Pork Butt (Boston Butt) Smoker Recipe in 5 Easy Stages

Pork Butt Smoker Recipe in a Bun
Pork Butt (Boston Butt) Smoker Recipe Served in a Bap

How Long to Smoke Pork Shoulder at 225°F?

At 225°F (or 107°C) it will take somewhere between 10-12 hours to smoke for a 10 pound (4.5kg) cut of pork shoulder. 

The most important consideration for smoking is not timing but temperature. The pork shoulder is done when the internal temperature reaches between 195-205°F or 91-96°C.

Please enjoy our pork butt smoker recipe, and read the instructions carefully.

Read on to find out how long to smoke pork shoulder at 225.

It isn’t difficult to smoke pork butt, yet it requires patience and attention to detail. It’s definitely one of the most rewarding and best meats to smoke.

What Cut is Pork Butt?

Despite the name, pork butt doesn’t come from the backend of the pig (we get ham from there), it actually comes from the shoulder of the pig. It is also known as Boston Butt, possibly because that is where the cut became popular first.

Smoke Pork Shoulder at 225 or 250?

Cooking at a higher heat of 250°F could save you time, but we prefer to cook slow and low at 225°F to give the fat time to render down properly, allowing for a better outcome for the smoke.

Should You Marinate Pork Shoulder Before Smoking?

Some people like to brine pork shoulder overnight before smoking the next day. The brine adds flavour and moisture to the pork shoulder. It is optional as pork shoulder has plenty of fat to keep it moist.

If you want to do this, simply place your pork in a mixture 10 cups (2.5L) of water, 3/4 cup (12 tablespoons) of salt and 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) of sugar, and place in the fridge.

Should I Wrap my Pork Butt?

You should wrap your pork butt to save you time. Cooking the pork unwrapped can add hours to the cooking time as the internal temperature of the pork stops increasing and ‘stalls.’

To avoid this stall it’s best to wrap your pork in tinfoil or butcher’s paper.

What Temp Does Pork Shoulder Stall?

Pork shoulder normally stalls when the internal temperature of the pork reaches 155-165°F or 68-74°C. This can between 4-6 hours in to the smoke.

Sometimes the stall itself can last up to 6 hours so you should wrap your meat in foil for the second part of the cook time.

What Can I Spritz Pork Shoulder With?

To stop your pork shoulder from drying out you can spritz it a mixture of equal parts apple juice and apple cider vinegar. If you don’t like the sweetness mix cider vinegar with equal parts water.

When is Smoked Pork Shoulder Done?

The pork shoulder is done when the internal temperature reaches between 195-205°F or 91-96°C. 

It also needs to be rested so that the juices can be properly redistributed into the tissues of the meat.

Do You Flip Pork Shoulder When Smoking it?

You don’t need to flip pork shoulder when smoking it. This is because it is being cooked indirectly by the smoke and heat.

If you are concerned the pork butt is not being cooked evenly you can turn it every couple of hours or so. Generally this isn’t necessary though.

Can You Smoke Pork Shoulder too Long?

If you let your pork shoulder get to an internal temperature of 210°F or 99°C it will dry out. Make sure you check it with a meat thermometer to avoid this disappointing result.

Can You Use Pork Boston Butt For Pulled Pork?

Pork Boston Butt or Pork Shoulder is generally considered to be the best cut of meat for pulled pork. 

Pork Butt Smoker Recipe Rub

1 Tablespoon of Salt 

2 Teaspoons of Black Pepper

2 Tablespoons of Smoked Paprika

1/2 Teaspoon of Chilli Powder

3 Tablespoons of Brown Sugar

1 Teaspoon of Onion Powder 

1 Teaspoon of Garlic Powder

1/2 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper

Pork Butt Smoker Recipe Method

Pork Butt is fatty and tough and perfect for cooking low and slow. 

Pork Butt Smoker Recipe Step 1 – Buying Your Pork Shoulder

Try and source your pork shoulder from your local butcher where possible. It’s easier to ask questions about where the meat has been sourced from, the life the animal had, as well as get your butcher to trim off any excess fat.

This will save you a job later.

Make sure you get a cut of meat that is nice and pink with no traces of grey or dark spots on it. For best results you want to have a good marbling of fat on it as well.

Think about how many guests you want to feed, aiming for around a pound of meat per person, depending on your sides and appetites. If you are feeding 10 people, for example, get a 10 pound (4.5 kg) pork butt. 

Pork Butt Smoker Recipe Step 2 – Prepare Your Pork Shoulder

Place all rub ingredients together in a bowl and mix. Set aside.

If you still have any excess fat on your pork use a paring knife or a pair of scissors to remove it now.

Take two tablespoons of Dijon mustard and rub it all over the pork shoulder. This will give the rub something to stick to, and you probably won’t taste it.

You can also use a little honey if you like sweetness.

Rub the seasonings all over the meat. This rub will help us to get a really a nice dark, crispy bark on our meat.

Pork Butt Smoker Recipe Step 3 – Smoke for 5-6 Hours Unwrapped

Get your BBQ smoker up to the right temperature – 225°F or 107°C.

In terms of wood chips apple would be the classic pairing here, but hickory works really well if you like a strong smoky flavour.

Put the pork directly onto the grills of your smoker away from any open flames, ensuring indirect heat.

Close the lid down. Keep in mind that some smokers need refuelled every hour or so to maintain a steady heat of 225 or 107.

Pork Butt Smoker Recipe Step 4 – Smoke for 6 Hours Wrapped 

When the pork butt reaches the stall – at internal temperature of 155-165°F or 68-74°C – you will need to take it off the grills and wrap it in tinfoil or butcher’s paper if you have it. 

If you don’t have an internal meat thermometer try below.

When you are wrapping your meat add a little liquid – cider, apple juice, beer or even a little bourbon are all options.

Some people like to add cider vinegar, but we always prefer a less sour flavour in our pork.

Wrap up the meat tightly, making it as airtight as possible and return it to the grills for another 5-6 hours.

When the internal temperature of the pork is 195-205°F or 91-96°C you can take it off the grill.

Pork Butt Smoker Recipe Step 5 – Rest Your Pork Butt in Foil

Rest the pork in the foil for at least 30-45 minutes.

If you want to pull it apart with a fork, you can do this now. Other people prefer to cut their pork butt into thin slices.

Serve in a brioche bun with BBQ sauce or with whatever sides you wish – coleslaw, corn on the cob, mashed potatoes or fries.

How Much Pulled Pork Per Person?

1 pound of cooked pulled pork wlil feed around 3 adults, so around 1/3 pound of pulled pork per person should be enough, especially if you are serving it with baps, fries, coleslaw, potatoes or other sides.

If you enjoyed this article you could have a look at our article on ‘Smoked Pork Loin.’

Or our ‘Smoker recipes Pulled Pork,’ article.

For another great article on ‘Pork Butt Smoker recipe,’ try here:


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