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Going to multiple shoulders or briskets at once

dplummer

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As I learn slowly, I feel pretty good about smoking either brisket, or pork shoulder. A co-worker now suggests I make BBQ for an office party - which would mean 3 or 4 pieces of meat in my smoker rather than just one. I have a basic offset vertical wood/charcoal burner (see profile photo). Can anyone advise on whether there's anything I need to expect to be different if I've got 30 lbs of meat in the smoker rather than 7 or 8? I assume things will be slower, and that I should rotate the meat over the day, but any wisdom/experience would be appreciated.

Thanks much,

-David
 

jcbigler

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Yes, with more meat in your smoker, it will take longer to smoke, because there is much more mass taking up the same volume in the smoker, there is less free flow for the air.

However, it's not a 1:1 ratio...so if you normally smoke 8 pounds and it take 8 hours; if you put 16 pounds of meat in it won't take 16 hours. More like maybe 10 or 11 hours. For 30 pounds of meat, which is almost 4 times as much meat mass as normal, you might only add half again as much time.

What are the specific cuts and weights of meat that you plan to do?

Personally, I would rotate the meats to different levels of the smoker through the day. Start brisket on top, with pork on bottom, then switch after 2 or 3 hours, then again after another 3 or so hours, etc...
 
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SmokinAl

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You would still figure about 2 hours per pound on the largest piece of meat. Then add on a half hour or so for the initial time it takes to come up to temp with that much cold meat going in the smoker.. 

I would put the larger pieces on the lower racks, I'm assuming it's hotter there.

If they are all the same size then yes I would rotate them half way through.

Al
 

dplummer

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Joined Nov 24, 2015
Excellent thinking. Thanks guys!

I don't know yet what I'll be smoking (JCBigler) but was just thinking ahead. Al's idea of planning for the largest piece plus the extra time to get up to temp is a great idea.

Yesterday's pork shoulder was 9 hrs to the minute for 7.5 lbs. 

I'll report back with data when the time comes and I do a multi-meat-smoke.

-DP
 

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