My Dad bought a SS Smokette from Cabela's several years ago. He liked it so much he gave my brother and I each one for Christmas about 3 years ago.

I'm ashamed to say I've really just started using it a lot this year, but I'm struggling! I've seasoned it (2 different smokes: pork butt and straight pork fat). I'm using foil over the firebox and on the bottom (with drain hole poked out). I'm not using to much wood (actually weighing it). I'm using a thermometer and NOT opening it (except with ribs). Still struggling.

My meat is taking WAAAAYYYYY to long to cook!!! For instance, cooked baby backs today. 2 slabs, each weighed between 2.75# and 2.9#. Started with meat down. Set temp at 235*. Checked them at 3 hours....not close. It's now been 6 hours and they still aren't done?

Did 2 beer butt chickens last week.....they were small enough that both fit side x side on the same rack. Put my thermometer in an inside thigh. 10 hours in the smoker and I finally gave up and finished them on the grill!

6# pork butt 1 month ago took 12 hours at 235*....

I've checked my internal temp with 2 of my remote thermometers and they both say that my dial is pretty close. Help!!!!

EDIT: I forgot to say, that all of it has tasted GREAT! Just can't wrap my head around how dang long it's taking.
Original Post
I can tell you that the pork butt time seems to be right on. My somokette when set at 225 will take 2.5 hrs per lb for pork butts. Usually I do 7 to 8 lb butts and they take16 to 18 hrs to reach an interal temp of 195. I put them on in the evening and take them out the following day when the remote therm. beeps at me. I have done baby back ribs and they were done at 6 hrs.

Make sure if you are using an extention cord that it has good ends and is at least 14 guage. It could be the house voltage in your area is only around 110 volts instead of a full 120. check to make sure the outlet you are using is in good condition. In other words the cord should plug in and be very snug. feel the cord end and make sure that it is not warm at all to the touch if it is this could be part of your problem. but your times seem within reason to me. I would expect the ribs to be done at by 6 hrs though.
Knees,
It's funny you posted this. I just sat down to ask the same question.
I just cooked my first meal in my new 008. It was a 7.75 pork butt. I put it in last night (straight from the refrigerator) at 225 and took it out early this evening...21 (yes, twenty-one) hours later at 199. The meat tastes great, had a perfect bark, was incredibly moist, and is falling apart beautifully. But like Knees, isn't 21 hours an awfully long time? I guess I should take it out of the refrigerator earlier next time...but does that make that much of a difference?
Thanks Knees for letting my glob on your question.
Jim
No, especially to 199. If you noticed it probably took about .5 hrs per degree to make the last 4 degrees. It is very hard to make the difference between cook temp and a done temp when the swing is only 25 degrees. Some crank the dial all the way up maybe they will add in with some of their time and temps for higher settings. The only time I have seen mine take much shorter is when I did two pork butts at the same time and they seemed to be more steamed than a nice dark bark and really juicy like when I do just 1 at a time. My pork butts are around 41 degrees by the time they I get them put in the smoker and I take them to 195.
Could ventilation be an issue? I don't know if you saw the picture of my smoker but the smoker has about 3 inches of clearance on each side, and about six inches in the front and six inches in the back. I have three ventilation grills with one 4x10 on each side and one 8"x10" in the back.
By the way, the temp here today was in the low 30s with some cold rain falling.
My ribs sometimes go over 8 hrs for spares and sometimes 7 hrs for loin backs.
I usually use about 7 lb pork butts and they always take between 17 hrs and 22 hrs.
So, your times seem about right to me.
Keep accurate records of each cook. After a while you will be able to accurately judge the time.
I cook everything in my 009 cranked all the way up to 250deg. My butts take any where from 10-14 hours depending on the chunk of meat and I use the 3-2-1 total 6 hours (Cook uncovered, foil, uncover) method for my baby back ribs. I did a few butts at 225 and it took 15-17 hours and there wasn't any difference from the ones I do at 250deg.
Just an added observation.

My last two cooks have been with multiple items, each on its own rack.

I did 3 slabs of spares in my 055 and when I checked after 6 hrs, only the bottom slab was ready to come out. This was based on temp with a thermopen as well as the look and feel. I took the bottom slab out and left the other two slabs to cook some more. My feeling is that the meat on the bottom does shield the upper items from the heat somewhat.

The next cook was with a butt on top and a brisket below. (a flat) The brisket was done at 11 hrs but the butt took 20 and wasn't quite done at that point. (about 185) Again, I think the brisket on the bottom took the direct heat and made the butt take longer.

Just my $.02
Thanks very much for the all the input. We had the meat again tonight for dinner. It was the best pulled pork that we have had in a really long time. The only thing that would make it better is to kick up the spices a bit. I intentionally did this one a bit on the plain side (just a little sauce and then a little rub) so I would have a baseline for future meals.
Next up: RIBS on Friday night !! I am just going to do two slabs..each cut in half.
Thanks again to everyone for their help.
Knees-

One of the factors that is often overlooked related to cooking times in our CSs is the meat temperature when you put it in the smoker.

Obviously,when we take it out of the frige, if it is more than room temperature, it should take longer to cook, all other factors considered. I try to take my my ribs, butts, briskets out for about an hour before putting them into my Smokette.

Is it possible that this could be a factor with your recent cooks?
But then again... it has been stated on this forum (and I've tried it) that putting in something like a pork butt that is completely frozen doesn't greatly increase the cook time.

I don't have specifics, but it really didn't make a big difference in cook time when I tried it.
One competing theory to BQ's is to put your meat in cold, the idea being that the longer the meat is below 140, the more smoke will penetrate it.

The fact you've checked the internal smoker temp is good.

One thing I'd also suggest, this is something I do, is to open the door and let the humidity out (especially on the larger cuts such as brisket and butts) I like the effect. The problem with that is that the smoker was designed to keep the moisture in and that REALLY helps the newbies. I wouldn't suggest trying my idea until you've done a number of cooks; it's just an alternative method to try some time.

Keep good notes and after 3 to 5 cooks on a particular item (say butts) you'll have a pretty good idea of when to put meat in for future cooks.

I haven't cooked on my smokette in a while (like years) but as I've said, my times were never as long as I hear, BUT with all the posts, the average tells me it's 2 hours per pd.

That's why you have to build up your own times, etc.
Hi Smokin & happy NY to you.

I think Knees was concerned over the time it took to cook his ribs and a butt in his Smokette. Debates about the degree of smoke "penetration" related to the coolness of the meat are a little different topic.

Would you agree that ( all other variable being equal) the cooler the meat is when you put it in a Smokette, the longer it will take to cook that particular piece of meat until it is done?

Also, what do you think about the post about cooking frozen butts? I can't begin to see how that would take the same cooking time as a non-frozen butt? I did not do a search for posts about this on this forum.
quote:
Originally posted by Bobby Que:
Hi Smokin & happy NY to you.

Also, what do you think about the post about cooking frozen butts? I can't begin to see how that would take the same cooking time as a non-frozen butt? I did not do a search for posts about this on this forum.


I guess that's like trying to explain why hot water freezes faster than cold water water.
quote:
Originally posted by Bobby Que:
Would you agree that ( all other variable being equal) the cooler the meat is when you put it in a Smokette, the longer it will take to cook that particular piece of meat until it is done?

Also, what do you think about the post about cooking frozen butts? I can't begin to see how that would take the same cooking time as a non-frozen butt? I did not do a search for posts about this on this forum.


Good to see 'ya back, Happy New Year to you too.

I never put a timer to it, but yes, it will extend the time, but I don't think by much.

And I've seen where people putt in frozen butts and it takes the same amount as normal. Like EZ says, it's food science mystery. I'm sure there is a scientific explaination.


I think the real issue is that when newbies try to compare cooking times for food from other forums and cook them in a CS (electric) it ALWAYS takes longer.

So the people who cook to a set time seem to wonder why.

In a CS it just does. My PB's don't take as long in my FE's as they do in a CS. So I'll run some experiments when I get my new 25 (I'm getting one shipped after the backlog is cleared)
Out of curiosity I did some Googling on cooking frozen pork butts.

Not a lot of good info available!

Here is one reference that says it might take 50% longer to cook frozen pork, and, not to cook it in a slow cooker.

http://www.acrestationmeatfarm.com/pork_cuts.htm

"My roast isn’t thawed completely, but I need to get my meal started. Can I still cook it?

It is safe to cook frozen or partially-frozen pork in the oven, on the stove or grill without defrosting it first; the cooking time may be about 50% longer. Use a meat thermometer to check for doneness. It is best if frozen pork roasts are cooked at an oven temperature of 325 degrees F. Do not cook frozen pork in a slow cooker."

And this one from the Primo Forum is a nice thread including images of a frozen butt cooked low & slow in a ceramic cooker- including this post:

"I have smoked frozen butts before. Never a problem but it does take several hours more to cook. My opinion would be to thaw it in cold water first and save the smoking fuel. JMHO"

This one also shows a neat way to use a temp probe on the frozen butt. Also,he put a mustard/rub on the butt when it reached 65 degrees internal temp. He does not give the weight of the butt. It took him 17 hours in the Primo (not a Cookshack) to cook?.

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