1st Boston Butt

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Fire Starter
Original poster
SMF Premier Member
Mar 20, 2006
Rock Hill, SC
Well, it's been far too long since I've been here and now I have a question. I've smoked tons of baby backs ribs, pork tenderloins, salmon and various other stuff. Just smoked a tenderloin yesterday in fact and it turned out great.

I also went out and finally bought two digital meat thermometers last evening so now I can tell what the temp is in my smoker and my meat temp. Now I'm smoking my first Boston butt for a New Years Eve gathering at my house this evening. The butt is about 9 lbs.

I read a number of posts yesterday to get a head start and I figured I had to start early this morning so I started my smoke at 5:30. I had everything ready last night so I could just fire up the smoker and get the meat going quickly. My wife took it out of the fridge about 3:00 this morning so it would be room temp when it went in the smoker. I also smeared with with mustard (per some posts I'd read here) and coated with my rub before putting it in the fridge around 8:00 last night. I applied more rub before putting it in the smoker at 5:45 this morning.

Since I haven't had thermometers in the meat and smoker before, I'm surprised at what I'm seeing this morning. I'm using an electric bullet smoker and just figured I couldn't reach temps much above 225 in this smoker. In fact, I'm getting as high as 300!

So the butt has been on the smoker since 5:45 this morning. I figured on about 12 hour. It's now 9:30 so it's been in the smoker almost 4 hours and the internal temp of the meat is already 147. That's high than I expected by this point but since I've not been about to monitor internal temp constantly before, I really don't have a base line. Right now the smoker temp is about 287.

So here are my questions.

Is this internal meat temp about right for the time in smoker?
Am I about right to expect 12 hours for a 9 pound butt?
Am I okay running this hot?

Here are a couple of pictures of the butt at 4 hours.







Okay, I just did not believe the internal temp reading so I decided to move the temp probe. I've moved it around to several places and I've also used my old analog thermometer and every place I check says between 155 and 160 degrees! How is this possible after only 4 hours? I expected this to take all day!
It's 10:45 now and the butt was up to 165. SO I went ahead and pulled it and foiled it. It was on the bottom rack of the smoker, now it's on the top rack. I'm really afraid I'm cooking this thing too fast and I don't understand how that's even possible with this smoker. I have one idea though.

I normally use wood chips in this thing. Today I've been using pretty large wood chunks. I think I've created a second heat source. When the chunks burn down they turn into coals like charcoal and I think that explains my higher than expected temps in the bullet. What do you think?

Anyway, I'll keep this thing on the smoker in foil until it reaches 200 internal then I'll take it off and put it wrapped in the cooler. At this rate it should be off the smoker by 1:00!
It's not unusual for the temps to come up quickly to 160 or so degrees, it's around the 160 mark when things usually slow down due to the plateau. I cooked a brisket last night that went in the smoker at 44* and in 5 hours was at 170*. Cooked the next 7 hours and was only at 199* when I pulled it. It's that last 30 to 40 degrees that takes so long.

Good luck, it sure looks good so far. 8)
Well, it's 11:30 and the internal temp is 175 now. Smoker temp with no smoke is 257. I don't think I'll have any problem serving pulled pork at 6:00.

I sure do like having the two digital thermometers. Being able to see my smoker temp and meat temp with out opening the smoker is great!
12:30 and internal temp is 195. I figure 30 more minutes and I'll shut the smoker down. I was thinking about just leaving it in the smoker for a bit after unplugging it, then transfer to the cooler after about 30-45 minutes.
Well, at 1:15 the butt was at 202 so I shut the smoker down and left the butt in it for a while. When the internal temp dropped to 195 I pulled it, wrapped it in towels and put in the cooler. It's been resting there since. When I uncover it I'll take a couple more picks.

I don't understand why it went so fast but I'm pretty sure it's gonna be some great pulled pork!

Hope all y'all are having a great New Year's Eve. We'll have about 10 people over for the pork, collards and black eyed peas with cornbread. It should be good!
Mmmmmmmmm…Black eyed peas :shock:
My northern german/dutch (heritage) wife and kids wonâ€[emoji]8482[/emoji]t eat that kind of stuff…so Iâ€[emoji]8482[/emoji]ll be down in about 5 hours. :roll: Sigh, weâ€[emoji]8482[/emoji]re having kraut w/ pork…oh well :(
The final product is in and it's fabulous! A couple of pics follow. I still don't understand why this butt cooked so fast. Start to finish it took about 7 hours instead of the 12 I expected. Whatever the case, it is awesome! As everyone describes, the bone pulled out clean and this butt just about fell apart. And the taste is just about perfect. My wife thinks I'm a genius. This was my first Boaston butt but it will NOT be my last! Like maybe next weekend?







Bring 'er on Carl. We'll be eatin' for a while. One neighbor bringing her signature rum cake, which is amazing. Lots of food, friends and fellowship. And a little adult beverage to go with it. It's gonna be a great night!!
Hey Ron,
Like you, I don't understand the cook time unless you just lucked up on an exceptionally tender butt. I smoked one last Thursday. It was about the same size as yours and took about 16 hours. But what the heck? It turned out good so that's good enough. Enjoy.
Ron, I think you got your fast cooking due to your smoker temperature. When I would do a butt in my bullet smoker I would usually hold between 220° or 240°, so I can only surmise that 50°-60° degree increase must have shortened up your smoke time. Did you keep your water pan full?
Was it tender? Did it pull o.k? Hope so…it looks awesome, Enjoy your party! :lol:
Yes Carl, the water pan was kept full throughout the smoke. And the meat was exceptionally tender and moist and pulled beautifully. Like I said, the bone practically fell out and pulling was a breeze.

The dinner was a resounding success. Not only was the pork excellent but the black eyed peas and the collards were fantastic as well. Add the rum cake and the cheese cake friends brought, some wine and beer along with good friends and it was a perfect New Year's Eve evening.

I hope y'all have a great new year!
Looks awesome!

After 4 hours on the smoker today, my butts were at 136 and 141 degrees. I usually get them done at around 1 hour per pound.
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