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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 05-22-2009, 07:10 AM   #1
KaBudokan
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Default Rookie needs timing advice - UDS cook on Sunday

So... we're having people over on Sunday, and I'm planning to fire up my new UDS I put together. (I did a test fire/seasoning run on Wednesday, and it worked well.)

My previous smoking experience was limited to some (fairly) successful outings using wood chunks in an aluminum pan on a gas grill, also using a water pan as a heat diffuser. When I did this last year (for the same picnic), I got a later start than I planned, and so we ended up eating LATE...

So... this year, I figured I'd get a smoker, so I can use the grill for burgers, etc., throughout the day, and in case everything takes forever. lol My research led me to the UDS, which seemed like a better option than buying an ECB and modding it.

Anyway, I'm planning to do a brisket and 2 butts on the smoker this year. I'm honestly not sure what kind of brisket I'll be able to get - last year I ordered one from the butcher, but this year I'll be hitting Sam's Club tonight. I don't know if I can get a full packer.

My plan was to get up around 5am to start things going - is this likely enough time to have the BBQ grub ready to eat by about 6-7pm? (I know a lot of factors influence cook time, so it's hard to estimate.) I'd like to avoid what happened last year, where some people hung out all day and then never got to eat the good food... lol

Thanks!!!
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Unread 05-22-2009, 08:02 AM   #2
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I have heard of briskets getting done in as few as 6-7 hours and as long as 15 hours, pork butts can be nearly as long on occassion. To answer your question, yes, it is likely that you can feed folks by 6-7pm by starting at 5 am... Is it a gaurantee, no! If the temperature stall period seems to go on forever you can foil and increase cooker temp to accelerate things without burning the meat. Others will chime in and give their opinions/experiences...
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Unread 05-22-2009, 08:04 AM   #3
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If you are doing 2 butts and a full brisket all at one time you are not allowing enough time. I would prolly start them at midnight, If they get finished too soon Which they could, you can wrap them and hold in a warm cooler for several hours. I try to figure an averager of 1 hour 15-20 minute per pound. 8 lb butt will average 10- 12 hours. I use the same rule of thumb on packers. This isn't written in stone as I have had some fly to the finish line and be ready for breakfast.
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Unread 05-22-2009, 08:05 AM   #4
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^^^^ see everyone agrees.

next question?
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Unread 05-22-2009, 08:17 AM   #5
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Well, I do tend to go to bed late, so I could conceivably meet "in the middle and start it around 1-2am without causing me too much stress... lol

I'm assuming if I can't find a decent sized brisket, my cook time could be reduced significantly on that end. I'll see what kind of meat I can grab today, and then try to plan accordingly.

Also, I probably will end up foiling the brisket for the end of the cook. The recipe I've done before called for foiling it and finishing in the oven, and then making a sauce using the drippings in the foil (along with an onion and jalapenos placed under the meat). The sauce was great, so I want to do that again anyway. (I'll cook the whole thing on the smoker, but want to capture some drippings and make the sauce.)

Any other thoughts?
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Unread 05-22-2009, 08:22 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smooookin View Post
If you are doing 2 butts and a full brisket all at one time you are not allowing enough time. I would prolly start them at midnight, If they get finished too soon Which they could, you can wrap them and hold in a warm cooler for several hours. I try to figure an averager of 1 hour 15-20 minute per pound. 8 lb butt will average 10- 12 hours. I use the same rule of thumb on packers. This isn't written in stone as I have had some fly to the finish line and be ready for breakfast.
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^^^^ see everyone agrees.

next question?
Actually I agree as well...

To be honest, that must be some massive UDS or your really going to be packing that meat in tight (based on a full packer (12-14 pounds) and two pork butts (7-8 pounds each) comes to roughly 30 pounds of raw meat).

How many people are you expecting to feed? Based on the quantities above and figuring 1/4 pound sandwiches, you should have enough to feed roughly 60 people one sandwich each (30 pounds raw with a 50% loss = 15 pounds of meat, 15 pounds of cooked meat times 4 sandwiches per pound = 60 sandwiches). Is this the only meat you are serving or are there other items. What kind of side dishes are you serving. How many teenagers are coming (they eat twice as much as any normal human)...

I'm sorry if I'm asking to many questions, and I'm not questioning your judgment on the quantity of meat, it's just that when you pack a smoker tight like that, it does take longer to cook what is on the smoker, take it from some one that had over 200 pounds on his little Lang 60 last weekend...

On edit: I'm assuming that you have a single grate UDS, if you have a two grate unit, please ignore me... (every one else does... lol)
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Unread 05-22-2009, 08:27 AM   #7
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just to give you something to compare to:

i am planning on eating around 5pm tomorrow for a bbq at a friends house...

i have a 16lb brisket and a 9lb butt that i'm cooking on the UDS... just judging from the last time i tried cooking these 2 items together, it ended up taking 22 hrs (and the brisket prolly could have gone a little longer)... so needless to say i am going to start these around 2 or 3 today to make sure i have plenty of time if it takes longer than normal... besides IF they finish early, then i can always wrap n cooler them...
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Unread 05-22-2009, 08:31 AM   #8
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If you can get your UDS to maintain 350-375 degrees, the other option is to do a high heat cook starting in the morning. Check out Brother Ed's (Kickass) site for his take on high heat smoking.

Here is a link to his Quick Cook Butt method
http://www.kickassbbq.com/Quick_Cook_Boston_Butt.htm
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Unread 05-22-2009, 08:47 AM   #9
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Question away - I'm an idiot right now, and I know it!!! lol

Ok, upon seeing the above responses, I'm figuring I'll knock it down to one butt. And... from the above responses, I'm figuring maybe I'll throw everything on around midnight. That way, if it would take 18 hours, it's still ready at 6pm!

Like I said, I'm not sure what size brisket I can get (without special ordering), so that may be a factor as well.

And yeah - this is (currently) a single-grate UDS, so I'm thinking I shouldn't try to cram it with more than I need.
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Unread 05-22-2009, 08:58 AM   #10
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Midnight will be a good starting time. You need a couple of hours to rest the meat anyway.

I usually start around 9:00pm and plan to pull between 11:00am and 1:00pm the next day then rest the meat for 2-6 hours. As time starts to run out then you can wrap and or increase temps.

If the butts and brisket are anywhere near 185. Wrapping will push either of them on thru the plateau pretty quick.
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Unread 05-22-2009, 09:02 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KaBudokan View Post
Question away - I'm an idiot right now, and I know it!!! lol
Trust me, I've been Q'ing for awhile and I often feel that way.
Quote:
Originally Posted by KaBudokan View Post
Ok, upon seeing the above responses, I'm figuring I'll knock it down to one butt. And... from the above responses, I'm figuring maybe I'll throw everything on around midnight. That way, if it would take 18 hours, it's still ready at 6pm!
I think that makes sense. With a UDS, once you dial her in, you can get some good sleep.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KaBudokan View Post
Like I said, I'm not sure what size brisket I can get (without special ordering), so that may be a factor as well.
I normally don't have a problem in getting packers from Sams, but I have heard of others that did have problems.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KaBudokan View Post
And yeah - this is (currently) a single-grate UDS, so I'm thinking I shouldn't try to cram it with more than I need.
Nothing wrong with that... Keep your eyes open of a cheap, used 22 1/2 Weber... The lid usually fits the UDS (with minor changes) and then you can add the second grate..

Good Luck this weekend and remember our rule, "No Pictures, it didn't happen".
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Unread 05-22-2009, 10:45 AM   #12
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OK - one more quick question - how much charcoal should I load up in this bad boy for this length of burn, and... how much wood should I mix in? I have hickory chunks to use with the charcoal.

Thanks again!
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Unread 05-22-2009, 02:43 PM   #13
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I put an entire 10lb bag of lump in my basket for a long burn.
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Unread 05-22-2009, 06:08 PM   #14
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Briquettes or lump?

Briquettes; you'll need at least 12 lbs to be on the safe side.
Lump; I'd go the same, as closing down at the end will snuff out the fire once the meat is off the pit.

On a 22" grate you could get 4 7 - 8 lb butts, but if you're cooking a packer brisket, and 2 large butts it's going to be a little tight, find yourself a can, (beans, tomato sauce etc), take off the top and bottom and burn off the paper, then do the brisket drape over the top of the can, this allows it to fit while cooking during the first few hours, then as it shrinks you can take the can out and still have room.
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Unread 05-22-2009, 07:11 PM   #15
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Hesmellslikesmoke,

Have you used the fast method @kickassbbq.com? If so, did you put it in a pan on a UDS? I thought that the drippings hitting the charcoal was a main reason for the UDS? I'm just a rookie myself and want to try a butt. This method would fit my weekend schedule well.
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