How Long to Smoke Pork Shoulder at 250 Fahrenheit

In this article, we will tell you how to smoke pork shoulder at different temperatures, recommend you some finger-licking seasonings, and answer frequently asked questions.
Jeremy Bivens
Jeremy Bivens
Research Writer
Jeremy Bivens is a passionate writer and grilling enthusiast. He's been working as a freelance journalist for over 15 years now and has a particular interest in food writing read more
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Bruce Williams
Bruce Williams
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Claims that grilling is the art that he has been learning all his life long and is not planning to stop. Has been grilling for as long as he can remember. Author of numerous read more
Last updated: August 28, 2023
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Knowing how long to smoke a pork shoulder at 250 is one of the secrets to culinary success. This is true whether you are making a delicious pulled pork sandwich for a family picnic, a classy braised Asian pork shoulder with bok choi for a company, or simply plan to serve it up for a Sunday dinner with potatoes and gravy. The simple truth is that pork shoulder is flavorful and fatty meat that becomes very tender if you cook it over low heat for many hours. Pork shoulder is a very cheap cut of meat with a lot of marbling, and the slow cooking process melts fat down to create rich taste.

Choosing the Right Pork Shoulder

How Long to Smoke Pork Shoulder at 250 FahrenheitThe first thing that you need to know is that pork shoulder also goes by the name of pork butt. This can be confusing, especially if you have never heard of a shoulder and a butt referring to the same part of hog anatomy. Yet another name for it is Boston butt Trusted Source Why Is It Called a Boston Butt, Anyway? | Southern Living It has always seemed funny to me that one of the most popular cuts of pork for Southern barbecue pits has an inherently Yankee name: the Boston butt. . This is the Yankee name for the delicious pulled pork referred to in the 1830s as Southern Barbecue. They were called this because the barrels that New England butchers shipped meat in were called butts.

Preparing Pork Shoulder for Smoking

How Long to Smoke Pork Shoulder at 250 FahrenheitYour first step in preparing pork shoulder for smoking is to leave that bone in as it acts as a transmitter of heat to the money muscle.  Rinse and season the pork roast, either by soaking it in your homemade marinade or commercial sauce, dry rubbing it with spices, or injecting it with your favorite sauce or spices using a metal meat injector. Place the roast in a big pan in your refrigerator overnight and let rest before smoking.

How Long Does It Take to Smoke Pork Shoulder at 250?

How Long to Smoke Pork Shoulder at 250 FahrenheitIn general, it takes up to twelve hours for an 8lb. cut of pork to reach its ideal temperature of 200 degrees.  A remote thermometer is good to keep on hand so that you check the internal temperature of your meat., but you will know it is ready when the pork is pull-apart tender. After it’s done, remove it from the smoker, cover the pan with a foil tent and let the meat rest for an hour.

Best Wood to Smoke Pork

How Long to Smoke Pork Shoulder at 250 FahrenheitThere is always going to be some debate about the best wood to smoke pork with, just as there is with dry rubs and spicy meats and it does depend on what kind of charring or flavor you want. Alder Smoker wood is a great choice for a delicate smoked flavor that is ideal for white meats.

The classic go-to is Maple because the wood has that long slow burn required for hours of smoking. You can buy eight competition-grade mini-logs of Kiln-dried Maple Cooking Wood mini-logs Camerons Store. If all you have is oak or pine or other types of wood, you can always buy maple or alder mini logs and stick them on top of the burning woodpile.

Best Rub & Seasoning for Pork

How Long to Smoke Pork Shoulder at 250 FahrenheitRubs and seasoning come in many culinary styles, and it is easy to invent your own. The most classic 200-year old recipe is Texas Pulled Pork, which features yellow onions, a tangy tomato, and chili barbecue sauce. Bourbon and whisky are sometimes also added flavor to Southern pulled pork

Pork butt also suits sweet and spicy mixes, like the Flying Swine Sweet N’ Spicy BBQ Rub, an award-winning honey and habaneros mix that can be used wet or dry. Hawaiian pineapple and pepper recipes for pork shoulder are popular, as are Asian versions that use teriyaki, soya, and hot chilies.

Some flavors never go out of style, such as the salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and nacho chili mix that composes American Seasoning & Rub. Then there are the traditional American pulled pork recipes that use colas with a hot sauce like Frank’s to marinate the meat.

Tips for a Perfect Smoked Pork Shoulder

Infuse Your Pork With An Injector

How Long to Smoke Pork Shoulder at 250 FahrenheitInfuse your pork butt with a unique flavor by using a meat injector to infuse it with a mixture of fruit juice and spices. You can also use Kosmos Injections, a spice blend that won the 2015 World Champion BBQ for the best mix.

Spray Instead of Baste Your Pork

You can use any steel basting push or spoon to baste the meat. Many chefs put a mix of sauce and vinegar in a spray bottle and the top of the pork shoulder every hour to help give it a tasty garnish.

Keep The Lid on That Smoker

Don’t baste that pork butt too often because you risk adding 15 minutes to half an hour to your cooking time every time you lift the lid.


How do I speed up the slow smoker cooking process?

For one reason or another, you may not have the ten to twelve hours it takes to cook your pork butt, in which case you can remove the pork shoulder from the smoker after four hours of smoking. Wrap it in aluminum foil and smoke it for another hour until it reaches 205F.

Why do they call part of the pork shoulder the “money muscle”?

The money muscle is part of the pork butt that is opposite the blade bone side. When it is being smoked, it is fatty enough to create a nice “bark”, which is the fatty cooked crust of the meat.  If you cook it just right, you will win the first prize in the bbq contest or sell the most bbq pork sandwiches on the block.

What is the best way to store cut firewood for smoking?

If you have bought a specialty wood for smoking pork, you will want to store it in a dry place. However, not everyone has that garage or storage shed on their property. Use Firewood Cover to keep our specialty smoking’ wood dry and all in one place.

Final Thoughts

Pork shoulders have been cooked over low fire while wrapped in banana leaves or other materials since primitive times. It is simply a timeless way to cook meat. Perhaps the biggest revelation for some chefs is that smoked pork is the same thing as a smoked butt. When looking up recipes, it might be a good idea to look up both. Remember to choose a shoulder with a firm money muscle and lots of fat and use a marinade or dry rub, or even a premixed spice mix in a meat injector.  Then smoke that pork at 250 on a good wood like alder or maple for 12 hours, and let it rest for an hour before serving up a tasty pork feast.



Why Is It Called a Boston Butt, Anyway? | Southern Living
It has always seemed funny to me that one of the most popular cuts of pork for Southern barbecue pits has an inherently Yankee name: the Boston butt.

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