How Long to Smoke a 10Lb Pork Butt? | Completed Answer

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Nothing is more tender, juicy and delicious than a smoked 10lb pork butt! Not only can you impress your guests with this impressive dinner entree but it also takes time to smoke properly so that all the flavors combine into something truly magical. Smoked pork butt has become something of an art form in recent years, where masters of barbecue have perfected the technique. But if you’re new to smoking pork butt or just want to know how long it should take then look no further. In this blog post we will answer the questions how long to smoke a 10lb pork butt? As well as giving tips on how to get the perfect smoky flavor and grilled texture out of your own piece of mouth-watering perfection. So grab your hickory wood chips, check the weather report and let’s see what makes for an amazing smoked pork experience!

What Is A Pork Butt?

A pork butt, also known as a Boston butt or pork shoulder, is a chunk of pork flesh derived from a pig’s upper shoulder. Despite its name, it does not come from the pig’s back end, but rather from the front shoulder. Because it is well-marbled with fat, this cut is ideal for slow-cooking methods such as smoking, roasting, or braising.

Pork butt is a versatile cut that is frequently used to make pulled pork, which is made by slow-cooking the flesh until it is soft and readily shredded. It’s also used in stews, carnitas, and a variety of barbecue recipes. The fat content of hog butt keeps the meat juicy and tasty even after long cooking durations, making it ideal for braising.

Pork butt is typically available as a bone-in or boneless roast, and it can vary in size. When preparing it, many people choose to season it with various spices and sauces to create a flavorful and succulent dish.

What Is A Pork Butt

How to Pick a Good Pork Butt Cut?

There are several important elements to consider while choosing a decent pork butt. First, consider the size of the cut, selecting one that fits your culinary demands, which normally ranges from 5 to 10 pounds. Examine the marbling of the meat next, as visible intramuscular fat helps to softness and flavor while cooking. Freshness is indicated by a pinkish-red tint, so avoid slices that appear pale or gray. The meat’s texture should be juicy and somewhat sticky, indicating freshness. Depending on your preferences and cooking style, you can pick between bone-in and boneless cuts, with bone-in steaks typically delivering somewhat more taste. Make sure the cut is uniform in thickness for even cooking, and if possible, purchase from a reputable butcher or meat shop. Lastly, consider the source of the pork, opting for sustainably and ethically raised meat for superior quality and flavor. By following these considerations, you’ll be well on your way to selecting the perfect pork butt to create a mouthwatering pulled pork dish.

What temperature should be maintained when smoking a pork butt?

Maintaining the right temperature in your smoker is crucial to achieving that perfect, smoky taste in your meats. Different smoking techniques and wood types may require different temperature ranges, but generally, the ideal range is between 225°F and 250°F. This temperature range allows for the meat to cook thoroughly and at a safe temperature, while also giving it enough time to absorb that rich, smoky flavor. It’s important to monitor the temperature regularly and make adjustments as needed to ensure the best possible outcome.

How Long to Smoke a 10Lb Pork Butt?

You are going to need between 10-12 hours to smoke a 10 pound pork butt at 225F. You will want to cook the butt in the smoke for about 5 hours, wrap it in foil, and then cook for another 6 hours. Set aside the time, follow this technique and you will have some Extraordinary pulled pork! However, if you desire a more tender pulled pork, then you’ll want to add an extra hour or two to your smoking time. With a little bit of patience and some knowledge of maintaining consistent heat, you can have the perfect juicy and flavorful pork dish to wow your family and friends at your next BBQ.

How Long to Smoke a 10Lb Pork Butt

How Long to Smoke a 10Lb Pork Butt at 225°F?

To achieve the best results, experts recommend smoking a pork butt for around 1.5 hours per pound at 225°F. This means that a 10lb pork butt should be smoked for approximately 15 hours to achieve tender, juicy meat with a smoky flavor. However, it’s important to note that cooking times may vary based on your specific smoker and the weather conditions. Remember to keep a close eye on your pork butt during the smoking process and use a meat thermometer to ensure it reaches an internal temperature of 195-205°F for optimal tenderness.

How Long to Smoke a 10Lb Pork Butt at 250°F?

A 10-pound pork butt takes about 12 to 14 hours to smoke at 250°F. This allows for slow and low cooking, which is vital when creating pulled pork for tenderness and taste. However, a meat thermometer is required to identify whether the pork butt is done, as cooking durations can vary depending on factors such as the thickness of the meat and the constancy of the smoker’s temperature. When the internal temperature of the pig butt hits 195°F to 205°F, it is usually ready. It should be soft enough to shred for wonderful pulled pork once it reaches this temperature range.

What Factors Can Affect The Smoking Time Of A 10Lb Pork Butt?

Several elements come into play that can influence smoking time. The temperature at which your smoker or grill runs is perhaps the most important component. To get the finest results, smoke the pork butt at 225°F for 10 to 12 hours at a constant temperature. However, keep in mind that the actual cooking time may need to be adjusted depending on the temperature of the smoker or grill.

A number of other factors can also influence smoking time. These include the thickness of the meat, the fat level of the meat, and the type of wood chips used for smoking. Furthermore, the decision to wrap the pork butt in foil can introduce another variable into the equation, with some culinary experts opting to wrap it approximately 5 hours into the process. This technique can expedite cooking and help the meat retain its natural juices.

Above all, it’s imperative to maintain a vigilant eye on the meat’s internal temperature and make adjustments as necessary. This ensures that the pork butt reaches the desired level of doneness and tenderness, resulting in a mouthwatering culinary masterpiece.

Why should you trim off excess fat before smoking pork butt?

By trimming off the excess fat, you’re not only enhancing the flavor and texture of the meat, but you’re also helping to ensure that it cooks evenly and with better results. It may take some extra time and effort, but investing that extra bit of energy into trimming the fat pays off in the end with a juicy and delicious pork butt that your taste buds will thank you for.

When to Wrap the Pork Butt

Knowing when to wrap a pork butt during the smoking process is a critical decision that significantly impacts the final outcome. Typically, wrapping is most commonly employed during the “stall” phase, a period when the meat’s internal temperature plateaus, often around 160-170°F (71-77°C). This stage can prolong cooking time, making wrapping an effective technique to expedite it and preserve moisture. However, if you value a crispy, dark bark on your pork, you may choose to delay wrapping until this exterior layer has developed to your liking, usually after 4-6 hours of smoking, depending on temperature and conditions.

Monitoring the meat’s color, texture, and internal temperature are essential cues for deciding when to wrap, ensuring the absorption of smoky flavors while maintaining the desired exterior characteristics. 

When to Wrap the Pork Butt

How To Tell When A Pork Butt Is Cooked?

The most dependable approach for determining the doneness of pork butt is to use an instant-read thermometer. Simply place the probe into the thickest part of the meat and wait for around 15 seconds. When the temperature reaches 200°F (93°C), you may be confident that the pork is fully cooked and ready to eat. This method ensures that the meat is cooked to the proper temperature for delicious and safe consumption.

Tips For Preparing The Pork Butt Before Smoking?

Preparing a pork butt before smoking it is an important step that will ultimately determine the success of your smoking adventure.

  1. First and foremost, choose a high-quality cut of meat.
  2. Next, trim any excess fat, leaving just enough to keep the meat juicy while it cooks. Apply a dry rub to penetrate the meat, adding flavor and tenderizing it. For an extra kick, marinate the pork butt overnight.
  3. On the day of the smoke, let the meat sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat your smoker and give the pork butt a final coating of rub before placing it in the smoker.

How To Retaining Natural Juices While Smoking A Pork Butt?

When smoking a pig butt, careful preparation and cooking techniques are essential for maintaining natural fluids.

  1. Begin with a high-quality pig butt, preferably with marbling, as this intramuscular fat adds moisture and flavor.
  2. Remove extra surface fat while retaining enough for flavor and moisture retention.
  3. Before smoking, consider brining or applying a dry rub to the meat to increase flavor and create a tasty crust.
  4. Maintaining a consistent smoking temperature, typically between 225 and 250°F (107 and 120°C), is critical to avoiding moisture loss. A water pan in your smoker can assist keep the cooking atmosphere moist.
  5. When wrapping the pig butt in foil or butcher paper when it reaches the “stall” stage (typically around 160-170°F or 71-77°C), consider wrapping it in foil or butcher paper to power through the stall while retaining moisture.
  6. After smoking, allow the meat to rest before slicing or pulling to let the juices redistribute, ensuring a moist and flavorful result. These steps, along with patience and attention to detail, are key to achieving a succulent smoked pork butt.

Some Popular Sauces For Pulled Pork

Here are three popular finishing sauces for pulled pork:

  1. Barbecue Sauce: Barbecue sauce is a classic and widely loved choice for pulled pork. It comes in various styles, such as sweet, smoky, and tangy, allowing you to tailor the flavor to your preferences.
  2. North Carolina Vinegar Sauce: Known for its tangy and zesty flavor, North Carolina vinegar sauce, with its blend of vinegar, red pepper flakes, and seasonings, is a perfect complement to pulled pork.
  3. Alabama White Sauce: Unique to Alabama, this creamy white sauce made with mayonnaise, vinegar, black pepper, and spices offers a refreshing and tangy twist on pulled pork.

How Often Should I Check The Temperature Of The Pork Butt While Smoking?

It depends on the type of smoker you’re using, the size of your pork butt, and the weather conditions. A good rule of thumb is to check the temperature every hour for the first several hours, then every 30 minutes as you approach the desired temperature. 

How To Reheat Smoked Pulled Pork?

Follow these procedures to reheat smoked pulled pork:

  1. Put the pulled pork in a microwave-safe dish or plate and heat for 30 seconds.
  2. Leave a small vent for steam to escape and cover it loosely with a microwave-safe lid or microwave-safe plastic wrap.
  3. Microwave for 1-2 minutes on medium heat, swirling regularly to ensure equal heating.
  4. You can also reheat pulled pork in the oven by placing it in an oven-safe dish, covering it with foil, and heating it at 300°F (150°C) for 20-30 minutes, or until heated through.

How To Freeze Smoked Pulled Pork?

Freezing smoked pulled pork is an excellent technique to save its flavor and enjoy it later. Here’s how to store smoked pulled pork in the freezer:

  1. Allow the smoked pulled pork to cool to room temperature before serving. To avoid condensation inside the package, it must be cooled before freezing.
  2. chunk the Pork: Determine how much pulled pork to freeze in each chunk. It’s best to divide it into meal-sized quantities so you only thaw what you need.
  3. Tightly Wrap: Wrap each portion of pulled pork in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. To avoid freezer burn, make sure there are no exposed areas.
  4. Place in a Freezer Bag or Container: After wrapping, place the portions in airtight freezer-safe bags or containers. Squeeze out any excess air from the bags to minimize freezer burn.
  5. Label and Date: Label each bag or container with the date of freezing, so you can keep track of its freshness. If you like, you can also note the portion size.
  6. Freeze: Place the wrapped and sealed pulled pork portions in the freezer. Make sure to put them in an area where they can freeze quickly.
  7. Use within 2-3 Months: Smoked pulled pork can typically be stored in the freezer for 2-3 months while maintaining its quality. After this period, it may still be safe to eat, but the texture and flavor may decline.

How To Freeze Smoked Pulled Pork

Best Woods For Smoking Pork Butt

Using wood smoke adds a flavor depth that can boost the taste of your meat. Fruit woods like peach or cherry, in my opinion, work especially well for smoking pig butt. Nonetheless, nut woods such as hickory and pecan can lend delectable flavors to your meat.

Smoked Pork Butt Recipe

While it may sound intimidating to prepare, this smoked pork recipe is actually quite simple.


  • 8-10 pound pork butt
  • 2 tablespoons dry rub seasoning
  • Wood chips (fruitwoods like apple or cherry work well)
  • Charcoal or smoker


  1. Trim excess fat from the pork butt and rub with dry seasoning.
  2. Prepare the smoker at 225-250°F (107-120°C) with a water pan for moisture.
  3. Add soaked wood chips for smoke.
  4. Smoke the pork butt for about 5 hours.
  5. Wrap in foil and continue smoking for 4-6 hours until it reaches 195-203°F (90-95°C).
  6. Rest for 30 minutes, then shred and serve with your favorite sauce and sides. Enjoy!

Conclusion: How Long to Smoke a 10Lb Pork Butt

The perfect pork butt is a thing of beauty. Juicy, flavorful, and fall-off-the-bone tender. But getting there takes some time and patience. If you’re smoking a 10lb pork butt, you’ll need to plan for a long cook time. Depending on your smoker and the temperature you’re cooking at, it could take anywhere from 10-14 hours to reach an internal temperature of 195-205°F. But trust us, it’s worth the wait. Don’t rush it or cut corners- take the time to let the smoke work its magic and you’ll be rewarded with a delicious, crowd-pleasing centerpiece for your next barbecue.


Can I speed up the smoking process for a pork butt?

Some cooks choose to wrap the pork butt in foil after the initial smoking phase to accelerate cooking and retain natural juices.

Should I rest the smoked pork butt before serving?

Yes, it’s essential to let the smoked pork butt rest for at least 30 minutes after removing it from the smoker. This allows the juices to redistribute, resulting in more tender and flavorful meat.

Can I smoke a pork butt in advance and reheat it later?

Yes, you can smoke a pork butt in advance and reheat it when needed. Be sure to store it properly in the refrigerator or freezer to maintain quality.

Can I smoke a pork butt at a higher temperature to save time?

While you can smoke at a slightly higher temperature (e.g., 250°F), it’s essential not to rush the process, as low and slow cooking helps develop the best flavor and tenderness.

What type of wood is best for smoking a pork butt?

Fruitwoods like apple and cherry, or nut woods like hickory and pecan, work well for smoking pork butt, providing unique flavor profiles.

Should I monitor the pork butt’s temperature throughout the smoking process?

Yes, it’s crucial to use an instant-read thermometer to monitor the pork butt’s internal temperature regularly and ensure it reaches the desired range for safe and delicious results.

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