Overnight Cooking

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Original poster
Jul 15, 2006
Kansas City
I never seem to quite cook my butt long enough, I guess I am just anxious. I was thinking about starting the butt late at night (around 10:00) and let it go all night.

Any problems doing this? I am a newbie to smoking so I don't have the greatest smoker but the two things I am worried the most about is safety and losing heat overnight.
I would try to get an early start instead.

Depending on the size of the meat, I will start a long smoke betweek 6:00am - 8:00am. That usually gets me through all the way to the pull by 7:00pm that same day.

Don't think I could let my GOSM go unattended...
I love allnighters.......but ya have to prepare for it!!
..............and make sure you smoke a fattie for that early breakfast!!!
MarkG, you are on the right track. Your gonna have to stay up and keep that butt company though. IMO, the all-nighter is a right of passage of sorts and should be enjoyed by all from time to time. Here is a link from your host to get you in the mood:


That's about as close as you can get without doing it yourself.
Thanks for the replys, definilty some good information. I typically like to start early in the morning around 5:00ish (depending on how much I drank the night before) but when smoking the pork it takes all day. When I hit the infamous plateau, I am stuck there for several hours.

So I was hoping to let it cook overnight and hopefully be ready by noon the next day and not ruin the entire day. My thought was to start the meat at 10:00pm and maybe do a check at midnight and then let it be until roughly 5 the next morning. Is that to long to go un-attended?
There are some things you can do to make the experience of an all night smoke easier.
Invest in a remote thermometer. I have the Maverick ET-73. It has two probes, one for the meat, one for the smoker. The range is limited but as I am only 20-30 feet from my smoker to my couch I'm ok. The thermometer has alarms for minimum and maximum temperatures for both the smoker and the food. So I make sure I have enough wood and then try and grab a few hours on the couch. If the temp drops or goes up too high the alarm wakes me and I can adjust accordingly.
It depends on your smoker and your knowledge of it MarkG. I could go 5 hours with my BDS or WSM easily, but could never let any other smoker I've had go un-attended that long. Since you don't mention what smoker your using it's hard to guess, but most likely your gonna have trouble trying to do that. Hot, cold, bad smoke, no smoke, something along those lines.
i have a 9.5#er to do some time this week and i'll start the ECB around 3;30 and get the butt on by 4- 4;30...they take vigilance{not as much as a brisket though} i can't do the all nighters any more but you could do the smoking part then when you foil it put it in the oven and go to bed for a while and i guarentee you that it will be the best darned butt you ever pulled
My first smoke was a 9# butt. I rubbed it down and fired it up at about 900 pm. I use a gosm gasser so i set it a few degrees above where i wanted it so the cool night would not drop it to low. worked great wireless thermometer helped. Learned to raise it a few degrees while seasoning it.
By the way the pic above is the first smoke I ever did have not been able to get the pic on any other way working that though.
Thanks again for the information. I have a fairly basic brinkman model from Lowes. I believe I have convinced my wife to put up our tent and just camp out so I can keep a close eye on it. We'll see how everything goes this morning.

This is a great site for those of us still learning the trade. Keep up the great information.
I plan to cook overnight tonight. 4 Wild Boar hams, a couple of bone-in WB tenderloins, WB ribs and some WB canadian bacon. I plan to put the hams on around 10pm and the others a little later. Pull it off in mid morning tomorrow.

I find it simple to smoke overnight. Every 2 hours I add charcoal and mesquite to the firebox ... then back to bed.
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