One of the most satisfactory ways to cook Boston butt is to smoke it. In fact, smoking is one of the best ways to cook any piece of meat period. Not only are you more likely to get tender, juicy, and “fall off the bone” ready meat when it’s done, but it also teaches your patience.
Smoking isn’t exactly the cooking style for the “microwave society” that wants their food ready yesterday. It takes time, and if you do it right, the results will be glorious.
So, just how long does it take to smoke Boston butt, and at what temperature should you do it? In this guide, you will learn all about the process, the duration, and the best kind of smoker to use.
Below you will find the answer to your burning question: how long to smoke Boston butt at 275 degrees?
Note: most links in this article are Amazon.com Affiliate links, see Affiliate Disclosure, thank you.
What’s Boston Butt?
Boston butt is a common name that is used when referring to pork shoulder. However, the term “butt” is rather misleading as this part isn’t exactly the pig’s rear but rather the animal’s upper back. It is a rather muscular part of the animal which calls for slow cooking.
Using a smoker such as the Masterbuilt MB20074719 Bluetooth Digital Electric Smoker gives this portion of meat the time it needs to break down, tenderize, and produce some of the most delicious smoked pulled pork known to man.
Note: If you are interested in getting yourself an electric cooker for your weekend grilling, here is a quick guide on using the Masterbuilt Electric Smoker that should come in handy down the line.
What’s the Ideal Temperature for Smoking Boston Butt?
The answer to this question entirely depends on the grill master – in this case, you. This is because the temperature at which you cook pork shoulder varies greatly and is mostly determined by the amount of time you want to spend smoking it. Many grill masters like cooking their Boston butt at 250 degrees, while others go even as low as 200 degrees.
The ideal temperature for most grill masters, however, is an internal temperature of 275 degrees Fahrenheit. At this internal temperature, the pork shoulder has the opportunity to remain juicy while tenderizing it enough to pull apart easily. Most importantly, it does so at a reasonable rate.
How Long Does It Take to Smoke Boston Butt at 275 Degrees?
Whenever you are smoking Boston Butt pork roast at 275 degrees, you should estimate that it’s going to take about 60 minutes (1 hour) per pound of meat to reach the desired internal temperature. So, if you intend on smoking 10 pounds of Boston Butt in the weekend, you should be prepared to give it about 10 hours to smoke properly before digging in. Keep in mind that this amount of time will result in a juicy sliceable Boston Butt roast, if you want pulled pork you will need to add more cooking time.
Smoking the same 10 pounds at lower temperatures such as 225 degrees increases the time it will take for the Boston Butt to be done. At 225 degrees, you will be looking at something like 80 minutes per pound of meat. Make sure to have your meat thermometer handy to check it out during the smoking/cooking process.
At this point, you might be wondering why anyone would choose 225 degrees or lower over 275 degrees for pork butt roast? The truth is that it’s all a matter of preference. Some grill masters believe that cooking your meat at lower temperatures makes them juicier and more tender.
That isn’t to say that 275 degrees rush the process of smoked pork butt because, if timed correctly, the meat won’t dry out, and it will be just as tender, only ready faster.
What’s the Best Wood to Smoke Boston Butt?
This is yet another contentious issue, with grill masters worldwide holding opposing opinions on which kind of wood is best for smoking Boston Butt. Some say that milder woods such as cherry are perfect because the stronger ones like Hickory or Oak tend to overwhelm the smoked pork butt meat. The truth is that everyone has their own taste and preference here.
Some people specifically prefer smoking their pork butt for the sole reason that they like the smoky taste in the meat. For these people, the stronger the wood and smoke flavor, the better. So it all comes down to what you prefer.
Tips on How to Smoke Boston Butt Properly
When was the last time you tasted pork shoulder from two different grill masters that had the exact same flavor? Almost never. Every grill master has their own secret ingredient or skill they apply to make their smoked pulled pork taste divine. Here are some tricks that you can try if you are looking to change up your smoking style:
- Prime pork shoulder: Every cook will tell you that the most important ingredient in smoking any kind of meat is the meat itself. If you don’t get that part right, the rest will be nothing more than applying lipstick on a pig (no pun intended). Therefore, when choosing the best Boston Butt, it’s advisable to go for a piece that has good marbling. That kind of marbling will go a long way in both adding flavor and ensuring that the meat stays juicy through the cooking process.
- Fresh pork butt: Using the freshest meat you can find should be a given. Make sure that the pork shoulder you buy doesn’t have any odor and that it’s nice and pink.
- Meat on bone: Another good trick is to buy meat on the bone (bone on shoulder). That bone will help the Boston Butt hold its original shape even as it cooks. Also, it’s a good way to tell when the meat is done by how easily it falls off the bone.
- Trim the fat: Pork is very fatty. While this fat often helps add flavor to the meat and keep it juicy, too much of it is a nuisance, and most people don’t like eating it. The trick is to trim it off and keep the fat as close to the meat as possible without necessarily cutting it into the meat. This thin layer will do the trick nicely by keeping the meat moist and adding some flavor to it.
Boston Butt is a very popular piece of pork among those who love smoking their meat. With these tips and tricks, you can now enjoy your own cooking over the weekend or any other time you have about 10 hours to let it smoke properly.