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has anybody ever smoked 8 pork shoulders at once in a MES 40?

redneck69

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getting ready to do some for work and whole accounts and was wondering if anybody has done this amount of shoulders in there MES 40? if so....at what temp and for approximately how long?  I've done 2 at one time with some other items in the smoker which took about 10 hours at 225 degrees...any help would be appreciated...thank you
 

dad of four

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AFAIK, as long as you ensure enough air-flow around each hunk-of-meat, the Electric MES is not gonna care whether there is one or eight.

Its gonna come down to physically placing all of them into the unit.

Next, remember that we plan for time, but cook based upon temperature, so the time needed depends on the size of each piece.  Each piece is gonna finish at it's own time.  Your gonna want to get multiple thermometers (maybe 4), otherwise you are gonna have the door open too long as you probe each piece.

Your also gonna want enough faux cambros (Ice chests) to hold the early-finishers, while the late-finishers still cook.

I'm sure some more experienced members can add some more advice.  This should get you thinking...
 
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spoolinaz

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How big are the butts? 10 hours seems pretty short for a full size (9-10#) shoulder.

I had recently done 7 9#+ butts in my Masterbuilt XL propane. I had a hard time keeping the heat up. That amount of mass will 'suck' the heat right out of the smoker. I doubt the electric element will be able to keep up with that load, but I could be wrong. My cook took 21 hours till the last one came out, and that was due to the heat not being even between the levels. I had them on 3 racks, and rotated them a couple times. Good luck and be careful of the food safety guidelines...
 
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chef jimmyj

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Start the MES full bore and give it a good hour to preheat. Add the Butts with the goal of at least 2" all around each piece. For added safety, I would not inject anything and use bone-in butts. Watch the smokers temps over the first 3 hours adjusting as needed and you should be golden. Good luck...JJ
 

redneck69

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i was planning on a mustard base with Jeff's rub on all of them.  I just wasn't sure on the cook time with that many..the average size on the bone in butts will probably be around 8lbs each.. i was thinking about starting them up early monday afternoon and checking in a few times during the night and wrap in foil when needed, let rest in cooler when internal temp hits 210 for a few hours than pull them...if they get done a bit sooner than i expect ill put the pulled pork in zip lock bags and place in the fridge till i need to start warming them up in a crock pot
 

biteme7951

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I tried 8 in my MES40 and ended up pulling 2 out after a couple of hours and finished in the oven as it was just too much meat for the unit to heat all it once.  I was afraid they wouldn't get to 140degrees in 4 hours. If you have the time and are willing to bag them I would suggest 2 batches of 4 would be ideal.

Barry.
 
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redneck69

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had very great reviews about my smoked shoulders..here is what i did

started out at 5 am on tuesday morning, got the MES 40 fired up at max temp 275 and got the smoker nice and hot til i put the pork in,  shoulders got cleaned up and fat caps cross cut, coated with mustard and Jeff's rub.  took me about 40 min to get everything ready to be put in the smoker. i also added some grill bricks to my water pan to help as a heat sync which worked out great. had some mesquite and cherry wood for flavor. after putting all the pork in, i dropped the temp down to 240 for the remainder of the smoke.  by 1 pm 6 of the 8 shoulders were at 170 internal temp so i double wrapped them in foil. took a couple more hours for the other two to get out of the stall..once they did they got double wrapped in foil also.  by 5 pm the 1st 6 shoulders that got wrapped got pulled and placed in a huge cooler and layered with towels..by 6:30 pm the other 2 got pulled and placed in a different cooler.  in the mean time i started to pull the 1st 6 which took me about 35 min or so.  each shoulder got placed in a tin pan and covered with foil and put back in the smoker at 140 to be kept warm til the morning..got all 8 pulled, did some clean up at work and went home and crashed...long day at work.  in the morning i put 3 tins of meat in a huge roaster for the employees at work and added a 2 cups of apple juice for a bit more moisture..it really didn't need it but wanted to make sure it didn't dry out in the roaster..the other 5 got put into crook pots with about 1/2 cup of apple juice also.  i delivered the 5 crooks pots to some great whole accounts of mine along with all the trimmings..which all of them really enjoyed and couldn't believe i actually did everything at work..plus the employees were all happy also because they could actually eat what they were smelling for a day and a half...rave reviews from everyone..it felt great!!


huge batch of Jeff's rub


all cleaned up and fat caps cross cut


mustard and rub applied


in the smoker about 6 am


about 11 am when i put the heat probes in


out of the foil and ready to be pulled..all the bones came out nice and easy


all pulled and ready for foil and back into the smoker


next morning getting ready to be put in the crock pots

Thank you all for the advice on this big smoke!!! Every thing turned out awesome!!! Very happy employees and wholesale customers.
 

daveomak

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That is a good reason to get the MES 40.....  4 butts is about max for my MES 30....  

The meat looks like it came out perfect.... I'd eat it.....  
 

redneck69

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thank you DaveOmak!! i know there was none left at work and nothing left at my accounts..  im glad it only took a lil over 12 hours to cook all of them..a lot of the research i did showed it may take between 20-24 hours for that amount.
 

buck futta

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Glad it worked out for you, I do four #8-9 pounders every week for the last two years in my MES 40". This last summer I did stuff it with a full load of eight butts a couple times, and it worked out great. I think this is because of the 1200 watt element that can totally keep up with that amount of meat.

Right now I actually have two MES 40's. One is the older all stainless steel model and the other is the newer version (about two months old) with the larger window and plastic front feet. Next week I am either going to run eight butts in the new one or split it up between the two. I think I might do them in two smokers instead because the MES has a tendency to have a real high hot spot on the right side so I normally place my shoulders on the left, this also minimizes flare-ups and dryness.

The only major thing that I do different compared to you is I do not foil wrap my butts at 170F anymore. Back when I used to run a charcoal/stick burner you bet your ass I did. Over the last couple years though I have noticed that the consistency from the MES really helps and as long as you try and avoid having a shoulder or brisket directly above the element you can go uncovered all the way until done (that is if you like a crispy bark). To avoid them drying out or scorching you will need to shuffle them around a little.

I just did yet another run today and of course they came out fantastic, I'm looking forward to this next friday when I pull off another big smoke (maybe a much needed Q-View)!
 
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dad of four

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I think I might do them in two smokers instead because the MES has a tendency to have a real high hot spot on the right side so I normally place my shoulders on the left, this also minimizes flare-ups and dryness.
In another post (sorry I cannot find it), an MES-40 owner strategically places tin-foil on the bottom rack to help direct the smoke/heat  around to the left side, and then back out the right-side exhaust port.
 

sound1

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In another post (sorry I cannot find it), an MES-40 owner strategically places tin-foil on the bottom rack to help direct the smoke/heat  around to the left side, and then back out the right-side exhaust port.

Don't know if this is what you were looking for...I do this foiling to the water pan. When you push the pan in, the foil "wing" sets up against the back wall between the heating element and temp probe.  It diverts the heat that rises directly up to the temp probe out and around the chamber. The temps are much more consistent with my other probes and appear to be much more even throughout the chamber.

 
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