8 Butts in the MES

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Original poster
Jul 6, 2012
It's GREAT to finally see the meat in the smoker when you have been obsessively reading meat smoking posts for a week in anticipation. I just put 8 Boston Butts in the smoker, 71lbs, for an event at the Curling Club this weekend. It might be a late night .... good thing I took tomorrow off work.  :-)

I'm going pretty simple with these; Jeff's rub with the fat cap down. Plan to pretty much leave them alone until 205. Any guesses how long that will take at 250 degrees?

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Looks good so far!

Assuming the largest one is around 9 lbs, they probably will take somewhere around 13-14 hours.

Good luck!

Great Start !!

That's really pushing it to the limit.

You might want to rotate the ones on the top shelf with the ones on the bottom shelf when you foil them, or at about 160°--165° if you don't foil.

Be Back for the Beautiful Finale!!


Wow! That is quite a load. With stalls in the mix it's anybody's guess as to when they will get done. If you foil wrap at 160 it's still anybody's guess, but it will take less time. I have smoked many butts warped at 160 and not and found the actual finish time to be all over the place. Generally 11/2 hours per pound but no guarantee especially with a full smoker. It's anybody's guess as to how long it will take for the smoker to come up to temp after loading 8 butts.

Sorry dudes, I spent the entire weekend feeding ~130 people at the Granite Curling Club in Seattle, breakfast/lunch/dinner, and slacked on the picture posting. I was starting to feel like a caterer, though I am far from. Along with the ~70lbs of smoked pork shoulder I also roasted ~80lbs of NY Strip Loin. 

Anyway, everyone LOVED the pulled pork, especially with Jeff's BBQ sauce and Dutch's beans. In fact I got more compliments on the beans than the meat lol. I also made a super spicy version of Jeff's sauce; Amazing. 

Overall the shoulders took about 12 hours. I'm STILL having problems getting the AMNPS to work in my MES, but I plan to keep at it. I tried to cook at 250, but once I put that much meat in the MES it never got back up to temp. I'd say it was about ~225 most of the time, at least that's what the internal thermo reported, I have a feeling it was actually hotter. I tried real hard not to open it too much. No foil, no flip. Here is a pic after ~6 hours.

Once done I let them chill bit, covered in towels.

It took me about 40 minutes to pull by hand, and at least 40 to clean up. I agree with those who say don't use claws because when doing by hand it's easier to pull out the large fat chunks. You can see I also set the burnt ends aside; they were gobbled up super fast. 

So my biggest lesson learned .... ~70lbs of pork shoulder creates a LOT of fat and juice. The main grease trap over flowed, the smaller lower trap also overflowed, and grease was running down the back porch toward the hot tub. It was messy, but actually turned out to be a good thing. I started collecting it, so when I got done I had a large amount of fat and juice, or as I call it meat jello once it congeals. I used this when reheating later, and in beans, and other applications. I can not stress enough the amazingness of the meat jello. 

As I type this I'm drinking Bourbon and watching a cheesy Christmas movie to let my feet rest from being on them all weekend .... and perhaps a pulled pork taco or two.  :-)
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Looks Great Todd !

Busy Weekend !!

I'm sure 8 Butts in one MES 40 adds a lot of humidity, and makes it harder to keep an AMNPS going. That's not something done often.

I love that Meat Juice too---Over night in the fridge in a bowl makes it real easy to separate the fat from the meat juices. All the fat hardens on top.

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