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Along with many other items, I've smoked about a dozen butts in my 008 that I got as a gift last Xmas and I thought, for timing purposes, that I had a pretty good handle on the 160F-170F plateau issue. I'm not so sure any more.

Put a 7.5 boneless butt in the smoker yesterday at 6:45 A.M. and kept an hourly log. Set smoker temp was 225F. At 10:45 the internal temp was 158F. At 11:45 it was 172F, where it held, until it dropped, at 3:45 to 165F. It then hovered between 165F-167F until 6:45 when I pulled and put it in a 300F oven and brought it to 193F. Removed, foiled, toweled, put in a cooler and pulled about an hour later. All in all, it "plateaued" for 7 hours and probably would have been much longer had I not removed it from the smoker. With my prior butts, the plateau's been 2-3 hours. Has anybody ever seen a plateau this long? I know that "It's not done until it's done" but this seems a bit exceptional.

BTW - I only opened the door once to brush on some of Smokin's Pork Baste and to use an instant read thermometer to see if my probe was OK. It was. Also, the pork pulled OK but was a little drier than usual. After pulling, I moistened it with 3 cups of the pork baste, mixed in a couple of TBS of rub and it tasted great. Served it with an altered version of Smokin's Virgin Mustard Sauce and everybody loved it.
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dLS, several weeks ago I had a butt that hung on the plateau at 160 till I couldn't stand it any longer. Pulled that sucker out of the smoker, wrapped it in foil, put it in a 300 degree oven and let 'er rip. It plowed right through the plateau and got up to 195 in a little over an hour. Surprisingly, it was the best pork butt I've ever had. Falling apart tender and extremely juicy. Go figure. I've heard that butts are unpredictable and now I believe it.
The longer it sets in the plateau,at low temp,the better the breakdown in collagen .

Boneless don't always act right.

Several years ago ,I charted a 4.5 boneless that went backwards in the plateau.

If you opened the door some,that would cause some delay.

A fat pocket could give false early reads.

A single item in the cooker can really change cook times.
I would just be patient, and I think Tom is correct. Most folks can get by on their butts at several hours per pound or less. My Smokette consistently takes 2 and 1/2 hours per pound. I have learned to just wait it out and not worry about the plateau. As always, "it is done when it is done". I just did a 6.5 lb. butt this weekend. Even though that is small it took 17 hours and turned out famously.

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