How Long To Smoke Pork Shoulder At 225 | Temperatures & Times

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Smoking a pork shoulder can take hours, but the end result is worth it – juicy and tender meat that practically melts in your mouth. If you haven’t smoked a pork shoulder before it may seem like an intimidating task, but I’m here to make this process easier for you. In this blog post, I will be discussing how long to smoke pork shoulder at 225 Fahrenheit as well as some tips and tricks on how to get the best results. So whether you are a beginner or an experienced smoker, come along with me on this journey as we explore succulent smoky flavors together!

What is Pork Shoulder?

Pork is one of the most commonly consumed meats worldwide, and pork shoulder is a cut that has gained massive popularity in recent years. The pork shoulder is located on the upper part of the pig’s foreleg and is known for its delicious, tender meat. This particular cut is highly versatile and can be roasted, smoked, or slow-cooked to perfection.

Thanks to its marbled fat content, pork shoulder is incredibly juicy and flavorful, making it an excellent choice for a variety of dishes. From pulled pork sandwiches to stews and casseroles, pork shoulder is a cut that cooks and foodies alike simply cannot resist.

What is Pork Shoulder

Nutrition Facts Of Smoked Pork Shoulder


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Why is 225 the Ideal Temperature for Smoking Pork Shoulders?

For numerous reasons, smoking pork shoulders at 225°F (107°C) is deemed ideal:

Tenderizing the Meat: Pork shoulders contain a lot of connective tissue and fat, both of which must be broken down during the cooking process to produce a tender and juicy product. Cooking at 225°F gently converts the collagen in the meat into gelatin, resulting in a supple and luscious texture.

Flavor Development: Smoking at a lower temperature allows the smoke to infiltrate the meat for a longer period of time, improving the flavor and adding a rich smoky flavor to the pork shoulder.

Even Cooking: Cooking at 225°F ensures even cooking throughout the pork shoulder, avoiding overcooking or drying out certain areas.

Consistent Results: Smoking at a consistent temperature like 225°F provides reliable and predictable results, allowing for repeatable cooking experiences.

Reduced Risk of Overcooking: Smoking at lower temperatures reduces the risk of overcooking the outer layers of the pork shoulder while waiting for the center to reach the desired temperature.

Longer Cook Time: Pork shoulders are large cuts of meat, and cooking at 225°F allows for a longer cook time, which is necessary to achieve the desired tenderness and flavor.

Food Safety: Smoking at 225°F ensures that the pork shoulder reaches a safe internal temperature of 195°F to 203°F (90°C to 95°C) for proper doneness and to eliminate any harmful bacteria.

Read more: How Long To Smoke Pork Butt At 225?

How Long To Smoke Pork Shoulder At 225?

Generally, plan on smoking the meat for 1 hour – 1,5 hours per pound (450 g) at 225°F (107°C). For example, if you have a 3-pound pork shoulder, you should plan to smoke it for about 3 hours to 4,5 hours. Of course, this can vary depending on the size of the shoulder, the type of smoker being used, and other factors. It’s important to monitor the internal temperature of the meat with a thermometer to ensure that it reaches at least 195 degrees Fahrenheit, which is when the collagen breaks down and the meat becomes tender.

Smoke Pork Shoulder At 225

How Long To Smoke Pork Shoulder At 225 On The Smoker?

To achieve the best results, you’ll want to smoke your pork shoulder at 225 degrees Fahrenheit for a period of 12 to 16 hours, depending on the size of your shoulder. Don’t rush the process, as slow and low cooking is what produces the incredibly succulent and tender meat that barbecue enthusiasts crave. While it may seem like a daunting task to smoke pork shoulder for such a long time, the end result is always worth the wait. 

How Long To Smoke Pork Shoulder At 225 On The Charcoal Grill?

If you’re using a charcoal grill, aim for a temperature of 225 degrees Fahrenheit and plan to smoke the pork shoulder for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours per pound. That means a 6-pound pork shoulder should take around 9-12 hours to smoke. But don’t worry about checking the temperature constantly – just let your pork shoulder cook low and slow until it reaches an internal temperature of 195-205 degrees Fahrenheit. 

How Long To Smoke Pork Shoulder At 225 With Gas Grill?

Depending on the size of your pork shoulder, you can expect it to take anywhere from 6-8 hours at 225 degrees on a gas grill. Of course, the key to perfectly smoked meat is using a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of your pork shoulder. Once it reaches an internal temperature of around 195 degrees, it’s ready to come off the grill and be enjoyed. 

How long to smoke pork shoulder at 225 F in different cookwares?

When cooking at a low temperature of 225 F, you can achieve tender, flavorful results. However, the cookware you use can make a big difference in the final outcome. For example, a smoker allows for the most authentic barbecue flavor due to the wood chips used for smoke. On the other hand, cooking in a Dutch oven can provide a more concentrated heat source that yields a crispy exterior. Each cookware option has its own unique advantages and challenges, but with a little patience and experimentation, you can find the perfect method for your smoked pork shoulder.

The best-smoked pork shoulder recipe at 225 F

The best-smoked pork shoulder recipe at 225 F


  • 1 (6 to 8 pounds) pork shoulder (also known as pork butt or Boston butt)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (adjust to your desired level of spiciness)
  • 1 cup apple juice or apple cider
  • 1 cup water
  • Wood chips or chunks (such as hickory, apple, or cherry) for smoking


  1. Prep the Pork Shoulder: Pat the pork shoulder dry with paper towels. Trim any excess fat or skin, leaving a thin layer for added flavor and moisture. Rub the pork shoulder with olive oil, ensuring it’s coated all over.
  2. Create the Dry Rub: In a small bowl, mix the paprika, brown sugar, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, kosher salt, and cayenne pepper to create the dry rub. Apply the dry rub generously all over the pork shoulder, massaging it into the meat.
  3. Let it Rest: Once the dry rub is applied, let the pork shoulder rest at room temperature for about 30 minutes to allow the flavors to penetrate the meat.
  4. Prepare the Smoker: Preheat your smoker to 225°F, adding your choice of wood chips or chunks for smoking flavor. Popular options include hickory, apple, or cherry wood.
  5. Smoke the Pork Shoulder: Place the seasoned pork shoulder on the smoker rack, fat side up. Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the meat, being careful not to touch the bone.
  6. Smoke and Baste: Smoke the pork shoulder at 225°F for approximately 1.5 to 2 hours per pound, or until the internal temperature reaches 195°F to 203°F (90°C to 95°C). Every hour or so, baste the pork shoulder with a mixture of apple juice (or apple cider) and water to keep it moist and flavorful.
  7. Rest and Serve: Once the pork shoulder reaches the desired internal temperature, remove it from the smoker and tent it with foil. Let it rest for about 30 to 60 minutes to allow the juices to redistribute. After resting, shred the meat using two forks or your hands. Serve the smoked pork shoulder with your favorite barbecue sauce or on sandwich buns for a delightful and mouthwatering meal.

How To Tell If Smoked Pork Shoulder Is Done?

One way to tell if your smoked pork is ready is by using a meat thermometer and checking that the internal temperature of the thickest part of the shoulder has reached 195°F to 203°F. Another way to check is by probing the shoulder with a fork or knife. If the fork or knife goes in easily and the meat is tender, then your pork is likely done. By following these expert tips, you can cook the perfect smoked pork shoulder every time.

Should You Wrap The Pork Shoulder In Foil During The Smoke?

The topic of whether or not to wrap a pork shoulder in foil during smoking is one that has sparked much debate among BBQ enthusiasts. Some argue that wrapping the meat in foil helps to retain moisture and results in a juicier final product, while others contend that leaving it unwrapped leads to a better bark and more complex flavor profile.

Ultimately, the decision comes down to personal preference and the desired outcome. However, the most important factor to consider is temperature control and ensuring that the meat reaches a safe internal temperature for consumption. 

Common Mistakes To Avoid When Smoke Pork Shoulder at 225 Degrees

There are some typical faults to avoid while smoking pork shoulder at 225 degrees to ensure a satisfactory and delicious result:

Leaving Out the Dry Rub: A tasty dry rub is vital for increasing the flavor of the pork shoulder. If you skip this stage, your finished product will be less tasty.

Not Allowing Enough Resting Time: After smoking, the pork shoulder must rest for at least 30 to 60 minutes. If you rush this process, the meat will be less soft and moist.

Opening the Smoker Too Frequently: Frequent opening of the smoker might cause temperature changes and extend the cooking time. Try to resist the urge to peek too frequently.

Underestimating Cooking Time: Smoking pork shoulder at 225 degrees takes time. Underestimating the cooking time may lead to undercooked or tough meat.

Overcooking the Pork Shoulder: While it’s essential to cook the pork shoulder thoroughly, overcooking can result in dry and stringy meat. Be mindful of the internal temperature and cooking time.

Not Using a Water Pan: Placing a water pan in the smoker helps maintain moisture and prevents the meat from drying out.

Using Too Much Smoke: While smoke adds flavor, using too much smoke can overpower the meat. Moderation is key to achieving a balanced smoky taste.

Skipping the Basting Step: Basting the pork shoulder with a mixture of apple juice (or apple cider) and water helps keep it moist and adds extra flavor. Don’t skip this step.

Not Trimming Excess Fat: While some fat is necessary for flavor and moisture, leaving too much fat can lead to greasy and chewy meat.

Neglecting to Monitor Internal Temperature: Use a meat thermometer to ensure the pork shoulder reaches the desired internal temperature (195°F to 203°F). Relying solely on cooking time may not yield accurate results.

By avoiding these common mistakes, you can successfully smoke a tender and flavorful pork shoulder at 225 degrees, resulting in a mouthwatering and satisfying meal for you and your guests.

How to Serve Smoked Pork Butt?

Smoked pork butt is a delicious and versatile cut of meat that can be enjoyed in a range of ways. One popular option is to serve it in sandwiches, piled high on a soft bun with some coleslaw or pickles for added crunch.

Another tasty choice is to serve it alongside cornbread and a range of classic southern sides, like baked beans and collard greens. If you’re feeling adventurous, you could even try incorporating the smoked pork butt into other dishes, like tacos, burritos, or pizza.

Conclusion: How Long To Smoke Pork Shoulder At 225?

In conclusion, we have learned the answer to ” How long to smoke pork shoulder at 225?” Smoked pork shoulders cooked on a charcoal grill will take about 8-9 hours, gas grills around 11-12 hours, and electric smokers closer to 20 hours. Cooking time varies based on size – for small pork shoulders plan on 9-10 hours while larger ones will need more like 14-15 hours. Wrapping in foil can also help speed up cooking and prevent drying out. Finally, make sure to serve your smoked pork shoulder hot or once it’s cooled you can store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days. With the right temperature and techniques, you can achieve mouthwatering results with any type of setup. Enjoy trying out these amazing recipes!


How do I know when the pork shoulder is done?

Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. The pork shoulder is ready when it reaches an internal temperature of 195°F to 203°F, and the meat is tender enough to easily shred with a fork.

How often should I check the smoker’s temperature?

Try to avoid opening the smoker too frequently to maintain a consistent temperature. Use a reliable smoker thermometer to monitor the heat.

Can I add more wood chips during the smoking process?

Yes, you can add more soaked wood chips or chunks every couple of hours to maintain a steady smoke flavor.

Should I baste the pork shoulder while smoking?

Basting the pork shoulder with a mixture of apple juice (or apple cider) and water every hour or so helps keep the meat moist and enhances the flavor.

Can I smoke a frozen pork shoulder?

It’s best to thaw the pork shoulder completely before smoking to ensure even cooking and avoid any food safety issues.

Can I use a dry rub on the pork shoulder?

Absolutely! Applying a dry rub with your preferred spices before smoking adds delicious flavor to the meat.

Can I smoke the pork shoulder overnight?

Yes, smoking a pork shoulder overnight is common due to its long cook time. Just ensure that your smoker is safe to use unattended and maintain a steady temperature throughout the process.


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