Jump to content

Advice for overcoming a 'stall' with chicken breast


Recommended Posts


I'm wondering if anyone has any advice on how to overcome a stall when trying to smoke chicken breast. It's happened twice now on the same recipe and I'm at a bit of a loss.

I heat the BBQ to 115°C (as per the recipe instructions), place the boneless chicken breasts on the grill and add a couple of handfuls of wood chips to the coals. The wood chips have been soaked in water for about 30-40 mins before adding.

If all goes to plan, the chicken should cook for 50 mins, then get brushed with BBQ sauce and cook for a further 10 mins.

The problem I'm finding is that the temperature of the chicken stalls at 60°C. Both times I've had to take it off BBQ and finish it in the kitchen.

To keep an eye on temperature I'm using an iGrill will two probes - one ambient, one meat. The ambient temperature never deviates far from the 115°C target. Erring on the side of caution, any deviation tended to be upwards of 115°C. Here's the ambient probe chart.

Here's the chart for the meat probe in case it helps give a clearer picture.

The initial drop around 12:10 was when the probe was inserted into one of the chicken breasts. The temperate climbed quite quickly up to 60°C over a period of about 30 mins before plateauing. 

I'm using a 57cm Mastertouch setup for indirect cooking. The charcoal sits in baskets either side of a drip tray. The drip tray is fill with about 500-600ml of water.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Too wet.

If I wanna do a chicken breast I will sear over charcoal to get a scorch and then go indirect to finish. 
By all means bung a small amount of wood chips on for the indirect part but no water or wet chips.

You can spray the chicken if you wish but by adding bulk water any heat you have is being absorbed by the water.

You can cook the whole thing indirect but I find a plain chicken breast cooked indirect only has the appeal of a dead tit.. maybe that’s just me 🤷‍♂️

The whole process should be done by no longer than 15- 20 minutes at most.

Add your sauce at beginning of sear to caramelise and again at the indirect stage if you wish.

Edited by Sluggy
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Adam, everyone hates the Stall.

The stall is caused by the evaporation of liquid on the meat's surface. This evaporative cooling works just like when you sweat while working hard. The stall can get frustrating because it lasts for hours. It is because the heating rate of the meat and the temperature of the smoker matches that of the rate of evaporative cooling.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...