So the butcher just called and has two 8lb Boston butts and 1 8 pound brisket. If my party is at 7 pm Saturday night. I plan to serve at 7:30 pm. When should I put the meat on my smoker? I plan to cook everything at 225-235. The brisket i'm going to put on a seperate smoker Any advice would be helpful.
10-13-2011 12:01 PM
Every time I have cooked by temperature I have gotten in trouble. There is too much variation between smokers and the dreaded stall can result in the same type of meats having varying cook times. I know many here have enough experience that they cook by tenderness. But for some of us newer people I find that cooking by temperature is the "safe way". I use a target temperature of 180 degrees for brisket and near 200 degrees for pulled pork. I know this does not help if you are trying to schedule your meat to be ready at a certain time. But my strategy is start with plenty of time and have the cooler ready in case the meat is done early. In general, the target time I use is about 1.5 hours per pound but I only use that to try to make sure I have allowed enough time. Using the time I expect to start serving as a starting point, I usually start about 1.5-2 hours earlier than that calculation would indicate I should and put the meat in the cooler to take up any slack. I generally let folks know that dinner will be served in a target range that is about an hour wide to buy additional time in case the stall is very slow or weather conditions slow the cook time. If you have an insulated smoker such as a Backwoods or Pitmaster, weather conditions will not affect cook times as much.
10-13-2011 12:47 PM
What are you cooking on? that can make a difference.
At those temps I would go with the guidelines that LVBBQMan laid out. 1.5 hours per pound. If they are done early you can hold them in a pre-heat cooler with some towels or clean newspaper for insulation until serving time.
10-14-2011 01:14 AM
I need to correct what I said. Every time I have cooked based on TIME, I have gotten in trouble. I now use a Maverick ET 732 to monitor my meat temperature. If i am cooking multiple meats as you indicate, I have a less expensive Master Forge that I use on the second meat type. My Backwoods Fatboy is very efficient and brisket and ribs are done much sooner than I expect. However, due to variable stall characteristics in pork butts, my limited experience with butts has been that they take longer than the calculated 1.5 hours per pound when cooked at 225. I am going to cook my next butt at 250-260 and try to shorten the cook time. But the whole process for me is based on temperature because I can monitor it without opening the pit to stick something in to find out if it is "as smooth as buttah".
10-14-2011 06:20 AM
I have the 732 as well. I will probe all my meat. I will go with the 1.5 hrs per pound and give myself extra time during the FTC. Thanks for everyone's help.
10-14-2011 06:27 AM
Sounds like good advice on everything but the beer... I'd start tasting that as soon as the meat goes on... :heh: