New Years Boston Butt

  • Some of the links on this forum allow SMF, at no cost to you, to earn a small commission when you click through and make a purchase. Let me know if you have any questions about this.
SMF is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.


Meat Mopper
Original poster
Apr 21, 2013
Sinking Spring, PA
Picked up a 4.25 pound butt on Monday. This is only the second time I am doing a pork butt. The first one I did about 4 years ago, a nine pounder that took about 12 hours and almost 2 tanks of propane on my Weber Genesis E310. Decided to try again on the Weber before I get a pellet smoker come late March.

Anyway, did the yellow mustard and TastyLicks Original Rib Rub yesterday morning and let it sit in the fridge overnight.

Got the 6" AMNTS going with BBQ Delight Apple Pellets on the Weber, got the temp up to 265* and put on the butt.

Two and a half hours in, I flipped the butt, inserted the meat probe and added a bit of apple juice to the pan.

Currently at 5 hour mark and sitting at 183* IT...more to follow
At about 5:15pm my Maverick read 198* and the Thermapen was between 201* and 205* so I pulled the butt and cut the corner to sample.

I then poured some Bone Sucking Sauce on top, double foiled and put in a cooler for about 45 minutes. 

The bone pulled out cleanly but the butt did not pull well at all. I ended up slicing and chopping. It tasted good but to me it's all about the smoking and challenge. This was from a Redner's and it was a last minute decision. I would have gone to the butcher but just before Thanksgiving he had a fire in his smoke house that spread to his shop or would have gone to BJ's but that's out of the way for just a butt.

There was verily little fat cap and I did cut some off but barely got a handful. Not sure if this was due to the smaller size or just the cut I picked. Anyway, I'll try again just waiting until the weather warms up again. 

What was the total cook time on your Boston Butt?

I've done an improvised smoke in a gas grill while on vacation with my family and I wasn't able to run at 225 to 250 like I do in my smoker. The butt got up to temp (190+) but a lot faster than it should have (~6 hours). What happens if the heat is too high as it was for me is that the meat gets hot, but the denaturation of collagen and connective tissues that allow the meat to fall apart and be super tender doesn't have enough time to happen so you get a hot, but still tough butt that won't pull well.

A smoked bone in butt takes me 12-18 hours on my smoker and is amazingly tender and tasty. I find it's hard to get the same results with anything must faster than this.
I cooked for about 6.5 hours and then 45 minutes foiled in the cooler. I didn't think that for a 4.25 pound butt it was moving too fast. 

Based on my experience with smoking butts in a smoker I'd say that a 4.5lb butt cooked at 225 or so that goes through its normal stall should take longer than 6.5 hours. Most of mine take 12 or so. I had an experience very similar to what you are describing when I tried to smoke a butt on a grill while on vacation for my family (at Big Bass Lake in PA not too far from you!). I got good smoker flavor, but just couldn't keep the heat low enough and indirect enough and it got to temp in about 5.5 hours.

What was the grill temp according to the Maverick?

My gut tells me that the meat was not the issue. It's not very intuitive, but just getting the temp up to 190 does not guarantee a tender butt that will pull apart into classic pulled pork. There are some internal processes that have to happen with the connective tissues in the meat and only time will allow them to happen.

One way to think about it, using an extreme case, is that if you put a pulled pork into a 500 degree oven, smoker, grill, etc and left it there till you got an internal temp of 190+ you would not get tender pulled pork. You'd get something similar to the sole of a shoe, but you'd get it in and hour or two.

I hope this is helpful... 

Best to you, Bill
Last edited:

My Maverick was showing 250* to 265*, I have a hard time getting much lower than 250* with a single burner lit at the lowest setting.

I am hoping to pickup a Yoder around the end of March, depending on the weather so for now I'll stick with doing ribs, chicken and turkey until then.

I know that I have reached a point that I want to try more, especially with doing butts and brisket and need to get to the lower temps.

Thanks for the advise and it will be something I keep in mind on my next one. 

Thanks again, ~ joe is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

Latest posts

Hot Threads