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Pizzaiolo

I think I've got the black lung Pops

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First time cook on the 32 Drago Nero! Super excited, decided to make pulled pork. It was my son's birthday and he loves pulled pork, so we had a small party of about 30 people (immediate family). As some of you may know, never used a ceramic cooker before and never made low and slow bbq before. What could go wrong? 

Firstly, had a pretty busy week, no time to get to the butcher so bought four 3.5 lb deboned shoulder blade roasts from Costco. 

Secondly, even though I spent thousands upon thousands of dollars on a kk, outdoor kitchen area, bbq guru, etc. Decided not to buy a $15 cast iron pot from winners to make my smoke the "right way". No, I decided to wrap chunks of sugar maple in aluminum foil and put a hole in it with my finger. Started the kk at about 4:30am, temp set at 250F, all going well. BBQ guru working like a charm! By 5:30am, things were rocking and put my "jiffy pop" wood chunks on the grill upside down with hole facing the coals.  By 6am, I was having plumes of white, lung wheezing, eye-burning smoke! It was actually pretty incredible! It was like I smoked a lifetime of cigarettes all in one minute. I guess this isn't the beautiful blue smoke that everyone always talks about, right? Good thing I hadn't placed meat on yet. At that point, decided to abort the smoke monster and went without it.

Placed meat on main grill at 6:30am. Internal temp of meat climbed slowly and steadily for several hours, until about 9:30am. At that point, my internal temp would not budge past 160F. It stayed at 160F for 3 more hours! I didn't understand what was happening. KK was steady at 250F but meat temp would not increase. I finally cranked the KK to 450F for an hour and took the pork off at 1:30pm with internal temp finally at 195F. My low and slow turned into a hot and heavy. 

Is it normal for the meat temp to plateau like this?

With the 'natural smoke' from the lump coal, do I even need to add smoke with other systems?

Was this the correct cut of meat for pulled pork?

Photos attached, thanks for your input!!!!

 

shoulder.pdf

Rub.pdf

on grill.pdf

kk.pdf

jiffy pop.pdf

smoke.pdf

pulled pork.pdf

Edited by Pizzaiolo

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It's called the stall that's when you wrap it don't adjust the temp and ride it out .as for the wood just throw them on there and wait for the smoke to settle down before throwing on meat .you will get there

Outback kamado Bar and Grill

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50 minutes ago, Aussie Ora said:

It's called the stall that's when you wrap it don't adjust the temp and ride it out .as for the wood just throw them on there and wait for the smoke to settle down before throwing on meat .you will get there

Outback kamado Bar and Grill
 

Thank you Aussie! I thought wrapping was cheating, I guess not. Will it always happen at 160F? How long does it last?

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Depends on the size .big cuts off meat generally will get to this point it's their way of breaking down .I prefer collar butt /pork neck inject rub or baste because it's smaller it just cooks along nicley

Outback kamado Bar and Grill

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Now, that is a cook to remember and retell knowing you are not alone. Yes, the butt will pretty much always do a stall around that temp.

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I have never wrapped the shoulders i have cooked. I just cook them straight through to 190f internal temp.

The stall always occurs and takes several hours to get through. I usually hit it at ~170f internal temp.

Run the grill at 220f using the BBQ Guru DigiQ to manage both the pit and meat temps.

My typical cook is two 8-10 pound shoulders and takes up to 14/16 hours to complete. Even with one shoulder, same timing.

I always put the meat on the cooker directly from the refrigerator so as to get as much smoke as possible.

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Like others have commented, you just hit "the stall." It's where the collagen and fats start to break down. Just part of the process. You can "plow through it," as you did by cranking the temp, or you can wrap it in foil or pink butcher paper, or you can just ride it out (next time account for the time in the stall - typically 2 - 3 hours.) I'm not a fan of wrapping butts, so I just wait it out. If I'm in a hurry to cook one, I'll go "hot & fast" - 325F and be done in about 1/2 the time. Good results - most folks can't taste the difference. And, I'm a huge fan of the cast iron smoker pot. Get one!! 

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The same happens with brisket at around 170-75 and when it does I wrap mine in the grocery brown bag, does a good job of soaking up the grease also. The pork butt is Aluminum foil for me, six a one or half a dozen of the other... it don't matter, whatever your comfortable with.  The results with a blindfold on is not going to be dramatic.

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13 hours ago, Pizzaiolo said:

Thank you so much, totally makes sense now! 

Found an interesting article on this subject, worth a read if you have a few minutes.

https://amazingribs.com/more-technique-and-science/more-cooking-science/understanding-and-beating-barbecue-stall-bane-all

 

 

Most of us here are big fans of Meathead (Wilbur excluded - you didn't think that I would remember, huh?) and quote his "myth busters" often. I'm a believer in Franklin's pink butcher paper technique for briskets. I don't wrap butts or ribs. 

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2 hours ago, tony b said:

Most of us here are big fans of Meathead (Wilbur excluded - you didn't think that I would remember, huh?) and quote his "myth busters" often. I'm a believer in Franklin's pink butcher paper technique for briskets. I don't wrap butts or ribs. 

Good to know. Just regular pink butcher paper, is that what you are talking about?

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Beautiful KK Pizzaiolo.

I had a similar experience on my first cook, but listen to the folks here, they will get you through it. I throw my wood chunks right on the fire before I place the meat. Over time I learned to just leave things alone until the stall and have taken to wrapping in foil at that point, usually on butts for me it is ~160 -165 or so. I have tried several w/ paper and just left them unwrapped and that worked fine too, but keep coming back to the foil after that I let it rise to ~201, pull them and wrap a towel around the foil and place them in my Yeti cooler for a few hours. They are still blazing hot when I get to them and pull/shred them The bark is usually pretty good too. Here is a pic of one I tried leaving the cap on, it was good too.

The point is.. relax and enjoy it, you're going to have a blast with that beauty.

--
Rick

2016-04-02 21.10.49.jpg

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