I'm smoking four boneless pork shoulders for my father-in-laws church event tomorrow on my SM025 Smokette Elite. Each is very small... they range from 2.9 to 3.8 lbs each, for a grand total of 12.9 lbs. How would this impact expected smoke times, and would it impact how much wood I need to include? I generally just do one massive pork shoulder (around 12 lbs each and smoke for roughly 12 hours on the top shelf), so this is a bit of a curveball for me. Would appreciate your guidance, my smoking brethren!
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Maybe too late, but I think your smoker doesn't know how many butts are in it but knows the weight of each one (unless you overload the capacity of the smoker to maintain temp). I'd treat it as around 3 lbs of butt and check temps at 6 or 7 hours. And you shouldn't need more smoke either. Good luck.
Thanks Jay! The shoulders are going into the smoker at 4AM EST so not too late! I've been eagerly refreshing my browser hoping I'd get a response before going to bed and here you are : )
BTW... do you suggest wrapping them in tin foil in the later stages of the smoke, or not necessary?
I never wrap anything since I like the bark. BTW, see my updated post.
Thanks again. Very helpful!
Let me know how it turns out...
I am interested as well. For what it is worth, I have found small butts to be kind if finicky in reaching desired internal temp compared to the larger cuts.
They turned out solid! If I were to grade them I'd give them a B... 85%. They took 7h 15m... I pulled when they were all temping between 190 - 195 and probed like butter. Rested for 1 hour in foil then had at it. The big pro was great bark, and the cons were lack of any flavor (including smoke flavor) and a bit lacking in moisture (though not dried out).
Next time I will try to inject to get more salt flavor ingrained throughout the interior of the brisket and using a rub with more salt. Also, I will buy better pork butts! These suckers were tiny and they didn't seem to have much fat running through them. And finally, I'm thinking I'll try 5 oz of wood instead of 4 oz. What do you guys think?
Thanks for the help under such notice!
Tell me, when you checked the wood box after everything was completed, did you have pieces. of charcoal? Charred wood? Ash?
Just checked... it's completely ash.
Then you should have had plenty of smoke flavor. That, at least has been my experience. However, if the chunks were small and combusted, they could have burned up and exhausted the smoke rapidly. A larger denser chunk tends to lose combustion to to a lack of oxygen; the tightness of the smoker lets very little air in and combustion uses that up rather quickly. Set the chunks in the box so they are between the heating element loops., they may smolder longer. I typically get smoke for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, sometimes a tad longer. All, you might want to try a stronger flavored wood. Your bark should have had good flavor, but then again, maybe not.
Thanks for the insight!
You are welcome. I hope that some of it is helpful. Here is a link on the science of smoke:
You might consider switching to bone-in butts. I find they tend to be more juicy.