Boston Butt is one of the easiest cuts to smoke. Being rich in fat and connective tissues, the smoked meat literally melts in your mouth and produces a unique juicy and flavorful taste. One can easily prepare it without expert experience or effort.
It takes about 1 ½ to 2 hours to smoke a pound of Boston Butt at 225. Thus, for an average weight of 9 to 10 pounds of Boston Butt, the total time required to smoke is about 15 to 18 hours. While an 8-pound Boston Butt cut will require 10 to 12 hours, a 4 pounds pork butt will require only 6 to 8 hours of average smoking time.
There are a few other factors to consider while smoking Boston Butt to keep the juiciness and the flavors intact. Continue reading to find out what these factors are and how to accurately calculate Boston Butt smoking times for different weights of meat.
How Long To Smoke A Pork Butt At 225
At 225 degrees Fahrenheit, it takes about 2 hours to roast per pound of meat. This means that 10 pounds of smoked pork butt should be smoked for about 20 hours at a temperature of 225 degrees Fahrenheit (or 107℃). Once the internal temperature cools down to 165 degrees Fahrenheit (or 74℃), you can remove it from the heat source and let it rest for about 30 to 45 minutes before you pull or process it further.
The following table guides you on how long to smoke a pork butt for different temperatures:
|Temperature (in degrees Fahrenheit)
|Time Required to Smoke Per Pound
|Time Required to Smoke 10 Pounds of Boneless Boston Butt
|16 to 20 hours
|90 to 95 minutes
|12 to 15 hours
|9 to 12 hours
|30 to 45 minutes
|5 to 8 hours
Factors Affecting The Smoking Time:
- The higher the indirect heat applied, the tougher it becomes for the breakdown of fat and connective tissues. This makes the meat tough and difficult to chew.
- The meat may cook for longer depending upon the amount of fat content of the Boston cut.
- Meat with bones will require a longer smoking time. However, cooking with bone-in retains the flavor and juices better.
How Long To Cook A Boston Butt At 225
If you are a beginner, Boston Butt is the best cut to start your smoking journey. A Boston Butt (also called the ‘Blade Roast’) is different from the conventional picnic cut. It is a wedge-shaped portion obtained from the pork shoulder, made of parts of the neck, shoulder blade, and arm. It is well-marbled and is sold at an average weight of 6 to 9 pounds (with bone) and 5 to 8 pounds (without bone). The portion is loaded with high amounts of fat and connective tissue, and thus, cooking it low, and slow infuses great flavor to the meat and produces the best results.
Boston Butt (of 8 pounds) should be smoked at an average of 10-12 hours to reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit (or 71.1℃). The general rule to calculate the time is:
Weight of Boston Butt Meat (in pounds) X 1 ½ to 2 hours = Total Time Required to Cook a Boston Butt at 225.
Boston Butt Smoking Times
Here is an accurate calculation of Boston Butt smoking times for different weights of meat:
|Weight of Boston Butt Cut
|Time Required at 225
|15 to 18 hours
|10 to 12 hours
|6 to 8 hours
The Test For Doneness
The exterior of the pork butt should turn golden brown when done. If cooking pork butt with bone-in, the meat will easily come out of the meat when fully done. For boneless meat, insert a fork into the meat and try rotating it. If it feels tender, the meat is done. If the desired internal temperature is not reached even after the recommended cooking time, try wrapping it in aluminum foil and roasting it for another hour.
How Much Smoked Boston Butt Per Person
An average person consumes about 1 ½ pounds of smoked Boston Butt. Therefore, 10 people would require about 15 pounds of smoked Boston Butt pork. Since there is a 30% loss due to shrinkage and waste, the average amount of raw meat required for 10 people is about 20 pounds.
Some Tips To Smoke A Pork Butt
- Start smoking the Boston Butt by placing the fat side-up. After half time, flip the butt fat side down and continue smoking.
- Do not remove from the indirect source until the internal temperature reaches 190 to 195 degrees Fahrenheit. Use a digital cooking thermometer to measure the temperature inside the meat. If you are preparing pulled pork, it is recommended to cook it until the internal temperature reaches 200 to 203 degrees Fahrenheit.
How To Measure Internal Temperature of Smoked Pork Butt:
Contrary to the guidelines of the USDA, which recommends cooking pork at an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit to be safe to consume, pitmasters suggest different cooking times and temperatures for Boston Butt cut. Since this cut is rich in collagen and fat, the meat should be cooked until the internal temperatures reach at least 190 to 195 degrees Fahrenheit. At this temperature, the collagen breaks down, and the meat is just perfect to melting in the mouth. It even gives better results at 203 Fahrenheit.
To measure the internal temperature for Boston Butt with Bone, choose a spot that is well away from the bone, preferably the thickest portion of the Butt end. For a boneless Boston Butt cut, insert the probe through the middle of the meat. Use a remote thermometer probe for better monitoring of the temperature.
- ‘Stalling’ is a crucial step for roasting Boston Butt. After removing the smoker, let the pork butt rest for about ½ an hour at room temperature wrapped in an aluminum foil/ butcher’s paper or directly over the counter. This ‘resting time’ is important to let the juices get reabsorbed into the meat. Resting relaxes the meat fibers and makes pulling the pork a lot easier.
- Try roasting the Boston Butt in the middle rack for optimum and even smoking.
- The time of cooking will also depend on the type of oven. Pellet grills or traditional outdoor barbeques are the best to smoke Boston Butt.
- Use a water pan to ensure that the meat stays juicy and moist during smoking.
- Since the meat has high-fat content, you can overcook Boston butt a little before the muscle fibers start losing their structure. Overcooked Boston Butt may be dry and difficult to chew. This will alter the taste of pulled pork even if you toss it with barbeque sauce.
- To retain the maximum flavors, make sure you trim the fat, choose a simple recipe and take the time to season right. Use wood pellets of Applewood and Hickory wood to enhance the flavors.
- Wrapping Boston Butt in aluminum foil will decrease the smoking time. If you are planning to wrap in the foil, an internal temperature of 150 to 170 degrees Fahrenheit will be just fine. Whatever the method is, you must smoke Boston Butt for at least 4 to 6 hours.
Whether you have it in sandwiches or prepare pulled pork, recipes with Smoked Boston Butt are a must-have at every barbeque party. When you follow the above-mentioned quick and easy pitmasters’ tricks and cook it at the right temperatures, you are sure to never go wrong with smoking Boston Butt.
also read: Grilling Corn On The Cob In Foil [GUIDE]
Scot has loved smoking food in his free time for the last few years. Each major holiday or off-weekend, Scot spends days testing and prepping new recipes for perfection.