Originally Posted by flipperscr83
@http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=13056699) my mother-in-law got me. I am not opposed to getting an electric smoker if thats needed, what I am more concerned about is if I get a large electric smoker, does it go by lb by cut, or total amount of meat in the smoker. For example, if I get 6x 9lb cuts (totaling 54lbs) is it going to take 54-81 hours or is it only still going to take 9-13.5hours.
- Current is a POS offset firebox (
Does that make sense?
Ah, yeah, it's a pretty small small rig...probably OK for a slab or spare ribs or a couple birds, but they still need tuning plate mods to get anywhere near full use of the cooking grate. Was think about grabbing one of those about a year ago, just for something to tinker with, but capacity is just to small for me...usually cooking for about 8 peeps or more...and, I have enough toys for now, if that's possible...ha-ha!
Regarding your concerns about cooking times with multiple pieces, you can base the estimates on the weight of the largest piece, then add 10-15% when using a vertical smoker. I also like to rotate grate positions from top to bottom and 180* rotations after several hours to help even-out cooking from one end of a piece to the other, as well as individual pieces. I've used 3 different vertical smokers and they have grate temp variations from top to bottom, and sometimes from side to side, but you can use these variances in your favor by placing heavier sections of the meat over the warmer areas. Trick is finding out where and how much the variances are...oven rack thermometers work great, and aren't expensive...I think I still have 10 of them from a couple years back when I was doing mods to my (now retired as a smoker, used for grilling) SnP 40 brinkmann horizontal sfb.
Another trick I learned a long time ago about verticals is that anything large which you place on the lower grate positions can baffle heat getting to the upper grates, so I put the biggest on top, smallest on bottom, but it also depends if the the bottom is hottest or not. Most propane/electric verticals I have seen or used have a grate spacing of about 4 to 5" between positions, so it takes a double-space between for butts and briskets. My Smoke Vault 24 is no exception...has 5 grate positions, but if I load it up with large heavy cuts, I can only use 2 grates, 3 at best. Also, I tend to bump temps up 15-20* to compensate for the reduction of flow of air through the smoke chamber due to being loaded up more with food...seems to help in most cases with vertical smokers.
My double-stacked brinkmann gourmet charcoal now has 3 grate positions, with the lowest being quite a distance above the water pan...I could take it to 4 if I wanted. It has enough room to slam it with 3 turkeys or large butts with a nice gap of several inches from the top of the meat to the grate above it...that's what you need for proper circulation of heat and smoke.
Oh, anything close to the water pan (if equipped) will get more steam than smoke, and this is usually the coolest grate position as well, due not only to the baffling effect of the pan itself, but water evaporation causing a cooler and more humid layer of air.
Hope that eases your mind about cooking times, anyway...largest cut for estimate by weight, then add a bit of time for reduced efficiencies/air flows through the smoker.
EDIT: don't know how you feel about wally world, but the 20" wide GOSM (great outdoors smoky mountain) model 3405BGW, now manufactured under the Landman label would handle 4 butts nicely on 2 grates with double spacing...it's $148.00 now...I'd buy one myself if the price drops again. Those are pretty decent smokers...I have a (almost) 9-year old 3405GW (smaller version @ 16" wide), and the only reason I haven't used it lately is that the chrome finish wore off of the cooking grates...refinish the grates or replace with new or custom-made grates and it would be ready to roll again. If you already have a propane grill, you'd be set for a propane tank.
Edited by forluvofsmoke - 10/12/11 at 5:17pm