How many briskets can I smoke in an MES 30 at once?

Discussion in 'Beef' started by glouie, Jun 1, 2015.

  1. glouie

    glouie Newbie

    Anybody have any experience cooking multiple briskets at the same time in an MES 30"?   How does cooking 2 fullsize briskets (12-13 lb) at the same time affect smoke time?

    I making smoked brisket for my son's graduation party, and since we have a good size crowd coming, I was thinking about getting 2 Packer Briskets, after trimming the fat and the tips, it'll be around 11-12 lbs each?

    I figured I could do them both at the same time, and be done 18-20 hours (not including resting in the cooler afterward).. I usually estimate 1-1/2 hrs per pound in the smoker, to be safe. But since its 2 separate briskets, it doesn't seem right to estimate it the same way?

    Will foiling them after they reach the stall temperature help reduce the time?

    any thought or advice is appreciated..

  2. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    It will take approx. twice as long.... You have twice the meat, twice the thermal mass.... and you still have the one small heating element...

    I would smoke them then finish in the oven.....
  3. glouie

    glouie Newbie

    I don't think its as simple as that..   You're assuming that the heating element doesn't cycle on and off when smoking a single brisket.   If the element stays on longer, because the thermal mass in acting as heatsink and cooling the air inside the box, doesn't that mean you're introducing more heat into the equation?
  4. Hello.  I don't see why you would trim before cooking but that is a personal choice.  Below is a thread that offers several methods for cooking brisket.

    If I were doing it I would rotate the briskets on the shelves top to bottom about every hour to every 1 1/2 hour.  AND I would also flip them over.  Yes opening the door wiil result in longer coking time.  The answer to your foil question is yes they tell me it will help through the stall.  I don't foil so I can't swear by that.  The answer to your general question about time and would they be done about the same time is yes, OR maybe not.  The point being is you can put 2 "equal" briskets in the same smoker and have different results.  Those suckers seem to have a mind of their own.  A brisket is done when a brisket is done and not too much you can do about that.  It is done when it is tender.  The toothpick test seems to be the preferred method.  When a toothpick slides easily in like as in warm butter it is done.  Hope all turns out well.  Keep Smokin!

    Last edited: Jun 1, 2015
  5. bmaddox

    bmaddox Master of the Pit

    Can you fit two whole packer briskets into a 30" MES? That seems like it will be a tight fit. As for time, as long as each piece has enough space for the air to circulate around it and your smoker is maintaining your desired temp I don't see why it would take longer. I haven't tried two briskets but I have done multiple pork shoulders/butts and the cook time doesn't seem to change from when I smoke a single or a double. 
  6. Hello GLOUIE.  I find myself between a rock and a VERY hard place.  NO SECRET!  DaveOmak and I don't always see eye to eye; he tolerates me being here!   [​IMG]  We have butted heads MANY times in the past.  Just a history lesson.  BUT!  What I CAN tell you is if it's midnight and Dave tells you the sun is shining; you better go check!  His advice is sound!  He ain't just a pretty face.  He knows his stuff.  To dismiss his advice out of hand would not be a good thing.  If you have the experience to argue thermal mass with Dave; why ask the question?  What is it you want to know?

    I mean no disrespect.  I don't mean to be abrupt. I apologise if I some across that way.   I am just confused as to what you are asking.  IF the only question you are asking is will foiling help to get through the stall?  My answer is I do not foil.  I have had no problems with that method.  Some folks who do foil claim it does help.  I have no experience with that.  Keep Smokin!

  7. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    If I'm not up to date on this cooking thing, WHY do recipes say "Cook at 300 and 10 minutes per pound"..... so a 5# roast takes 50 minutes.... and a 10# roast takes 100 minutes..... and they don't give a s#!t if it's 2" thick or 4" thick or 8" thick.....

    So you experts think you can put a 15# brisket in a tiny, under watted smoker and it will take the same length of time to cook as 30#'s of brisket..... HOLEY KEYRAP.... I'm glad I don't listen to you..... HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA........

    Danny, I see from your post, you didn't read the question.... trimming the brisket wasn't involved here......
  8. glouie

    glouie Newbie

    KC5TPY - Sorry, I don't mean any disrespect to DaveOmak, as I'm sure he as well as many others here have alot more experience than I do with smoking meats. As a mechanical engineer, I do have some training and education in heat transfer, although, I will also admit its been a long time since i've done any real engineering..   besides thermal mass, there are other factors.. heat transfer surface area, thickness of the cut, the amount of heat available..  

    I don't know why my response to Dave Omaks post puts you in between a "Rock and a VERY HARD Place", as it doesn't specifically concern you. 

    Likewise, I don't know why you think the only question I asked had to do with "foiling".. the questions in my post specifically asks about smoking in an MES 30.  Did Dave provide a response to that?   and I don't see where I 'dismissed his advice out of hand..."   I simply asked a question, to make sure he took into consideration other factors besides thermal mass.  If anything, his response post was a bit dismissive (or short) to my question.. Again, I'm not complaining about the length of his post, I simply asked another question.

    Questioning is the only way to learn anything..   You're free to blindly follow what Dave says, (or not, as you allude that you've butted heads with him...), but if something doesn't necessarily make sense even in my limited field of experience, I'm going to question it.   For instance, about a month ago I smoked a stuffed 2.5 lb pork loin in about 2-1/2 hours, then a few weeks later, had to smoke 3 x 2.5 lb pork loins in about 3 hours..  so, the triple the thermal mass, triple the smoke time doesn't necessarily follow.

    Also, take a look at the response by bmaddox, seems like it directly contradicts what DaveOmalk says..  I don't see you questioning his response telling him he better go check with DaveOmark.

  9. glouie

    glouie Newbie

    Because recipes assume a specific shape and amount of heat transfer surface area.. 

    I NEVER said it would take the same length of time to cook twice the amount of meat.   But I'm questioning whether it takes twice the amount of time to cook twice the amount of meat, when the heat transfer surface area has doubled.  

    If you take a set amount of cake batter and put it in a cake tin, does it take the same amount of to put that same cake batter in a bunch of cupcake tins?  I don't think so, the cupcakes will cook faster because they are individually smaller, and have more surface area to facilitate heat transfer.   
  10. robcava

    robcava Meat Mopper

    I don't have experience with electric smokers so I am asking this question with no personal experience behind it, but as you add more meat does max temp dip? I'm not sure how hard an 800w unit works to keep up. I would say you probably can't apply the same rules on cook time as you would with a fire breather since in the case of electric smokers there is a top end to the energy you put in. I'm curious to hear the real experience from this one. Would be great if you can post a q-view glouie.
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2015
  11. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Boys , enough [​IMG]  The best thing to do is set your temp. in your Smokers , probe the meat with a good Therm. and let the Smoker do it's work .

    Now , I understand Dave's argument . You have a Watt Burner   ( and they are famous) for not having the "Balls" to handle a large Mass of meat , even if it is

    cut and placed  with circulation room .

    You need a considerable amt. of quick recovering heat to accomplish this , and regrettably the Watt Burners will either be incapable or burn out [​IMG]

    One large Brisky is the optimal for a unit as your's . O.K. , those wondering about tier full Smoker cooks, you will not have the Mass to require constant or high

    intermitent heat without help of some kind.

    My 2cents  . .
  12. bmaddox

    bmaddox Master of the Pit

    @GLOUIE  where are you located? Down here in Florida it is already 90 degrees out in the shade. With my MES out in the sun on a hot day it has no problem holding temp with 15-20 lbs of meat in it and recovers in 10 minutes or less when the door is open.
  13. glouie

    glouie Newbie

    @bmaddox  - I'm in VA.. I don't think it will be a problem here either.. temps can be pretty warm here in June.   its all good.. i'm just gonna give myself enough time to make it work...  I'll post pics and times when I'm done..  :) 
  14. heubrewer

    heubrewer Meat Mopper

  15. glouie

    glouie Newbie

    Wow!!  Thanks @HEUBrewer!   Those butts and brisket look awesome!    I know space is going to be an issue,  I'll be careful to make sure there's adequate airflow around both briskets!!  

    I figure if I can't fit it, I'll just smoke 2 flats and 1 of the points.   and save the other point for another time..
  16. heubrewer

    heubrewer Meat Mopper

    About foiling, I NEVER foil anything in my MES. I will foil after pulling if I need to put in a cooler, but never during the smoke. I have heard it knocks off some time, but I would rather have the bark and smoke flavor. I foiled ribs one time, right after I picked up my MES and they were the worst ribs I have ever made, made me think twice about getting an MES!! After that I have never foiled a thing and I use my MES at least once a week either smoking salmon, steelhead, bb ribs, shoulder or brisket.

    I have read where some get really great resutls, but for me it is not something I really care for.

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