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First large smoke

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Hey everyone

 

Just felt the need to post that between Thursday and Sunday, I'll be running through 100+ pounds (raw weight) of bone-in Boston Butt.  With it being a holiday weekend, I'm sure I'll be busy while the WSM is running. 

 

I know that I can easily fit four butts per run, which should be anywhere from 28 pounds to 35 pounds of raw weight.

 

I'm expecting at least 20% weight loss from raw to cooked, I think anyways.  Just curious if anyone had any advice for doing this large of quantity? 

 

Oh, I will be building my own smoker sooner than later, but for now, I'm running the 18.5" wsm!  Wish me luck!

post #2 of 11

holy smokes! (no pun intended) that is A LOT of the meat to run through an 18.5"... How big are your shoulders? The ones my butcher has are usually 8-12lbs and I would say fitting 2 comfortably on a rack is about the limit. How many rounds do you think it will take to smoke all your butts? Mine seem to take 12-14 hours on average when I run mine over night at 225.... that is a going to be a lot of hours logged for one smoke! good luck man!

post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by irie View Post

holy smokes! (no pun intended) that is A LOT of the meat to run through an 18.5"... How big are your shoulders? The ones my butcher has are usually 8-12lbs and I would say fitting 2 comfortably on a rack is about the limit. How many rounds do you think it will take to smoke all your butts? Mine seem to take 12-14 hours on average when I run mine over night at 225.... that is a going to be a lot of hours logged for one smoke! good luck man!

 

Yes, a lot of meat for sure!  The butts will average 8-10 pounds, maybe a couple over 10.  I know that I can fit two on each rack (I've done it before), so four total.  My guess is I will have to do 4 separate runs over the weekend.

 

I'm doing ribs tomorrow, but only two racks, so I will do two butts on the bottom rack.

 

I'll then start it again Friday night for a run, and keep the darn thing going until Sunday!  Might have to finish a couple in the *gasp* oven, but no one will ever know :)

 

I'll run around 260-280 for temp

post #4 of 11

Good plan! and good luck man! You are brave taking on a challenge like this in a smoke that size. Make sure you post some Q-View I would love to see what 100lbs of pulled pork looks like! :)

post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by irie View Post

Good plan! and good luck man! You are brave taking on a challenge like this in a smoke that size. Make sure you post some Q-View I would love to see what 100lbs of pulled pork looks like! :)

I've done a couple smaller parties and graduations, but nothing of this size!  I'm excited but a bit nervous!  Here is to hoping the smoker can run a consistent temp for two/three days straight!  I'm going to need quite a bit of charcoal, already have apple chunks that have been seasoned, and am picking up most of the meat on Friday to prep and get ready! 

 

If I remember to take pictures, which hopefully I do, I'll get them posted up!  Pictures aren't near as much fun with a little WSM!  If I had my smoker that we are going to build, I'd be a happier camper! 

 

I just wish I knew what people charged for doing stuff like this!

post #6 of 11

The smoker will do fine, its you im concerned about icon_lol.gif. I have run mine 24 hours straight 2 and a half rings of charcoal and a day and a half later I was exhausted. But the end results were well worth it. Have you thought about doing the ribs last and getting a head start on the shoulders first? I think I would rather serve reheated pulled pork and fresh ribs opposed to vice versa. Or do you have to transport everything anyway?

post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by irie View Post

The smoker will do fine, its you im concerned about icon_lol.gif. I have run mine 24 hours straight 2 and a half rings of charcoal and a day and a half later I was exhausted. But the end results were well worth it. Have you thought about doing the ribs last and getting a head start on the shoulders first? I think I would rather serve reheated pulled pork and fresh ribs opposed to vice versa. Or do you have to transport everything anyway?

 

I should have specified, the ribs were for us to eat yesterday, not for the event that I'm smoking the boston butts for. 

 

Day one update:

Ran two butts on the smoker til 200 IT, pulled, placed in freezer bags and sent them away.  I had started with 16 pounds of raw weight, ended up with 11 pounds of cooked.  I have 100 more pounds that I am picking up today that I will run this weekend.

 

We did locate another "bullet" smoker to use, which is my father-in-laws.  An old brinkmann that is a pain to keep temp on, but with pp being an easy meat to cook, I know I can handle both smokers at the same time.

 

So, tomorrow, we will have both smokers lit and ready before 8 AM, load 4 butts on each one (8 total), which should take care of at least 55-65 more pounds!   Hopefully the night run will just hvae to be 4 butts on my WSM, so I can at least catch a LITTLE bit of sleep!

post #8 of 11

well how'd it go???

post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 

Well, the only picture I have is of my WSM loaded before smoking.  Between running my smoker, my father-in-laws brinkmann (pain in my....), and putting one butt on the weber grill to smoke, I was awfully busy.  Combine that with family being around and grandparents stopping out, photos just weren't an option.

 

I ended up starting with two butts on Thursday morning, 16 pounds raw weight which ended up with 11 pounds of cooked weight.  Smoker ran great!  We also did two small pork loins, two racks of spare ribs (and tips), and some salmon cuts!  Everything turned out well, I was less than impressed with my ribs.  Ugly pale color, flavor was good.  One rack was done, one could have stayed on a bit longer.

 

On Friday afternoon, I ran and picked up 5 bags of charcoal and 107 pounds (13 butts) of pork.  Seasoned, wrapped, and placed in my fridge.  Well, a couple were placed in my fridge, the others received a truck ride to the in-laws to use some of their extra room! 

 

I started about 8 AM on Saturday morning!  Butts were on my smoker (WSM) by 8:30, the Brinkmann by 9.  As usual, the WSM ran flawlessly, which I fought and struggled with the brinkmann.  After four hours of it, we wrapped the four that were on that smoker and placed them in the oven to finish.  It wasn't worth the hastle, the large temp swings, and the constant monitoring.

 

About noon, my wife said that I should "try" to do one on the Weber grill, indirect.  Well, it worked great and left me with only four raw butts left to cook (4 in my WSM, 4 in the oven, and 1 on the weber).  After getting all of them finished, we had a pulling party, which was very helpful!

 

About 8:30 that night I placed the other four butts on my WSM for an overnighter.  I checked the smoker at 11:00 PM, running a solid 250!  Perfect, time for sleep, right?

Well, just to make sure, I set my alarm for 1:30 AM.  I woke up fine, checked the smoker, still rocking 250!  Awesome, everything is going right!  I reset my alarm for 5:30 to be up for the day.  I took a little snooze, got up with that alarm and the smoker was dwindling down to 220.  So, I added a few more coals, brought it back to 250 - 260, and let it sail.

 

About 11:00 AM, we pulled them off, rested them until 1:00 PM, and pulled.  I think we ended up with right at 80 pounds of pulled pork finished weight, which is what they wanted.  I ran through 5 bags of charcoal, ate through all the apple wood that I had cut, and finished most of the adult beverages that we had on ice for the weekend.

 

I snuck in a little nap yesterday afternoon, but not long enough!  I got paid for supplies plus a little bit (I still don't know how to charge, I'm not an entity, and I'm not insured), so I wasn't worried about it.

 

We have also decided to change a fuel barrel that is at my acreage into a smoker.  Hoping to start that here in the next month or so!

 

Sorry for the lack of qview - we were swamped!

post #10 of 11

sounds like it went off without a hitch, congrats on the successful smoke man.

post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by irie View Post

sounds like it went off without a hitch, congrats on the successful smoke man.

Thanks!  I wish I would have taken pictures.  I think we ended up with 8 2 gallon freezer bags full of meat.  They were all right around 10 pounds.  There wasn't a single butt that didn't have a killer smoke ring, which was awesome!  I just hope that they remember to pull it out of the freezer and get it thawed before they start warming it up in roasters!

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