Though it takes a lot of time to make a smoked pork butt in a pellet smoker, it's worth the effort for delicious shredded pork.

Smoked Pork Butt Recipe

Though it takes a lot of time to make a smoked pork butt in a pellet smoker, it’s worth the effort for delicious shredded pork.

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Yep, I said “butt”! My immature side always laughs when my father-in-law says we are “going to smoke a butt this weekend”. Although, in reality, we get excited because it’s delicious! Not to mention you aren’t really eating the butt of the pig. Pork butt is the cut of meat that includes the shoulder of the pig, the neck, and the upper arm area.

Pork butt is a flavorful meat that can be used in many different ways. It’s perfect for a pork roast or shredded pork as well as being cut into steaks to use on a charcoal grill.

A few years ago, Justin and his brother got their dad a stand-up pellet smoker for Father’s Day. While I’m not always a fan of the “smokey” taste, this is the best way to make shredded pork. It can be eaten just as meat with your favorite bbq sauce, placed on a bun for a shredded pork sandwich, put cold leftovers in a salad, in a tortilla shell, or however you like shredded meat.

Because the meat cooks over a low temperature, it takes hours of cook time. But trust me, it’s worth the wait. The good thing is, once you have it started, the smoker does most of the work. For best results, make sure the wood pellets don’t dry out. We use a watering can but you can also use a spray bottle to add water as needed.

Smoked Pork Butt Tips

Using a smoker is similar to a slow cooker, you have to trust the cooking process and the amount of time it will take. When we have smoked pork butt, I know my father-in-law often gets up pretty early in the morning to get the smoker started.

There are a variety of recipes you can use to make the smoked pork butt, and most will vary with the seasonings. We love the great flavor of McCormick’s Grill Mates BBQ Seasoning which you can find in the seasoning aisle in the grocery store. That, along with some salt and pepper means we are keeping it to very simple ingredients. But, you can also add other flavors by changing your dry rub. Other seasonings to try include garlic powder, onion powder, brown sugar, or any premixed spice rub. I’ve also heard of people using yellow mustard instead of olive oil to hold the seasonings on and adding apple cider vinegar to the pellets for a slightly more bitter flavor.

The type of wood you use for the pellets will also change the flavor of the meat. Our favorite wood is apple wood to go along with the apple juice. When trying to find the right wood, you want to look for grilling pellets. Some grocery stores may carry them, but you’ll have better luck checking somewhere such as home depot or lowes. Look for them near the pellet grill and charcoal grill area.

Working with the pellet grill can take some getting used to so I suggest giving yourself extra time the first time you use it. Or start with a smaller cut of pork to the smoking process doesn’t take as long.

Smoked Pork Butt Step by Step

Ingredients

  • 6-8 lb bone-in pork butt, raw
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 cup bbq dry rub

Preparation

Remove most of the fat and connective tissue from the raw pork. You’ll want to leave some of the far on there for flavor, but most of it should be removed.

Cover the pork butt with olive oil then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Use your hands to cover the pork with the pork rub thoroughly.

Seal the meat with plastic wrap and let the meat rest in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours. Ideally, leave it to marinade overnight.

In the morning, prepare the smoker by adding the wood pellets and either water or apple juice into the base. Heat it up to 225F-250F.

Place the pork, fat side up, on the rack in the smoker. Stick a meat thermometer into the meat and set the base on the smoker. This will help you to know when the pork is cooked through.

Cook for about 90 minutes per pound of pork. The pork should reach an internal temperature of 165F.

Once the pork is cooked through, carefully remove it from the smoker and wrap it with aluminum foil. Then wrap it in a towel and place it in a cooler or similar airtight container. Let the meat rest for another 30-60 minutes. This allows the juices to draw back into the pork and keep it tender.

Carefully remove the pork from its covering and pull the meat from the bones to shred.

Serve warm.

Smoked Pork Butt Leftovers

Storage: Allow the pork to come to room temperature. Store in airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Reheating: Our preferred method of reheating is in a small saucepan on the stovetop over low heat. You can add a bit of bbq sauce or apple juice if it needs a little more moisture.

Freezing: If you want to freeze some of the leftover pulled pork, you want to make sure it’s cooled off before placing it in a freezer bag or container. It should last in the freezer for up to 2-3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.

Favorite Sides for Smoked Pork Butt

Recipe

Originally Published On: February 27, 2023

Pulled smoked pork butt with pickles on a bun on parchment paper on a wooden tray with serving dishes behind all on a brown wooden surface

Smoked Pork Butt

Though it takes a lot of time to make a smoked pork butt in a pellet smoker, it's worth the effort for delicious shredded pork.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 12 hours
Marinading Time 3 hours
Total Time 15 hours 15 minutes
Course:
Main Dish
Cuisine:
American
Diet
Gluten Free
Keyword:
bbq
|
bbq seasoning
|
pork
|
pork butt
|
shredded pork
|
smoked meat
|
smoker
Dietary Needs:
Dairy-Free
|
Egg-Free
|
Gluten-Free
|
Nut-Free
|
Paleo
|
Whole30
Meat:
Pork
Cooking Method:
Smoker
Servings: 8
5 from 8 votes

Ingredients

  • 6-8 lb bone-in pork butt (raw)
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 cup bbq dry rub

Instructions

  • Remove most of the fat and connective tissue from the raw pork. You’ll want to leave some of the far on there for flavor, but most of it should be removed.
  • Cover the pork butt with olive oil then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Use your hands to cover the pork with the pork rub thoroughly.
  • Seal the meat with plastic wrap and let the meat rest in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours. Ideally, leave it to marinade overnight.
  • In the morning, prepare the smoker by adding the wood pellets and either water or apple juice into the base. Heat it up to 225F-250F.
  • Place the pork, fat side up, on the rack in the smoker. Stick a meat thermometer into the meat and set the base on the smoker. This will help you to know when the pork is cooked through.
  • Cook for about 90 minutes per pound of pork. The pork should reach an internal temperature of 165F.
  • Once the pork is cooked through, carefully remove it from the smoker and wrap it with aluminum foil. Then wrap it in a towel and place it in a cooler or similar airtight container. Let the meat rest for another 30-60 minutes. This allows the juices to draw back into the pork and keep it tender.
  • Carefully remove the pork from its covering and pull the meat from the bones to shred.
  • Serve warm.
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Nutrition Facts
Smoked Pork Butt
Amount Per Serving (0.5 lb)
Calories 541 Calories from Fat 234
% Daily Value*
Fat 26g40%
Saturated Fat 8g40%
Trans Fat 0.1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 12g
Cholesterol 204mg68%
Sodium 298mg12%
Potassium 1255mg36%
Carbohydrates 10g3%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 0.5g1%
Protein 65g130%
Vitamin A 390IU8%
Vitamin C 2mg2%
Calcium 195mg20%
Iron 9mg50%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

All nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutrition content will vary based on brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes, and more.

12 thoughts on “Smoked Pork Butt Recipe”

  1. 5 stars
    Excellent recipe. I had no idea how to cook a pork butt and had never smoked a dish before. We loved this and will most certainly make again!

  2. This looks so flavorful and delicious! And I love the briny pickles with the smoked meat that you added when you turned it into a sandwich for the photo! I’ll def be doing that! yum!

  3. 5 stars
    OMG, you had me at “Butt”, I was giggling too!!! Glad it’s not really butt. I love the sound of this smoking the meat adds so much flavour. Using it to make pulled pork burgers is a great idea.

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