Temperature tips for hot smoking


Big chunks of beef and pork exhibit a weird smoking phenomenon known as “The Stall.” Once the meat hits 150°F–160°F (65°C–71°C), its internal temperature plateaus—for hours.

Understandably, cooks freak out, opening vents and cranking heat, or hustling the brisket into a hot oven. Which then ruins dinner and destroys self-esteem.

Meat is mostly H2O; when that water starts coming to the surface and evaporating, The Stall occurs. The meat is sweating. And like regular sweat, meat sweat cools it. Just ignore The Stall and maintain a constant temperature in the cooking chamber; once the sweat is gone, the internal temperature will rise again. Or, avoid The Stall altogether by wrapping meat tightly in foil when it enters the stall zone. Like a jogger in plastic pants, sweat will pour forth, but it won’t evaporate and cool the meat. This method does steam the meat, which subtly changes its texture and offends some purists.