Smoking large cuts versus smaller cuts resulting in same total weight

Discussion in 'Pork' started by tehchaz, Jun 14, 2016.

  1. tehchaz

    tehchaz Newbie

    I am new here. Love the community already! I do a lot of smoking on my Traeger but I'm kind of stuck.

    Typically I only cook whole cuts of meat. This weekend I am cooking 4, 5 lb cuts of pork loin, totaling 20lbs. Any suggestions on whether I should cook the smaller cuts any differently than I would with one large cut?
  2. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    It will depend on what you are planning on doing with the meat. If you are simply hot roasting it then you only need to bring it up to temperature and that will depend on a number of factors. If doing this then it is likely that the smaller cuts will be ready sooner. If you are hot smoking it or are intending to pull it then no do not treat it any different to the larger cuts as it is the smoking time as well as the temperature that is important here.  
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2016
  3. tehchaz

    tehchaz Newbie

    I'm not pulling it, I am just going to slice it. The main concern was how much faster, if at all, the smaller cuts might cook than a larger cut so I can plan accordingly.
  4. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    For standard roast pork loin in the smoker - cooked at, say, 350 F - as a rule of thumb it is likely to take about 20 minutes for each pound in weight so you can work out the guide time for each. Unfortunately weight is not the only factor - the shape of the cuts will also affect the cooking time - a long thin pork loin will cook differently to a whole large lump rib of beef or pork shoulder. The only way to know when it is ready will be when it reaches your desired IT. For a 5 pound pork loin joint at 350 F allow 1h 40m to 2 hours but start to check the temperatures at about 1h 30m.

    If you are smoking at a lower temperature,say 225 F, then the large and small joints will take longer to reach the desired IT however the %age time difference may not be so marked 
  5. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    If it is ready before you actually need it then simply wrap in a couple of layers of foil and a large towel - preferably inside a coolbox and let it rest until it is required.
  6. jirod

    jirod Smoke Blower

    Are they still the same thickness as a whole pork loin, just cut into shorter pieces?  Do you normally do whole pork loins, and just happen to have some that are cut into shorter pieces?

    If so I would do them pretty similar to how you do a whole pork loin, from my experience, and what I've read here, it is more about the dimensions of the meat (width/thickness) than total weight.  So a 6-8" long pork loin shouldn't really cook a lot different than a whole 16" long pork loin if they are similar diameter.

    Having smaller pieces will allow you to stagger them a little too.  If you have some that are noticeably thinner/smaller diameter, you could throw them on a little after the thicker pieces to try and get them done at a similar time. Shorter pieces may get done a little quicker than a whole loin, but I don't think it would be anything significant.

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