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I'm assuming you're using an electric smoker. I'd suggest four or five one ounce pieces. Look to see where the electric element makes contact with the wood tray. Place two chunks where the element makes contact...the other three off to the side. All five will provide smoke, assuming the element makes contact with the wood tray (check it out visually).

Youd did say "shoulder", which is typically about 14-20 lbs. If you're smoking a pork butt (typically 7-9 lbs.) Cut the wood amount by half.

Keep notes. It's always better to start with less vs too much can adjust accordingly.
Do what you want, I have learned that there is no right or wrong way to Que, but only personal preferences.

How will a person learn what he likes if you don't try both ways...with that said, Smokin' has taught a lot of us the KISS(keep it simple stupid) method. It has worked well for me, with that in mind, I put two large pieces in along with a smaller one at the start. I would imagine it works about the same as MaxQ's method.

I'd tend to worry more about cooking the product correctly thou!
Smoke will only penetrate the food initially. The theory being that the protein seizes up around 140 (although I've never found proof of that temp).

It WILL however continue to cling to the outside of the meat after that point and that's where the oversmoke comes from.

Try it just early and early, then add some later and see if you notice a difference.

KEY is your taste buds, can they tell a difference?
When I first started smoking I was annoyed that my ribs, butts or poultry always wound up with a bitter smoke taste. I was clearly using too much wood. I took Smokin's advice and cut back on the amount of wood and now the results are great. I know that the amount of smoke is a personal preference, but less worked for my taste. On pork butts, I use four ounces of wood, set the smoker to 225 degrees and go to sleep. After 12-14 hours, I have a perfect butt. Good luck.
I just got my 025 a couple of weeks ago, but so far I have been using just a single 2oz chunk. Everything I read says to gradually increase it, but so far everything I have done has been with just 2oz and it's been phenomenal. I will get a little more gutsy as my experience increases! Smiler
I have had my 066 for 3 weeks now and will do my third smoke, a butt, tomorrow. After my 2d smoke, ribs and pork belly in which I used a total of 3 chunks assuming a total of 6 oz, I decided to weigh the chunks of wood that came with the smoker. Roughly 4 oz each which meant I used 12 oz of wood. So I am splitting them in half. I had assumed they were 2 oz each and overdid the smoke. I used one (4 oz) on the first smoke and it was good, but the last effort was too much for our taste. Beneath the smokey outer layers, the meat was moist and flavorful, but the outer layer was rather thick. Just thought I would mention the weight issue. Also, at the end of the smoke, I have nothing but ash left in the wood tray. Great smoker. And I am taking/keeping notes.

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