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Weiss Mountain Smoke
06-15-2009, 11:27 AM
Hey everyone,

This is our first post. Any feedback is appreciated.

We are doing pulled pork for a friend's new general store grand opening. He is also having a classic car "cruise-thru" and a local bluegrass band will be performing. We are planning on doing 12 butts altogether.

We''ll be smoking on a Backwoods Fatboy at about 225 degrees. The most butts we have ever had on the smoker at one time is 4, and they took ~12 hours.

That gets me to my question, does having 12 butts on the cooker at one time affect the cooking time? Should we plan on the butts needing to cook for longer than if we were only doing 1-2?

Like I said, any feedback is most appreciated. I can post pictures of the event afterwards if anyone is interested.

Bigmista
06-15-2009, 11:30 AM
It depends on whether that many butts will restrict your air flow. It is also a larger thermal mass. I would give myself extra time just in case. You can always cooler them if they finish early.

Cliff H.
06-15-2009, 11:41 AM
I did 8 on a uds. Keeping temps up was the biggest issue. I would shoot for higher temps on the start. That much mass will shut you down once it starts to sweat.

Bamabuzzard
06-15-2009, 11:44 AM
As one has already mentioned it depends on your air flow inside the chamber once it is loaded. I can tell you from experience if the meat is touching each other on the grates and also touching or is very close to the chamber walls odds are you're going to have a hard time keeping temps up. I loaded down my backwoods a few weeks ago with ribs and the temps were a booger to keep up. Became quite frustrating.

Weiss Mountain Smoke
06-15-2009, 12:08 PM
Thanks all for the responses. I guess we will do our best to keep the butts from touching eachother as well as the sides of the cooker to maximize airflow. We are actually staggering the cooktimes so we will be putting 4 butts on to start at 10pm, 4 more at 2am, and the last 4 butts at 4am. So we should only have all 12 butts on the cooker at the same time for a 6 hour window.

Bamabuzzard
06-15-2009, 12:31 PM
Thanks all for the responses. I guess we will do our best to keep the butts from touching eachother as well as the sides of the cooker to maximize airflow. We are actually staggering the cooktimes so we will be putting 4 butts on to start at 10pm, 4 more at 2am, and the last 4 butts at 4am. So we should only have all 12 butts on the cooker at the same time for a 6 hour window.


Good luck and I'm hope it turns out great. I just know that AIR FLOW is HUGE in keeping temps up so do the best you can in making sure you can keep good air flow in the chamber.

StrikeEagle
06-15-2009, 04:05 PM
With staggered start up times, like that, you can BET on things taking longer to cook. Just the loading and shifting of meat will mean that your cooker will be open more, and longer during the total cooking process. This will always result in slower cooking times as your rig will have to 'catch up' on temps each time you open it up.

One other thing to beware of is meat level placement. Placing 'fresh meat' on lower racks risks your rub being 'washed away' by the drippings of meat placed above it. With your four hour stagger, it'll be easy to get the rub set on one batch before you load up the next.

Just some things to keep in mind.

71-South
06-15-2009, 05:51 PM
Keep in mind you could always do half or more ahead of time, pull it, and reheat it pulled on the day of the event. You'd still get the wow factor with the ones that you're smoking that day and the ones you did beforehand would be easy to get ready.

Bacon
06-15-2009, 06:13 PM
The excess of anything requires more concern. So with a definite opinion, I would say yes. Temp. control would be the measure of the cook as well of any.

Instead of 225 you could raise it to 250-260 after it levels.

KC_Bobby
06-15-2009, 06:30 PM
I own a BWS Competitor and can get a max of 16 butts in there. The most I've ever had in there at one time is 10 butts. But I have had it loaded with 18 racks of babybacks and 40 lbs of loin one time and the temp dove quit a bit after putting in all the ribs at one time - cuts the air flow. Add the massive amount of meat you are putting in there with the combo of airflow and the temp will take a dive and take awhile to get back up.

Putting in 90+ lbs of 40* meat is a lot of mass to warm back up. One thing that might help the temp from diving so much is to get it up to about 325* before putting in water - then put in hot water if you can. Let it get back up to 300* or so and start putting the meat in.

Anyway to answer your question, it will take a bit longer to cook the more loaded you have your BWS if you keep it down to 225 due to the increase in mass to cook and the time it will take to get the cooker back to your target temp, however not all that much longer - maybe an hour possibly two. You can let the temp raise throughout the cook and that can speed it up - don't be afraid to let it run up to 275* or so, that BWS will hold plenty of moisture and the butts won't dry out.

early mornin' smokin'
06-15-2009, 06:32 PM
good luck, but im with 71 south, cook half before, and half there. If you open that cooker up 3 times, you'll kill it, think about all that cold meat.

KC_Bobby
06-15-2009, 06:46 PM
Thanks all for the responses. I guess we will do our best to keep the butts from touching eachother as well as the sides of the cooker to maximize airflow. We are actually staggering the cooktimes so we will be putting 4 butts on to start at 10pm, 4 more at 2am, and the last 4 butts at 4am. So we should only have all 12 butts on the cooker at the same time for a 6 hour window.

I should have read this prior to my post. This will help a lot. The mass you are putting in at those times will be somewhat offset by having a decent mass of meat that is already hot