Smoking for Two - How do you handle small batches?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by voripteth, Aug 11, 2014.

  1. voripteth

    voripteth Newbie

    At a party I recently enjoyed some amazing smoked chicken which got me thinking about getting my own smoker.  How do you handle smoking for only two people?  Does it freeze?  Is it worth smoking just a single meal's worth?  How do you keep from going crazy with only two people to eat this great food?

    I'm intrigued and scared all at the same time.  ^_^
  2. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I freeze some, make different dish out of left overs. Also make for a reason to party.
  3. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Vacuum sealer is your friend!

    I load my smoker with multiple meats about 1x a month, then vacuum pack everything into 1 lb. portions that I can pull out and use later on for all kinds of stuff. The best method to re-heat is to toss the frozen vacuum bag into a pot of almost simmering water until it is heated all the way through. It comes out hot, and stays very moist with lots of good flavor!
  4. Vacuum Sealer!!!!    Of course it's worth smoking just one meals worth!!   You are going to cook it one way or another so why not smoke it? 

    I smoke for 3.......and always have leftovers.  Vac seal them and have many meals after.   I also find different ways to use the leftovers. 

    Fun Stuff

  5. talan64

    talan64 Meat Mopper

    X3 -- Vacuum sealer / freezer!

    I always make extra when I smoke.  There are 100's of things to do with smoked chicken.  We pack up in 1lb vacuum bags, then just thaw and use.

    If I smoke chickens I do 2.

    Pork butt's 2 - 1 with BBQ seasoning, 1 with Taco seasoning. 

    Ribs 6 racks, then freeze 1 rack cut in half, with bones together, so they don't puncture the vacuum bag.

    It a breeze for my wife to pull anything out of the freezer, so we have smoke any day of the week.
  6. chef willie

    chef willie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Yep, vac sealer is legit and you can poach in it....less mess all around. As far as the meat being used there are many options available, especially as we head for Fall/Winter eating. One of my best all time uses for PP is making tamales....OMG, good and they go fast once word is out you made some & do not taste like leftovers......Willie
    bigridgeback likes this.
  7. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    How do we keep from going crazy after our intro. to Smoked Foods [​IMG]

    We don't , we have O.S.D.  , that stands for Obsessive Smoking Disorder and once exposed , there is no cure .

    This condition causes ambling through the Meat isle at stores and the outdoor section with an itch in your billfold wanting to buy more toys [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]  

    Also , you may find more guest dropping by than usual , the smell is infectious...

    But whatever you do ...
    bigridgeback likes this.
  8. I just purchased a vacuum sealer this spring for the same reason you are talking about and it was the best dollars spent,sealed up 10- 1lb bags of pulled pork so anytime we get that craving its right in the freezer waiting. You won't be sorry if you like to smoke. [​IMG]
  9. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Depends on your type of smoker?

    If you are fuel/cost efficient, you can do smaller smokes.

    The more fuel/cost your smoker requires, the more meat you are tempted to smoke at one time.

    The vacuum sealer and freezer are definitely your friend.

    For vacuum sealer bags at half price with great customer service?  Visit a forum sponsor here:

    Good luck and good smoking.
  10. mcloven1t

    mcloven1t Smoke Blower Group Lead

    I agree with the others, vacuum sealing is definitely a great way to save delicious left overs (and I usually HATE left overs)

    Also, I find that it's actually brought my family a little closer because now I have a great reason to call my brother over with his wife and daughter so we can all eat together. Cook up a couple whole chickens, breasts, tri tip, ribs, and plenty of other foods.  Makes for great Sunday evenings with everyone and I get to see my niece which is always fun.

    If you purchase just a intro type smoker, then it isn't insanely expensive for your smokes, whether every rack is filled or you just have 3 or 4 chicken breasts.

    I myself have the Lowes Exclusive, Master Forge Dual Door Smoker. It's not huge, but its great for my needs / skill. Doesn't seem to waste propane at all either, a tank seems to last about 4 - 6 smokes, and when you consider each smoke lasts at least around 2 hours every time, it's not too bad. 20 dollars for a tank exchange is a small price after all those delicious meals :D
  11. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    You guys really have left overs? Seriously?  If I smoke a chicken today, 1/2 is supper. Tomorrow the other half makes smoked chicken gumbo, smoked chicken salad, smoked chicken tetarzzini, smoked chicken spaghetti, Smoked chicken enchiladas, smoked chicken noodle soup, etc etc etc........ Its more versitle than shrimp from the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company! I have not tried it in a quiche, just seems wrong for some reason.

    PUlled Pork is the same way. MY new love is pulled pork tamales!! OMGoodness that's a little bite of heaven.

    Ribs are not usually left over. Ever, I can't even hide them from myself.

    Brisket..... well its for special occassions, besides I like it best on a sandwich.

    I think a vac sealer would be nice, but I am still using Ziploc's. Too many other things to buy before a sealer. A MEAT GRINDER!!!! LOL

    I too have been trying to better limit myself on my smokes. By doing smaller smokes I get to smoke more often. And thats a good thing! And to say as those above, you will find as you start smoking, you'll have more and better friends and they'll drop around more in the evening about eatting time or just to chat when they smell that smoke in the air. You can't blame them. LOL
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2014
  12. voripteth

    voripteth Newbie

    Thanks so much for the helpful feedback!  It's good to know that smoking isn't just for huge parties.  :)

    Now to figure out which smoker and vacuum sealer to get!
  13. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Foam brings up a good point for the budget conscious of which I am one.

    Before a vac sealer.  I very successfully wrapped things tightly in plastic wrap and placed in a zipper freezer bag with the air squeezed it out.  It worked nearly as well as a vac pack when done carefully.

    Good luck and good smoking.
  14. big griz

    big griz Fire Starter

    There are also things you can smoke for just the two of you that don't take very long...a simple fatty is a great way to learn how to smoke, doesn't take that long, and you don't have to worry about leftovers.
  15. burghroots

    burghroots Newbie

    I, too, am interested in doing just small batches...I have an MES and a vacuum sealer but our freezer is bursting at the seams already with grandchildren's favorites. Is the timing different if you do just a small amount?

  16. Rings Я Us

    Rings Я Us Master of the Pit Group Lead

    I cook for myself. 1 piece of whatever is the same as 12 pieces. Just have to get a digital thermometer probe in it to keep track of the internal temperatures. 1 might represent all of the pieces if they are similar size
    My 2 small chops for dinner and lunch next day for myself. Chicken I ate for 2 more days myself. Lol
    Finished my chicken late but it was for the next day or 2 anyway
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2017
  17. Rings Я Us

    Rings Я Us Master of the Pit Group Lead

    Finished over coals or sometimes a broiler to crisp skin.
    mphugh likes this.
  18. tallbm

    tallbm Master of the Pit

    Timing can depend.  If you smoke a small chicken or chuck roast for 1 or two people it will take less time then doing a large chicken or a large chuck roast.  

    When it comes to large dishes like pork butts or briskets, well you can buy smaller cuts but I doubt you will be able to do either under 4 hours no matter how small the cut because you won't be finding pork butts or briskets under 4-5 pounds.

    As for dealing with left overs... well I use one or a combo of all of the following approaches:
    • Meal Prep Planning for about 3-5 meals over 3-4 days - so make a dish with plans to eat it multiple times or use in multiple ways.  Chicken and turkey are great for this and you won't have to freeze, just bag and refridgerate over 3-4 days
    • Bag and Freeze - when I don't want to break out the sealer.  Also with meal prepping I can freeze 4-8 portions and know they will be gone within the next week with proper meal planning
    • Vac Seal - when I have no prep/planning in place and/or I know the stuff will be eaten over time (sandwich meat type food, bacon, brisket, etc.) I vacuum seal in portions of about 2 meals/servings so I can eat two meals or I can share as a meal with someone
    • Sharing  - plan to eat with others or give some away to neighbors or friends that you may soon run into
    • Overeating - hahahaha yep with little planning, preparation, or care taken in advance,  the option for simply pigging out to finish food happens hahahahha.  It is not recommended but hey it is a reality when you start creating such amazing food!
    It isn't too hard to smoke/cook for about two.  I always like to have some kind of left overs and there usually is.  I also have no issue with eating the same thing multiple times in the week or back to back.  I try to keep to eating a salad M-F for lunch.  Smoking chickens or turkey really helps with this and makes the salad amazing!!!  Also if I just have too much and want a switch I can make a variety of chicken soups, chicken tacos, etc. type dishes with the meat.  You should try a chicken and dumpling soup with smoked chicken meat, wow!!!

    Best of luck :)
  19. smokeymose

    smokeymose Master of the Pit

    It helps if you don't mind leftovers. 90 percent of the time I'm cooking/smoking for just me and the Mrs. Usually we'll have the same thing the next day with different sides, and if there's still some left I take it for lunch at work.
    Like others have said, a good vac sealer is your friend....
  20. mike5051

    mike5051 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member


    I smoke for two, and sometimes, just for myself.  I would prefer smoking or grilling anything to baking or roasting.  


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