Pulled Pork – Smoked Pork Butt

by Kevin H. on June 4, 2012 · 142 comments


Pulled Pork Sandwich - Pork Shoulder Recipe

One of the big four competition categories.  Pork Butt/Boston Butt/Pork Shoulder.  They’re all interchangeable terms with the same delicious result:  Pulled Pork.  This has become a staple for nearly every event and party that I do.  It seems everyone loves it, and I can’t blame them for constantly requesting it – it’s a delicously smokey, juicy, tasty treat.

The process is remarkably easy, actually.  But to do it right, it’s extremely time-consuming.  And if you don’t have a smoker, it makes it more difficult, as you’ll need to rotate the meat regularly so all sides spend equal time facing the heat.

Trim excess fat from the top of the butt to maximize your surface area for bark

Pulled Pork Shoulder Recipe

and score the fat cap on the bottom.  This allows the fat to easily seep into the meat…and who doesn’t want more fat in their meat?

Pulled Pork Shoulder Recipe

For this recipe you can use my All Purpose Rub, and cover every inch of the pork butt.  That’s it.  That’s your prep work.

Pulled Pork Shoulder Recipe

Get your smoker going at a cool 225-250, or set your grill up for indirect cooking, and throw on your meat.  Make sure you have tons of wood ready to put on.  You’ll want the smoke to billow non-stop for about 5 hours.  I use a mix of hickory and fruit.

If you’re using your grill with indirect cooking, you’ll need to rotate the pork butt every hour to ensure all sides cook evenly.  Use this as an opportunity to spray the pork butt with some apple juice and sprinkle more rub.  Couldn’t hurt.

Pulled Pork Shoulder Recipe

The goal is to get the internal temperature up to 200.  That’s the magic number.  When you hit 200, the bone will pull clean every time, guaranteed.  And I’m not gonna lie – that’s just cool.

Pulled Pork Shoulder Recipe

I choose to wrap my pork butts.  Some disagree.  Some say it’s a bbq sin.  I’m not going to get into a long discussion on this, I’m just going to make one comment:  World Champions wrap.

I wrap for 2 reasons:  1.  It speeds up the cooking process to more thoroughly cook your pork butts all the way through;  2. It creates massive amounts of natural juices that you cannot get otherwise.  Look at these pictures – the first was taken after smoking for 5 hours and placing in the aluminum pan, the second was taken after being wrapped for about 6 hours.

I added nothing to this pan.  Nothing.  That’s all natural.  And THAT is the reason that I constantly get the feedback from everyone that eats it that my pulled pork is the best they’ve ever had.

Make sure you let it rest for about an hour before pulling.  This allows some of the juices to be absorbed back into the meat, and for it to cool enough for you to pull it.

Pulled Pork Shoulder Recipe

So, about 12 minutes of prep time, 12 hours of cooking time, and you’ll have the absolute juiciest pulled pork you’ve ever had.  Make some award winning bbq sauce, grab a bun and enjoy the heck out of it.

Smoked Pork Butt

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 12 hours

Total Time: 12 hours, 15 minutes

Smoked Pork Butt

Ingredients

  • 1 Boston Butt
  • 1 cup All Purpose Rub
  • Spray Bottle of Apple Juice (optional)

Instructions

  1. Trim excess fat from top of butt and score fat cap on bottom of butt.
  2. Rub the butt liberally on all sides for maximum bark.
  3. Smoke at 225-250 with a mix of hickory and fruit wood for at least 5 hours.
  4. If using a grill with indirect heating, rotate the butt every hour so each side cooks evenly.
  5. Spray every hour for first 3 hours with apple juice and sprinkle more rub.
  6. Place pork butt in aluminum pan and wrap tightly with foil. Place back in smoker (or oven) until internal temperature hits 200. For a 10lb butt this usually takes me 10 - 12 hours.
  7. Let rest for an hour before pulling.
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Leave a Comment

{ 142 comments… read them below or add one }

Morgan October 26, 2014 at 8:10 pm

Made my first pork butt ever today. Followed all your directions and turned out amazing. Thanks so much for this website! Even my 1 yr old couldn’t get enough!

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Todd October 3, 2014 at 11:13 am

Looks delicious. Only thing I see wrong is that there isn’t any slaw on the sandwich. That’s an absolute BBQ sin.

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Mikey August 1, 2014 at 11:45 pm

So I have my first big cater this weekend, about 220 people. The butts I got were portioned in 5 pound pieces, boneless. So where there was a bone there is kind of a flappy mess. I did my best to tie them tightly with butchers twine. Is everything gonna be ok? ;) anything I need to worry about? I am kind of freaking out over here as I normally do whole pork butts or butts with the bone in, pretty nervous. Any help is much appreciated!! Thank you so much.

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Kevin August 3, 2014 at 10:16 pm

Hey Mikey – sorry for my delay – I was on vacation with no internet access! Anyway, I’m sure they turned out just fine. If you followed the same process, they should have been great. I’m betting the cooking process was a bit quicker though!

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Matt July 25, 2014 at 10:18 pm

Have you tried an Orion cooker before? Wondering how it works before I make a purchase.

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Kevin July 26, 2014 at 7:49 am

Matt – I have not tried. I’ve read and seen a lot about them, but I just can’t wrap my mind around cooking ribs in an hour. It’s an extremely unique and different cooker, that’s for sure. I’m just too old school for something like that. No temperature control, no basting, it’s a thin cylinder so your options are limited…I just don’t know.
That being said, if it works and the meat comes out smoky and tender… color me impressed. It would be interesting to try.

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Matt July 26, 2014 at 3:28 pm

OK.. Somehow I ended up with butts that have been deboned and most of the cap removed. They look pretty mangled (thick on one end and a thinner strip on the other). I’ve never cooked a butt without a bone in it. How do you recommend I proceed? Tie them up with string? I’m thinking these won’t cook evenly and the thinner portions will not turn out so well.

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Kevin July 27, 2014 at 9:42 pm

I’ve only cooked a butt like that once, but it still turned out pretty darn good. I think you’ll be fine proceeding with the normal recipe. If your smoker cooks uneven, you’ll definitely want to rotate so the thinner portions don’t dry out. Otherwise, there’s plenty of fat in the pork butt, even without the cap, so you should be ok!

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Kevin July 14, 2014 at 12:14 pm

Thanks for the tips! Just a question about smoking a day or so ahead of time. I am going to smoke a butt this weekend for a party. The party starts a little to early in the day to get this done in time for it. How does it turn out if I smoke is the day before and reheat it the day of the party?

Not sure I want to get up at 3am and start smoking!

Thanks!

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Kevin July 16, 2014 at 9:12 am

I almost always cook mine in advance. I actually think it tastes better after it sits and gets reheated! Enjoy and let me know how it goes!

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Howard July 10, 2014 at 1:17 pm

Hi Kevin

Thanks for the great instructions and all your answers to all the posts… I’ve got a clear idea now on how to smoke my first butt! It was a challenge describing the cut of pork to the butcher as its certainly not known in the UK as a Boston Butt and smoking is not commonly done!

I’ve got myself a 9lb hunk of nicely marbled meat, maybe the “fat cap” has been a little too trimmed. I’m definitely down with the wrap + pan technique. Otherwise I think the internal meat temperature might just plateau for hours and it could really dry out during this time. I did a 3lb brisket previously and it plateaued at around 165^F for way too long and was more likely jerky when I finally took it out after about 10 hours.

One question – if I was smoking 2x 10lb butts, would there be any change to the cooking time? I’ve got a ProQ Frontier smoker and I find I need to fill the water pan every 4 hours. I’m using a perforated foil container for the wood chips (Mesquite & Maple) that I’ve pre-soaked. I hope it provides a steady billow of smoke but I’ll keep another on stand-by.

Cheers!
H.

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Kevin July 10, 2014 at 3:33 pm

I don’t think there should be any change to cooking time with 2 butts. I don’t adjust with my cooker, hopefully yours handles them just as well – thanks so much for reaching out, Howard!

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kay wilt July 7, 2014 at 4:14 pm

I am new to smoking meat and am ready for my first pulled pork. Are you saying that after the first 5 hours on the smoker, transfer it to an aluminum pan, wrap and put back in the smoker for another 5 or so hours?

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Kevin July 7, 2014 at 9:02 pm

That’s exactly right! Just get that internal temp up to about 195-200.

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Mike C. June 29, 2014 at 12:22 pm

Great recipe for a great meal. I made this yesterday. 2 7lb butts. I got them up to 200 degrees in the 9th hour in the smoker. Came out perfect. And we have plenty of leftovers for sandwiches today.

One thing I didn’t do was cook the butts with the fat cap down at any point. Assumed I should do it all the way with the fat cap up like brisket. Didn’t seem to matter as I got a really nice bark anyway, and the wrap phase produced plenty of juice.

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Kevin June 30, 2014 at 6:03 pm

Mike – I really don’t think it matters. I think the world is split 50/50 on fat cap up/down. I cook mine down to get a great bark on the top side, but I know many that have plenty of success with bark on the bottom, fat on top. Just make sure when you wrap the fat is down so you don’t lose the top bark during wrap phase.

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Mikey June 28, 2014 at 6:28 pm

Big question here. Doing my first big cater for 250+ people. Due to circumstances I am going to have to cook this the day before. Is it better to keep the butts whole refrigerate and reheat the next morning then shred or shred, refrigerate and reheat the next morning? I plan on reheating these babies using the massive amounts of juice from the cook. Any help is much appreciated Kevin!

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Kevin June 28, 2014 at 6:51 pm

Mikey – 100% pull while hot, refrigerate and reheat. And keep every ounce of juice. I’ll keep it in a tupperware container and add as needed while reheating. If possible, reheat slowly – around 250 for a couple hours. Sometimes I’ll even sprinkle in some extra rub while reheating. Delicious. Good luck!

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Mikey June 29, 2014 at 10:32 pm

Thanks Kevin. I cannot get enough of your site and your help is so valuable! I will try your method, it sounds spot on.

One more question. I have noticed that I am not having as much smokey flavor as I would like, in spite of scoring the fat cap and using a decent amount of wood (mostly cherry, some hickory). I have noticed this with the WSM and electric smoker. Any thoughts or help with this? Thanks.

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Kevin June 30, 2014 at 6:01 pm

I have to be honest, Mikey – I’m shocked to hear your WSM isn’t giving you enough smoke. I LOVE the WSM and it seems to always do the job. I’d say try more hickory to give it a richer flavor. Also, make sure you smoke it until the internal temp is 160. The pork butt will keep taking in that smoke until 160, so BLAST it!

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Mike June 20, 2014 at 9:49 pm

Hi Kevin,

This looks amazing and will be doing this on Sunday. I will be using a Masterbuilt Electric Smoker, once I finish the first 5-6hrs of naked smoke, I will place it in an aluminum pan and cover. I’m sure this is a stupid question but once it’s wrapped I probably don’t need any more wood for smoke do I? Or could I vent it to still get a little smoke? Thank you!

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Kevin June 26, 2014 at 8:13 am

I usually don’t use wood during the wrap phase, but you certainly could. And you also could vent it a bit if you want. Really all you’re doing during this stage is getting the internal temp higher. You can skip the wrap all together if you want! Whatever you find successful in getting the butt up to 200 and delicious!

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Daniel Fonvielle June 19, 2014 at 1:13 pm

I just recently bought my first smoker. A Brinkman side burner. For several years I have smoked meat on my gas grill with indirect heat and foil packets. We loved it so I figured I would try a smoker. I just cut had an Oak tree cut down and they ran it through the chipper and I have several piles of Oak mulch. Is it OK to smoke with Oak mulch since some of it was the leaves?

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Kevin June 20, 2014 at 9:24 am

Oak is a strong smoke so be careful. Using mulched wood is ok too but I wouldn’t use anything with leaves in it. I would think that would give meat a strange taste. But let me know if you try it and it’s good!

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Laura June 14, 2014 at 8:38 am

Thanks for the info. I am a smoking virgin! ;-) Cooking a 6.8 pound butt in a charcoal smoker. I’m thinking 6 hours of smoke & 3-4 hours in oven? My main question is: What temp does the oven need to be at to finish it off? 250? Thank you so much! ~Laura in Vermont

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Kevin June 14, 2014 at 9:36 am

I think you’re spot on, Laura. A 7lb butt should be done in 10 hours or less. And yes, oven at 225-250.

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Brett Walker May 25, 2014 at 6:48 pm

OUTSTANDING!!!!! Nuff said

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JR May 24, 2014 at 2:11 pm

Getting ready to try this recipe with a brand new electric smoker. Your recipe says to spray the pork with apple juice during the first 5 hours of cooking…do I assume that means it is ok to open the smoker while cooking…and that doing so will not interfere with the operation of the smoker or the time it takes to cook?

Thanks!

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Kevin May 25, 2014 at 8:20 am

JR – yes it’s ok to open the smoker. If you find it’s interfering too much with the cooker temp then you certainly don’t need to. My smoker recovers pretty quickly after opening it. Spraying and dusting with rub is definitely not an essential step if you choose to skip it. I just like adding layers of flavor.

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Kim May 4, 2014 at 4:53 pm

Ok, I guess I didn’t read very well. I started out with the foil on for 5 hours. Now we took off the foil and cooking the butt tell it reaches the 200 temp. And guess what? It was awesome!!!!! Will try again the right way!!!

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Gary April 30, 2014 at 10:52 pm

Hi Kevin:
I’m doing 20 lbs. of butts next week and had a quick question. If the meat is wrapped in foil for the duration of the cooking/smoking, how does the smoke penetrate to flavor the meat? Did I miss something?
Gary

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Kevin May 1, 2014 at 6:29 am

Gary – yea, read through the recipe and process I describe. I smoke for 5 hours, then wrap the butts for about 6 hours to get them up to temperature. 5 hours is plenty of smoke penetration in my experience.

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Gary May 1, 2014 at 7:19 am

Thanks Kevin!

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Gary May 10, 2014 at 11:58 am

Hi Kevin:
I followed your technique to the letter. I went to transfer the butts to a clean pan after resting them and they literally fell apart. The taste and texture were PERFECT! I wanted to thank you for sharing. I will definitely keep using your recipe for future pulled pork projects.
Gary

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Pete April 23, 2014 at 7:17 am

Hi There,

Being located in the UK it is sometimes tricky to distinguish between the temperatures you state. Are these in Fahrenheit or Celsius?

Many Thanks,

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Kevin April 23, 2014 at 7:22 am

Sorry about that, Pete! All temperatures I use are Fahrenheit.
Thanks for reaching out!

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Brad April 11, 2014 at 1:37 pm

I always come back to this, awesome pork. Got 2 butts, 3 chickens going for a party tomorrow!!

cheers~

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MikeP March 28, 2014 at 10:23 am

One thing I don’t understand about the wrapping vs non-wrapping. The first picture shows a piece of meat without any juice outside of it. The second shows a piece of meat with a bunch of juice in a pan.

I don’t see what this proves? You want the juice INSIDE the meat right? Some of the external juice will reabsorb during resting but not all.
It would be better if you could WEIGH each one (ideally with 2 very similar meat pieces) and then weigh them after the cook and resting to get a better idea of juice loss vs retention.

Also, assuming you do have more juice loss with the unwrapped one (which seems reasonable to me), I wonder if we can quantify the detriment. In other words, if your meat dries out some and the juices evaporate…the flavor still remains in the meat. So as long as the meat is sufficiently juicy, you could theoretically wind up with more concentrated flavors. Right? Or, the juice could simply drip into the pan and take flavor with it. I dunno which is the actual case.

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Kevin March 28, 2014 at 1:16 pm

I’ve done many experiments on wrap vs. no wrap on butts. Wrap wins with my taste buds and everyone I’ve cooked for every time. I retain those juices you see in the picture and mix them in with the meat when I pull it. So the pulled meat absorbs those natural juices and makes for unbelievable flavor. I rarely if ever add any sauce to my pulled pork – it doesn’t need it.
It’s not even close that unwrapped is drier – especially the white meat. The main reason you don’t wrap is for a harder, darker bark.
Maybe the best proof is that I’ve placed in the top 10 – with one being a 1st place – the last 2 competitions I’ve done pork here in St. Louis. And the current World Champion – Sweet Swine O’ Mine – wraps their butts/shoulders as well.
I’m not saying it’s the only way…plenty of people don’t wrap and plenty of teams win without wrapping…but bite for bite I’d take a wrapped pork butt’s flavor and juiciness any day over unwrapped.

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Nathan February 28, 2014 at 8:57 am

When your letting it rest after you take it off the smoker, are you keeping it in the foil or do you remove the foil to let it sit?

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Kevin February 28, 2014 at 11:35 am

I vent it. Usually just open it at one corner and let the steam/heat out for awhile, maybe 30 minutes, then remove the foil and let rest for another 30 minutes.

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Edward B. Nash February 5, 2014 at 5:37 am

I love your recipe, delicious… I’m hungry watching on your food picture…

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mikal February 4, 2014 at 2:27 pm

Couple questions for ya. When cooking they larger butts I have found that I have to use a ton of wood, almost to the extent that I fear I am using too much. But since the larger butts can be 10-12 points I find it is hard to get the smokey flavor throughout the meat. Any tips you can offer?

Also, what are your thoughts on the smokin-it smoker/cook-shack electric smokers? I have a WSM but wanting something additional and I like the ease of the electric units. Especially for fish and sausages. Thoughts?

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Kevin February 4, 2014 at 4:04 pm

First, on the amount of wood…that all depends on your smoker and the venting. 5 or 6 big chunks of wood last all day on my Backwoods. But I only have the vents open about 1/4 inch, so it burns very slowly. It’s very efficient.
Smoke only finds its way into the meat until an internal temperature of about 160. So you shouldn’t have too worry too much about it getting too smokey. And as long as that smoke is billowing the whole time, you should be getting plenty of smoke into that butt – even at 12 lbs.

In regards to those smokers – I’ve used a couple electric smokers – not sure if it’s the same one you’re referring to, but the one’s I’ve used are pretty darn nice. I’ve seen people win a lot of trophies with different types of electric smokers. So yes, in general, they can put out great product.

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Jeff February 2, 2014 at 12:37 pm

Kevin,
I just got my 1st smoker and tried your smoked whole chicken and I am hooked!!! It was hands down the best meal I ever cooked! I can’t wait to try this one as pulled pork is one of my favorite foods. I noticed that you didn’t mention brining in this recipe. Would you mind explaining?

Thanks! Jeff from VA

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Kevin February 3, 2014 at 8:55 pm

I actually never brine pork, Jeff. Sometimes I inject and or marinade, but pork butts don’t need brine. They have plenty of moisture in them naturally with all that fat!

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John February 1, 2014 at 2:51 pm

Kevin,

I have a barrel grill and a vertical brinkmann smoker. I have not tried a boston butt on my new smoker yet because I have enjoyed the flavor from my grill so good. What would you suggest being the best one to choose for cooking my next boston butt and does either one provide a different flavor when cooking?

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Kevin February 1, 2014 at 4:56 pm

John – they should provide similar flavors assuming you’re using charcoal and wood.

I have always smoked almost exclusively on vertical smokers. I love them. I think it allows the smoke to travel naturally up, through the meat. So give your smoker a whirl and let me know how it goes!

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John February 3, 2014 at 4:39 pm

Hey Kevin, smoked that boston butt yesterday. It was the most tender piece of meat I have ever ate. It cooked for 8 1/2 hours to the temperature of 185 degrees. The last three hours were cooked wrapped in Apple Juice. However, although the meat had great flavor and was very tender it had a very sweet taste and I don’t know why. nothing sweet except for the apple juice that it cooked in. My rub and base and all were typical barbecue recipes. I was wondering if you could give any insight as to why it may have had that very sweet taste.

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Kevin February 3, 2014 at 8:53 pm

That’s strange John, I’m not sure! It had to be the rub or sauce, unless you injected with something sweet.

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Jacques January 16, 2014 at 11:47 am

No! no foil. They didn’t use foil way back when and you don’t need it now. In competitions foil is used because they have a time limit and need to make sure it’s done. It breaks my heart to see a beautiful piece of meat being braised in it own juices like that. Braising is a different type of cooking method not suitable for BBQ. It may in fact taste delicious but if you want true old fashioned BBQ, skip the foil and just let it go till it’s done. What you’ll end up with is more delicious bark and the juices where they belong: inside the meat and not the meat swimming in the juice.

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Karl January 16, 2014 at 2:53 pm

Personally, I think it tastes great to have the meat swimming in the juice. Then you don’t have to mess with any BBQ sauce. I know it might not be considered true to BBQ origins, but who cares as long as it tastes good? I realize that braising is frowned upon in competition too. But let’s face it, most people aren’t competition cooks. This method Kevin describes is much more dummy proof. Letting it go until it’s done just gives too much of an opportunity to dry the meat out. I’ve had it happen even on a BGE, which generally does a very good job of holding in the moisture.

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Kevin January 16, 2014 at 4:26 pm

Jacques and Karl – I love this debate! The best part is the answer is – whatever you like best! Karl hit the nail on the head why I wrap. It’s much easier to make deliciously juicy pulled pork. I recently did a test on this again – I did 2 wrapped, 2 unwrapped. The results were significantly different. The unwrapped was much more dry, but it certainly had a darker, thicker bark. I also agree with your point about the sauce, Karl. I like my pulled pork without any sauce – just the natural juices. But if you’re someone that eats BBQ for the sauce, then unwrapped could be the way to go for you.
Now, Jacques, my answer to unwrapped is this: Catch some juices in a pan underneath the butt so you can moisten up the dry meat or do two – one wrapped, one unwrapped – and mix them together for the perfect combination.
…and I haven’t heard any complaints on my pulled pork from anyone saying it doesn’t taste like real BBQ…

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Hunt January 9, 2014 at 8:47 pm

Kevin,

Your recipe looks incredible so I want to give it a go on my new BGE… I just want to make sure I understand correctly- first you are smoking the butt on the grate with direct heat for 5 or so hours, then you are wrapping it, placing it in a roasting, an putting it on the grate for the rest of the time? Thanks for any insight!

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Kevin January 9, 2014 at 9:18 pm

Yep! I smoke it “naked” on the grate for about 5 hours, then put it in a aluminum pan and cover in tin foil and put back in the smoker (or you could use your oven if needed for this step) until the internal temp hits 195-200.
Have fun!

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V September 17, 2014 at 6:31 pm

Hey Kevin – I’m new to smoking, just got into it about 4-5 months ago. I have a an offset char-broiler – after I bought it, I started reading some bbq forums and found out that this is one of the cheaper smokers. Oh well, it is what it is I guess, especially as it’s my first one. Your forum and tips have been very helpful so far – thank you for sharing!

I’m still learning the basics like how to start the fire and get it to the right temp before I put the meats on. after the first several times I learned about the minion method and tried that. but then the heat got up to like 350 when first getting it going and took a while to get it down before i was able to finally stabilize it. Do you have any tips to correct this so it doesn’t take over an hour just to get the temps down before placing the meats on?

Also – I’m smoking my first butt this weekend and I sort have the same question as Hunt. I read your answer a little differently than Hunt’s. Hunt is saying to smoke naked for the first 5 or so hours, then directly wrap the meat and place the wrapped meat in the aluminum pan and continue smoking. I read yours as smoked naked first, then put the meat in an aluminum pan and then wrap the pan, not necessarily wrapping the meat directly. So which is the correct way?

thanks again for your help!

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Kevin September 19, 2014 at 10:00 am

Ok – first – on the wrapping of the pork butt – in my opinion you should put the butt in a pan then wrap the pan. Why? Two main reasons: 1. It protects the bark more. When you wrap the butt (which I used to do), it really smears a lot of bark off. 2. You collect massive juices in the pan my way. These juices are irreplaceably delicious.

Now, on your smoker questions: I would give two suggestions on keeping the temp down: 1. Try using less charcoal to start. You may only need 10-12 coals. Play with it – you can always add more to heat it up if needed. 2. Mess with the vents. The more oxygen, the higher the temp. So try shutting off the airflow to cool down your cooker.

Hope all of this helps – have fun this weekend!

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Bob Weiss December 21, 2013 at 6:50 pm

I hope to try your recipe during the Holidays, but I do have a few questions. First, do you wrap it with aluminum foil in the aluminum pan for the full 12 hours of smoking? If so, how is the pork exposed to the smoke? Do you rub the pork just prior to putting it in the smoker or do let it sit with the rub on it for a period of time?
Thanks for sharing your recipe and have a nice Holiday.

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Kevin December 23, 2013 at 11:15 am

Bob – if you look at my full recipe posted, you’ll see that I put the butt on the smoker “naked” for the first 4 hours or so, then wrap it to render juices and bring to temp. You of course can alter these times as you see fit. I’ve smoked for as little as 3 hours and as much as 6 hours before wrapping.
Regarding rub, either way is fine. Sometimes I put rub on hours before smoking, sometimes right before. I would say if you have the option, put the rub on well ahead of time to let the flavors soak in. Then, right before you put it on, sprinkle a little extra layer of rub.
Have a great Holiday and let me know how it turns out!

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Karl January 10, 2014 at 8:22 am

I’ve used his recipe on my BGE. For the naked part of the cook, I have had best luck using a BGE place setter with the legs up. I then put the drip pan in filled with whatever juice you prefer (I use apple juice, apple cider vinegar, amp; water-1 part each) so I don’t have to worry about spraying it occasionally. I put the grate on next and then the meat. No need to rotate the butt using this method either. Then I pretty much follow his recipe. 4-5 hrs naked, 4-5 hrs in the pan covered. I also pour the juice back over the meat after I pull it, but I like mine extra juicy.

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Gordon November 1, 2013 at 5:16 am

Thanks
I controlled the temp quite well and was able to leave the pork in the barrel smoker for three hours at a steady temp of 180F

I then covered it in tinfoil in a dish and finished it off in the oven

great result
gordon

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Gordon October 31, 2013 at 2:42 am

I have a kettle BBQ and a gas BBQ
Can I use either of these. I don’t have a recognised smoker.
I smoke salmon , duck and chicken using lump wood charcoal and shavings or chips
But always find it difficult to control the temperature so have to be in close proximity unless I am cold smoking.

I also have an indirect horizontal barrel type BBQ

Any suggestions ?

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Kevin October 31, 2013 at 10:44 am

I would think the barrel type smoker would be your best bet for not having to monitor as closely. I smoke on my kettle all the time, but it does need temp monitoring. But any of those 3 can work to smoke a pork butt!

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Chad October 25, 2013 at 3:14 pm

What type of mustard is recommended to use with the rub? A plain yellow mustard or a good brown mustard?

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Kevin October 25, 2013 at 3:17 pm

I use either straight yellow mustard or a really good mustard sauce…if I happen to have some made or on hand.

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Shannon October 12, 2013 at 7:16 pm

I have two butts for a total weight of 16 lbs. They are still mostly frozen and I would like to put them on tomorrow morning early but, obviously don’t have time to do the 24 hour marinade or covering in mustard. Any idea how long I can expect this to take? We have a double shelf smoker and plan to rotate the meat 1/2 way through the cooking time and perhaps do the foil wrap and finish in the oven or the smoker for the last 1/2 of the cooking time. You think we’ll be ok with just putting on the rub and going with it right off?

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Kevin October 12, 2013 at 7:22 pm

Absolutely, Shannon. Pork butts have so much fat in them, just rub is fine. I’d suggest spraying once an hour for first few hours and sprinkling with extra rub. That will give you great bark.
As far as how long they will take..all depends on cooker temp. Mine seem to always take at least 10 hours…but I’ve cranked up the heat before and finished in 8…and it’s also taken 14 hours at lower temps.

Let me know how it goes!

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Jeff October 8, 2013 at 11:35 am

Kevin

I’m reading your article and I guess I’m a little confused. You are only smoking the butt for 5 hours? I thought rule of thumb was 1 to 1.5 hours per pound?

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Kevin October 10, 2013 at 7:39 pm

Jeff – I smoke them for 4-5 hours, then put them in a pan and wrap them, then cook for another 4-6 hours until internal temp hits 200.

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Mary October 7, 2013 at 6:05 pm

When you first put the pork on to smoke, is it on the grate, by itself …or inside of an aluminum pan? I was concerned that being inside a pan the whole time may take away from the meat soaking up the smoke flavor…any suggestions?

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Kevin October 10, 2013 at 7:41 pm

Mary – If you look at the details of the recipe, you’ll see I do both. I start it on the grate itself for 4-5 hours, wrap it in a pan until the internal temp hits 200.

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Trisha October 2, 2013 at 10:16 pm

Hey Kevin,
Thanks so much for the help! The pulled pork was hit. Thanks for the tip about wrapping the meat, it made the meat so juicy and tender! Thanks again, Trisha

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Trisha Webb September 29, 2013 at 4:55 pm

Just got a smoker and the first thing we did was smoke a pork butt! Went by the recipe and made the BBQ sauce . Dinner was amazing! Thank you!

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Andy September 25, 2013 at 4:49 pm

I have heard of covering entire pork butt with mustard and then the rub for 24 hours before smoking. Any advantage to the mustard?

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Kevin September 30, 2013 at 6:35 pm

Amazing that you would ask about that. This past weekend I slathered my pork butts with mustard before rubbing and took 10th out of 90 teams. I love it. I think it adds a bit to the flavor and helps the rub really stick to the meat.

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Andy September 30, 2013 at 6:38 pm

That’s awesome Kevin. I too used mustard this time and everybody loved it!

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The Other Kevin September 18, 2013 at 1:14 pm

Hey,
so I like the instructions. Am attempting now on a 3lb bone-in butt with my own rub. One question though. I got confused on when to wrap it etc, and have seen different rules on how to wrap.

Is wrapping the butt either: wrapping foil tightly around the meat itself, or covering up the pan with foil?

Thanks!

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Kevin September 18, 2013 at 8:14 pm

Hey Kevin! Either way works, but I prefer wrapping in pan. It allows the fat to render into delicious juices to keep the pulled meat crazy moist and tasty.

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Jeff September 15, 2013 at 2:21 pm

Hi, when you say in step 6 to let the internal temp reach 200 and say it takes 10 hours your talking total cook time right? I just smoked for 5 1/2 hours and looks amazing. Thanks for the killer recipe!

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Kevin September 18, 2013 at 8:12 pm

Yes, my average total cook time is 8-12 hours…depending on the size of the butt. Glad to hear yours turned out well!

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Trisha September 10, 2013 at 10:41 am

I’m having a bon fire this weekend and I’ve purchased boneless pork butt. I know bone in is best but do you have any suggestions for cooking the butt boneless? Like,is the cooking time shorter or will the meat dry out? Any suggestions will be appreciated. I’m smoking 6 butts…yikes 1st time smoking so many!

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Kevin September 11, 2013 at 9:41 am

Whew, that’s a lot, Trisha! You should be fine – there isn’t a ton of difference in cooking time. It will be a little shorter, and you definitely want to check juices in the wrap phase. But as long as there is still good fat marbeling, good fat cap…you’ll be great. You could inject just to be safe – something as simple as coke and applejuice. Otherwise the whole process should be pretty much the same. Good luck and let me know how it goes!

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Trisha September 11, 2013 at 10:46 am

Thanks for the reply. I have another question for you. Our smoker can only handle 2 big roast at a time so we are going to be smoking them over a couple of days. What would be the best way to heat the pork on saturday, keeping it whole or pulling after its done cooking and heating that way?

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Kevin September 11, 2013 at 10:51 am

Definitely pull when it’s done and warm. MUCH easier when it’s warm. Then reheat slowly. I usually put in pans in oven at 250 for an hour or two. Crock pots work as well – just be careful not to scald. Keep the heat low.

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Kevin September 11, 2013 at 9:42 am

Whew, that’s a lot, Trisha! You should be fine – there isn’t a ton of difference in cooking time. It will be a little shorter, and you definitely want to check juices in the wrap phase. But as long as there is still good fat marbling, good fat cap…you’ll be great. You could inject just to be safe – something as simple as coke and applejuice. Otherwise the whole process should be pretty much the same. Good luck and let me know how it goes!

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Vodika September 29, 2013 at 10:33 pm

Kevin, when you said to inject just to be safe. Is that the juices from the pan after it’s been cooking or are you saying from the apple juice ? or something else.

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Kevin September 30, 2013 at 6:31 pm

Inject the pork butts before you cook them. Apple juice is a great injection, or a mix with coke – or anything you think sounds good!

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Michele September 9, 2013 at 7:31 pm

This was one of the best pulled pork sandwiches, I ever tasted! My father-in-law and I worked together on a Sunday tending to this piece of pork. Five hours in the Green Egg uncovered and foiled wrapped 5-hours in the oven. The temperature was kept at 250-degrees the entire time. The first 5-hours we basted the pork with a mixture of 1-cup apple sauce, apple cider vinegar, and some water. When the rub was made, I didn’t have Paprika, so it was left out of the rub. All the other ingredients were used in your rub, but I added fresh and powder garlic. The family enjoyed our pulled pork treat watching Monday night football, it was a touchdown!

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Eric August 12, 2013 at 8:23 am

My wife I followed your cooking instructions but used our rub and we ended up with the best pulled pork either us has tasted. I did have to bring the temprature up to 300 for last hour to acheive the 200 degree internal temprature.
We also used your BBQ sauce and was excellent
Thanks

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Steve August 8, 2013 at 6:20 pm

I have a 3 pound butt and a 4 pound butt. Some say 1.5 hours per pound some say 2? Starting at 4 p.m. tomorrow and need them done for noon. I’m thinking 5 hours un wrapped and then 3 wrapped, any thoughts?

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Kevin August 12, 2013 at 10:48 am

Steve – I am so sorry for not replying sooner! I was actually at a BBQ Competition all weekend so didn’t have access to my computer. I hope they turned out well…I would guess for that weight I probably would do 4 hours unwrapped and then maybe 3 – 4 wrapped. Maybe even less. Normally a 9lb butt takes me about 12 hours.
Let me know how it went and sorry again!

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Alan September 28, 2013 at 5:07 am

Steve, how long did it take to smoke the smaller butt’s?

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Joe Nardone August 7, 2013 at 7:33 pm

Great help…. thank you…

Second time cooking 2 pork butts on a charcoal Weber… wrapping at 150-160 and cooking till 200 was a huge key to success… everyone loved the BBQ.

Joe

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Stephenie July 17, 2013 at 8:28 am

I’m going to attempt this today. I’m new to smoking. :) Your directions seem clear, but I do have one question: I want to serve some of what I smoke at 5:30 tomorrow and the rest on Friday. I am planning to smoke it all day today with a goal of having it done around midnight. I could start it later but I don’t want to have to keep getting up in the middle of the night to spray it with juice and then switch it into the aluminum pan. So when I take it out at midnight, what do you recommend I do with it? I’ve read that people wrap it in foil and then a towel and stick it in a small cooler to keep the heat in it for several hours. I don’t know that I should do that for some 14 hours though. Should I maybe do that through the night and then stick it in the refrigerator in the morning, and then reheat it in the oven before pulling? And how do I keep the pork for Friday tasting fresh and delicious?
Thanks!!

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Kevin July 17, 2013 at 8:36 am

I’m actually smoking some butts this week as well! Here are the 2 ways I do it:

1. Start in the morning, smoke for about 5 hours, then move to pan, wrapped, and finish in oven or smoker. Depending on size of butt, should be finished in 8-12 hours total. This way you can pull it before bedtime and be done all in one day.

2. Start in the afternoon/evening on the smoker, smoke for about 5 hours, then move to pan, wrapped, and finish in oven overnight. You’ll wake up to the smell of pulled pork in your house and need to pull it that morning.

I always pull when it’s fresh. Once it hits 200 internal temp, I take it out of oven/smoker and let it rest for an hour or two if I have time – and it cools a bit so it’s not so painful to pull. It’s MUCH easier to pull when hot/warm. Then reheating is EASY. You’ll have enough natural juices in there, you won’t have to do a thing. Put it in your oven at 250 or so and warm it up over a couple hours. It will be just as tasty a day or two later.

Have fun and let me know how it turns out!

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Stephenie July 17, 2013 at 11:40 am

Thank you sooo much for responding quickly! Ill let you know how it goes!

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Stephenie July 17, 2013 at 11:51 am

Another quick question: The directions for this 32-inch electric smoker say to never use more than 1/2 cup of wood chips at a time. That does not seem right, I had 1/2 cup in there to preseason and they burned off in roughly 45 minutes. The wood chip pan is a lot bigger than that, too. Thoughts?

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Kevin July 18, 2013 at 6:37 pm

Hmmm, I’ve never seen a limitation on wood chips. But chips do burn quickly. Maybe try moving to chunks or logs. I wouldn’t worry too much about putting too many in – unless you think the meat is bitter from too much smoke.

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Matt July 1, 2013 at 10:42 pm

Just recently received a smoker with a side burner. I tried ribs the other day and want to try this one, but the problem I ran into was that the fire barely got the grill temp to 200. I was using lump and kept adding handfuls every hour along with hickory chunks, but the temp never really stayed high enough. About half way through I tried pre-lighting briquettes in a chimney starter every hour, but still ran into problems holding the temp. Any suggestions for proper heat control and process? Thanks.

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Kevin July 3, 2013 at 10:23 am

Hey Matt –
Yea, unfortunately that’s the #1 problem with side burner smokers. Heat naturally wants to travel UP, not side to side. So it will be a struggle.

First, make sure all vents are open so you’re maximizing airflow. The more oxygen you get in there, the hotter the fire.
Second, try leaving the box open for a bit before you put the meat on. Get it really good and hot with lots of air flow. Use a ton of lump charcoal and DRY wood. Dry wood lights on fire and produces more heat. I never soak wood anymore.
Third, make sure your smoker is sealed as tightly as possible. If smoke is seeping out somewhere, that means heat is getting out too. You may need to buy some “fire rope” at a bbq store and lace it around the edges to insure the heat doesn’t escape.

Cooking at 200 isn’t a bad thing…that’s certainly low and slow…but it will take a long time to get things done. Ideally you’d like to be closer to 225-250.

I hope some of this helps! Let me know how it goes next time you light it up.

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Bubby June 28, 2013 at 10:34 am

I’ve been using this type of recipe in my Big Green Egg I got last fall. I do an indirect cook and use a drip pan with some apple juice, beer, apple cider vinegar, or just water…just whatever is handy. BGE warranties everything for life, so if it corrodes, I figure they will replace it (I hope). Anyway, the only thing I’ve been doing different is that I puncture the butt pre-cook in 5-10 places (depending on size) with a knife and shove cloves of garlic in. I get some juice at the end doing the wrap method, but nothing like what it appears in your picture that you are getting. I like a lot of juice, as I mix it in the pork as I’m pulling it. Do you think I may be losing juice due to the piercing? I’m starting to think I could just drop the cloves in my drip pan in an effort to get some garlic flavor. Not sure if that would do much.

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Kevin June 30, 2013 at 12:57 pm

Hmmm, I can’t imagine a few holes would reduce the juices. Are you keeping the fat cap on? Or trimming a lot of the fat? With my process I usually smoke for about 5 hours then put the butt in a tin pan until it hits the internal temp of 200. That’s where all my juices come in and the fat is rendered. I don’t trim hardly any of the fat off the butts.

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Bubby July 1, 2013 at 8:40 am

I’ve been buying butts that were pre-trimmed, so I’ve never trimmed anything. Maybe there was too little fat on there. Anyway, this weekend I made sure I kept plenty of juice in my drip pan. I allowed it cook down, but not burn in the pan. After smoking for 5 hrs, I just dropped the butt in the drip pan with the juices (plus its drippings) , sealed it up, and cooked another 5 hrs in the oven. Actually ended up with too much juice at that point. After pulling, I could only pour about half of it over the meat, anymore and I would have had pulled pork stew. I thought it was famtastic. Some of the BBQ “purists” at the party thought it was too wet, but personally, I prefer it that way. I prefer almost a slop.

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Becky June 18, 2013 at 12:47 pm

I see that you spray the roast with apple juice every hour, what about just adding the apple juice to the liquid holder in the bottom of your smoker right at the beginning?

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Kevin H. June 19, 2013 at 6:39 am

Hi Becky,

I’m not a fan of sugary liquids in my smoker. The sugars are left behind and can corrode over time. But I know a lot of people do this.

I spray to add a flavor profile directly to meat. There’s science behind it…when you sweat, your pores are open. Same with meat. So when I open the smoker and see the meat sweating, I like to spray with flavors that will seap into the pores.

Let me know which method you try!

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Becky June 19, 2013 at 4:39 pm

I went and got 100% real apple juice box and use the straw as a dispenser LOL (I didn’t have a spray bottle).
The roast came out great!!! I had a 5lb. roast and it cooked in 5 hours. The juice the roast rendered is amazing and the hardest part of the recipe was waiting the hour for it to rest.
Thanks for the foolproof recipe. I can’t wait to try more.

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Kevin H. June 19, 2013 at 5:12 pm

Becky, that is GREAT news!! So happy the recipe worked well for you! Now you will just have to try some others and tell your friends to try some too! :-)

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Rob June 13, 2013 at 9:00 am

Hi Kevin this looks amazing and I’m using this recipe to properly break in the smoker I got for fathers day this coming Sunday. One quick question though, are you still actively smoking during the second cooking phase or just cooking in the smoker? I’m doing a butt, some brats, and a rack of ribs at the same time so it would be no issue to transfer that sucker to the oven if it will be over smoked.

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Kevin June 14, 2013 at 11:50 am

Hey Rob – thanks for reaching out. During the second phase, while wrapped, NO, I’m not smoking. That’s actually one of the reasons I wrap – to NOT over smoke the meat. I have definitely used my oven for the wrap phase on butts many times. Makes it easy. Plus, as is the case with you this weekend, it frees up the smoker to cook other meats!
Sounds like a delicious father’s day at your place – enjoy!

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Dan May 31, 2013 at 11:15 am

Kevin,

I see that you mention wrapping the pork butt in your directions. Do you just put it in one of those foil pans and then cover it up with foil? Do you leave it wrapped the hole cooking process?

Thanks for you response.

Dan

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Kevin May 31, 2013 at 11:24 am

Hey Dan – I put the butt directly on the grill for the first smoking phase, then put in a pan and wrap for the second cooking phase. I leave it wrapped until the internal temp hits around 200. Let me know if you need anything else!

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DJ May 30, 2013 at 11:30 pm

Kevin,

Kind of a dumb question. I’m a little confused on the wrapping. Do you smoke your butts up to temp and then wrap afterwards to sit or do you wrap during the smoking process. I’m going to try your recipe next weekend and want to make sure I get it right!

Thanks!

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Kevin May 31, 2013 at 11:28 am

DJ – I smoke directly on the grill for the first few hours, then place the butt in pan and wrap for the next several hours until the internal temp hits about 200. Then I leave wrapped for an hour or so on the counter to let it rest before pulling.
Hopefully that clears it up – let me know if you need anything else!

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Ronnie N. May 26, 2013 at 9:07 pm

Kevin just wanted to drop in and give you another success story. Followed your cooking instructions on my first Butt attempt in my new electric smoker and oh man! I wasn’t prepared for that quality. It was the best flavored, most tender pulled pork I have tasted. My dinner guest are still talking about it 2 weeks later. Ty for a great site and all the helpful tips. Trying my first Smoked Whole Chicken this weekend with your instruction and will let you know how it goes but I am sure it will be amazing.

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Kevin May 27, 2013 at 7:37 am

That is excellent feedback, Ronnie – thank you! I really appreciate hearing the results when my recipes and techniques are tried. Have fun with the chicken – it’s sure to be delicious.

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Scott May 4, 2013 at 4:16 pm

Kevin,

I received a Weber Smokey Mountain 18.5″ cooker as a gift. Thus far I have smoked St.Louis Ribs and Beef Short Ribs. The St. Louis ribs were good, but the rub was a bit spicy. The Beef Short Ribs were over smoked. I cooked them at 225 for 12-14 hours. They were very dry and tough. Thus I’m a bit apprehensive to try them again. Now I want to try my hand at pulled pork. What is the best temperature and how long should I cook the pork. Am I better off with a butt or shoulder for my first pulled pork?

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Kevin May 4, 2013 at 7:54 pm

Hey Scott – great to hear you’re trying different stuff.

Go to your local grocery store and pick up a Boston butt – make sure bone is in.

Keep your smoker around 225-250, and cook the butt until the internal temp hits 200.
Check out my pulled pork recipe for more details! Have fun!

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Kevin April 8, 2013 at 12:03 pm

I just learned of your site today and I am really impressed, I have been looking for a site like this for a long long time, and I will be telling my friends about this site too.

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Kevin April 8, 2013 at 12:08 pm

Thanks so much! We really work hard to share great recipes and techniques, with a nice looking format, layout – and of course awesome pictures. Feel free to email or leave comments with questions any time if you need anything at all!

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Mikal March 29, 2013 at 12:22 pm

Hey Kevin, a thousand apologies for my late update, I was going to respond the next day with results but ended up with a sinus infection :( I am feeling human today so I had to let you know that things went great! I have done the chicken before and your recipe is awesome and pretty much fool-proof. The pork was also awesome!! The only thing that was not spot on was me, I pulled it off a little early by about 10 degress early because we had to leave the house and I was not comfortable letting is sit unattended, plus I was not sure how long we would be gone. So, I kept it wrapped and placed it in a cooler while we were out. It pulled apart perfectly and was still very juicy and awesome! Thanks so much for your assistance. I had no Issues cooking the chicken and pork simultaneously. It was great!!

I do have another question, here is my issue.. My verticle smoker is small so if I do ribs I have to roll them or cut them (it is even too small for a rib rack to fit inside). I do have a nice 22 inch weber kettle. I tried smoking a rack of baby back ribs on it. I know my time was off.. I should have cooked them a little longer (I did not crutch these). They had almost a soot-y taste to them.. I am not too sure why, I was sure to never let my top vents closed more than half way. I used Stubbs naturals as my fuel and wood chunks.. Anyways, I am having a go at it again tonight, except this time I rinsed out the kettle of any debris thinking this may have attributed to that? The outside of the ribs had the not so good flavor, the inside was fine and had a good smoke ring to it.

What is your advice/expertise for doing baby backs on a weber kettle? My temp was spot on. Waterpan under the meat, coals/wood to the side. I also but some foil against the coals/wood as a barrier to the meat. Thanks so much for your help!!

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Kevin March 29, 2013 at 1:15 pm

Great feedback to hear! So happy you had positive results.

On ribs – Ironically I’ll be posting my entire rib process starting Sunday, so you’ll get all the details. A few thoughts:
Make sure the membrane is removed from the back of the ribs. This can give a chalky/soot taste to them.
Let the coals get good and gray before putting ribs on. Sometimes the black charcoal can really give a bad taste to your meat.
Rotate the ribs. Make sure each side gets equal time facing the heat.
Cut the ribs in half if needed for space on the smoker or your Weber. I used to do this all the time. You don’t lose a thing cutting them in half.
Try marinating your ribs in the dry rub for awhile before cooking. This will hopefully allow the flavors to seep deeper into the meat.

Hope these few thoughts help. Have fun!

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Mikal March 29, 2013 at 1:32 pm

Thanks Kevin. I will be sure to make sure my coals from the chimney are nice and ashed. How long would you say I should let them burn in the chimney and how long should I let them burn with the unlit coals before I put the ribs on. I know it is only a rough estimate due to temperatures but a ballpark might be nice.. Do you have good results smoking on your webber kettle/charcoal grill? Should I crutch my baby backs? Thanks.

P.S. I am smoking 4 chickens this weekend for Easter, using your methods and I will most definitely be directing my guests to your page when they beg me for how I did it :)

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Kevin March 29, 2013 at 1:40 pm

When the coals at the top of your chimney are gray, they’re ready. That’s all I do. Wait til the top ones are gray, dump them out, and you’re ready to smoke. I would start smoking with those gray coals – no black ones. Then when your temp starts dipping too low, you can add more. By that time hopefully you’ve given the ribs a good amount of clean smoke.
I’ve had good success…but I haven’t used my Weber for ribs in a long time. I’m spoiled with my huge smoker, and when I make ribs I usually make a ton. But you should have great success on the Weber.

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Mikal March 29, 2013 at 2:25 pm

So no minion type of method with the kettle? I’ll give it a try, so would you say a whole chimney full in that case?

Matt March 25, 2013 at 9:39 am

I smoked a Pork Butt not long ago per your instructions, and WOW! everthing was as you said it would be. Although I did pull it earlier than suggested because after sampling it I was so excited I had to eat.. no sauce cause the flavor was impeccible. But the rest of the family needed sauce. Thank You. I will always do my pulled pork this way from now on.

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Kevin March 25, 2013 at 9:52 am

That is excellent news, Matt! So great to hear. I’m the same as you – I don’t need any sauce when it’s nailed. The juices and flavors are enough for me. Thanks so much for the feedback and please let me know if there’s anything else you need!

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Mikal March 22, 2013 at 4:02 pm

What is the math on cooking time per pound? I’m thinking of doing a 5-6 pounder. Also, on vertical smokers like a master forge or WSM, is there any difference cooking something on the lower grill? I’m assuming so. Thanks for the help and awesome website!!

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Kevin March 22, 2013 at 4:24 pm

Thanks for the kind words! It probably ends up being about 1-1.5 hours per pound. But it’s not an exact science because of smoker temp. I usually do 9 lb butts and for me to get them perfect it takes about 14 hours, at around 225 degrees. So if I were you, I would count on at least 8 hours to nail it.
And yes, on vertical smokers it makes a huge difference. Probably 15-25 degrees between top and bottom racks. I prefer the top rack to really get that bark hard. If it’s getting too dark or cooking too fast, move it down.
Good luck and let me know how it turns out!

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Mikal March 22, 2013 at 5:23 pm

Wow, awesome response time!! I plan on doing a chicken & shoulder at the same time using your recipes. However my smoker hovers between 240-265 measured by oven thermometer on the top grate. How do you reccomend I manage using both lower & top grills? Chicken ontop? Or pork? Chicken is about 5lbs and the shoulder is just shy of that.

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Kevin March 22, 2013 at 5:50 pm

Thanks – I try! Always put the chicken on bottom. Main reason: You don’t want raw chicken juice dripping on your other meat. But also in this case the chicken will cook quicker than the pork for sure, so it doesn’t need to be on top. And that temp range is perfect. A little high, but as long as it spends most of the time at 250 or below, you’ll be in good shape.

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Mikal March 22, 2013 at 6:17 pm

Sweet deal. So I’ll assume my chicken will cook faster than usual being on the bottom, hopefully it won’t be too warm.. So for the butt I just want to make sure and pull it off at 200? At what point should I wrap it considering it being just shy of 5lbs?

Thanks so much for the help! I can’t wait, I will mos def follow up with an update after consumption :)

Jim February 25, 2013 at 10:22 am

Will smoking two or more eight pound butts cook in the same amount of time as only cooking one?

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Kevin February 25, 2013 at 9:20 pm

It depends on your smoker, but no, it shouldn’t, UNLESS having that much meat lowers the temp of your cooker. It’s all about temperature. I can cook 6 butts on my smoker, and as long as I control the temp they still get done as quickly as one.

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Bill Messerly January 23, 2013 at 10:58 am

Kevin,

The wife got me a Master Built 30 smoker for Christmas and I am about to tackle my first Boston Butt, per your recipe and was wondering if the butt goes in the smoker “fat cap” on top or bottom? Or, am I flipping it around every so often? Last question, how long after the butt is prepped / rubbed do I let it sit? Do I cover it and refrigerate overnight, a few hours or just leave it out on the counter for an hour or so while the smoker is heating up?

Love the site and thanks, –Bill
billmesserly@gmail.com

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Kevin January 23, 2013 at 9:06 pm

Hey Bill – great questions! And the answers are…cloudy.
Fat cap up or down? Most say up so the fat drips through the meat. Some say down so they get better bark on the non-fat cap side. Others say cut the fat cap off – pork has enough fat. The right answer? There isn’t one. I trim my fat cap, and cook fat down because I want good bark. But your idea of flipping it is great – try that, start with fat down, and flip after an hour or two. I bet you’ll like the results. Just make sure with the wrap phase you have fat down.
How long on rub? If you have the time and space, overnight in the fridge is great. Make sure to toss some fresh rub on there before you put it on the smoker. Most of the time I’m rushed and simply put the rub on an hour or so before it goes on. But sometimes I will sprinkle additional rub during the smoking phase just for fun.
And in case I didn’t emphasize it enough in my recipe, don’t quit on it early – get that internal temp up to 200! Your Masterbuilt is electric I believe, so don’t be afraid to let it sit in there wrapped overnight. I do mine that way and the results are silly. Nothing like pulled pork that has cooked for 12-16 hours.
Please let me know how it turns out!

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Dmitri June 19, 2014 at 10:37 am

I’m doing for a large group (50) and needs to be ready for 1pm -so as timing goes I have to pre make and re heat later. Also I’m out the morning of and can’t attend to smoker – also my electric smoker may only fit 2 roasts at a time and I need 4 minimum is it ok to do this the night before and refrigerate? (Question 2)Also I have 3 different cuts in my freezer and am told ALL work can you give my you’re opinion on using each cut 1. Bone in picnic 2. Bone in shoulder 3. Boneless shoulder? Thanks look fwd to it

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Kevin June 20, 2014 at 9:26 am

1 and 2 are great. I personally do not like boneless as much but it will work.
And it’s absolutely just as delicious if you cook ahead, refrigerate and reheat.

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Steve June 5, 2012 at 12:22 pm

…..I’m now hungry for delicious pulled pork!

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Kevin March 22, 2013 at 6:24 pm

I would say after about 3 – 4 hours of smoke, it’s taken in plenty and you could wrap it. If you want to go by temp, then wrap it when the internal temp hits about 160. At 160 it won’t take in any more smoke anyway.
And yes, 200 and it’s nailed. The bone will pull out clean, the fat will be 90% rendered, and you’ll have the juiciest pulled pork you’ve ever had.

Glad to help! Tell your friends to check out the site, sign up for the newsletter, and spread the word about how GREAT it is! ;)

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Mikal March 22, 2013 at 7:58 pm

Is 3 hours of smoke too much smoke for the chicken?

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Kevin March 22, 2013 at 8:03 pm

No – that’s the beauty of chicken – the skin protects it. I’ve smoked chickens for 8 hours and they aren’t too smoky.

Make sure you check out my ultimate smoked chicken guide. Lots of great ideas and recipes. You’ll love it.

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Kevin March 30, 2013 at 1:02 pm

Correct. I just pile them to one side. And yes a chimney full should be a great amount. Then as temperature dips I just drop 5-10 more coals in there.

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