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Pulled Pork Smoked sandwich on a sesame see bun on a white plate.
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5 from 10 votes

Smoked Pork Butt

Step-by-step instructions on how to smoke a pork butt. Lathered in a homemade spice rub and slowly smoked over applewood will result in the most tender pulled pork perfect for so many meals!
Prep Time20 mins
Smoking Time12 hrs
Total Time12 hrs 20 mins
Course: dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12 people
Calories: 634kcal
Author: Amanda Mason


  • Smoker


  • ¼ cup yellow mustard
  • 1 8-10 lb pork shoulder
  • ½ cup salt
  • ½ cup turbinado sugar
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons  smoked Paprika
  • 2 Tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons black pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 Tablespoons onion powder
  • 1 Tablespoon cumin
  • teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons dry mustard
  • ½ teaspoons ground coriander


Spice Rub And Smoking Process

  • Place the pork shoulder on a large cookie sheet or pyrex dish. Take ¼ cup of yellow mustard and baste the entire pork shoulder.
  • Once basted, mix all the dry ingredients into a bowl. Generously coat the dry rub onto the pork shoulder until completely covered, ensuring to get the rub onto both sides and into crevices.
  • Cover the pork with saran wrap and place in the refrigerator to marinate for 12-24 hours.
  • Once marinated, take the pork out of the refrigerator to rest on the counter the same time you start the smoker.
  • Once the smoker is reaches 225°F, place the pork shoulder on a rack, fat side up, above the water pan and wood chunks. Place an electrical temperature gauge in meat and close the smoker doors.
  • Smoke will start to escape the smoker in the early stages of the process. Keep the smoker heat between 225-250°F and let it smoke slow and low.

The Stall Process

  • After several hours into the smoking process when the internal temperature of the pork reaches 165°F, remove it from the smoker and place it on a piece of heavy duty aluminum foil.
  • Take the spray bottle mixed with ¼ cup of apple juice and ¼ cup of water and spray the meat 4-5 times.
  • Tightly wrap the pork shoulder in a large piece of foil, and then wrap it again in another piece of heavy duty aluminum foil so the pork is double wrapped.
  • Place the double wrapped pork back into the smoker, insert the temperature gauge, and close the door.

Final Steps

  • When the internal temperature reaches 203°F, remove the wrapped pork from the smoker and wrap it in a beach towel.
  • Place the meat wrapped in the towel in an empty cooler and close the lid and let it rest for 1 hour.
  • After an hour, unwrap the meat. At this point of the process, the meat is done and is ready to be shredded.
  • Place the smoked pork butt in a deep pan or pyrex dish. Take a pair of meat shredder claws and start shredding the pork. The meat should be extremely tender and shred easily. While shredding, discard any visible fat.
  • Let the meat cool for 2-3 minutes and then it's ready to serve.



  • Apple Cider Vinegar and Water In Water Pan - When preparing the water pan, wrap it in aluminum foil for less mess. Mix 1 cup of apple cider vinegar with 8-10 cups of water and pour into the smoker water pan.
  • Spraying The Pork Butt During The Stall - You'll spray the meat with half apple juice and water when double wrapping it in aluminum foil. This process helps add additional moisture and flavor.
  • How long to smoke a pork butt - when smoking a shoulder at 225°F, the smoking time averages about 1.5 hours per pound. If you're going to slice it, cook to 185°F. If you buy an 8-pound pork shoulder, expect it to be done about 12 hours later.
  • Smoked Pork Butt Temperature - if you intend to slice the pork shoulder, it must first be deboned, and the internal temperature should reach 185°F. If you plan to pull the pork, smoke it longer until it reaches 203°F.
  • BBQ Sauce - the rub provides a ton of flavor, so you don't necessarily need BBQ sauce, but if you like it, consider making your own. You just can’t beat a good homemade BBQ sauce. The recipe is easy to make and provides both a sweet and smoky flavor.
  • Meal Prep - This is the perfect meat to use when meal prepping and managing portion control. Simply place a portion of the pork in individual containers along with other side dishes.
  • Storing Pork in Refrigerator - the pork should last in the fridge for 4-5 days after it's cooked.


Calories: 634kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 54g | Fat: 38g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 4801mg | Potassium: 106mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 993IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 30mg | Iron: 1mg