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STLSmoker636

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Original poster
Jun 5, 2024
17
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Hey All! I currently have a Masterbuilt electric smoker. A couple months ago, I smoked two pork butts for the first time ever and they turned out amazing. I am hosting a birthday party at my house this weekend, and I have been tasked with smoking the meat. The last time I smoked, it was cold outside, so I am sure it affected the cook time. I was hoping for help on tips/tricks/and timing this time around. The last two pork butts I smoked in February and they took almost 18 hours from start to finish. And, I really think the meat needed to rest longer, but we were too hungry and couldn't wait. This time I am smoking two 10lb pork butts for pulled pork, and a 15lb turkey. Can anyone please help with what temperature to smoke the meat at? And, I believe I need to pull the meat at 205 degrees and let it rest in a cooler for a couple of hours, correct? Also, any idea on a total cook time for two 10lb pork butts and a 15lb turkey?

Thanks so much!
 
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You'll probably want/have to break that up. You can make the pork a day or two ahead of time and put in several Ziploc bags to cool. Several threads on here about cooling meat quickly. I'd spatchcock the turkey and cook it as high as the Masterbuilt will go. Finish off in a hot oven or grill to get decent skin. I'd also cook the pork hot and fast. Also several threads on here about that. Let us know how it went.
 
For the pork butt, the general rule of thumb is 2hrs/LB @225, BUT it can greatly increase and decrease with each pork butt. I would not try and do the pork and the turkey at the same time. As stated above, I would do the Pork first and move to a cooler when the pork is probe tender and not so much around the temp. I have had butts tender at 195 and some needing to get to 207+. So I would rest the pork. You can easily reheat in a nesco and either pull ahead of the re-heat or after. I would brine the turkey and spatchcock it for uniform cooking. I actually like to run a turkey hot for the first 30 minutes to crisp the skin, then back down the temp to 275 for the rest of the cook. I find that by going hot at the beginning, it seals more of the moisture in.

Thanks,
- Jason
 
For the pork butt, the general rule of thumb is 2hrs/LB @225, BUT it can greatly increase and decrease with each pork butt. I would not try and do the pork and the turkey at the same time. As stated above, I would do the Pork first and move to a cooler when the pork is probe tender and not so much around the temp. I have had butts tender at 195 and some needing to get to 207+. So I would rest the pork. You can easily reheat in a nesco and either pull ahead of the re-heat or after. I would brine the turkey and spatchcock it for uniform cooking. I actually like to run a turkey hot for the first 30 minutes to crisp the skin, then back down the temp to 275 for the rest of the cook. I find that by going hot at the beginning, it seals more of the moisture in.

Thanks,
- Jason
Thanks, Jason! Any idea how long a 15lb turkey would take to smoke? The party is on Saturday and we plan on eating around 3pm.
 
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I always run mine as hot as it will go which is 275, turkey can be done at same time but.... throw the wood to it for 1-2 hours then into a cooking bag and finish in the oven. Thats the best way I have found to make them perfect. turkey probably need 2 more hours or so in the oven depending on weight.
 
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Not planning on cooking all that at once I hope .
You have a digital or analog ?
MES ( Masterbuilt electric Smokehouse ) 30 doesn't like much more than 10 pounds at once from my experience .
I wasn't sure. Last time I cooked 20lbs of pork butt and it took me about 18 hours. After some great advice from you guys, I will probably smoke the pork butts and pull them and let them rest and then smoke the turkey separate.

I am thinking it will take 20 hours for the pork butts, and am figuring 8 hours for the turkey.
MeatStart TimeHoursEnd Time
Pork (20lbs)
6/7/24 7:00 AM​
20:00​
6/8/24 3:00 AM​
Turkey (15lbs)
6/8/24 3:00 AM​
8:00​
6/8/24 11:00 AM​
 
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I'd reread this thread again. What temp will you be smoking at? Cooking by time is difficult. Things are done when they're done...often before or after you want them done. As mentioned 10lbs is what a MES prefers. The cook time on the turkey is way long and probably will create an over smoked, dry turkey with rubber skin. Not to mention waking up in the middle of the night. Several threads lately here that did not go well.

Some info from a MES Legend. Also some greats tutorials from other folks here at the bottom of Bear's thread.


Good luck!
 
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Be careful running that at max temp . Depending on how much you have it there , the air flow can block the unit therm , and cause the high limit to trip .
You should do some of this ahead of time .
 
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Great advice given here! You and your guests will be much happier if you cook the pork butt ahead of time. Brining the bird will help as well. I'll look for pics of one we did awhile back... if I can't find them I followed a method thirdeye thirdeye uses and separated the thighs from breast to remove when each are done. Maybe he will chime in.

Ryan
 
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... if I can't find them I followed a method thirdeye thirdeye uses and separated the thighs from breast to remove when each are done. Maybe he will chime in.
LqMEGvl.jpg

I cook chickens and turkey like this, and pull the white half at 160°, and the dark halves around 180°.
 
Hey All! I currently have a Masterbuilt electric smoker. A couple months ago, I smoked two pork butts for the first time ever and they turned out amazing. I am hosting a birthday party at my house this weekend, and I have been tasked with smoking the meat. The last time I smoked, it was cold outside, so I am sure it affected the cook time. I was hoping for help on tips/tricks/and timing this time around. The last two pork butts I smoked in February and they took almost 18 hours from start to finish. And, I really think the meat needed to rest longer, but we were too hungry and couldn't wait. This time I am smoking two 10lb pork butts for pulled pork, and a 15lb turkey. Can anyone please help with what temperature to smoke the meat at? And, I believe I need to pull the meat at 205 degrees and let it rest in a cooler for a couple of hours, correct? Also, any idea on a total cook time for two 10lb pork butts and a 15lb turkey?

Thanks so much!

Lots of great advice already given. I'll only add that cooking times are always only a rough guess and guideline for planning purposes. It is much safer - especially with poultry - to cook to a target internal temperature, and not to a preset time. As thirdeye thirdeye mentioned, 160* in the breast and 175-180* in the thighs are my target temps for turkey.

For the pork butts, I concur with the others who suggest cooking them a day or 2 early. Pulled pork reheats well, and that'll be one less thing to worry about on the day of the birthday party. And again, I prefer to cook a butt to a target internal temp and not worry so much about time. No 2 pork butts I've ever cooked finished at the same time - each hunk of meat is different. So I cook it to an IT of 200*, then continue until I'm happy with the tenderness. Sometimes it's tender at 201...sometimes it has to go until 208-210 before its tender enough.

Good luck, and please be sure to post up some Q-view for us to drool over!
Red
 
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Hey All! I currently have a Masterbuilt electric smoker. A couple months ago, I smoked two pork butts for the first time ever and they turned out amazing. I am hosting a birthday party at my house this weekend, and I have been tasked with smoking the meat. The last time I smoked, it was cold outside, so I am sure it affected the cook time. I was hoping for help on tips/tricks/and timing this time around. The last two pork butts I smoked in February and they took almost 18 hours from start to finish. And, I really think the meat needed to rest longer, but we were too hungry and couldn't wait. This time I am smoking two 10lb pork butts for pulled pork, and a 15lb turkey. Can anyone please help with what temperature to smoke the meat at? And, I believe I need to pull the meat at 205 degrees and let it rest in a cooler for a couple of hours, correct? Also, any idea on a total cook time for two 10lb pork butts and a 15lb turkey?

Thanks so much!

Hi there and welcome.

I'd crank the MES up to 275F (likely won't actually hit 275F) and smoke those 2 pork butts at that temp. Don't worry they don't mind the temp. If you have sugar in your rub/seasoning then maybe 250F so the sugar doesn't burn. I don't put sugar in my rubs so no issues for me there.

At a steady 275F you can estimate about 1hr 7min a pound of your biggest pork butt and then probably 2 more hours since you are doing 2 pork butts.

So 10 pound pork butts that is is like 13 hours'ish just for the meat. THEN add 4 hours to that for cushion time and/or rest time. So that means plan for 17 hours.
If you want to eat at noon on Saturday you put the pork butts in like 17 hours before, which is like 8pm on Friday evening. Again this is for a 275F steady smoker temp the whole time.

If your smoker performs right on with it's temps you COULD then pop at 15 pound turkey in right after you pull the pork butts out. I've done 28 pound turkeys in less than 4.5 hours at a steady smoker temp of 275F.
Turkey skin will likely be tough at 275F but might be bite through. It's not anything you are doing wrong, it's simply how poultry skin behaves. It only behaves if you cook it at high temps or you do some other funny things to prep it to be bite through well before smoking it.

With all of that pile of info, and you having a un-modifed MES that likely doesn't truly hit and hold 275F smoking temp I would start at like 20 hours before with the pork butts.
When they were done i would tightly wrap in 2 layers of foil and then 3 bath towels and set on the counter or in a cooler.
I would then pop the turkey in.

All of that food should be done and rested and ready to go within when it is time to eat, if you start it all 20 hours before eating time :D

I hope this info helps hahaha :D
 
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Hi there and welcome.

I'd crank the MES up to 275F (likely won't actually hit 275F) and smoke those 2 pork butts at that temp. Don't worry they don't mind the temp. If you have sugar in your rub/seasoning then maybe 250F so the sugar doesn't burn. I don't put sugar in my rubs so no issues for me there.

At a steady 275F you can estimate about 1hr 7min a pound of your biggest pork butt and then probably 2 more hours since you are doing 2 pork butts.

So 10 pound pork butts that is is like 13 hours'ish just for the meat. THEN add 4 hours to that for cushion time and/or rest time. So that means plan for 17 hours.
If you want to eat at noon on Saturday you put the pork butts in like 17 hours before, which is like 8pm on Friday evening. Again this is for a 275F steady smoker temp the whole time.

If your smoker performs right on with it's temps you COULD then pop at 15 pound turkey in right after you pull the pork butts out. I've done 28 pound turkeys in less than 4.5 hours at a steady smoker temp of 275F.
Turkey skin will likely be tough at 275F but might be bite through. It's not anything you are doing wrong, it's simply how poultry skin behaves. It only behaves if you cook it at high temps or you do some other funny things to prep it to be bite through well before smoking it.

With all of that pile of info, and you having a un-modifed MES that likely doesn't truly hit and hold 275F smoking temp I would start at like 20 hours before with the pork butts.
When they were done i would tightly wrap in 2 layers of foil and then 3 bath towels and set on the counter or in a cooler.
I would then pop the turkey in.

All of that food should be done and rested and ready to go within when it is time to eat, if you start it all 20 hours before eating time :D

I hope this info helps hahaha :D
Thank you very much!
 
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It has been a crazy couple of weeks and I am just getting to post an update to the meat I smoked for my party. I took everyone's advice and started the two 10lb pork butts Thursday evening. I smoked them at 225 and they took around 21 hours in total. I pulled them at 205 and wrapped them and put them in the cooler for two hours before shredding them and putting them in ziplocs for the party. When shredding, the bone pulled out super easy! I did find the meat was super juicy Friday when I shredded it, but was a little dry on Saturday when re-heating it for the party. But, it still had a great flavor! As for the 16lb turkey, I put it on around 5am Saturday morning and let it smoke wide open. It took about 7 hours to smoke. I wrapped it and put it in the cooler, too. It was so flavorful and juicy, too! My family is now requesting smoked turkey for dinner one night again in the next few weeks. The only thing that could have made the entire smoking experience better was if someone would come clean the smoker for me after I was done. That thing is so hard to get clean afterwards! lol

I wanted to say thank you to all for your kind words and advice! It definitely eased my mind cooking that much meat for that many people. I can't wait to try something else to smoke. Here are pictures of what was smoked.
 

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Glad everything turned out so well for your party! Looks good!
If you don't want your butts to take so long try a hot and fast smoke... will get done way faster and you won't be able to tell by taste. Run your temps at 275. There's a current thread about this on here currently, can't remember who posted it.

Ryan
 
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