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I have my Amerique packed full with (12) pork butts, weights vary from 5-1/2# to +6#. Are there any good tricks to use when cooking this many items? I have placed the larger butts on bottom rack and smaller ones on top rack. Is it wise to flip bottom butts over after a while so the one side does not stay so close to the wood box/heating element, or should I alternate rack locations during the cook, or just leave them as originally placed ?? I am trying to keep door closed as much as possible, and won't insert temp probes until I have pieces in "final" positions. I am thinking with that much meat in smoker, it will take 3 or so hours longer to reach finish temp than it would with just 2 butts in smoker.
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Good luck.
Per CS website, total capacity is 50lbs for a Q.

I have a Q and smoked 5 butts last month, 8lb range so I had 40lbs in at 225, took about 23 hours, but my Q tends to smoke on the long side. I could have slipped another one in, doubt if would have affected cook time. I'm sure someone will chime in, but definitely give yourself some extra time.
These are just possibles.

You could alternate those bottom ones about half way thru.

Doesn't hurt to open the door then,and let out some moisture.

As you get closer to 3/4 done,you can tell what is finishing faster,and move them to cooler spots.

If you haven't checked it,the top rack could be hotter-as heat rises.

You could also cook more at 235º,at your average cook surface,if that helps your timing.

Put your probes in your smaller/faster cooking butts,so you'll know when to start pulling them.

If you get too far behind,later in the cook-250º won't hurt anything.

You don't "have" do do anything,but take good notes. Smiler
Thanks for the tips. I can see where opening the door to vent some of the moisture out would be a good idea. I have never mapped-out the temps for my 4 racks, but found that things on the bottom rack seem to get a little 'crisper' than those on the upper racks, which makes sense to me since closer to heat source. I usually cook butts at 225*, but will bump up to 235* for this time. Yes, I do keep notes each time I smoke something - good notes are invaluable !! I just have not done this much quantity before.
Ya can't much hurt butts!

Cookshack is notoriously conservative with cooking loads.

Correctly,they wish to NEVER be wrong.

You may not see the Heat at the top rack,but you will get "mouthfeel" from the heat at the top.

Take chances, on excess heat, with BUTTS,the CS is so moist you won't fail.

Your actual cooking/rack temps are probably LOW in an AQ.

The higher your load,the more consistent it will cook.

You can probably start it all at 250*,open your door,so you feel comfortable,and it will all average about right.

Be ye not afraid,for you and Cookshack are the chosen ones. Wink
Just a final report; with the side rails on the lower pegs (so as to have enough room for butts on top shelf), the butts on the bottom shelf were done to 190*+ in a little over 8 hours since they were so close to the woodbox and my poor smoker was working so hard to get all that meat up to temp. The upper 3 shelves took around 14-1/2 hours to get up to temps which is more in the usual range for 6# butts.
Lessons learned: 1.) I won't pack my AmeriQue that full again - I will do multiple loads and tell my neighbor that's just the way it has to be - he can't have it all just 'fresh' out of the smoker. I think a night in the refrigerator helps bring-out the smoke flavor more for pulled pork anyways. 2.) Cookshack smokers do a great job - even when asked to do much more than designed for.
Thanks to Tom for his comments - you are so wise!! I'm glad butts are such forgiving critters. The party went well and everyone enjoyed their pulled pork sandwiches.
Don't know about the wise,but have done it a few times,and still have the old notebook ,Smokin' started me keeping.

Like you said,good notes do a lot to "make an experienced cook."

A couple more runs,and you should have a better feel for the cooker,your placement and temps.

Nice thing about butts,is they will cook to meet your schedule.

Sounds like you could probably have shifted a few around,still cooked around 225º,planned on 16 hrs-worst case in the cooker,and still have a few hrs to rest in a cooler.

One of those 120 qt coolers from Sam's,would probably keep that many wrapped butts for 8-10 hrs,safely.

Sounds like it was a success to me.

Problem now,since you made it look so easy,all the neighbors will want you to do it. Eeker

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