pork butt

How to Smoke a Pork Butt: A Multi-Use Meat


If you enjoy cooking and you’re any good at it, you probably have family or friends over often.

It can sometimes be overwhelming to make several different dishes to put together a good meal for them to enjoy.

This is where the pork butt comes in. This is a cut of meat that, in addition to being very easy to cook, is very versatile in its uses.

The following recipe will help you smoke a pork butt and cook it so that you can use it for many different dishes over the next few days.

Preparing Pork Butt:

If you’ve frozen your pork butt, you’ll want to take it out of the freezer 2-4 days prior to your cook so that it can thaw properly. If you’re pinched for time, you can thaw it in 6-8 hours in a sink of cold water. Turn on your smoker and set it to 250 degrees F. In the meantime, trim any excess fat off the pork butt and discard it. You won’t get it all but that’s ok. Some fat is actually good. Leave the bone in and, season the pork generously with the rub of your choice.

Smoking Pork Butt:

Once your smoker has reached 250 degrees F, place the pork butt directly on the grill and place a probe thermometer into the thickest part of the meat. Make sure you don’t place the thermometer too close to the bone. The bone stays slightly cooler that the meat and can cause a false temperature reading.

Smoke until an internal temperature of 160 degrees F is reached. This generally takes anywhere from 4 to 6 hours depending on the size of your pork butt.

Once you reach 160 degrees F, place your pork butt in a deep disposable tin foil pan. Make sure your probe thermometer is left in the meat. Pour 1.5 to 2 Cups of Apple Juice or Apple Cider over your pork butt. I like apple cider because of its raw flavor and sweetness.

Cover pan with two layers of tin foil and make sure seal is tight around probe wire. Cook another 2-3 hours at 250 degrees F or until you get a reading of 204 degrees F.

Pour out your juices and separate the fat from the liquid. Retain liquid for later.

Remove bone (it should slide right out) and pull or shred your pork. Once it’s pulled to your liking, pour as much juice back in and mix with your pork.

I don’t sauce the pork at this point because some people don’t like BBQ sauce and I may not use all the pork for one purpose. You can use this pork for several different things including pulled pork sandwiches, pizza, rice bowls and many others.

You are now a Smoked Pork Butt professional. Enjoy your hard work!


1 Pork Butt (7-9 lbs.)

1-2 C Rub

2 C Apple Cider


Preheat smoker to 250 degrees F.

Trim Pork of excess fat

Season entire pork butt generously with rub

Insert probe thermometer into thickest part of pork (not too close to the bone)

Smoke directly on grill 6-7 hours or until internal temperature of 160 degrees F.

Place pork butt in deep foil pan and pour 2 C Apple Cider on top (keep probe in)

Cover with two layers of tin foil

Cook at 250 for 2-3 hours or until internal temp reads 204 degrees F.

Drain liquids and separate from fat. Set liquid aside

Remove bone and pull or shred

Add liquid back into pork and mix


Tools Used:

Traeger Timberline 1300
Tin Foil Pan
Instant Read Probe Thermometer

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  1. 5 stars
    By far the easiest and best recipe I have found to date for smoking a pork butt! Rubbed mine with a bourbon rub and it with apple wood for the smoke. The apple cider was what really made this recipe amazing though! Started falling apart getting it out of the pan and the flavor was out of this world!

  2. Made this pork butt for the first time using this easy to follow recipe. It was absolutely awesome. Thank you for sharing your recipe. Would like to see other recipes using ham, brisket, meatloaf. You have done a great service in perfecting a delicious recipe.

  3. 5 stars
    Didn’t pay attention that I could leave a star rating before I hit post comment! This actually deserves a ten star rating!!

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