My First Pork Butt Cook - Pics and Details

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Original poster
Apr 22, 2020
I made a plan and have been taking notes since I started this cook, last night at 10:30. I have some pics and I'll list out details like I did in the notes I took. I'll be honest, I've had some trouble with this cook, especially keeping my fire going and hot. I'm not sure if it's something with my wood (hickory) or if it's something I'm doing. It's probably a combination of both.

1. Pre-heat smoker to 225F
2. Allow temp to stabilize / remain steady for 30 mins - 1 hour
3. Add meat to smoker, fat cap down
4. When internal temp reaches 100F, spray meat with apple juice / bourbon (3:1) every hour
5. When internal temp reaches 165F, pull butt and wrap with double layer aluminum foil
6. Cook in oven @ 250F until internal temp hits 205F
7. Pull butt from oven, let rest on counter 30 mins
8. Pull the pork by hand
9. Add finishing sauce
10. Cover w/ foil in pan until ready to serve

11 AM
-cover with mustard on all sides
-apply butt rub to all sides
-wrap with saran wrao
-put back in the fridge until ready to cook

9 PM
-Filled 2 8" x 8" water pans and put in bottom of cook chamber
-cover drippings pan with foil and poke holes for drippings to fall through
-started charcoal in charcoal chimney

9:43 PM
-poured lit charcoal into firebox
-surrounded lit charcoal with wood chunks to dry out wood while charcoal burns
-closed cook chamber

10:24 PM
-Butt on the smoker
-two temp probes into the meat (1 set for 165F, other set for 205F)
-1 temp probe for smoke temp

1:00 AM
-Internal Temp 84 degrees

1:30 AM
-problems keeping temp between 200 and 250; changed temp set point for smoke to 250F (225F-275F). At 225F constantly producing white smoke.

1:45 AM
-Opened smoker to spray meat w/ apple juice and bourbon mix. Internal Temp approx 100F. Added handful of charcoal. Started more coals in chimney started, haven't added charcoal yet

3:00 AM
Internal Temp 120F opened smoker to spray meat. Some of temp / fire issues have been remedied by stirring / fixing / moving the coals around. Still haven't used additional coals started earlier.

4:00 AM
Internal Temp 135F. Opened smoker to spray meat. More temp issues, wood not wanting to burn. Added previously lit coals, but they were 75% ash by this point.

5:00 AM
Been fighting to keep the fire going since 4:00 AM. Finally got smoke temp up to 230F. Internal Temp 138F. Opened lid to spray meat.

6:30 AM
Still fighting to keep smoke over 200F. I think I don't have a strong enough coal bed. Slowly adding in wood, poking, and feeding air to keep the temp up. Internal Temp 145F. Opened lid to spray meat.

7:00 AM
Internal Temp 147F. Added another piece of wood to firebox. This one finally caught. Producing invisible smoke to thin blue smoke. Smoker Temp over 250F for first time since probably 2AM or earlier.

9:30 AM
Added wood to firebox. Internal Temp 158F. Opened lid to spray meat.

11:15 AM
Fire has went out even with constant attention. Internal Temp 162F. Pulling meat to foil and put in oven.

11:45 AM
Double layer foil wrapped meat and put into oven pre-heated to 250F. Two temp probes; left side and right side. Internal Temp 160F.

3:20 PM
Butt in oven set to 250F. Internal Temp 178F.

4:30 PM
Butt in oven set to 250F. Internal Temp 187F. Current situation.


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I've smoked a fair number of butts. I figure on 2 hours per LB. @ 230* too 250*.

I've ever interrupted a smoke to spritz a butt. They are moist enough that they don't need and every time you open your smoker, your meat is cooling of, especially if your spritz is cool or cold.

Your bark is looking pretty good in the last photo. Enjoy your finished product. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.