Does Amount of Meat Affect Temperature?

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Original poster
Dec 17, 2013
Hi all,

I am planning to smoke two 14ish lb slabs for Christmas. I have never tried smoking so much meat before. I have a Masterbuilt XL propane smoker. If I put more meat into the smoker, will I have to turn the flame higher to maintain 225 degrees? My thinking is that the extra meat will absorb more heat from the air within the smoker. I am trying to determine if I need another tank of propane.

Thanks for the advice.
Do you have a water smoker?  More meat and starting with cool water will result in longer periods of time for your smoker to come up to your desired cooking temperature.  Tips for helping at this end include starting with hot liquid in the water pan and having the meat out long enough to come to room temp before putting in the smoker.  As for more fuel to maintain your temp, I have not witnessed this when cooking multiple racks of meat once the box reaches my desired temp.  Outside ambient temps have a lot more afffect on the burner than the 2 pieces of meat.
Make sure you have a spare propane tank on hand anyway. 14lbs (28 total) is going to take a while to smoke at 225.

I have the same smoker. At that size, assuming this is brisket, you probably can't fit them both on one rack. So you'll need to have one above the other. That will definitely affect cooking rates between the two FYI, and will probably increase overall cook time.

However, as far as temp is concerned, you'll see a temp drop when you first put them into the smoker. I usually increase the flame for a few minutes during that time, but after 10-20 minutes, you'll be working the flame right back down to where you started...
Cook time for more meat will not be affected if you hold temps.

Starting with cold water or cold meat will affect cook time because it affects temp maintenance.

More meat just means more fuel is required to maintain temps.

Assuming you don't have so much meat you are changing air flow.

As always, bring your entire setup to cooking temps before adding the meat. Keep doors closed to avoid recovery time extending your cook.

Good luck and good smoking.
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