Smoking smaller cuts of meat (e.g. pork shoulder, brisket)

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Smoking smaller cuts of meat (e.g. pork shoulder, brisket)

Postby jonhobbs » 01 Oct 2015, 11:26

Hi all, first post here so please be gentle :)

I got a GMG smoker a couple of months ago and have enjoys my first few experiments. Did a large pork butt for 30 people recently and I've got it pretty good. Also having fun trying to make my own rubs and BBQ sauce.

Only problem is cooking a 5kg pork butt means I end up throwing a lot away. I really want to try cooking for 2-4 people and don't mind wasting the pellets and taking the time, I just don't like cooking so much. So, my question is how well it works reducing the cooking times for smaller cuts?

I want to try a brisket with cajun rub next. I have a recipe/video which uses a whole brisket and have no idea how to divide the cooking time down, or whether to cook it on an even lower heat, or even whether it would work particulary well. Presumably the cooking time would only be a few hours so would it really have time to absorb the smoke/rub?

Sorry, a lot of questions there but basically I'm looking for advice on how to do smaller cuts of meat in my smoker. All suggestions welcome.
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Re: Smoking smaller cuts of meat (e.g. pork shoulder, briske

Postby derekmiller » 02 Oct 2015, 08:01

jonhobbs wrote: throwing a lot away.


Choke, Choke, :? :?
Ever heard of a freezer!
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Re: Smoking smaller cuts of meat (e.g. pork shoulder, briske

Postby Vibe » 02 Oct 2015, 08:54

Buy a vacuum bag sealer you won't regret it! Pull the pork and vacuum into portions that'll last a week in fridge or longer frozen. To reheat boil in the bag or microwave


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Re: Smoking smaller cuts of meat (e.g. pork shoulder, briske

Postby jonhobbs » 02 Oct 2015, 10:57

Thanks for the replies.

We do have a freezer and a vacuum packer which I use for my Sous Vide, but we don't want to buy a 5kg brisket and freeze it or cook it all and eat brisket for a week (actually it'd probbaly take a month of eating brisket every day). I realise this is possible but we'd much rather buy the amount of food that we actually want to eat and cook just the amount we'd like to eat, call me crazy!

Anyway, We have a few friends coming round so I'd probably buy around 3lbs of brisket, if I can find it. My question was really about how and how long to smoke a smaller piece of meat and whether it would work as well?
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Re: Smoking smaller cuts of meat (e.g. pork shoulder, briske

Postby Scantily » 02 Oct 2015, 11:54

jonhobbs wrote:Thanks for the replies.

We do have a freezer and a vacuum packer which I use for my Sous Vide, but we don't want to buy a 5kg brisket and freeze it or cook it all and eat brisket for a week (actually it'd probbaly take a month of eating brisket every day). I realise this is possible but we'd much rather buy the amount of food that we actually want to eat and cook just the amount we'd like to eat, call me crazy!

Anyway, We have a few friends coming round so I'd probably buy around 3lbs of brisket, if I can find it. My question was really about how and how long to smoke a smaller piece of meat and whether it would work as well?


If you vacuum seal and freeze it then why do you have to eat it all that week or month? I like having a stash of frozen bbq that i can have at any point in the next few days/weeks/months.

Anyway, to get to your point, yes you can smoke smaller cuts successfully. How long to smoke for? Until it reaches the internal temperature and tenderness that you desire.
However, it is usually better to cook larger cuts of meat as they have a higher fat content and so you end up with more moist and tender meat. Also, larger cuts cook more slowly so you have a bigger window of doneness and are less likely to overcook it.
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Re: Smoking smaller cuts of meat (e.g. pork shoulder, briske

Postby jonhobbs » 02 Oct 2015, 12:31

Thanks, I'll give it a go then. I'll just guess a few hours to get it up to temp and if it takes longer they'll just have to wait :)

It'll take a few goes to get it right I'm sure.
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Re: Smoking smaller cuts of meat (e.g. pork shoulder, briske

Postby essexsmoker » 02 Oct 2015, 16:17

Do remember though it's more the thickness than the size.

Bigger cuts do dry out less.
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Re: Smoking smaller cuts of meat (e.g. pork shoulder, briske

Postby jonhobbs » 02 Oct 2015, 19:44

Well, I have a 4lb brisket which is as thick as a normal brisket, just a lot less width.

So basically now I have no idea how to smoke it for :D :D :D
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Re: Smoking smaller cuts of meat (e.g. pork shoulder, briske

Postby Tiny » 03 Oct 2015, 08:08

Hi,
Rule of thumb is 1.5hrs per pound if cooking circa 225 deg F, but it is all about when you hit the internal temp. personally I would give your bit about 4 hours in the smoke before wrapping it up with a strong beef broth.

The guys are not being obtuse, a larger joint really does cook better and with pp in particular many think it better when eaten reheated and I tend to agree.

Hope this helps
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Re: Smoking smaller cuts of meat (e.g. pork shoulder, briske

Postby jonhobbs » 03 Oct 2015, 10:22

Thanks.

I do understand that a larger joint would work better, but for me it's worth experimenting with smaller amounts to see how they taste because it would be a lot more practical for us.

I'll certainly go back to cooking large pork butts and whole briskets when I get the chance and have loads of friends to help us eat it. Just can't afford to experiment like that every weekend and don't have the space to store/freeze it. I certainly didn't think anybody was being obtuse and appreciate the advice.
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