then again, all pork butts are not created equal. Some will cook different than others so factor that into your thinking.

If you're cooking a butt and you're running out of time and know it's through the plateau, here's something you can do. Wrap it in foil and put it in a 350* conventional kitchen oven and it'll get done muy pronto and it'll be just as good as if you'd finished it in the Cookshack.
Rgoodjr, Bobby Que mentioned this but here's my view: it's always best to shoot for a completion time 4-5 hours before you plan to eat the pork butt. They can hold in a cooler (wrapped in foil and towel) for several hours and stay above 140*. That way, you'll never have family/guests waiting for the grub.

Sometimes I even heat a brick in the over for a few hours @ 225*... wrap it in foil and towels and toss it in the cooler with the butt. The added mass guarantees a safe temp for hours.

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