Smoked Pork Butt

smoked pork butt

Delicious Smoked Pork Butt is incredibly easy to make at home and is perfect for barbecue plates, sandwiches, tacos, and more.

Smoking pork butt, also known as Boston butt, is a time-honored tradition that yields tender, flavorful meat perfect for pulled pork sandwiches, tacos, or simply enjoying on its own. This method of cooking breaks down the tough connective tissues, resulting in meat that is juicy and packed with taste.

But what’s some delicious smoked pork without a great sauce? Transport yourself to the Carolinas with this vinegar-based Eastern NC BBQ sauce or South Carolina’s delicious Carolina Gold BBQ sauce.

What Makes This So Great?

Smoked pork butt is great because it’s a relatively easy cut of meat to prepare, yet it delivers incredible results. The long, slow smoking process infuses the meat with deep, smoky richness and breaks down the collagen, making the meat incredibly tender.

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Whether you’re hosting a barbecue or just craving some comfort food, smoked pork butt is always a crowd-pleaser. Plus, the leftovers can be used in a variety of dishes, making it a versatile addition to your culinary repertoire.

What Kitchen Items Do You Need To Make This?

To smoke a pork butt, you’ll need the following equipment:

  • Charcoal smoker: This is essential for achieving that authentic smoky taste. While electric or gas smokers can also be used, a charcoal smoker imparts a distinct flavor that’s hard to beat.

In addition to the smoker, you’ll also need:

  • Meat thermometer: To monitor the internal temperature of the pork.
  • Heavy-duty aluminum foil or butcher paper: For wrapping the pork during the cooking process.
  • Basting brush: For mopping the pork with sauce.

What Ingredients Are Needed For This Recipe?

Here are the ingredients you’ll need to prepare smoked pork butt:

  • 1 boneless pork butt (5 – 8 lbs): The star of the show.
  • 3 tbsp yellow mustard: Acts as a binding agent for the rub.
  • ¼ cup your favorite rub: Adds a layer of spices and seasoning to the meat.
  • Eastern NC Barbecue Sauce: For mopping and serving.

These ingredients work together to create a perfectly seasoned and smoked pork butt that is both juicy and full of depth.

Our Carolina Gold BBQ Sauce is excellent on this.

How To Make It

Follow these steps to make delicious smoked pork butt:

  1. Prepare the Pork: Slather the yellow mustard all over the surface of the meat on all sides. This will help the rub stick to it. Coat all sides with your rub, massaging it into all of the crevasses.
  2. Set Up the Smoker: Preheat your smoker to 250°F. Place the pork butt onto the hot smoker and smoke until the internal temperature of the meat reaches 165°F, about 3-4 hours. Every hour, use a brush to mop on some of the vinegar sauce.
  3. Wrap the Pork: Remove the pork from the smoker and wrap it in a double layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil or butcher paper.
  4. Continue Smoking: Place the wrapped pork back on the smoker at 250°F and continue to smoke until the internal temperature of the meat reaches 205°F.
  5. Rest the Meat: Remove the pork from the heat and let it rest, wrapped, for 30 minutes.
  6. Pull the Meat: Pull the meat apart into chunks, discarding any clumps of fat that did not render. Serve and enjoy.

This method ensures that the pork butt is cooked thoroughly and is tender enough to be easily pulled apart.

What Is The History Behind This Recipe?

The history of smoked pork butt is deeply intertwined with Southern barbecue traditions. The term “Boston butt” actually refers to the way pork shoulders were packaged and stored in barrels, known as butts, during the colonial period in New England. Despite its name, the cut became most famous in the Southern United States, where it is a staple of barbecue cuisine.

Smoking pork butt is a practice that dates back centuries, originating from the need to preserve meat before the advent of refrigeration. The smoking process, combined with slow cooking, not only preserved the meat but also transformed it into a tender, flavorful dish. Over time, various regions in the South developed their own techniques and sauces, with Eastern North Carolina becoming known for its vinegar-based sauce that perfectly complements the rich, smoky meat.

What Can I Switch Up To Make This Different If I Have Dietary Needs (Vegan/Vegetarian/Gluten-Free)?

Vegan/Vegetarian:

  • For a vegan or vegetarian alternative, consider using jackfruit as a substitute for pork. When cooked and seasoned similarly, jackfruit can mimic the texture of pulled pork. Simply adjust the cooking time as jackfruit does not need to be smoked as long.

Gluten-Free:

  • Ensure that your favorite rub and the Eastern NC Barbecue Sauce are gluten-free. Many commercial rubs and sauces contain gluten, so check the labels or make your own to be safe.

These adjustments can help cater to different dietary needs while still enjoying the essence of smoked pork butt.

We also love adding this Eastern NC BBQ Sauce to our pulled pork!

How long to smoke a pork butt at 225?

At 225°F, smoking a pork butt generally takes about 1.5 to 2 hours per pound. For a 5-pound pork butt, this means approximately 7.5 to 10 hours. Always use a meat thermometer to ensure the internal temperature reaches 205°F for the best results.

How long to smoke a 10 pound pork butt?

Smoking a 10-pound pork butt at 225°F will take roughly 15 to 20 hours. Again, the internal temperature should reach 205°F before it is considered done.

How long to smoke 8lb pork shoulder at 250?

At 250°F, an 8-pound pork shoulder typically takes about 1.5 hours per pound, so plan for around 12 hours. Monitor the internal temperature and aim for 205°F.

Should pulled pork be 190 or 200?

For pulled pork, the ideal internal temperature is between 200°F and 205°F. At this temperature, the collagen in the meat breaks down, making it tender and easy to pull apart.

How long does it take pulled pork to go from 165 to 200?

Once the pork reaches 165°F, it usually takes an additional 1 to 2 hours to reach 200°F, depending on the size of the pork butt and the consistency of the smoker’s temperature.

Is it better to smoke a pork shoulder at 225 or 250?

Smoking at 225°F allows for a slower cook, which can result in more tender meat, but it takes longer. Smoking at 250°F shortens the cooking time and can still produce excellent results. It often comes down to personal preference and time availability.

How Should I Store This?

To store smoked pork butt, allow the meat to cool completely. Shred or pull the pork, then place it in an airtight container. It can be refrigerated for up to 4 days. For longer storage, freeze the pulled pork in freezer-safe bags or containers for up to 3 months. When ready to eat, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight and reheat gently on the stove or in the microwave.

Smoked pork butt is a delicious and versatile dish that can be enjoyed in many ways. Its rich history and simple preparation make it a favorite for barbecue enthusiasts and home cooks alike. By following these steps and tips, you can create a mouth-watering smoked pork butt that will impress your family and friends. Whether you stick to the traditional recipe or adapt it for dietary needs, the results are sure to be satisfying.

smoked pork butt on a ceramic plate with pickles on the side.

Smoked Pork Butt

Author: Maddy & JD – Them Bites
Delicious Smoked Pork Butt is incredibly easy to make at home and is perfect for barbecue plates, sandwiches, tacos, and more.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 hours
Total Time 5 hours 10 minutes
Course dinner, Lunch
Cuisine American
Servings 10 people

Equipment

  • 1 charcoal smoker

Ingredients
  

Recipe Instructions
 

For the Pork

  • Slather the yellow mustard all over the surface of the meat on all sides. This will help the rub stick to it.
  • Coat all sides with your rub, massaging it into all of the crevasses.
  • Set up your smoker to 250℉. Place the pork butt onto the hot smoker and smoke until the internal temperature of the meat reaches 165℉, about 3 – 4 hours. Every hour, use a brush to mop on some of the vinegar sauce.
  • Remove from the smoker and wrap in a double layer of heavy duty aluminum foil or butcher paper.
  • Place the wrapped pork back on the smoker at 250℉ and continue to smoke until the internal temperature of the meat reaches 205℉.
  • Remove from the heat and let rest, wrapped, for 30 minutes.
  • Pull the meat apart into chunks, throwing away any clumps of fat that did not render. Serve and enjoy.

Notes

Want another delicious barbecue sauce? Try South Carolina’s famous Carolina Gold BBQ sauce.
Keyword pulled pork, smoked pork butt
Tried this recipe?Mention @thembitesrecipes or tag #thembites

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