Advice for 3 meats

Discussion in 'Catering & Large Group Gatherings' started by smokingunny, Apr 16, 2014.

  1. smokingunny

    smokingunny Meat Mopper

    Looking for some guidance from the experts. My local CrossFit gym is hosting a 1 year anniversary celebration this Saturday and since I'm apparently the master meat smoker (insert snide comment) according to my friends, I sort of got roped into smoking the food. The meat menu is 2 Boston butts (10.8 and 11.2 pounds), 5 packs of split chicken breasts (ranging from 2.2-2.6 pounds), 3 racks of beef short ribs, and the owners/ coaches want me to do a brisket for the VIPs (myself and them), around 7 pounds. Now, I have smoked all of these in the past, just not at the same time. I have a game plan but I want to know you all would do before I post what I plan to do.

    Also, would you inject the large cuts of meat or not?
  2. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Think hot n fast, 275-300F.  No way I'd do a low n slow smoke with this order, but that's me.  I'd also use a heavy wood like hickory, mesquite, or a 70/30 mix of the two. 

    Personally, I'd brine the split chicken breasts in a cooler the night before the smoke, figuring the ice into the brine equation.  Brined chicken is much more forgiving of mistakes and always comes out juicer.  The chicken is going to take up the most room in your smoker at one time.

    Use whatever rub you want, or just SPOG the butts, brisket, and short ribs.  I'd skip the butt and beef injection unless you have a flavor profile you are shooting for.  I'd bet the butts, brisket, and the racks of short ribs will fit in your smoker at the same time. I'd simultaneously lay down the smoke on those three until the butts and brisket had an IT of 160F or so, then wrap the butts, brisket, and short ribs separately, each with some liquid, and finish in the oven hot n fast or on the gasser side of your grill hot n fast.

    While they were finishing I'd put the chicken in the smoker with whatever rub you wanted.  When the chicken was done the others should be done too.  I'd take the butts to 205-210F, the brisket to 200F, the shorties until they were pulling up nicely, and the split breasts to 165-170F.  You could even over cook the shorties until they were fall-off-the-bone tender.  Folks who don't know better think that is wonderful.

    Not a perfect plan, but just something to stimulate ideas.  You could even throw different veggies in with the butts while they were wrapped (onions, garlic, peppers, etc) so it all mixed together when pulling.

    Guys who don't smoke won't care about bark, just flavor.  Using a heavy wood will impart lots of flavor before you wrap.

    Believe it or not, the total time on that cook I just described is about 6-7 hours.    

    Have fun!
  3. smokingunny

    smokingunny Meat Mopper

    Unfortunately I won't be using my smoker. We will be using the one my coach bought, a char broil. We did a test cook on Monday and can fit a lot of meat on there. Being in AZ I have an almost unlimited supply of mesquite. I like to start with that and finish with oak.
  4. smokingunny

    smokingunny Meat Mopper

    Oh, and I won't have access to an oven since this will all be cooked on site. Unless I do the butts at home the night before and reheat and shred on Saturday.
  5. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Well before I can give you any advice on how to do any of those cuts, what type of smoker are you using? Without that info it's going to be to hard to give you much advice on cooking everything at once.

    As far as brining I wouldn't bother with that. If you're using store bought chicken it's all enhanced, and the pork and beef really doesn't need it, unless you are looking to enhance the flavor.

    You also don't mention if you're planning on doing this the day of or the day or days before. I would do everything except the chicken a day or two in advance. I like to enjoy the party!
  6. smokingunny

    smokingunny Meat Mopper

    Good points. Not sure of the model but it's a chat broil with a SFB. Cook chamber is about 4 feet long. I'm debating in doing the big meats the day before or the day of. I really don't want to have to start cooking at 0300.
  7. waterinholebrew

    waterinholebrew Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Dang SG, that's a bit of a tough spot to be put into.... especially when not using your own pit ! I really wish ya the best of luck ..... I'm sure you'll give er hell & turn out some great Q ! I don't have an offset which sounds like ya are using, so no help there.... Please let us know just how far ya knocked this smoke outta the park !!! You'll do great ! Thumbs Up
  8. smokingunny

    smokingunny Meat Mopper

    I'll be posting some pics!
  9. smokingunny

    smokingunny Meat Mopper

    My coach has been wanting to learn the art of smoking. Until the other day, all he knew about BBQ was that he liked to show up and eat it. He had know idea what all was involved until he participated in a 5 hour smoke for a small picnic roast.
  10. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Everyone knows my suggestion. Take as much out of the smoke as possible. I would definitely smoke the butts ahead of time, you know you do your best smokes when relaxed and not trying to cook on the clock, or on someone else's pit, throw in some weather and maybe a tire blow out and its seriously a Pizza-Hut party.

    So first I would do the butt a day or so ahead. You know the routine, pull and shred, Ziploc bags with a little finishing sauce. Plug in a crock pot the day of the party, throw in the meat, maybe save a little of the bark to a bowl next to the crock pot (that always impresses), and have some warm BBQ sauce of your choice sitting there. Look for small rolls to serve on. That does Butts. And some Cole Slaw.

    Brisket- When I don't want to have to work all night tending and watching or its a damn important meal, May the Gods of the grill forgive me, but...... I bake it in the oven, then remove and rip open the foil and throw it on the smoker for about an hour. I know, I know, its cheating its not perfection, But its safe its easy it IS smoked with smoke flavor, just not a 12 to 18 hour cook. AND if you are using an unknown pit I would plan accordingly.

    Short ribs and chickens I can cook in a hubcap...... they require little if nothing but heat. If ........ you take out the brisket, and the butts, suddenly the entire meal looks totally manageable.

    That's without knowing the pit situation, the forecasted weather, its a win all the way around. I have cooked briskets and butts on the clock on my own stick burner, but when I did I was pretty much tuned in and locked up, I knew it was a party, but didn't socialize, chase women, or tell lies........ basically it was work.

    Just something to think upon..........
  11. smokingunny

    smokingunny Meat Mopper

    I won't be chasing women, just looking. A little socializing and I'm a Marine, so definitely telling some lies!
  12. demosthenes9

    demosthenes9 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    If he does the butts the day before, he can throw the brisket on with them to get plenty of smoke, then finish it off in the oven.  Foil, spritz, refrigerate then reheat the next day while he's cooking the chicken.  Ideally, it would be best to undercook the brisket just a bit the first time through as it will cook some while he's reheating at 300+ when doing the chicken.
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2014
  13. smokingunny

    smokingunny Meat Mopper

    I've thought about this as well. They are shooting for an eat time around 1600, so time is not super critical. But given the butts and brisket I think they need to be cooked the day before.
  14. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The very best brisket I ever ate, was foiled with a pkg of McCormick dry onion soup mix and a pkg of McCormick dry Herb Gravy, No liquids. Place brisket in a roaster pan with the fat side up, and dump the packages with it. Seal pan with foil or with tight lid. Cook in slow oven at 320 for 45 minutes per pound, about 5 1/2  hours Max!. Remove from oven and throw on a smoky pit puffin out TBS. To this day I have not had a brisket to compare. And I have been known to frequent some well known restaurants.  

    I have tried to duplicate the above, I have come extremely close but never as good as that one.
  15. smokingunny

    smokingunny Meat Mopper

    I've decide to smoke the butts today, leave them whole and then reheat and pull tomorrow. Everything else can be done on site.
  16. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Okay SmokinGunny, it's Saturday night at 2041.  Let's hear "the rest of the story!"  How'd it all turn out?
  17. smokingunny

    smokingunny Meat Mopper

    Crap, I was so tired I forgot to post an update or take any pics. It was a busy couple of days. This is the only pic I have of the butts.

    It turned out pretty good, I thought. Especially for cooking on a pit I'd never cooked on before, fighting 20 mph winds and rain and cooking 4 different cuts of meat that need to cook for different lengths of time to different temperatures. All who ate said it was awesome, with the brisket being the favorite. Especially up on the point end, where people said they didn't even need to chew it.
  18. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Congrats on such a successful smoke under conditions that had "lets do this another time" written all over it.  SmokinGunny, with all the obstacles you faced you win the very first "SMF Pitmaster of the Weekend" award! (Now there's an idea for a new thread).

    Happy Easter!
  19. smokingunny

    smokingunny Meat Mopper

    What an honor! I also realized that the gauge reads quite a bit lower than indicated. No a 10.5 pound brisket should've cooked in less than 6 hours. I smoked the butts at home the night before and finished in the oven until I woke up.

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