Smoking Pork Butt – The Right Way!

Smoking Pork Butt The Right Way

Everyone thinks that they know how to make the perfect smoked pork butt, but not everyone is doing it right way. First of all, don't confuse the pork butt - or Boston butt - with the pork shoulder. There are techniques and steps to take in the smoking process to ensure that the end flavor is everything that it should be. The best pork butt has a rich and smoke flavor that will make your mouth water and it is almost an art to do it right. The cook time is definitely worth it. With that being said, as you follow these instructions, it's easier than you would think.

Smoking Pork Butt

Smoked pork butt is truly one of the most delectable ways to eat pork and as you follow this guide, you will soon become a bona fide master of barbeque. As someone who loves good cooking, I can tell you that the next time you have a cook out with the boys, your pork butt will be the best meat there is.

While there are plenty of ways to make smoked pork butt, I have been following this technique for years and my friends and family have always begged me to make it again and again. It doesn't hurt that pulled pork happens to be one of my favorite dishes.

What You Will Need For Smoking Pork Butt

Before starting out on the preparation for smoking meat, you will want to ensure that you have all the ingredients you will need at hand. There could be nothing worse than getting started on what could possibly be the most impressive pork butt that you could ever make and finding that you don't have everything to make it. To help make sure that this doesn't happen, following is everything that you will need.

When Choosing the Meat

Choosing Meat The Money Muscle

Choose the part of the butt that you will want to prepare. I suggest that you use the money muscle which will provide you with tender meat that is better for cooking and it also makes for a very delicious final result. Make sure to choose the meat close to the bone, as that is where the best flavor lies. Pork butt is relatively affordable which makes this a great option for a family event every weekend or a great idea for your neighborhood barbeque.

It's All About the Flavor

While the cut is extremely important, how you flavor your pork butt is also very important. Following are some of the essential ingredients you can use-although you may want to add your own special ingredients-and things you will need in order to have the best smoked pork butt in town:

  • Garlic
  • Black pepper
  • Chili powder (Optional)
  • Apple juice or apple cider
  • Soy sauce
  • Beer (Optional)
  • ​Brown sugar
  • A dry rub of your choosing

What Else?

What to Use to Smoke the Pork Butt

Different people use different methods for smoking their pork butt. Some use electric smokers while others do it the more traditional way, in an offset smoker. I like to use the traditional smoker as I feel it does a better job at allowing the meat to soak in the smoke flavors and helps the finished result to be a more tender and flavorful smoked pork butt. I like to use wood chunks to keep the smoke alive which help to add flavor to the pork but you can also use wood chips of your choice to get the smoke flavor you want.

How to Do It - Pork Butt Recipe

Without further ado, I now present you with the best techniques and steps for smoking pork butt that will ensure that the finished result will be some of the most delectable pork that you and yours have ever tasted. Make a name for yourself as the best pork butt "barbequer" in town by following the next steps:

#1 Preparing the Sauce for Its Important Part in the Process

The sauce is an important part of the smoking process and the end flavor that you will want, so it's important to get the taste exactly right. While everyone has their preference of mops-as you will be using a brush to "mop" the sauce on the butt throughout the smoking process. With the ingredients mentioned above (except the wood chunks), you will want to combine them all together and have them ready for their first step: injecting the pork butt with the mixture. You can add other ingredients to your taste, like yellow mustard. You will want to allow the pork butt to soak up the juices for at least a few hours, although doing it for up to 12 hours is most definitely acceptable. Make sure to save some of the mop for later.

#2 Pork Dry Rub

Rub-A-Dub Dry Rub

Before you put your pork butt in the smoker, you will want to rub it with ​bbq rub. To help it to stick, you can mop it with the mixture that you made in the first step or you can use mustard. Make sure that you completely rub it with enough dry rub that will leave it covered in flavor. While I always suggest store-bought rubs, some people like to make their own out of sugar, chili powder, paprika, cumin, dry mustard, cayenne, pepper, and garlic powder. Make sure to save some for later, as you will want to reapply some rub at the end.

#3 Preparing the Smoker for Its Responsibility

To ensure that the pork butt cooks through and through without burning, you will want to set the temperature of your smoker to around 225 degrees f using wood chunks to get the perfect smoke flavor. You can use cherry wood or any other type that you prefer, but I like to use cherry. This part of the smoking process should take up to around 6 hours as you will want the inner temperature of the butt to be around 165 degrees f. The total time will depend on the amount of pound pork butt you're smoking.. Make sure to check the temperature every couple of hours. Don't forget that you will need to mop the pork butt every couple of hours with the sauce that you prepared in the first step.

Set Your Smoker 225 Degrees

#4 Make it Tender, Baby

Once the pork butt is at the desired temperature, you will want to pull it out of the smoker and mop the baste onto it and don't forget to add some more dry rub. After you are sure that it has been topped with enough baste and rub, close it up in aluminum foil and prepare to make it tender, baby.

This part is important, as you will want to pay close attention to the temperature during the process as maintaining a steady temperature is what will result in the perfect tender pork, which is what smoking the pork butt correctly is all about.

​Use a good thermometer and finally, when you see the temperature up to about 185 degrees f or so, you will want to leave it for a while, until it finally reaches the glorious temperature of 195 degrees f. When it's at the internal temperature of 195 degrees f in the middle of the pork butt, that is when you are ready.

#5 Finally, Prepare It for Its Glorious Finish

Drain off excess oil, wrap it up and be prepared to eat it within the next new hours. You can top it with the "mop" or baste that you used in cooking or you can also use barbeque sauce or leave it up to your friends or family to choose.

While this isn't completely necessary, I like to heat it up before serving by adding one last baste and rub to ensure that the flavor is incredibly present. Have barbeque sauce ready on the side for those who can't imagine life without barbeque sauce and pulled pork; although, if you ask me, I love my pork butt as is. The flavors are perfect.

Sauce Is The Boss Apply Sauce

#6 Don't Forget the Extras

While this isn't necessarily "how to smoke pork butt," I know some people like the extras. I like to serve my smoked pork butt with some type of spicy salsa, pickles, coleslaw, and b​bq sauce on the side, as well as home cooked potato wedges for the fantastic experience of my bbq pork​. Don't forget to cool some beers in the fridge before serving the best pork butt around.


Do you feel ready to make the best smoked pork butt of your life that will have your mouth watering and begging for more? As someone who loves a good barbeque, I wanted to share what I've learned and help you to smoke pork butt using the best and most efficient techniques. What do you think about the process? Does it seem like something that you will want to try at home?

After years of trial and error and using a variety of recipes and techniques, I have finally come to the conclusion that this is indeed the best and most delicious way ​to smoke pork butt and it will provide you with some of the most ​scrumptious smoked pulled pork butt you have ever had. Whether you like it on its own or love a good pulled pork sandwich, I guarantee you will love the flavors. Take recipe notes so you don't forget any details!

If you like pork butt and you like cooking, you are more than welcome to share my method of smoking pork butt. Don't forget to check out the smoked pulled pork recipes on the blog. Happy smoking!

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Frequently Asked Questions

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