Smoking a "full load" .... suggestions? tips?

Started by will_b_intouch, August 12, 2016, 12:57:17 PM

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Hi, I'm a new digital Bradley four shelf smoker owner. I was wondering if anyone has advice or a web page or something that talks about how to load your smoker with multiple items. I remember one post saying something about not putting pork above chicken or vice versa .... I can't remember.

Plus, the pucks aren't cheap. At $10 CDN (that's about 50 cents US) for 24 pucks (sorry, I'm Canadian, I know that's not the "proper" name for them ...) and three pucks an hour, that works out to about $1.25 per hour of smoking time. Doesn't sound like much but it adds up after a while if you plan on doing a lot of smoking like I do. I figured the best way to get the most smoke for your dollar is to do some planning ahead and load up the smoker rather than just doing one shelf of food. Sooooo .... any advice is welcome. Thanks!

Habanero Smoker

You don't smoke for the entire cook time. Large cuts like pork butts, and briskets benefit from 4 hours of smoke, or so. While chicken only may need 2 to 3 hours, as does ribs. After applying the amount of smoke, keep cooking until you reach the desired internal temperature or correct doness.

Many worry about cross contamination of chicken dripping on the pork or other foods, so they place the pork and other foods above the chicken. I do the opposite, because when I cook there are members in my family that do not eat pork so I don't want the drippings of the pork falling on the chicken. Cross contamination is a problem with raw uncooked foods. As long as all your foods are fully cooked there should be no problem. The exception may be that you don't want to place food under the chicken, if the food beneath fully cooks in a short period of time; not given the chicken time to fully cook.

The temperature is hotter near the element and towards the back wall, so you might want to keep that into consideration while loading. That is why many of us rotate the racks top to bottom, and front to back.