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Here is the situation. My buddy needs me to smoke 4 pork butts for his father's retirement party. The party is this Friday. I will be leaving town on Friday morning so I am planning on smoking the butts all day Thursday.

I have never smoked 4 butts in my SM50 before but I am assuming it will take the same amount of time smoke. Is 4oz of hickory enough or should I use more?

If I smoke the butts on Thursday, should I pull them and then refrigerated, or should I smoke them and leave them whole. When should they be pulled?

What would you do?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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4oz will work, I personally use a heavy 6oz for butts.

The trick to safely keep meats is to get the temp down as fast as possible after cooking. Since bacteria growth is said to be heaviest at above 40 degrees and below 140 degrees that is the area you want to get your meat to go through as quickly as possible.

What I do is pull the meat and put it in very large freezer bags spread out in no thicker than one inch. Place the bags flat on ice and place ice on the top as well. This will get the temps down really fast. If you're really confident in the seal of your bags you could submerge them in ice water as well.

When they are good and cool you can place them in the fridge.

The reason you don't pull and place the container in the fridge is the mass of product is so big that the center of the meat will be in the danger zone way too long as well as it raises the temps of your fridge endangering the other contents of your fridge.
Whole butts are even worse to go straight into the fridge in my opinion.
I smoked 6- 10 lb. butts recently for a graduation party in my CS55. I smoked 3 butts the day before and 3 the day of the party. The ones I smoked the day before I coolered them for a few hours then pulled. They went into the fridge in foodsaver bags and I boiled them prior to the party. They turned out just as good as the butts I smoked and pulled the day of the party. You could also put them in aluminum trays with plastic wrap and foil and heat them in the oven a few hours at 200-250*.

My smoke times were not much different than with smaller amounts. The butt on the lower rack did reach target temp about an hour prior to the top and middle butts. I used 3 oz. Hickory and 3 oz. Apple in both smokes and that seemd to be the right amount of smoke.

I hope it turns out well for you.
Originally posted by kosy1993:
Since the pork is going to be reheated, do you still cook it to 190?

Also should I wait to sauce until he reheats it?

Thanks guys...

Don't sauce it! I was going to say "in my opinion", but......nope, don't sauce it before you bag it. It will look nasty to them when they heat it up(people eat with their eyes) and the taste will start heading towards the likes of very good store bought bbq.
Definitely pull them warm after cooking, then bag the meat or store in aluminum pans in fridge. Do not sauce prior to re-warming. And think re-'warm', not re-'heat'. The reason you cook to 190 or above is to render the fat and melt the connective tissues; if you re-heat pulled pork to that temp you are going to force out grease and scorch your product. Boiling bags are easiest, but any gentle heat will work. Just warm enough to prefer fork to finger.
How will you reheat? That will affect which method you use. Store whole or pull. Pulled will save you work on the day.

4 butts of foodsaver is a lot to reheat. If you have a stove and pots, that will work.

You can also keep them whole, and reheat whole. You'll have less moisture loss that way.

Only reheat to 140 or 145, you just want to reheat the food not recook the foold

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