Stalling Just Delays the Inevitable Deliciousness, Mr. Bond.


“Move, damn you.”

That’s what I’ve been saying to my thermometer for the last two hours. I’m not just in a stall. I’m in the dreaded second stall.

“The Stall” is something that happens when you’re cooking a large piece of meat at relatively low temps. I’ve talked about it before. This guy has the best explanation ever. I know what’s happening. I was even a little blasé at first when I hit my first stall around 156. It sat that way for quite a while. But then it came out of it and I was all “Cool! Dinner at a decent time!”

Then a while later I noticed I’d been sitting at 172 for a while. Then I dropped back a degree to 171 (grid temps at 240-250 the whole time). I knew it was trouble, then. The dreaded second stall. The one no one quite understands.

There are only a few things you can do in any stall. (1) Wait it out. (2) Wrap the meat in foil to block the airflow for evaporative cooling, or (3) raise the temp. Normally I’m in the ‘wait it out’ camp. Wrapping the meat in foil softens the bark and sets up something more akin to a braise. Nothing wrong with a braise, but that’s not what I’m doing. I’m looking for crusty bits.

This is a second stall, so I’ve opted for raising the temp (265-270 at the grid) figuring all the smoke that’s going to get into the meat has already done it. Once I got to 270 I got a two degree jump (174! w00t!) within a couple of minutes. I’m going to let the temp keep rising in the hopes of breaking the balance of circulation, evaporation and moisture that have combined to make the stall. I won’t let it get above 300. That’s an arbitrary number.

An observation: there was almost no wind this afternoon. When I first came out here on the patio (where I’ve been writing this on my phone, believe it or not) there wasn’t a leaf moving anywhere. There’s a bit of a breeze now. When the breeze dies I can imagine the convection inside the Egg not being as active.

I also wonder if the water pan has contributed to this. I may leave it out next time.

Short wrap up later.