Smoking pork butt ?'s

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Original poster
Dec 27, 2006
I am getting a 14# pork butt on Friday and it has a slab of fat on one side of it. I know that some fat needs to be left on it and have heard to smoke/cook it fat side up, but do I just leave a thin layer of fat or the whole thing? Also, at about 200-225 degrees, how long should it take to smoke/cook to get it to about 195 or 200 internal temp? I don't have a smoker yet so I will be doing this on my gas grill using a smoke box over the flame and placing the meat at the other end of the grill to cook it indirectly. I know that a smoker is best but I have done ribs and pork shoulders around 5# this way and they turn out great. I have just never done a 14# piece of meat.

Please feel free to give additional info you think I'll need.

Hey there ChrisW,

Welcome to SMF!

My $.02 is to smoke with the fat down. There is plenty of fat in a butt, so the meat stays moist. I find that the bark does not develop well with the meat side down, and you lose some if it sticks to the grates.

BTW here is a rub that I like on pork.

Pork BBQ Rub Plus


2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice
¼ cup paprika

Take care, have fun, and do good!


Try to get your temps 225 - 250. Under 225 and you'll be cooking that thing forever.

Most cooking times estimate 1.5 hours per lb. You're looking at 21 hours to cook that beast at 225 degrees.

Fat up or fat down, its all preference. I'm with meowey on this, there's plenty of fat inside a butt to keep it moist. Fat down protects the bottom from any direct heat from your heatsource, and maintains more bark for your finished product.
I bought a pork butt at Sam's the other day that was 14#'s. When I opened it yesterday to coat it with my dry rub I found that it was actually 2 roasts and not 1 solid one. One was about 8#'s and the other about 6#'s. I started this morning at just after 5:00am with them both on one end of the grill and a few inches between them for airflow and the burner on at the other end. After 7 hours at 250 degrees they were both done and have a nice bark on them. I used Jack Daniels wood chips in foil 3 times and that seemed to be a good amount of smoke. I think next time I try this I will keep the temps around 200 - 225 degrees and not get it up to 250 degrees since the roasts are not solid but 2 seperate ones.

Now I have them resting in foil and wrapped in a towel in a cooler until later when they will get served.

I did try the yellow mustard rub and then my dry rub and that worked really well.

Thanks for the responces and the other posts that were similar to mine. It all really helped a lot.

I thought the same thing the first time I bought butts at Sam's. Now when I buy them, I usually put one in a foodsaver bag and freeze it.

Pictures would be nice! We love food pron.

Take care, have fun, and do good!


Too late to get a picture, it is now in a crock pot. I will try to get a picture next time.

Here's a helpful hint when using a grill to smoke meat.........

Go to the Kitchen Dept. of your local store and buy a "Roasting Rack". It's a wire rack that kind of opens in the shape of an "X". Place the rack and a shallow pan that fits the rack and then the meat in the top of the rack. Even though you are cooking indirectly, the meat will still have a tendency to overcook to the side closest to the heat source. You can build a heat barrier with HD Aluminum Foil by forming an "L" and slipping the bottom of the "L" under the pan.

You will find this work very well!

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