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Actually I did think about it which is why I posted the question, because I figure with 4x the surface area and mass to "absorb" smoke flavor, I might need more. But I didn't feel the need to post that level of detail.

I'm also wondering if I will need to allow substantially more time for 4 butts than 1. I will search the forums again but if I don't find a definitive answer I probably won't post again, out of fear that I am wasting others' time.

Thank you for your responses.
You're not wasting anyone's time. That's what this forum is all about. Asking and answering questions. And talking about barbecue. If we didn't do that, there wouldn't be a forum.

Four pork butts won't take much longer than doing a single butt. Probably more cold mass inside the smoker but the element would stay on longer to compensate and keep the temp where it's set. You should expect them to finish in roughly the same time as a single.
When I cook a bigger load of PBs I find that the time will actual be a little quicker. Seems that the smokers like the heat sink that is caused by more meat.

Sorry, if my answer seemed blunt, it was never intended that way. it is the asking of questions that make it for ALL of use to learn...cause as Pags has stated before,"we learn from each other and share with each other".

Back to that smoke, I like extra smoke on my PB so the amount I use will cause it to leak out the corners of my smoker. I just figured there would be extra smoke and never really thought of it absorbing it all up.
The answer was pretty simple once you've done it and the experienced cooks above answered it with even the extra tidbits.

The larger mass may allow door opening without losing much heat and also keep the therm more stable and like cal says,seems to cook better overall.

As does the stickburner Max mentioned.

Although we talk about leaving the door closed on these cookers,a full load will buildup a lot of humidity and occasionally we might open the door to dump some moisture from the cooker which could also be a time to flip/rotate meats-or even spray them,if you are so inclined.

Some folks,as they gain experience and take notes about their tastes for smoke,might even add another small chunk of wood.

Just cook them simply and enjoy.The cooker will take good care of you. Smiler
I have a question along the same lines. I have a amerique and have smoked only small loads (ribs small porkbutt) so far. I noticed the wood burns up at around 3 hours into the cook, Do you need to add more wood during the cook for larger items,such as large brisket and pb?
The answer can be a yes or no.

What tastes right to you will guide you.The larger item won't control the smoke,as much as the length of the cook.

Some cooks like a heavier smoke taste on a heavy meat like shoulder/brisket than they like on chicken breast.

If you put all the smoke into the large meat that you desired in three hrs when the wood is gone ,than the rest of the time you are just oven cooking.

If you want more,than larger wood chunks that smoke longer or adding small chunks later in the cook.

An example could be the many cookers that get their cooking heat from charcoal and add occasional small chunks, the longer the cook lasts.

Smokin' would probably say to add a small bit more wood at the start and take notes how that suited you.That may well do it.

There are other discussions down the road about laying smoke on,putting smoke into,cooking and meat temps.

Some of our AQ owners here will probably comment on amounts that work for their tates.
Amerique owner here.

Tom pretty much hit the nail on the head. I've used as little as a 2 oz chunk of hickory for chicken and ribs. I'll go 5-6 oz for PB's and briskets. I've always been happy with the amount of smoke flavor using those guidelines.

One thing to keep in mind, conventional wisdom suggests that meat, once over the 160 o mark, ceases to take on smoke.

As Tom points out, it's a matter of personal taste. If you find your briskets and pb's lacking enough smoke, try adding more after the 3 -4 hr mark. Or try more from the beginning. Keep notes. You'll settle into your comfort zone after a few smokes.
Quick update... the 4 butts went on last night at 11 PM. I have 36 pounds or so of meat (two 9+ pounders and two nearly 9 pounders). Put the 2 heaviest on a lower shelf, and probed the largest and smallest. Smoker set to 230 (by accident, I wanted 225 but I must have hit the button too many times) and 9.5 hours later the largest reads 183 and the smallest 185. I had planned on up to 17 hours before an hour's rest, so it looks like I'll be ok there.

I used 4.7 oz total of hickory and apple and the unit is still blowing smoke like crazy. I nearly went with 6.2 oz so I'm glad I went conservative. Taste & time will tell. Smells divine.

This is a cook for 18 high school juniors & seniors and up to 7-8 adults (all males). If this works out well, someone I know asked if I would do butts and ribs for his work picnic. I jumped at this chance to try a larger cook. Hoping for leftovers for me. Smiler
As I'm sure happens with many first cooks for a crowd, I made wayyy too much, lol. But, thanks to the FoodSaver I have 8 pounds of pulled pork perfectly portioned and in the freezer. YUMMM.

Ended up being 17 players and only 3 coaches. 5 other adults were there hanging out, so they ate too. We held it in the school cafeteria and gave the custodians some food. Then, lots of people took home some pork. And there was STILL almost an entire pan of pork left!! All in all everyone raved, which just goes to show you that around here, some of you guys would make a killing!! Smiler

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