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Full Version: Best way to smoke for a big group: can I partially precook?
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I have a family reunion here later this month and I had hoped to use the smoker. I have done brisket my last three smokes and each one has been better than the last and even the first was great. We have a group of about 80, about 60% being kids who can just have hot dogs. All I have is a UDS and I dont think I can cook enough for that many in one day.
I have read that the smoke essence is done in about 2-3 hour usually to where it has sealed in and any wood after that point does not do any good; not sure if this is accurate, but it got me thinking. Could I presmoke these the day before we go up to Flaming Gorge. Cool it back down put it in the coolers and finish it off in an oven onsite until appropriate temp is achieved? Just a thought, if this is no good are there are any other ways of accomplishing this or do I just need another smoker?
Thanks for any input guys?
You always need another smoker... OK you may not actually need another one, but it's had to resist the urge to fill another couple of unused square foot from the patio!

If you are cooking in the smoker to just add smoke flavor, and not to finish them all the way, I'd personally give them 4.5 - 5 hours in the smoke, then pan and finish to 185 - 190° internal in the oven.

Also buy yourself another grate and use 3 soup cans, (take out the top and bottom), place on the first grate in a triangle, stand second grate on top, if you pick your cans and you have enough room you can cook, nearly twice as much as on one grate!
SoEzzy has great advice.

The way I usually end up doing it is to smoke half of the food the day before. Cook completely, rest and slice the brisket, then vacuum seal or put into zip lock bags, then cool in an ice bath.

I reheat the next day in a tabletop roaster.
(07-02-2013 12:09 AM)SoEzzy Wrote: [ -> ]You always need another smoker... OK you may not actually need another one, but it's had to resist the urge to fill another couple of unused square foot from the patio!

Also buy yourself another grate and use 3 soup cans, (take out the top and bottom), place on the first grate in a triangle, stand second grate on top, if you pick your cans and you have enough room you can cook, nearly twice as much as on one grate!
The second smoker is a very real possibility, but I like your second rack idea even better. My experience in the past is that it takes much longer for two butts than one and I presume that would hold true with this method?? I am looking at doing a full brisket of 13 lbs, so maybe two of 13 lbs each. Would the 1.5 hours/lb rule of thumb hold true? My last smoke two weeks ago was 15 hours on 12 lbs or 1-1/4 hours/lb. I don't really want to burn $70 to experiment before hand too badly...
Thanks for the help guys!
Take a few pictures of your drum and post them, I should be able to guesstimate on whether the cans will work for you!
I view every new job as reason to buy new tools.
(07-02-2013 10:35 PM)Larry Jacobs Wrote: [ -> ]I view every new job as reason to buy new tools.
I am with you there! Every new home project in which I can justify a new saw, drill, etc. I usually do!
I dropped my rack on mine so as to better fit turkeys in there, so it is about 10" below the top, which I think should be plenty of room. The bolt and nut you see up high is just where I plugged teh original holes, the rack is now located just barely above the thermoter probes there. Here is a pic:
[Image: smoker.jpg]
If it was me, I would add 3 more bolts half way between your existing rack and the top. Then just get another rack for the top. Then you can have adjustable racks. Doing two briskets in it will not take much longer than one. I just did two briskets on the top rack of mine at the competition Saturday and all turned out ok. The biggest thing to watch is that the briskets have space around each other to form a good bark. Put the briskets on the top rack. Then if you start to get to much of a nasty smoke from too much grease dripping on the coals, you could throw an aluminum pan under the meat on the bottom rack to catch a lot of the excess drippings and clear up the smoke.
Your grate level is high already, you are not going to be able to double up on that UDS.

You could possibly double down though, put the extra bolts below the reinforcing ring. The difficulty of splitting the difference above is that the bolts needed to support the top grate stop you getting the grate for the bottom level in and out. It can be done with bolts of different lengths, and learning exactly how it needs to be wiggled through.

That's why I like bigger bolts, lower down on the drum from the word go, with the three legged separators, (the topped and tailed cans)!
It certainly can still be done, I lowered it to where the temp probes are, but can get below them. How far down would it need to be? How much room must be there be above the top rack?
the brisket I bought today, the only one they had, was not as long as the last one with same weight, so clearly thicker. With that size I could probably get two of them on them on the rack with a little room in between; what do you think of that idea?
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