How Long to Smoke a Boston Butt? All You Need to Know

The Boston butt is one of the most delicious cuts of pork that you could put in a smoker. I’ve been smoking Boston butts for some time now and it has been awesome. Though it could be tedious, the juiciness and tenderness of pulled pork after long hours of smoking never disappoints me.

How long to smoke a Boston butt requires a lot of patience. It typically takes 1 to 2 hours to smoke 1 pound of Boston butt, but instead of relying on the cooking time, it’s still better to monitor the internal temperature of the meat. No matter how long it takes, smoking a Boston butt is fun and is always worth the wait.

  • Serves 10 to 15 people
  • Preparation time: 4 to 12 hours
  • Cooking time: 8 to 10 hours
  • Cooking temperature: 225 oF
  • Meat internal temperature: 190 oF

Ingredients and materials needed

  • 7 pounds Boston Butt
  • Marinade and meat marinade injector
  • Mustard
  • Dry rub
  • Mop
  • Smoker
  • Charcoal
  • Wood chunks
  • Aluminum foil

A Boston butt is the top part of a pork shoulder. It may either be boneless or bone-in, and both are equally great. As for the wood chunks, pecan or cherry is the best choice for me. However, you may use any type of wood of your choice.

Here is a sample recipe for the marinade and the mop.

Ingredients for marinade:

  • 1 cup apple juice
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup salt
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce

Although not everyone injects marinade inside their Boston butt, I think this is necessary to ensure that you get tasty meat in every bite. Others would simply go for apple juice alone or even fruit soda for marinades. Brine is also a popular alternative.

Ingredients for the mop:

  • 16 ounces vegetable Oil
  • 16 ounces cider vinegar
  • 32 ounces water
  • 1 cup of dry rub
  • 2 tablespoon Worcestershire
  • 2 tablespoons soy Sauce

This is used for basting in between hours of smoking. It adds more flavor and a nice crust on the exterior of your meat. You may use barbecue sauce as an alternative if you prefer a ready-made blend.


Step 1: Inject the meat

Injecting the marinade will allow flavour to penetrate the insides of the Boston butt. Mix all the ingredients of the marinade and put it in the injection. Insert the needle into the meat and push the plunger to inject some fluid. Slightly pull up the needle without fully withdrawing it, and re-insert it into different angles to inject more fluid in other areas. Repeat on the other sides.

Put the Boston butt in a ziplock bag and pour in the excess marinade that has leaked out of the meat. Store in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours. You may choose to marinade it overnight.

To show you how to inject your Boston butt, you may refer to this video:

Step 2: Apply the dry rub

Slather your Boston butt with a coating of mustard. This will allow the dry rub to stick well to the meat. Apply the dry rub all over the Boston butt and massage it into the meat. You might want to use your hands to make sure you don’t miss a spot.

Step 3: Prepare the smoker

Heat up the charcoal and prepare your wood. The wood chunks should be pre-soaked for an hour before it is put in the smoker. Set the smoker to 225oF and allow it to preheat for about 10 minutes before putting in the seasoned Boston butt.

Step 4: Smoke the Boston butt

Put the Boston butt in the smoker. After 2 hours of smoking, baste your meat with the mop on all sides. Repeat this every 2 hours of smoking. This step will take 6 hours, so lay back and relax. Do not constantly open the door of your smoker to prevent the temperature from dropping.

Step 5: Wrap in foil and monitor the temperature

After 6 hours of smoking, take out your Boston butt from your smoker and wrap it with aluminium foil to seal the moisture in. Insert a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the Boston butt and return the wrapped meat in the smoker. It should reach an internal temperature of 190oF. This is enough for all the connective tissues and fat to break down. This will take another 2 hours, so sit patiently as the temperature rises to our target.

Step 6: Let it stand

Once the internal temperature is reached, remove the Boston butt from the smoker. Let it stand for 15 to 30 minutes to allow the juices to redistribute around the meat. Open the aluminium foil to let the steam come out. Drain the juices and set them aside. You may want to use this later after you’ve pulled your pork.

Step 7: Pull it apart and enjoy

To know that your Boston butt cooked well, it should easily be separated from the bone and could easily be pulled apart. I use my hands to shred the meat because it makes me feel how tender it is. You may now start making sandwiches or you could set it aside for future use.

Here is a step-by-step video on how to make smoked Boston butt:

With this smoked Boston butt recipe, we could say that good things really come to those who wait. Imagine all that juicy goodness exploding and melting in your mouth. As awesome as pulled pork sandwiches may sound, remember that you will have to start early when you prepare for your next barbecue with your friends.

Perhaps you have another recipe on how to smoke Boston butt. Please do share your thoughts with us in the comments section and don’t forget to spread this wonderful recipe to the world. Enjoy!

Melissa Novotny

Hello friends,
I’m Melissa from San Diego. I created because I’m obsessed with food. I love cooking, eating and sharing. The Kitchen is the heart of my home.

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