It’s a question that has been asked by backyard grillers for years – how long to smoke a Boston butt. The answer depends on a variety of factors – including the size of the butt roast, the temperature of the smoker, and the humidity level.
Smoking is a great way to cook pork because it results in juicy and tender cuts of meat. It takes time to smoke a Boston butt, but the result is worth it! In this blog post, we’ll discuss all you need to know about smoking Boston butts so you can make your next cookout a success.
What Is a Boston Butt?
The Boston butt is not actually from the butt of a pig. Instead, it’s taken from the upper part of the pig’s shoulder. This cut has been used for centuries and when cooked properly it can melt in your mouth like butter, which explains why it was given its name – “butt” referring to barrel size rather than the location on the pig.
The name “Boston butt” comes from the fact that this particular cut of meat was once popular among butchers in Boston. It was later brought down to the South where people enjoyed cooking and eating pork.
When you say this to someone who has never heard of a Boston butt before, they might be in for quite a surprise. This is a popular cut of meat in the Southern United States, and it’s often cooked slowly on a smoker or grill. Today, the Boston butt is popular among barbecue enthusiasts all over the country.
A Boston butt can be cooked in many ways. However, it gets its signature smoky flavor when it is slow-smoked on a grill or smoker using your favorite wood chips.
The Boston butt is a great, versatile cut of meat that can be cooked in many different ways and made into other dishes like pulled pork sandwiches. There are many recipes out there for cooking the perfect Boston butt so you can try one out at your next barbecue or special event.
How Long to Smoke a Boston Butt?
It takes at least 6 hours of cooking time to smoke a Boston butt – no matter the size. The size of your Boston Butt can vary from about three to ten pounds. The smaller ones will cook in around six hours while the larger ones may take twelve or more.
The best way to tell if a Boston butt is done smoking is by using a meat thermometer that has been inserted into it at least two inches deep without touching any bones.
If you are cooking it in a smoker, the internal temperature should be around 190°F and will take approximately six hours to cook if it is small enough that all of its fat can melt off easily while being smoked at 225°F (105°C).
Some factors that go into the smoking time include:
- The size of your Boston butt: This can vary from three to ten pounds (sometimes more). You should always use a meat thermometer when cooking any kind of meat so that you know how long it will take before it is done smoking for optimum results.
- The type of meat: Some meats are less fatty than others and will therefore take longer to cook. If there are bones in the butt, it could take longer to cook.
- Whether or not your smoker has been preheated: If you are using a charcoal smoker, it is best to let the coals burn until they are ashy white before putting your meat on. This will help ensure that your smoker maintains a consistently ideal temperature.
- If you are using wood chips or pellets: Wood chips can burn up faster than pellets do, which means that they need replacing more often if you want them to continue giving off smoke and flavoring your Boston butt with their smoky taste. A good rule of thumb is one cup of wood chips per pound of meat being cooked.
How to Smoke a Boston Butt
Many people have a great appreciation for smoked meats. For those who enjoy this style of cooking there can be no greater prize than the perfect Boston butt or pork shoulder.
Just like other cuts of pork such as ribs or belly bacon, you can use any recipe that calls for barbecue mop sauce and rubs because all three go together so well with smoked meat. Here is a recipe for the smoked Boston butt.
- Boston butt (pork shoulder) – about six pounds
- Salt – two tablespoons
- Black pepper – one tablespoon
- Barbecue sauce – your favorite brand or recipe
- Apple cider vinegar (optional)
- Charcoal smoker with wood chips
- Meat thermometer
- Aluminum foil
- Heavy-duty kitchen twine
- Basting brush
The first step is to remove the Boston Butt from the fridge and let it come to room temperature. This will help ensure that your meat cooks evenly. Preheat your smoker first until 160°F.
In a small bowl, mix the salt and pepper. Sprinkle this all over the Boston pork butt, using your hands to make sure it’s evenly coated.
Place the pork shoulder in the smoker and smoke for about six to eight hours, or until the internal meat temperature reaches 225°F. During the last hour of cooking, baste the meat with your favorite BBQ sauce.
Once it’s cooked, remove it from the smoker and let it rest for about 30-45 minutes per pound before slicing. You can now enjoy your Boston butt!
Tips When Smoking a Boston Butt
There are several things you can do to make sure your Boston butt turns out perfect every time. Here are our top tips:
- Make sure you are smoking your Boston butt at a temperature between 225 and 250°F.
- You can use any wood to smoke your meat, but keep in mind the flavor profile of each type of wood before deciding which one to use.
- Make sure that you have enough charcoal for the duration of cooking. We recommend using about three pounds of charcoal for every five pounds of meat.
- If you are using a smoker, make sure the water pan is full and that the smokebox is filled with cherry wood chips.
- Monitor the temperature of your smoker regularly and adjust the vents as needed.
- Boston butts can take anywhere from six to ten or twelve hours to cook, so be patient.
- Allow the meat to rest for 30 minutes after smoking it so that the juices have a chance to redistribute.
- Take your time selecting a good piece of meat. The best Boston butts come from the pork shoulder area.
- Trim any excess fat off the meat before smoking it. This will help ensure that your meat is juicy and tender.
- Apply a rub or marinade to the meat before smoking it. This will add extra flavor and help keep the meat moist.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Smoker
A smoker is an appliance that will give you authentic barbecue flavors, with the least hassle. However, before buying a smoker, there are several factors to consider that could help you make an informed decision. Here are some of them:
- Size and capacity of the smoker: There are smokers in different sizes and shapes. So when looking for one, choose the size that will fit your needs. If you are a small family or have limited space, then go for a smoker with a smaller capacity. But if you frequently entertain guests, then get one with a larger capacity.
- Type of smoker: There are different types of smokers on the market such as electric, charcoal, and gas smokers. So you need to decide what type of smoker you want. If you don’t want the hassle of charcoal and lighter fluid, then go for an electric smoker. But if you want that smoky flavor, then a charcoal or gas smoker will be perfect for you.
- Temperature control: Different smokers come with different temperature controls. Some have a knob while others have a digital control. Some even allow you to set the temperature and forget about it, but others will require you to regularly check on them.
Consider how easy it is for you to manage the temperature so that your comfort food doesn’t get burnt or undercooked, in the case of electric smokers.
- Budget: Smokers come at different prices, depending on various factors such as brand and quality. Some are affordable while others will cost you an arm and a leg. So before going shopping for one, have a budget in mind to avoid overspending.
- Ease of cleaning: Choose a smoker that is easy to clean and maintain so that it can last long without requiring repairs. Look for one with a nonstick surface, and that comes with accessories such as grates and grids to make cleaning easier.
- Ease of use: Smokers come in different sizes and designs, which can sometimes be intimidating especially if you are just starting out. So look for something easy to operate so that you do not get frustrated while using it.
Smoked to perfection with beautiful bark and tender, juicy meat – a Boston butt is truly one of the most delicious treats you can make. So how long to smoke a Boston Butt? The cooking process can take anywhere from six to twelve hours, depending on the size and a few other factors.
The bottom line is that smoking a Boston butt can be a bit of an art form, and there are many things that can affect how long it takes to cook the meat. By being aware of these factors and using a meat thermometer, you can ensure that your Boston butt comes out perfectly smoked every time.
Last Updated on April 29, 2022 by Judith Fertig