Smoker Recipes for Large Groups

If you are looking for smoker recipes for large groups then this post should give you some ideas to get you going.

We’ll also give you some pointers on how to calculate how much food you will need to buy and cook, as well as ideas for sides and appetizers, and tips on how to make your smoked food go further.

large groups Smoker recipes

Smoker Recipes for Large Groups

If you have a lot of people to feed then you will probably need 2 main meat dishes such as pulled pork and brisket, or smoke a number of turkeys or chickens along with just pork or brisket.

You will need to consider filling people’s plates up with sides and appetizers, and you might find it well worth quickly grilling a few sausages for hot dogs and a few burgers to keep people fed while you are smoking your main dishes.

You will need to consider how much pulled pork per person and a rough guide for this is 1/3 pound (150g) cooked pulled pork for each guest. You can make pulled pork for further by serving it in sandwiches or serving it with some delicious mac and cheese.

As to how much brisket per person, a good rule of thumb is 1/2 pound (450g) of cooked beef for each guest which will help you figure out how much brisket you need to smoke. Again you can fill out people’s platters with sandwiches, mac and cheese, and side dishes such as coleslaw, potato salad and the like.

In the next section we’ll give you some ideas of what to smoke for large groups.

Pork Shoulder for Pulled Pork Smoker Recipe

Although it does take a long time to smoke pork shoulder for pulled pork it is still probably one of the best smoker recipes for large groups, and will feed plenty of people especially with sides.

If you have 20 guests 6 pounds of cooked pulled pork will be about the right amount, with 30 guests you will need 9 pounds of cooked pulled pork to give everyone 1/3 pound of meat each. Bear in mind that a fatty cut of meat such as pork shoulder will break down and lose about half of its weight in the smoker, so aim for around 2/3 pound of raw pork per guest.

Smoking your pork shoulder at 250F or 121C will mean smoking for 90 minutes per pound so a 4 pound pork shoulder will take around 6 hours, and a 6 pound pork shouder will take 9 hours.

Cover your pork shoulder in your favourite BBQ rub (or try the homemade one below) and smoke at 250F or 121C over apple or hickory wood (or a mix of both). To reduce overall cooking time you will need to wrap the pork in tinfoil when it reaches an internal temperature of 165F or 74C and then smoke it wrapped until the pork is fork tender at an internal temperature of 203-205F or 95-96C.

Smoker Recipes For Large Groups – Smoked Pulled Pork

Pulled Pork BBQ Dry Rub

  • 3 Tablespoons of Brown Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons of Sweet Smoked Paprika
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Mild Chilli Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon of Onion Powder 
  • 1 Teaspoon of Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  • 2 Teaspoons of Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon of Fine Sea Salt

Beef Brisket in the Smoker Recipe

Although brisket takes far longer than other meats to smoke it is widely considered one of the best meats to smoke, and probably one of the best things to serve at a BBQ.

To keep things as straightforward as possible, smoke at 250F or 121C which will mean 1 hour of cooking time per pound (or 0.45kg) of meat. An 8 pound brisket will take 8 hours, whereas a 10 pound brisket will take 10 hours.

You’ll want to take into consideration that you will need around 1/2 pound of cooked brisket for each person at your BBQ. Brisket will lose up to half of its weight during smoking so each guest will need around 1 pound of raw brisket, meaning an uncooked 15 pound brisket will feed around 15 adults.

Just like pork shoulder, brisket needs to be wrapped in foil for the second stage of the cook to reduce overall cooking time and keep it nice and moist. Wrap the brisket when the internal temperature of the meat reaches 165-170F or 74-7. The final internal temperature target is 203-205F or 95-96C.

Smoker Recipe For Brisket

Homemade Brisket Dry Rub

  • 1 tbsp of coarse salt
  • 1 tbsp of freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tsps cayenne pepper (or mild chilli powder)
  • 2 tsps of sweet smoked paprika 
  • 1 tsp of ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder

Smoker Recipes For Large Groups – Smoked Tri Tip Steak Treated Like a Brisket (Trisket)

For a great alternative to brisket that can be smoked in half the time, it’s well worth thinking about smoking a tri tip roast. You can treat the tri tip just like a brisket (it’s called trisket) in that you smoke it at 250F or 121C for 2-3 hours until it reaches 165F or 74C internal temperature and then you wrap it in foil, and smoke the wrapped roast until it reaches a final temperature of around 203-205F or 95-96C.

The process only takes around 6-7 hours so it’s a real time saver in comparison to brisket, with very similar results.

Depending on the size of your tri tip steak, it will feed up to 8 people so you might need to smoke a few at a time to feed a large group.

Smoked Pork Ribs For a Large Crowd

Pork ribs are always popular at a BBQ and they can be served as an appetizer or as the main event with the right choice of sides.

For a large gathering you are obviously going to need a number of rib racks – in fact 1/2 rack of ribs per person is going to be just right for a main dish, whereas 3-4 individual ribs per guest will work well as an appetizer.

You have a few options to consider for pork ribs – Baby Back Ribs, Spare Ribs, St Louis Style Ribs or Country Style Ribs.

Spare Ribs are quite fatty ribs which are larger than the other options, Country Style Ribs are actually not cut from the ribs at all (they are cut from the shoulder area and roughly comparable to a shoulder steak), Baby Back Ribs are curved ribs cut from the backbone where they meet the spine of the animal (smaller rib cuts than the Spare Rib cut), and the St Louis cut has a much higher amount of fat than Baby Back Ribs, and they are flatter and take longer to smoke.

If you want to smoke ribs for a large group it is definitely worth considering Competition Style Ribs which lead to a firm bite (pull off the bone rather than fall off the bone texture) cooked at 300+F or 149+C which can be smoked in around 2-3 hours for an efficient and delicious result.

Unique Smoker Recipes

If you are thinking about some unique smoker recipes to give your BBQ guests something a little out of the ordinary, you could consider smoking some wild game meats such as elk, bison, wild turkey, quail (quail eggs too), pheasant, Cornish hens, venison, or wild boar.

You could also consider doing a smoked shellfish platter made up of lobster, crab, mussels, oysters, clams, scallops, squid or even octopus.

2 Hour Smoker Recipes

For some great ideas for 2 hour smoker recipes that will make the most of your time, try below:

  • Smoked Chicken Wings
  • Any kind of sausage (e.g. Chorizo or Andouille)
  • Chicken Thighs or Breasts
  • Turkey Legs
  • Turked Breast
  • Skewered meat e.g. chicken, lamb, beef or fish for smoked kebabs
  • Any kind of vegetables can be smoked in less than 2 hours
  • Duck Legs
  • Duck Breast
  • Shellfish e.g. lobster or scallops
  • Steaks e.g. Sirloin or Ribeye
  • Lamb Chops or Steaks
  • Pork Chops
  • Smoked Hot Dogs
  • Smoked Burgers

Smoker Recipes Appetizers for Large Groups

If you are cooking for large group here are some ideas of smoker recipes appetizers recipes. Some of them are cooked in the smoker, and some of them are staples for BBQ starters (e.g. classic potato salad).

  • Smoked Jalapeno Poppers (peppers stuffed with cream cheese and wrapped in bacon)
  • Smoked Hot Dogs (1-2 hours in the smoker at 225F or 107C)
  • Smoked Shotgun Shells (mannicota stuffed with ground beef and wrapped in bacon)
  • Potato Salad
  • Dips and Chips (e.g. guacamole, sour cream and chive, salsa etc)
  • Smoked Chicken Wings (served with sauce of choice e.g. Buffalo, Teriyaki, Korean BBQ sauce etc)
  • Smoked Mac and Cheese
  • Grilled or Smoked Corn on the Cob

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