Smoked Pork Butt (Pork Shoulder)

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Smoked pork butt is one of the most flavorful, moist, and tender cuts of pork you can cook. The key to success with this recipe is to be patient and let the pork shoulder smoke low and slow. 

Smoked Pork Butt (Pork Shoulder)
Smoked Pork Butt (Pork Shoulder)

With a little bit of time and effort, you’ll be rewarded with mouthwatering smoked pork that’s perfect for pulled pork sandwiches, tacos, or any other dish you can dream up. So what are you waiting for? Fire up the smoker and get started on making your own Smoked Pork Butt today!

Smoked Pork Butt (Pork Shoulder)

Smoked Pork Butt (Pork Shoulder)

Delicious Smoked Pork Butt (Pork Shoulder) you can try at home.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 8 hrs
Resting Time 20 mins
Total Time 8 hrs 35 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 12



  • 8 lb bone-in pork shoulder
  • olive oil
  • water


  • 1/4  cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp dried minced onions
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper


  • 1/4  cup apple juice
  • 1/4  cup apple cider vinegar


  • Fill hopper of smoker with wood pellets, I usually use applewood, but pecan or cherry would work as well.
  • Start smoker on the smoke setting for 5-10 minutes. Increase heat to 250 F degrees.
  • Fill an 8x8" baking dish, or other baking dish with water and set aside to add later. I like to use a foil dish for this, since I won't care if it gets messed up.
  • Place all your seasonings (brown sugar, pepper, salt, paprika garlic, minced onion and cayenne) in a small bowl and stir with a fork to combine.
  • Place your pork shoulder on a baking sheet and rub the entire shoulder down with olive oil. Sprinkle the seasonings over it and rub the seasonings into it (every inch of the shoulder should be covered). There's no better tool for this than your hands, so if you're squeamish about touching raw meat, use a pair of disposable gloves.
  • Add baking dish filled with water to smoker, on the grate on one side of the smoker.
  • Fill a small spray bottle with the apple juice and apple cider vinegar and set aside. Every hour you're going to open up the smoker and completely spritz the pork shoulder.
  • Place pork shoulder on the grate and close the lid. Keep the smoker temperature around 250-275 F degrees while smoking during these first several hours. Smoke for approximately 4 hours, spritzing with the spray bottle every hour.
  • Check the internal temperature of the pork shoulder using a meat thermometer. By this time, the pork should be at LEAST 145 F degrees.
  • Completely spritz the pork shoulder one more time and carefully wrap it in aluminum foil or peach paper.
  • Place pork back into smoker and lower temperature to 225 F degrees. Smoke pork about another 4 hours, but do not spritz during this stage of cooking.
  • Check the internal temperature of the pork shoulder using a meat thermometer. You're looking for your pork shoulder to be about 200 F degrees. 195-205 F degrees is a good range for making amazing pulled pork!
  • Remove pork from smoker and let rest for at least 20 minutes, but up to 2 hours. Keep the pork wrapped up tight, and I like to add mine to either clean, empty cooler, or my oven (turned off).