Smoking a Pork Butt

In which I smoke a pork butt

I'm teaching myself how to use my propane grill to smoke stuff. First, I will try pork butt because it's forgiving and not terribly expensive.

Pork butt is actually from the shoulder of the pig. A ham is on the pig's ass. For the sake of this post, I will use the term "Pork Butt" or simply "Butt" to refer to the cut of meat in question, because it's a lot of fun to type Pork Butt.


  • 3lb bone in pork butt
  • Coarse salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • Chipotle powder, or chili powder but make sure there is no extra salt in it
  • Heavy-ish tinfoil
  • Butcher paper or parchment paper
  • A pan or something to catch pork butt fat
  • Wood chips for smoking pork: Hickory, pecan, cherry, apple, etc.
  • A propane grill with a rack and multiple burners
  • A thermometer with a remote probe
  • A spray bottle with some apple cider vinegar

Here are the steps:

  1. Fill a shaker with equal parts salt, pepper, and chili P.
  2. Shake this mixture generously over your butt, and then rub it into your butt a little.
  3. Place your butt back in the fridge overnight.
  4. The next morning, let your butt chillax on the counter until it reaches room temperature. This will take like 60-90 minutes.
  5. Make a foil packet and fill it with wood chips. I used pecan, but you can experiment with other kinds. Poke a small hole in the packet. You want a small hole to limit the oxygen coming in so your chips don't combust.
  6. Turn on the left burner to medium, and place the smoke packet on the left side of the grill.
  7. After about 20 mins, when you've got some smoke and the grill has reached 250°:
        • Position your butt on the right side of the grill, on the top rack.
        • Impale your butt with your thermometer probe.
        • Protect your butt by placing a pan underneath your butt because your butt will leak fat. This is important because if you don't, the fat will catch fire and everything will be ruined.
  8. Close the lid and maintain 250°.
  9. Every hour or so, check the smoke packet to make sure it's still smokin', and spritz the butt with your apple cider vinegar.
  10. After ~4-6 hours, when your butt has reached an internal temperature of 150°, wrap your butt in paper with a splash of apple cider vinegar.
  11. Bring the grill to 300° and cook until the butt reaches an internal temperature of ~200°, after ~4 hours. You can also finish it off in the oven since we're done smoking, and only cooking the butt at this point.
  12. When the cook is complete and the butt has reached an internal temperature of ~200°, remove it from the oven and let your butt rest on the counter for an hour. You will know it's shred-ready when you can pull the bone out of your butt with minimal resistance.
  13. Finally the payoff: Unwrap and shred your butt. Eat that butt.

Written by fred on Saturday May 19, 2018
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