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4 Butts in MES 30

johngolf01

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Starting a new thread for my "what to smoke for a large group" thread.

Rubbed the butts down last night. On the smoker at 1030 EST. Need to be done and pulled at 230 EST tomorrow at the latest.

Typically when I do one, I let it roll at 225 for 24h to perfection. No pan.

4 butts have me a bit nervous, starting out at 275 for first 4 hours then will drop to 225. Have them panned.

Going to use a finishing sauce for the first time (soflaq?) Per recommendations.

Hopefully they get done early and I will wrap in foil and cooler them till pull time.

My local ACME has chicken leg quarters on sale for 79c a lb. Dont need them but need am excuse to man the grill so may pick up 10 lbs to supplement and drop them in pops brine overnight.
 

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chopsaw

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That is a tight fit .
 

SmokinVOLfan

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Dang you got those suckers packed in there! Good luck with the butts. Check out Chef JJ's finishing sauce too its very good. And I don't blame you one bit for the chicken. Good excuse to drink beer and stay away from guests and family members you don't care for haha
 

chopsaw

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Might be worth a conversation with who ever is in charge of the oven in your house . Make sure you can get in there if needed .
 

zwiller

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Good luck! Ran 2 @ 275F and took 25.5hrs. Scared me away from trying to run 4. Maybe in a 40. I'd keep it 275F for sure. I ran 225 and 275 back to back and absolutely no difference other than time. Wrap and use the oven if they are stubborn.

+1 on CheffJJ finishing sauce. I made both and both are good but preferred JJs.

I hope it works out for you.
 

levithan9

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WOW!! I remember when i had a MES 30. I don't think i ever pushed it that hard. I did 2 butts at the same time, and if i recall, it took longer than 25 hours.
But, that was when i was starting out, and i NEVER ran my MES hotter than 225. I hope you adjusted for some extra time. Doing 4 butts at the same time, i think i'd plan on at least 30-35 hours. Sounds crazy, but better to plan for more time, than to be short.

Good luck. Let us know how long it took.
 

Bearcarver

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My Son did 4 butts in an MES 30 a few years ago, but he didn't put them in foil pans.
That isn't allowing very much air flow from bottom to top.
At least with 2 butts on each rack without pans, the air can flow around & between.

Bear
 

johngolf01

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Temp already up to 220F

Only problem is the AMNPS is to close to the heating element causing pellets to burn out fast. May just load chips in periodically.

I panned them because I was worried about the amount of fat dripping out and overloading the drip tray.
 

johngolf01

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Dang you got those suckers packed in there! Good luck with the butts. Check out Chef JJ's finishing sauce too its very good. And I don't blame you one bit for the chicken. Good excuse to drink beer and stay away from guests and family members you don't care for haha
You read my mind on the beer excuse!
 

chopsaw

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I panned them because I was worried about the amount of fat dripping out and overloading the drip tray.
If you have another rack , do 2 butts on 2 racks up high and put a pan on a third rack under neath .
 

solman

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If you have another rack , do 2 butts on 2 racks up high and put a pan on a third rack under neath .
i was going to suggest this as well, but looking at his picture, there doesn't appear to be enough room to move the butts up any higher, so there's not enough room to put another drip tray at the bottom.

good luck!
 

Bearcarver

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Temp already up to 220F

Only problem is the AMNPS is to close to the heating element causing pellets to burn out fast. May just load chips in periodically.

I panned them because I was worried about the amount of fat dripping out and overloading the drip tray.

If you really have to do 4 in a tiny MES 30:
Put two on the top rack---No Pan.
Then on the second rack, put one in a pan, off center to the left.
Then on the third rack, put one in a pan, off center to the right.

Now the pan on rack #2 will catch drippings from the left one on top & from the Butt on Rack #2.
And the pan on Rack #3 will catch drippings from the right one on top & from the Butt on rack #3.

AND----There won't be any rack with 2 Foil Pans blocking air flow.

Bear
 

Jonok

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I have also dispensed with an internal drip pan entirely, and just taken the drip drawer out and stuck a pan underneath the smoker to catch drips. (If it has legs, of course)

I like bears idea too.

What is going to slow things down is the amount of moisture in the unit overall because of evaporation from the meat. So set temp is probably not going to matter much, because the element will be running non-stop for the majority of the cook...
Leave the vent wide open of course.
 

chopsaw

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Put two on the top rack---No Pan.
Then on the second rack, put one in a pan, off center to the left.
Then on the third rack, put one in a pan, off center to the right.
That would work better .
 

johngolf01

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i was going to suggest this as well, but looking at his picture, there doesn't appear to be enough room to move the butts up any higher, so there's not enough room to put another drip tray at the bottom.

good luck!
Yep that was my plan going in.... until I found out there was no room!!!!
 

fivetricks

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I would also suggest leaving the unit set at 275.

No way it will actually hold 275 with that much mass in there.
 

johngolf01

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5 hours in and at 139 and 135.

Chamber at 225. I de panned both trays and only have a smaller pan centered at the bottom to catch some of the drippings.

Could not fit the butts and pans in a staggering pattern, not enough clearance on the top level.

Still technically have 23h till serving time.

I know I'm slightly behind on the 4h to 140 rule.....I have to imagine being off a small margin is still safe. I did not inject the butts.
 

Bearcarver

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5 hours in and at 139 and 135.

Chamber at 225. I de panned both trays and only have a smaller pan centered at the bottom to catch some of the drippings.

Could not fit the butts and pans in a staggering pattern, not enough clearance on the top level.

Still technically have 23h till serving time.

I know I'm slightly behind on the 4h to 140 rule.....I have to imagine being off a small margin is still safe. I did not inject the butts.

You did pretty good at 5 hours, with that little thing.
Should be no problem.
If you have any trouble ahead, you got good smoke time already, so you could finish in the oven if you have to.

Bear
 

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