Have you ever cooked a pork butt and it didn’t seem to be cooking evenly? You reach what you think is the correct internal temperature, but when you take it out of the oven it’s still pink in the center? You’re not alone. A lot of things can cause a pork butt to stall at a certain temperature, but don’t worry, there are ways to work around it.
In this blog post, you and I will talk about the pork butt stall temp, what causes a pork butt to stall, and how to make sure your butt is cooked all the way through. Stay tuned!
History: Why Is It Called A Pork Butt?
The pork butt, also known as the Boston Butt, is actually not from the rear of a pig. It’s actually the shoulder cut of pork that has been trimmed and cut into a rectangular shape. The name comes from the pre-revolutionary days when it was packed into barrels called butts.
For further information and facts about pork butt, I also made a detailed explanation of why the name of pork butt is called like that and at what temperature to wrap it in the blog on “What Temperature To Wrap Pork Butt?“
What Temperature Should Pork Butt Be Cooked To?
Typically, pork butt should be cooked to an internal temperature of between 190°F and 203°F. It’s important to note that the temperature can vary depending on your cooking method. For example, if you’re using a slow cooker or sous vide device, you may need to cook your pork butt for a longer time at a lower temperature to fully cook it through.
>> How do you know when and what temperature should your pork butt be cooked to? Your answer will be fully explained in detail in this video here:
Pork Butt Stall Temperature
When cooking a pork butt, it’s not uncommon to reach what seems like the right temperature, but your pork butt isn’t fully cooked. This is referred to as the “stall” temperature, when your pork butt has reached the internal temperature between 150 and 170 degrees Fahrenheit. The stall can last anywhere from 10 minutes up to several hours and can be caused by several factors.
The main reason for a pork butt stall is due to the fat and collagen content in the meat. When exposed to heat, these fats and collagen begin to melt, resulting in a decrease in temperature until all of the fat is melted away. This can cause your pork butt to stall at a lower temperature than you’d like.
Why Low And Slow?
Cooking pork butt low and slow is the best way to ensure your pork butt is cooked evenly and all the way through. By cooking the meat at a lower temperature for an extended period of time, you allow the fat and collagen to break down slowly, resulting in a tender and juicy finished product.
What Causes The Stall?
A pork butt can stall out when the internal temperature reaches around 160°F, which is known as the “stall point.” This occurs because the fat and collagen in the roast begin to melt and congeal, trapping moisture inside. As a result, the temperature doesn’t continue to rise, and the roast can stay at this “stall point” for hours.
How Can I Get Past The Stall Point On A Pork Butt?
So, how do you get around this? There are a few things you can do to help ensure your pork butt cooks all the way through.
The best way to get past the stall point on a pork butt is to wrap it in foil or butcher paper while cooking. This traps the moisture inside and helps the temperature keep rising. You can also try adding a few tablespoons of liquid such as apple juice, beer, or stock to the foil packet to further help break down the fat and collagen. Once the internal temperature reaches 190°F-203°F, your pork butt is done cooking!
Once you’ve reached this temperature, take the roast out of the oven and let it rest for 15-20 minutes before slicing. This will help retain all of the delicious juices and flavors in your pork butt.
There are also some notes for you when facing the stall:
- Add moisture – Adding moisture to your pork butt can help break down the fat and collagen, allowing it to cook faster and more evenly. This can be as simple as adding some liquid directly to the pork butt or wrapping it in foil or parchment paper to help create a steam chamber environment.
- Increase the cooking temperature – Increasing the cooking temperature can also help speed up the cooking process and make sure your pork butt is cooked through. Make sure you don’t exceed the recommended temperature for your particular cooking method, as this could result in overcooking your meat.
- Rest your pork butt – Once you’ve hit the desired temperature, let your pork butt rest for at least 15 minutes before serving. This will allow the remaining fat and collagen to melt away, ensuring it’s cooked all the way through.
How Long Does The Stall Last?
Having mentioned earlier, the duration of the stall can be as short as 10 minutes or last up to several hours, depending on the size of your pork butt and a few other factors. It’s best to keep an eye on your thermometer throughout the cooking process and make adjustments as needed.
Factors That Can Affect The Length Of The Stall
You may want to jot down these key factors underneath that may contribute to the stall lasting time for the next time cooking pork butt:
- Size of the roast: The size of your roast can affect how long it takes to cook and therefore how long the stall may last.
- Type of cooking method used: Different cooking methods can affect the cooking time and therefore how long the stall may last.
- Amount of moisture added to pork butt: Adding liquid to the roast can help break down the fat and collagen, speeding up the cooking process and getting you past the stall point more quickly.
- Internal temperature at which it’s cooked: Cooking your pork butt at a lower temperature for an extended period of time can reduce the length of the stall.
- Airflow: Ensuring there is sufficient airflow around the pork butt can also help it cook faster and reduce the amount of time it spends in the stall point.
- Humidity: The humidity levels in your oven can also affect the cooking time and therefore how long the stall may last.
When To Remove The Foil?
Once the internal temperature of your pork butt reaches 190°F-203°F, it’s done cooking. At this point, you can remove the foil or parchment paper and let it sit for 15-20 minutes before slicing and serving. This will allow the remaining fat and collagen to melt away, ensuring that your pork butt is cooked all the way through.
Is Pork Butt The Only Meat That Stalls?
In fact, the stall is not exclusive to pork butt. Other cuts of meat that are slow-cooked may also experience a stall as they cook. Beef brisket, for example, can sometimes take 3-4 hours to reach its desired temperature and go through a familiar stall point before it’s done cooking.
Recommended Temperature Tools
To get the best results when cooking pork butt, you’ll want to use a reliable meat thermometer. I recommend using either a digital probe thermometer or an instant-read thermometer to monitor your pork butt’s internal temperature as it cooks. This will help you gauge how close it is to being done and also help you determine when the stall point is over.
Keys To Success
To ensure the best possible results when cooking pork butt, it’s important to keep these key points in mind:
- Monitor the internal temperature of your pork butt throughout the cooking process.
- Understand what factors can affect how long the stall may last.
- Ensure there is sufficient moisture and/or airflow around the meat to reduce the stall time.
- Let your pork butt rest after it’s finished cooking.
- Use a reliable thermometer to monitor the temperature of your pork butt.
Tips On How To Beat The Stall When Smoking
When smoking a pork butt, there are a few things you can do to help reduce the length of the stall and ensure that your pork butt is cooked all the way through. Here are some tips on beating the stall when smoking meat:
- Know your target temperature: Make sure you know what your target internal temperature should be for your particular cut of meat. This will help you determine when your pork butt is done cooking and ready to be removed from the smoker.
- Maintain a consistent temperature: Monitor the temperature of your smoker throughout the cooking process to ensure a consistent cooking environment. This will help you get past the stall point faster and more easily.
- Consider using a foil wrap: Wrapping your pork butt in aluminum foil or parchment paper can help retain moisture, reducing the length of the stall and helping it cook more quickly.
FAQs For “Pork Butt Stall Temp”
At what temp does a pork shoulder stall?
The stall point for pork butt is typically between 155°F and 165°F.
Can I pull pulled pork at 190?
Yes, you can pull pulled pork at 190°F. Once the internal temperature of your pork butt reaches 190°F-203°F, it’s done cooking. At this point, you can remove the foil or parchment paper and let it sit for 15-20 minutes before slicing and serving.
Can I take pork shoulder off at 190?
Yes, you can take pork shoulder off at 190°F. Your pork butt is cooked through once the internal temperature reaches 190°F-203°F.
How long does the stall last on pulled pork?
The length of the stall can vary depending on a number of factors, such as the size and thickness of your pork butt, the temperature of your smoker, and the amount of moisture in the cooking environment. Generally speaking, the stall can last anywhere from 2-4 hours.
What temp does stall end?
The stall typically ends once the internal temperature of your pork butt reaches 190°F-203°F. At this point, you can remove the foil or parchment paper and let it sit for 15-20 minutes before slicing and serving. It’s also important to note that this temperature range can vary depending on the cut of pork you’re using and the temperature of your smoker.
Cooking a pork butt can be a daunting task, but understanding the stall point and the factors that affect it can go a long way in helping you achieve your goals. Pay close attention to the details of your cook, and make sure you use a reliable thermometer to monitor the internal temperature of your pork butt. This will help you get your pork butt cooked to perfection and ensure it’s packed with flavor!
Liliana Kitchen hopes this blog post has been helpful in giving you a better understanding of why pork butt stalls at a certain temperature, what factors can affect its length and duration, and how to beat it. With this knowledge, you’ll now be able to cook your pork butt with confidence and achieve delicious results every time. Happy grilling! And best of luck in your future cooking endeavors!