Smoked Pork Butt Recipe (Smoked and Pulled Pork on a Pit Boss)

There is nothing like a smoked pork butt that is shredded to make pulled pork! It is an inexpensive cut that can be smoked and served in a few hours.

This makes it the perfect meat for novice cooks! Just a few hours of cooking low and slow, and you will get delicious smoky and caramelized pork.

Below you’ll learn how to smoke pork on a pit boss to make pulled pork with my detailed recipe and instructions.

Hungry now? Jump straight to my smoked butt recipe by clicking here

I shredded my smoked pork butt ready for taco night!

What You Need for Pit Boss Pork Butt

Pork Butt

Olive Oil, Apple Juice, or Mustard 

Sea Salt

 black Pepper

Sugar

Paprika

Chili Powder

What Cut Should You Use for Pulled Pork? (Pork Butt, Shoulder or Boston Butt?)

The most common cuts to use for pulled pork is pork butt or pork shoulder. You may have also heard of Boston butt, Boston butt is just another name for pork butt or shoulder.

This cut of pork has a lot of connective tissue and fat. When smoked low and slow the connective tissue breakdown turn into juicy gelatine, that is why pork ends up so juicy and delicious.

Note: The pork butt doesn’t come from the rear of the pig. It comes from the shoulder.  
It’s also known as Boston butt. It’s the thickest section of the upper shoulder and has a lot of marbling. If you’re looking for a leaner cut you can try the pork cushion.

What Wood Pellets Should You Use For Smoking Pulled Pork?

You should use pecan, hickory or fruit wood pellets when smoking pulled pork. Fruitwood includes, cherry wood or applewood. I would avoid using mesquite as it is a strong flavor and can overwhelm pork. So unless you mix it with a milder wood I wouldn’t recommend it.

How To Smoke A Pork Butt on a Pit Boss Pellet Grill and Make Pulled Pork

Smoking a pork butt for pulled pork is a two step process.

1.First we need to prepare the pork butt.

This includes, trimming, applying a rub and smoking the pork.

2. The second step involves shredding the meat and adding a sauce.

Below I have broken this process of smoking a perfect pork butt down into eight simple steps.

I have also included what equipment you’ll need plus a recipe at the end.

Hungry now?
Jump straight to my smoked butt recipe by clicking here

What You Need for Smoked Pork Butt

Before starting your smoked pork butt, you have to have some tools and ingredients.

Here are just some of the things you will need:

  1. A Smoker;
    You can use a charcoal, gas, electric or even a pellet smoker. You can even smoke on a gas grill,
  2. Wood chips:
    Pick up your favorite woodchips for pork, we like using applewood, cherrywood or pecan.
  3. The pork butt:
    We will show you how to select the best pork later on.
  4. Digital thermometer:
    A lot of factor affect how meat cooks, so it’s easier to know if it’s done by checking the internal temperature.
  5. Tin foil or butchers paper.
    If you experience the stall, you might need to wrap your boston butt.
  6. Olive oil, apple juice, or mustard:
    To ensure the rub binds to the meat.
  7. Sea salt, black pepper, sugar, paprika and chili powder;
    To make your own dry rub. Or purchase a pre-made dry rub.

Choosing A Pork Butt

There are a few things you should keep in mind when buying your pork butt.

  1. Weight (a regular pork butt is 5-8 lbs)
  2. Size (this will depend on how many people you are cooking for)
  3. Marbling and the fat content 
  4. Quality

Weight:

A regular-sized pork butt will be around 5 to 8 pounds. At the butcher, it is usually sold as one piece, but you can ask them to cut it. At the supermarket, it is usually split into two pieces

Size:
How Many People Are You Cooking For?
An uncooked 10lb pork butt will produce about 6 pounds of cooked pork, this should serve 12 to 16 adults. If you need a guide on how much pulled pork you need I have worked it out here for you.

Marbling

Your butt should have a decent amount of fat.

The fat will help keep the meat moist, and it will render during the smoking process. 

Look for the cut with more marbling. This is the distribution of fat amongst the lean parts of the meat.

It resembles marble, because the more marbling your meat has, the better it will taste at the end.

Quality:

Before you smoke a great pork butt, you have to start with quality meat.

For the best quality, we recommend you buy a grass-fed hog from the butcher. Grass-fed animals produce better meat than those raised on grain.

If buying from the butcher isn’t an option don’t worry, this recipe will still turn out a delicious piece of pork.

Can’t find a pork butt? Check out my smoked whole pork loin recipe. Pork loin is often much easier to come across at your local supermarket or butcher.

How to Prepare Your Pork Butt For Smoking

You want to trim the pork butt. Leave at least 1/4 of inch of fat. This will protect the meat from drying out during the cook. 

Before applying a dry rub on the pork, you need a binder, this will ensure the rub sticks to the meat. 

You can use olive oil, honey mustard, and even apple juice.

The important thing is to coat all of the meat (even the fat cap) as it will also help tenderize the butt. We haven’t in this cook, but you can inject your pork butt for extra flavor and moisture.

Once the pork is coated, it is time to apply the rub. We used Pro Smoker Sweet Baby Maple Rib Rub. If you want to, you can create your own rub using a mixture of sea salt, black pepper, sugar, paprika and chili powder.

You can always go for a store bought dry rub (but I think homemade tastes better).

Just coat the pork butt with the rub, and don’t be afraid to apply a lot. This is a fattier cut so it can handle a lot of flavor.

Note: If you brought a boneless pork butt, you will have to tie to up, similar to it original shape so that it stay together during the smoking.

How to Smoke Pulled Pork on a Pit Boss Pellet Grill

When smoking a cut of meat, you want to make sure that the smoker has been preheated. For pork butt, you want the temperature of the smoker around 225°F. Select your wood: I like to use cherrywood or pecan with pork.

When you place you meat in the smoker, put the meat with the fat cap up, and set up a water pan underneath, to keep the meat moist.

Ensure you also spritz the pork at hour intervals.


Become a Better Pitmaster
Read: The Foolproof Guide to Smoked Pork Loin
Read: Leftover Pulled Pork? Here are 15 Delicious Ways to Use it!

How Long To Smoke Your Pork Butt

You will want to cook your pork butt for 1.5 hours for every pound of meat at 225°.

The first three hours of cooking is when your pork will absorb most of the smoke. That is the time where you just have to avoid opening up the lid or door.

The pork butt will be done once it reaches 195°‒205°.

However many pitmasters like to get to 225°.

Getting to 225° ensures all the connective tissue will have melted into gelatin. Leaving you with a juicy, easy-to-pull apart butt.

Make sure to monitor the temperature of the pork butt, using a digital thermometer.

What to Do If The Pork Stall

You’ll see that the internal temperature gets up to 145°F in a few hours.

But then the cooking process may slow down.

It can take hours for the temperature to get from 145 degrees F to 165 degrees F. This is what pitmasters call “the stall”.

Essentially the stall is the meat “sweating”.

As the muscles contract in the meat, they push out moisture.

That moisture makes its way to the surface of the meat, evaporates, and cools the surface temperature of the meat as well as the temperature in the smoker.

You have two options at this point;


1. Crank up your temperature and wait it out.

You can counterbalance the evaporation by cranking up the temperature up to 310°. Once your meat hits 170° bring the temperature back down.

2. Wrap your meat

The stall is caused by the water from the meat evaporating into the air and cooling the temperature in the smoker.

You can stop this from happening by wrapping your meat.

This practice is common with pitmasters and is also known as the Texas crutch. You will see a detailed guide on how to wrap your pork below

The Texas crutch can stop the bark from forming. So if you love the bark you might want to try option 1.

When To Wrap The Pork Butt

If you can’t get past 160°F, you can wrap the meat as it’s experiencing the stall.

See how to wrap your pork butt below.


1. Lay out two layers of aluminum foil or butcher paper.
2. Using protective gloves to avoid burns, take the pork out of the smoker and place it on top of the paper.
3. Wrap it tightly with the temperature probe in, and set it back on the smoker.

This should help raise the temperature and speed up the cooking time.



What Temperature Pork Butt Ready At?

The pork butt will be done once it reaches 195°‒203°.

If you need to watch both the temperature of your meat and the temperature of the smoker, it’s better to use a dual probe thermometer

How Long to Rest Pork Butt?

When you reach a temperature of 195°‒203°, take the pork out of the smoker.

Leave the meat wrapped nd let it rest, so the juices redistribute in the meat.

You need to let it rest for at least half an hour, to get a really juicy pork butt.

One way to test if the butt is perfectly cooked is; by pulling out the shoulder bone and seeing if it’s clean.

Or try twisting a fork through the meat, if it twists easily, the meat is perfect.

What to Do With The Leftover Pulled Pork

When you smoke a large cut like pork butt there will always be leftovers. Some of our favorite BBQ recipes to use up leftovers include; my leftover pulled pork tacos recipe or pulled pork grilled cheese. They are the best way to use that delicious pulled pork!

How to Pull the Pit Boss Smoked Pulled Pork

If you are making pulled pork, wait until the meat has cooled, so you can comfortably touch it.

This will take around 15 – 25 minutes.

To shred the meat use either, two forks, your hands or bear claws.

If you use your hands use protective gloves so you don’t burn yourself.

Now you need to season the meat and add the sauce.

Our favorite BBQ sauce for pulled pork Lillies Q Carolina Sauce.

It has a nice balance of acidity from the vinegar, spice and sweetness.

This helps to cut through the rich fatty flavor you get from smoked pork butt.

You don’t need to use much sauce, as it jammed packed with flavor.

Not Sure What To Serve With Your Pulled Pork?

Not sure wondering what goes with pulled pork? Below are some of my favorite recipes!

Sour Cream Corn Bread

Smoked Mac and Cheese

Smoked Beans

Looking for More Pit Boss Recipes?

Looking for more delicious recipes for your Pit Boss smoker?

See some of my favorites below

Smoked Mac and Cheese on a Pit Boss

Pit Boss Beef Jerky

Smoked Beef Kabobs on a Pit Boss

Tri Tip Smoked on a Pit Boss

Smoked Baby Back Ribs On A Pit Boss

Pit Boss Smoked Meatballs

Here Are Some Of My Favorite Pulled Pork Recipes.

Make you try our family favorite, the pulled pork toasted cheese sandwich, the kids beg for this every weekend!

Charlies Smoked Pork Butt Recipe

Print Recipe
5 from 3 votes

Pit Boss Smoked Pulled Pork

Want to know how to smoke a pulled pork on a Pit Boss? Our easy step by step instruction will ensure you end up with juicy, smoky and delicious pulled pork P
Smoking a pork butt is perfect when your have a cookout or weeknight meals.
Prep Time25 minutes
Cook Time8 hours
Resting Time10 minutes
Total Time8 hours 35 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Barbecue, bbq
Servings: 12 serves
Calories: 325kcal
Author: Charlie
Cost: $12

Equipment

  • Smoker (with fuel & wood of your choice)
  • Foil or butchers paper
  • Meat thermometer (not essential but highly recommended

Ingredients

  • 1 Pork butt 5 – 8 pounds
  • Olive oil, apple juice, or mustard to coat the pork butt
  • 1 tbsp Sea salt
  • 1 tbsp Black pepper
  • 1 tbsp Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Paprika
  • 1 tbsp Chili powder

Instructions

  • Preheat your smoker to 225 following your specific smokers manufacturers instructions.
  • Inspect your pork butt and trim any excess fat. Pork butts usually don't need much trimming and tidying.
  • Coat your pork butt with your choice of oil, mustard, juice or beer. Once well coated make your dry rub and coat the pork butt well. Store bought or home made dry rub is fine. I have added the ingredients above for a simple dry rub.
  • Once the smoker has reached temperature place the pork butt fatty side up in and smoke for 1.5 hours per pound.
    If you experience the stall, you want to wrap the pork butt in foil or butchers paper.
    When you wrap it put a little bit of water, stock, beer or cider in the bottom to ensure it stays moist. Wrap tightly.
  • Smoked wrapped for a further 2 – 3 hours or until your meat thermometer reaches 195°F-203°F
  • Remove your pork butt from the smoker and leave wrapped and let rest for 10 minutes.
  • Shred your pork using bear claws or a pair or forks. If you find any large pieces of fat or bone throw them out.
  • Once you finish pulled the pork. Give it a mix with your hands. When taste it and season it your liking. After the BBQ sauce. We like to use a vinegar based BBQ sauce.

Common Questions I Get About Smoking Pork Butt

I get lots of questions from my BBQ and meat-smoking community.

I am going to start putting them below. That way all the common queries will be answered for you 🙂

Question: How long to cook a pork butt in a pit boss smoker

Answer: If you’re using a Pit Boss smoker, you want to cook your pork butt for 1.5 hours per pound at 225°F.

pit boss 820 pro series in my backayrd
My Pit Boss grill in the yard. I love smoking pork butt in it. Then shred it and have pulled pork sandwiches.

Wrapping It Up

For an amateur smoker, taking on your first pork butt, can be intimidating.

But pork is a really easy meat to cook. You to get a delicious smokey flavor, even if you make some rookie mistakes.

The key to smoking your first pork butt is having patience and following a few simple steps.

Within just a few hours and some simple ingredients, you’ll make something delicious (I promise).

And the greatest part about smoked pork butt?

You can use serve it with anything! On a plate with some coleslaw, as a part of your burger, on a sandwich bun, or in tacos!

The possibilities are endless!

Happy Smoking

Charlie 🙂

Author: Charlie Reeves
Hi, I’m Charlie, I am head taste tester at Simply Meat Smoking! I love it grilling, smoking, and getting out in nature with the kids! The family also love to test all my recipes (especially my EXTRA CRISPY pulled pork)

You will usually find me playing with the kids, perfecting my brisket bark, or sipping beers with boys around the fire. Can’t wait to share all my delicious smoking and grilling adventures with you!

You can read more on our About Us page.

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9 thoughts on “Smoked Pork Butt Recipe (Smoked and Pulled Pork on a Pit Boss)”

  1. Thank you so much, this is the BEST BBQ article I’ve read and I’ve read 100’s! Excited to get started!

  2. 5 stars
    So, we did everything as mentioned in your instructions to get to brisket cooked perfectly, and it was delicious thanks so much for wonderful steps for smoked brisket!

  3. 5 stars
    Made this twice and it was delicious both times. Smoking another pork butt now and it is at a temp of 150 degrees at 5 hrs instead of 160*. It is 8.87 pounds instead of 8. Is that why? And do we wait to wrap till it reaches 160?

    1. Hiya Jo!! I’m so glad it turned out well for you!!! My family loves this pork butt recipe as well!! I think the reason it hasnt hit the temp yet would be due to the weight, I would wait until it hit 160. Let me know how you go and send a few pics if you have them 🙂

    1. Hiya mate!
      to smoke your 4 pork butts I would make sure you get your smoker up to temp or maybe even higher to counteract the amount of cold meat you’ll be adding. If your smokers crowded, you can expect a longer cook. If there’s plenty of room for air to circulate around each piece when you’ll be fine. Then you remember to wrap to get through the stall 🙂 Let me know how you go!

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