How Long To Smoke A Pork Butt At 250 °F: Your Ultimate Guide To Perfect Smoking

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Pork shoulder, commonly known as Boston or simply as pork butt, stands out as a prime selection for smoking enthusiasts. In this article, we tackle a popular query: How long to smoke a pork butt at 250°F? Additionally, I’ll offer an in-depth, step-by-step walkthrough to help you secure outstanding outcomes. Continue reading to learn more!

How Long To Smoke A Pork Butt At 250 °F: Understanding The Process

The general rule is about 1.5 to 2 hours per pound of pork. So for a 10-pound pork shoulder, you’re looking at about 15 to 20 hours.

Smoking meat is a bit like a science experiment. The goal is to use heat and smoke to change the meat’s texture and flavor. It’s not about rushing; it’s a slow process requiring patience.

A temperature of 250 degrees Fahrenheit is key in this process. It’s hot enough to cook the meat but cool enough to let it happen slowly, which is what you want when smoking meat.

Understanding “how long to smoke pork at 250°F” is just the beginning of the process. When deciding how long you’ll need to smoke your Boston roast (also known as pork shoulder), it’s essential to consider the meat’s weight, the grill’s temperature, and patience. Next, we’ll explore what you need to get started.

Smoked pork butt
Smoked pork shoulder
Choose a pork butt

How To Smoke Pork: Tools, Ingredients, And Preparation

This Smoked Pork recipe involves seasoning an 8-10 pound pork with mustard and sweet rub, then smoking it low and slow at 250°F for around 10-15 hours. The process results in tender, flavorful pulled pork, with the key to perfection being patience and maintaining a consistent temperature. The final step is a rest period, allowing the flavorful juices to distribute evenly, culminating in a delicious, juicy smoked pork dish worth the wait.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 13 hours
Total Time 14 hours 30 minutes


  • A sturdy grill
  • Your choice of fuel such as wood chips or charcoal
  • A reliable meat thermometer to ensure proper cooking temperature and doneness


  • 8 – 10 pounds Pork go for bone-in for more flavor or boneless for easy handling, especially when planning for shredded pork.
  • 2 – 3 tbsp Yellow mustard
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp Signature Sweet Rub you can make this rub using the Best Sweet Rub recipe, or if you prefer convenience, purchase a pre-made version from Patio Provisions


  • Prepare Your Pork: Start trimming any excess fat from the pork. Then, apply a thin layer of yellow mustard all over the pork. This helps the rub stick better to the meat and won't affect the flavor.
  • Apply The Rub: Coat the pork with your choice of rub, ensuring it's well-coated. Press it gently so the rub sticks well to the mustard layer.
  • Preheat Your Grill: Preheat your grill to 250°F. Ensure your grill is at the desired temperature before placing the pork.
  • Smoke Your Pork: Place the pork on the grill, fat side up. This helps the fat render down through the meat, adding more flavor. Close the lid and let it smoke.
  • Monitor Temperature: Check the hourly temperature of the grill to ensure it stays around 250°F. Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the pork. Aim for an internal temperature of 195-205°F.
  • Let it Rest: Once the pork has reached the desired internal temperature, remove it from the grill. Let it rest for at least an hour before pulling or slicing. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, enhancing its tenderness and flavor.


With the right tools, good ingredients, and proper preparation, you’ll be well-equipped to smoke your pork to perfection!

Step-by-Step Guide To Smoke A Pork Shoulder At 250°F

Prepping the pork shoulder

Start with a pork shoulder. If it’s not bone-in, that’s okay. First, cover the pork shoulder with a thin layer of yellow mustard. This helps the rub stick to the meat. Then apply your Signature Sweet Rub all over. This helps to bring out the best flavors in the pork.

Setting the grill

Next, get your charcoal or gas grill ready. You will need it to reach a steady temperature of 250 degrees Fahrenheit. If you only have the option of 225 degrees, that’s fine too. It will just take a bit longer to smoke the pork shoulder.

Smoking the pork shoulder

Once the grill is ready, place the pork shoulder directly on the grates. It’s time to let the grill do its work. As a rule, you should expect about 1.5 to 2 hours of smoking per pound of pork shoulder.

Checking temperature and wrapping

It’s crucial to remember that smoking is not a set-it-and-forget-it process. To maintain the smoker’s temperature at a steady 250°F, keep an eye on it and adjust the air vents or add more coals or wood as necessary.

Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. You’re looking for it to reach about 165 degrees Fahrenheit. When it does, it’s time to wrap the pork shoulder in foil. This helps to ensure that the pork stays juicy.

Check the temperature
Check the temperature

Finishing the smoke

After wrapping, return the pork shoulder to the grill. Continue smoking until the internal temperature reaches 195-203 degrees Fahrenheit. This is when the pork is perfectly tender and ready for pulling out.

Resting and serving

Once your pork shoulder is perfectly smoked, let it rest for at least an hour before pulling out. This helps to lock in the juices. After it has rested, pull the pork apart, add your favorite BBQ sauce for pork shoulder, and now it’s ready to serve.

That’s it! You now know how to smoke a pork shoulder at 250 degrees. Whether smoking a Boston butt or a picnic shoulder, these steps guide you to a perfectly smoked pork shoulder. 

Advanced Tips & Techniques For Smoking Pork Butt

Ensuring tenderness and flavor

  • Use a marinade or brine: To ensure your pork shoulder is tender and flavorful, consider using a marinade or brine. This can help keep the meat moist during the long smoking process and infuse it with extra flavor.
  • Apply a rub: A good spice rub is key to a flavorful pork butt. Rubs can infuse the meat and create a delicious crust. Apply the rub all over the pork shoulder before you start smoking.
  • Maintain temperature: To ensure tenderness, keeping a consistent temperature in your smoker is important. If the temperature fluctuates too much, it can result in tough meat.

Avoiding common pitfalls

  • Don’t rush the process: Patience is a virtue when smoking a pork shoulder. It’s a slow process, and rushing can produce less tender and flavorful results.
  • Check your fuel: Ensure you have enough to last the entire smoking process. Running out of fuel can lead to temperature drops, affecting the result.
  • Rest your meat: After the pork shoulder reaches the desired internal temperature, rest for at least an hour before pulling. This helps to lock in the juices and makes the meat more tender.


Can you smoke a pork butt on a pellet grill?

A pellet grill is an excellent option for smoking a pork butt. It provides a consistent temperature and smoke level, which can help you achieve a tender and flavorful pork shoulder.

How long does it take to smoke an 8 lb pork shoulder at 225°F?

An 8-pound pork shoulder would take about 12-16 hours at 225°F. Remember to check the internal temperature to ensure it’s done.

What is the best way to serve smoked pork shoulder?

Smoked pork shoulder is traditionally pulled or shredded and served on its own or in sandwiches. It’s also delicious and served with coleslaw, baked beans, or your favorite barbecue sides.

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