Author Topic: Time to cook vs. amount of food in the smoker  (Read 2011 times)

Offline Truth Detector

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Time to cook vs. amount of food in the smoker
« on: December 30, 2006, 06:01:33 PM »
I saw in another thread somebody told that he couldn't expect the BS to get up to temp because of the amount of food in his smoker.  (I believe it was (4) 5-lb chickens but I could be wrong.)  I just smoked my first item -- an 8-lb butt.  I ballparked 90 minutes per hour and that came out pretty close, but what if I put another 8-pounder on another rack?  Would that double the time needed to cook?  How does extra food limit the BS's ability to heat up?

Thanks again.

Offline Arcs_n_Sparks

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Re: Time to cook vs. amount of food in the smoker
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2006, 06:07:59 PM »

Remember, you have some knobs to turn. More meat is a heat sink, more slider is more heat. Up to a point, you can compensate for what ever you are loading into the BS. You will be amazed at what people have crammed into their smoker........


Offline Gizmo

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Re: Time to cook vs. amount of food in the smoker
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2006, 07:31:05 PM »
Owrstrich (and others) have mentioned they has loaded his BS to the max with heavy poundage with no problems.  It does take more time as Arcs has so vividly described as the additional meat being a heat sink (heat absorber).  I have loaded mine full (12 racks -6 normal, 6 inverted) with salmon and another with Yellow Fin.  Not the mass or temps of butts and shoulders but no problem either.

Utilizing 2 external digital thermometers (one for the meat and one for the box air temp), you should be able to monitor the situation with ease.  The only issue is time if you are trying to finish at a specific time.  Practice will help with that and allowing for plenty of FTC (Foil Towel Cooler) resting time (2 to 4 hours) will give you the buffer on the timing.  Poultry is not recommended for FTC. 
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Offline West Coast Kansan

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Re: Time to cook vs. amount of food in the smoker
« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2006, 07:36:16 PM »
A n S compensation is right. Reading carefully you would expect the ramp up to take longer and the plateau will be extended just because more energy will be needed.  I would add about 4 hours, watching the IT on the butts and being patient.  Two at a time is really a better deal. Add the extra time to the start point and you still have time to FTC prior to serving. So you get to go to bed earlier than you did last night.

The thing about chicken that is rough on temperature (especially 20 pounds) is the moisture that has to be delt with.  One of the knobs to turn is the vent - which you would close to help reduce temperature loss (increase temp in box). The moisture however, absorbs heat and you want it to move right on out of the box to be able to maintain temperature.  See how the two work together or really against each other?  Your question is butts - and moisture is not the issue that exists in chicken/

The BS will cook amazing amounts of food. Low and slow, just the way you want it...
« Last Edit: December 30, 2006, 07:49:41 PM by West Coast Kansan »

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Offline Chez Bubba

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Re: Time to cook vs. amount of food in the smoker
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2007, 06:34:29 PM »

Glad to see you posting here and THANK YOU for choosing the same name so I know who you are! Lots of good advice above, but if you've spent time here, you already know that.

Doubling the load will not double the time, but it will extend it. When we prepare for C&B, I do (4) 6-9# butts at a time and it takes about 14-18 hours depending on total mass. When we do the other stuff on-site, we cram about 35-40# per smoker and most of it is done within 6 hours. The difference is the on-site stuff is smaller & not a big hunk of love.

Also especially important when dealing with the larger cuts is to take them out of the fridge an hour or so before placing in the smoker. A meat mass at 40F will take its' toll on the smoker temp a lot longer than one at 65F.

Ya think if next time I check into a hotel & they ask "Smoking or Non", they would mind?