Smoking Multiple Meats At Once: A Complete Guide

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Whether you are getting ready for a party, or looking to smoke up some meat for a family dinner, two of the most common questions are.

“Can you smoke different types of meat at the same time” and ,“Can you smoke multiple pieces of the same meat at the same time”

The answer to both is yes!

Can You Smoke Multiple Meats At The Same Time?

Smoking different kinds of meat and smoking multiple pieces of the same kind of meat at the same time are both possible and commonly done. When smoking more than one meat at a time, there are things to consider such as cooking time, temperatures, placement, wood selection, and size, to ensure that all your smoked meat finishes on time and tastes great.  

Smoking Multiple Pieces Of The Same Kind Of Meat.

It is no secret that smoking is a long process. With so much time invested into the smoking process you might as well get your money’s worth and smoke a bunch of meat at once to save for leftovers. I love smoking a bunch of meat on the weekend and having leftovers for days after!

When smoking multiple meats at once, there are some things to consider ensuring that everything goes smoothly. Thankfully if you are smoking multiple pieces of the same kind of meat, the process is greatly simplified.

Above I mentioned that when smoking multiple pieces of meat at the same time, you had to take into consideration cooking time, temperature, placement, wood selection, and size.  When smoking multiple pieces of the same type of meat we are only worried about placement and size.

Smoking multiple meats at once
Smoking multiple meats at once

How Does Size Effect Smoking Multiple Pieces of Meat At Once?

When you go to smoke meat, the goal is to have everything be ready to eat at once, and this goes for any meal not just smoking. How would you like it if you sat down to eat dinner and your mashed potatoes were cold because they finished well before everything else?

Timing the smoking process to get the meats to come off at the same time requires a little extra planning and attention to detail.

When smoking multiple pieces of meat, ideally, we want to cook pieces of meat that are the same size, weight, and thickness. The more identical the pieces of meat look to each other the closer the cooking times will be.

Now because of the amount of fat in each piece will vary the cooking time for each piece of meat, they most likely will not finish at the same time; however, smoking meat similar in size, weight, and thickness will greatly help to ensure that the pieces of meat have similar cooking times.

Now if you cannot find pieces of meat with similar size, weight, and thickness, you are still able to smoke them at the same time! Just try to keep the weight difference gap closer together rather than farther apart. Do not throw a 6 lbs. pork butt and a 10 lbs. pork butt on at the same time and expect them to finish at the same time.

This will just take a little more planning on your part. When smoking with different sizes of meats, the thicker and heavier pieces of meat are going to take more time to finish. Knowing this you would want to either put the larger piece of meat on the hotter part of your smoker or put it on before putting the smaller piece on.

To calculate how long you should wait before putting the smaller piece of meat on once the bigger piece has started smoking, use the formula and table below.

Wait Time = ETCT bigger – ETCT smaller

*ETCT = Estimated Total Cooking Time

Type of MeatEstimated Cooking Time Per Pound
Pork90 Minutes Per Pound
Brisket90 Minutes Per Pound
Turkey30 Minutes Per Pound
Chicken45 Minutes Per Pound
RibsUse the 3-2-1 Method
Tri Tip30 Minutes Per Pound
Cooking times are based off smoking at 250 degrees Fahrenheit

Using the table above, first calculate the estimated total cooking times for each piece of meat. Next, take the estimated cooking time for the larger piece of meat and subtract the estimated cooking time from the smaller piece of meat. This will tell you how much longer you can expect the larger piece of meat to cook.

For example, if you estimate the larger piece of meat to take 8 hours to cook and the smaller piece of meat to take 7 hours to cook, throwing the smaller piece on the smoker an hour after the larger piece should have both ready to come off around the same time.

Wait Time = 8 hours – 7 hours = 1 hour. Wait 1 hour before putting the smaller piece of meat on the smoker.

Ribs on WSM

Another option if you want to throw the pieces of meat on at the same time, is to hold the meat. When each piece of meat has reached the target internal temperature, take it off the smoker, wrap it in tin foil and a towel, then rest it in a small cooler until the other pieces of meat are finished cooking. This should keep the meat above the danger zone of 140 degrees Fahrenheit for 3-5 hours giving your other meat plenty of time to finish smoking.

Placing Multiple Pieces Of Meat On The Smoker:

When smoking multiple pieces of meat at once, placement is extremely important as you do not want to overload your smoker. You want at least a couple inches of room in between each piece of meat to ensure that there is room for the smoke and heat to penetrate all sides of the meat. 

When you leave your meat touching other meat, you are not allowing the smoke and heat to create that wonderful bark we all desire. Utilizing different levels of your smoker can help create more space to ensure each piece of meat is getting smoked.

Smoking multiple pieces of the meat is easy. Try to find similar pieces of meat similar in weight, size, and thickness and make sure they are not touching each other on the smoker, and they will turn out great.

Smoking Different Types of Meat At The Same Time.

Smoking Different Meats At Once

When you want to smoke different types of meat at the same time, there are more things you have to consider for your smoke to go smoothly. Things that will determine your smoke are cooking times, smoker temperature, wood selection, and placement.

Cooking times:

Just as stated above, different types of meat will have different smoking times. For example, chicken is going to smoke much faster (3-5 hours) than a brisket (upwards of 16 hours). Because in most cases we want the meats to finish around the same time, you are going to want to put the meats on a different times.

Again, using the table above, you can estimate the time needed to cook each piece of meat. Using this will give you a rough idea of when to put the other pieces of meat on the smoker.

Smoker Temperature:

Unless you are using two smokers, you are only going to be able to cook using one temperature. This is something you need to take into consideration when planning on what meats you want to smoke.

Before smoking different types of meat, decide a temperature you want to cook at and ensure all your meats can cook at that temperature. For example, when smoking chicken at 225-250 degrees Fahrenheit, the skin can become rubbery. Normally you would smoke chicken above 300 degrees Fahrenheit.

however, cooking your other meat at that high of a temperature could burn the sugar in your rub. One idea would be to put the chicken on a few hours before you expect your meat to finish. Once the other meat has finished smoking and is taken off, crank your smoker up to finish the chicken.

Wood Selection:

Hickory, cherry, oak, mesquite, apple are all just a few of the different types of wood you can use to smoke, and they all impart different flavors into the meat. Different types of woods are better for smoking certain pieces of meat.

For example, hickory imparts a stronger smokey flavor than most of the other types of woods. I personally love using hickory and use it when I smoke ribs or beef; however, hickory can be too heavy on chicken. When smoking different types of meat at once plan on using a mild wood that is suitable for all types of meat such as cherry or apple.

Wood Chunks


As mentioned above, when smoking multiple meats at once, always ensure that you are leaving a couple inches in between the meats to allow the smoke and heat to properly cook the meat.

It is also important to note that if you are using multiple levels in your smoker, to always put your chicken at the bottom. You do not want your raw chicken drippings falling onto your other meat.

Smoking different types of meat at different times is very doable and just requires a little more planning. By taking into consideration your smoker’s temperature, the type of wood you want to use, your placement of the meat, and the cooking times of the different pieces of meat, you can make sure your smoke goes smoothly. After all, if your smoker has room, there is no need to waste that perfectly good heat and smoke!

Can you stack meat in a smoker?

Many smokers come with multiple racks that allow you to smoke multiple pieces of meat at once. When stacking meat during a smoke, the general rule of thumb is chicken on bot, pork in the middle, and beef on top. Wherever you decide to place your meat, just be sure to place chicken on the bottom rack to keep the raw chicken drippings from contaminating the other meat.

Can you Smoke Turkey And Brisket At The Same Time?

Absolutely! However, when smoking turkey and brisket together, there are a couple things you should take into consideration. The first being that a turkey is going to finish cooking much faster than the brisket.

To get the timing correctly so both pieces of meat finish around the same time, using the table above, estimate the total cook time of each piece of meat and take the difference. If you estimate your brisket to take 16 hours and your turkey to take 10 hours, you will want to put the turkey on the smoker 6 hours after the brisket has gone on.

Another thing to consider is the type of wood you are going to use. It is extremely popular to smoke brisket with hickory or mesquite wood to give the meat that strong smoke flavor. Turkey on the other hand is best smoked with hickory or a sweeter wood like maple. Choose a wood that will be good for both types of meat.

Michael W.

Half of my family lives in Texas and we would visit them often. As a food lover, naturally I fell in love with smoked meat. Smoked brisket and peach cobbler is a staple around where my family grew up and quickly became a favorite of mine. Unfortunately we didn't have good BBQ where I grew up. After enough years, I finally decided to get a smoker so I didn't have to wait for good BBQ until I went to Texas. Getting into a new hobby can be overwhelming. When I first started smoking meat, there was so much conflicting information and so many different styles and techniques that I didn't know where to start. I started this website to help people BBQ better and learn the ropes by sharing my knowledge and experiences.

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