Have you ever encountered meat that just wouldn’t cook evenly, no matter how long you left it in the oven or on the grill?This phenomenon is known as the stall, and it’s a common issue that many home cooks, grillers, and even professional chefs have to deal with. Understanding why the temperature stalls in meat is key to producing perfectly cooked meat every time. In this blog post, we’ll discuss what the stall is, why it happens, and what you can do to prevent it.


What is the Stall?

The stall is the phenomenon where the internal temperature of a piece of meat stops rising, or even drops, during the cooking process. This can happen to any type of meat, but it’s most commonly seen in large cuts of beef and pork, like brisket and pork shoulder. The stall isn’t a bad thing, however. It’s a natural part of the cooking process and is caused by evaporative cooling.

Why Does the Stall Happen?

As meat cooks, it releases moisture. When the surface of the meat reaches a certain temperature, the moisture evaporates, cooling the surface of the meat. This is known as evaporative cooling. As long as there is moisture on the surface of the meat, the temperature won’t rise. The stall usually happens when the meat reaches an internal temperature of around 150°F. At this point, the evaporative cooling is at its highest, and the meat will refuse to increase in internal temperature until the evaporative cooling is complete.

How to Deal with the Stall:

There are a few ways to deal with the stall, depending on what you’re cooking. Here are some tips:

1. Wrap the meat in foil or butcher paper – Wrapping the meat during the stall will help to retain moisture on the surface of the meat, reducing evaporative cooling and allowing the internal temperature to rise more easily.

2. Increase the temperature – If you’re cooking on a grill or smoker, increasing the temperature can help to push through the stall. Just be careful not to overcook the meat.

3. Wait it out – The stall will eventually end, and the internal temperature will start to rise again. Be patient, and don’t be tempted to raise the temperature too much, as this can result in overcooked meat.

4. Use a water pan – Placing a pan of water in your grill or smoker can help to add moisture to the cooking environment, reducing evaporative cooling and preventing the stall from happening in the first place.

Understanding the stall is key to producing perfectly cooked meat every time. By wrapping the meat, increasing the temperature, waiting it out, or using a water pan, you can prevent or push through the stall, producing tender, juicy meat that’s cooked to perfection. With these tips, you’ll be able to tackle any large cut of beef or pork with confidence, knowing that you can deal with the stall and produce a delicious meal.