Smoking multiple meats at once: a complete guide

by Joost Nusselder | Last Updated:  April 29, 2022

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When you’re preparing smoked meat for a large group of people, it’s handy to be able to smoke multiple types of meat at once to cater to everyone’s preferences. 

Smoking Multiple Meats At Once: A Complete Guide

If you’re new to smoking meat and are wanting to learn more about smoking multiple types of meat at the same time, you’ve come to the right place.

So, is it possible to smoke multiple types of meat at once?

The answer to this question is yes! It is possible to smoke multiple types of meat at once.

However, there are a few things to consider before you get started, especially if you want all of the pieces of meat to be finished at the same time.

In this article, I will cover some key information on how to smoke multiple types of meat at once.

Let’s get started.

How to smoke multiple meats at once

How to buy a bbq smoker video
How to buy a bbq smoker video

So let’s have a look at the factors that determine the success of your smoking session.

Controlling the smoker’s temperature

When you’re smoking multiple types of meat, it’s important that you control the smoker’s temperature, so they don’t overcook or burn.

Exactly how you control the temperature will depend on the smoker that you have.

Generally speaking, you’ll need to keep your smoker between 225°F and 300°F, depending on the meat that you’re smoking.  

Before you add your different pieces of meat to the smoker, you will need to ensure that the temperature inside your smoker has stabilized for a few minutes.

It’s important to note that you can’t always trust the thermometer that is built into your smoker.

As a result, it’s essential that you have a reliable temperature probe to check the internal temperature of the meat and determine when it is ready.

Concentrate on getting the meat to reach the desired internal temperature 

For the best results, you should be focusing on the internal temperature rather than a specific cooking time.

Despite the fact the majority of recipes have cooking times, it’s important to take these with a pinch of salt, as the internal temperature of the meat is key.

Different meats have different safe internal temperatures.

Poultry such as chicken and turkey have a higher safe internal temperature at 165°F, whereas ground beef is slightly lower at 160°F.

Other meats including pulled pork, pork chops, steak, lamb, pork ribs, and fish have a lower safe internal temperature of 145°F.

It’s important to note that there are many variables that can affect how long it takes to cook a piece of meat, such as the smoker you’re using, the temperature outside, as well as wind. 

Bearing this in mind, the internal temperature is the best way and most reliable way of determining when your meat is cooked.

Invest in a good BBQ smoker thermometer and don’t rely on the temperature gauge of the smoker alone.

Timing

When it comes to cooking different pieces of meat at the same time, timing plays a crucial role.

This comes down to the fact that some types of meat cook much quicker than others. 

Once you know what type of meat you intend to smoke, it will take a fair bit of planning to determine exactly how to cook multiple pieces and time it so they are ready at the same time.

For instance, say you want your meat to be done at 4.00 pm, and you’re cooking both brisket and a whole chicken.

This is where your knowledge of cooking times comes into use, but if you’re not sure, follow this formula.

Start time of each piece = Target finish time – Time to cook to temperature

The average brisket should normally take around 1.6 hours per pound, according to the “per pound method.”

For this example, let’s imagine that the brisket you’ve chosen is 10 pounds.

A whole chicken in your smoker normally takes 4 hours.

Bearing this information in mind, you could place your brisket in the smoker the night before at 10pm.

This will provide you with 16 hours of cooking time, as well as a 2-hour buffer to allow the meat to rest for a decent amount of time.

The morning after, you could place your whole chicken into the smoker at 11.30 am.

This allows for 4 hours of cooking time, as well as a 30-minute buffer for the meat to rest.

It’s important to note that you should start earlier than you deem necessary.

If you give yourself around 20% extra time for the cooking process, you would in theory have a good buffer of time to use in case of an emergency.

Wood choice

Wood choice is important because different kinds of wood give off different flavors.

So you will want to choose woods that complement, but don’t overpower each other for maximum flavor impact.

Milder woods like alder, oak, and applewood are a safer bet than strong smokey woods like mesquite and hickory.

To create a round flavor profile that will suit different types of meat, you can always mix different woods together.

Notes on smoking more than one type of meat at the same time

Notes On Smoking More Than One Type Of Meat At The Same Time

Plan ahead

Cooking more than one type of meat at the same time is possible! However, planning ahead is key to having a successful smoking session. 

Decide which types of meat you’d like to cook for everyone, and figure out the logistics.

If you’re a beginner, this might mean opting for two types of meat that aren’t too dissimilar in terms of cooking times or only cooking two types of meat at one time.

However, once you’ve gained a bit more experience smoking meats, you’ll feel much more confident chucking on even three or four types of meat!

Allow more time than you need

The importance of timing can’t be stressed enough when it comes to smoking more than one type of meat at once.

Always allow yourself a buffer, as you don’t want to be left in a position where you’ve got a table of hungry guests and meat that isn’t ready yet! 

You need the buffer to allow your meat to rest. The resting period is crucial to the overall flavor and texture of the meat.

If you cut into your meat too quickly, all of those delicious juices that keep your meat moist and flavorful will run out onto the chopping board.

Give the meat the time that it deserves, or you’ll kick yourself!

Invest in a reliable thermometer 

Last, but by no means least, make sure that you invest in a reliable meat thermometer.

You can’t rely on the thermometer that some smokers come with, so a temperature probe is ideal for checking when your meat is ready.

Once your meat has reached the desired internal temperature, it’s ready to rest!

However, this will take planning to ensure that all of your types of meat are ready at the same time, as you don’t want one meat to be colder than the others!

For more tips, check out this tutorial by SimplyMike:

Conclusion

You can indeed smoke multiple types of meat at once. However, there are some considerations to bear in mind.

This includes controlling the smoker’s temperature, timing, and ensuring that the meat reaches the desired internal temperature.

Hopefully, this article has given you a better understanding of how to smoke multiple types of meat at once.

Good luck!

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Lakeside Smokers is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with BBQ Smoking (& Japanese food!) at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.