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Smokin Papa,
Throw the calculator away and get yourself a remote thermometer. Cooking by weight is only a reference. I've had butt's take as long as 16 hrs. and as little as 10 hrs. . Depends too much on fat content, depending on what your cooking. Every piece of meat is different so a remote probe thermometer is your best bet .. Wink Are you doing different types of meat ie; chicken, ribs, brisket ? If so alway's put chicken on the bottom. For your first smoke I'd just do a BIG FAT BUTT to season the smoker real good .. Just my .002

Mcnkc is right, but for the large cuts you do need a little bit of a time reference to get in the ball park of when things might be near done. I suggest you read Smokin Okie's "Lessons For New Users" and the 101's for the specific meat you are doing.

Specfic to your question, best to have a temp probe in the smallest piece and one in the largest piece then you know where you will stand. That way, if the small piece gets done you can take it out and leave the larger one in to continue to cook. For your ball park times, calculate for the largest piece to give you an approximate for the longest length of time. But watch the temp on both.

For your first few cooks, until you get the hang of what you are doing, try to keep things simple (K.I.S.S.) Big Grin. Pick one piece of meat and cook it. Master that and then move to another.
Plan your cooking times to the largest piece of meat. Measure the temperature in the smallest piece so it doesn't get over cooked, although with digital thermometers as cheap as they are, you can really afford to have one in each piece of meat you cook and one to monitor the smoker temperature. I am a big believer in digital thermometers; it takes a lot of uncertainty out of smoking meat.

My experience is that big loads take less time per pound than smaller loads as the temperature variations in my 009 are smaller, and the average is a bit higher. Don't open the smoker until you take a piece of meat out of it.

Of course, your mileage may vary and it is done when itis done.

I know ya have to have at least 1/2 an idea when the meat will be done if you are planning a dinner get together.
You'll find on here that folks go anywhere from 1.5- 2.5 hrs/ pound.
Something else to consider is what internal temp you will be taking the butt to. Some take it out at 190 degrees, and others take it upto 205 degrees. pork is pullable at 190, but I like 200- 205 because it seems more fat is rendered.

Anyhow, if you have an 8 lb. butt & you figure 2 hrs/ pound, but it gets done in 12 hrs, you'll still be fine. Just double wrap in foil, then a towel, then stick it in an empty cooler. It'll be fine and ripe for the pulling 4hrs later when its time to eat!

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