I really wouldn't put a "time limit" on it. If I remember correctly, this one took me about 3-4 hours. Basically, when it cones to smoking, there isn't a "time limit", you cook to temperature. I would suggest cooking it the night before. I have found that smoked meats tend to taste better the day after anyways. Something about letting the flavors mesh. Good luck on your fatty though, sorry it took so long to reply to you question, but hey, at lest I answered it, right? Better late than never!