How Long To Smoke A Pork Butt At 250?

Smoking pork butt is an age-old culinary tradition cherished by barbecue enthusiasts worldwide. This smoky treat is perfect for gatherings and midnight meals. 

Smoking process involves slow-cooking a marbled cut of pork butt over low, indirect heat, resulting in tender, succulent meat with a rich smoky flavor. 

One crucial aspect of achieving perfection in smoked pork butt lies in mastering the art of maintaining consistent temperatures throughout the cooking process. Among the various temperature ranges used, 250°F stands out as a popular choice for many pitmasters. 

In this article, we delve into the intricacies of smoking and answer the most burning question: how long to smoke a pork butt at 250?

We’ll explore the ins and outs of smoking a pork butt, tips and the techniques to help you achieve barbecue excellence. 

So fire up your smoker, because we’re about to embark on a delicious journey into the world of slow-cooked, smoky goodness.

How long to smoke a pork butt at 250?

Smoking a pork butt at 250°F requires patience as this is a low and slow cooking method which is essential for achieving tender, flavorful meat. 

On average, plan to smoke a pork butt at this temperature for approximately 1.5 to 2 hours per pound. 

For example, a 8-pound pork butt would take roughly 12 to 16 hours to reach the desired internal temperature of 195-205°F. 

However, it is just a rough estimate and exact time may vary because the factors such as the consistency of your smoker’s temperature, the size and shape of the pork butt, and even weather conditions can affect cooking time. 

Ultimately, the key to success lies in allowing the pork butt ample time to absorb the smoky flavors and break down its connective tissues for melt-in-your-mouth tenderness.

How to smoke pork at 250?

Smoking pork at 250°F involves several steps to ensure optimal flavor and tenderness. Here’s a guide to smoke pork butt at this temperature:

  • Preparation: Start by selecting a quality pork butt, preferably with a good amount of marbling for flavor and tenderness. Trim excess fat from the surface of the meat, leaving a thin layer to enhance flavor and moisture retention during cooking. Apply your preferred dry rub or marinade to the pork butt, ensuring it’s evenly coated. Allow the pork to marinate for at least an hour, or preferably overnight, in the refrigerator to enhance flavor penetration.
  • Prepare the Smoker: Preheat your smoker to 250°F. Use your preferred wood chips or chunks for smoking. The popular options include hickory, apple wood, or cherry. Ensure that your smoker is clean and well-maintained for optimal heat circulation and smoke flavor. Place a water pan in the smoker to help regulate temperature and keep the pork butt moist during the cooking process.
  • Smoking Process: Once the smoker is preheated, place the pork butt directly on the smoker grate, fat side up to allow the fat to render and baste the meat as it cooks. Close the smoker lid and maintain a consistent temperature of 250°F throughout the cooking process. Adjust the air vents as needed to regulate airflow and temperature. Add additional wood chips or chunks to the smoker as needed to maintain a steady supply of smoke. However, avoid over-smoking as this can overpower the flavor of the pork.
  • Monitoring and Adjusting: Use a meat thermometer to monitor the internal temperature of the pork butt throughout the smoking process. Insert the thermometer probe into the thickest part of the meat away from bone. Aim for an internal temperature of 195-205°F for optimal tenderness. However, the pork butt should be tender and easily shreddable when done. If the smoker temperature fluctuates, adjust the air vents or add charcoal as needed to maintain 250°F.
  • Resting and Serving: Once the pork butt reaches the desired internal temperature, remove it from the smoker and let it rest for 20-30 minutes to allow the juices to redistribute. 

Is 250 too high for smoking pork?

No, 250°F is not too high for smoking pork. In fact, it is a commonly used temperature range for smoking pork butt or shoulder to achieve the desired tenderness and flavor. 

Cooking at this temperature allows the meat to undergo a slow and gradual breakdown of connective tissues which results in juicy, succulent pork that’s easy to shred for pulled pork. 

The low and slow smoking process at 250°F allows the pork to absorb ample smoke flavor while preventing it from drying out. 

While some may opt for even lower temperatures for an extended cooking time, 250°F strikes a balance between efficiency and flavor, making it an ideal choice for smoking pork to perfection.

What temperature is pork butt done?

Pork butt is considered done when it reaches an internal temperature of 195-205°F (90-96°C). At this temperature range, the pork butt has undergone the necessary cooking process to break down tough connective tissues and achieve optimal tenderness. 

The collagen and fat within the meat have rendered, resulting in juicy, succulent pork that easily shreds apart for pulled pork dishes. 

For checking, you can use a reliable meat thermometer to accurately measure the internal temperature of the pork butt, ensuring that it’s cooked thoroughly without over cooking and becoming dry. 

Once the desired temperature is reached, the pork butt should be removed from the heat source and allowed to rest for a brief period before serving. It will allow the juices to redistribute and ensure maximum flavor and moisture retention.

How long to smoke a pork butt at 275?

Smoking a pork butt at 275°F will generally result in a faster cooking time compared to lower temperatures like 250°F. 

On average, you can expect to smoke a pork butt at 275°F for approximately 1 to 1.5 hours per pound. For instance, an 8-10 pound pork butt could take roughly 8 to 12 hours to reach the desired internal temperature.

The higher temperature accelerates the breakdown of collagen and connective tissues, resulting in a tender and juicy end product. 

Despite the shorter cooking time, the pork butt will still develop a flavorful bark on the exterior and absorb the smoky essence from the wood chips or chunks in the smoker. 

How to enhance flavors of smoked pork butt?

Enhancing the flavors of smoked pork butt can elevate its taste to new heights. Here are several methods to achieve the desired taste:

  • Dry Rubs: Apply a flavorful dry rub generously over the surface of the pork butt before smoking. Experiment with different combinations of spices, herbs, sugars, and salts to create a custom blend that complements the natural sweetness of the pork.
  • Marinades: Marinating the pork butt overnight can infuse it with additional flavors and help tenderize the meat. Consider using a marinade that includes ingredients like citrus juices, vinegar, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, herbs, and spices to add depth and complexity to the flavor profile.
  • Mop Sauce: Periodically baste the pork butt with a homemade mop sauce during the smoking process to keep it moist and add layers of flavor. A mop sauce typically consists of vinegar, oil, spices, and sometimes beer or apple juice for sweetness.
  • Glaze: In the final stages of smoking, brush the pork butt with a glaze or barbecue sauce to add a caramelized crust and enhance the flavor profile. Choose a glaze or sauce that complements the flavors of the dry rub or marinade used.
  • Finishing Sauce: Serve the smoked pork butt with a homemade or store-bought finishing sauce on the side. Common options include vinegar-based sauces, mustard-based sauces, or traditional barbecue sauces which can add a burst of flavor to each bite.


Can you overcook pork butt?

Yes, pork butt can be overcooked if it reaches too high of an internal temperature or is cooked for too long. Overcooking can result in dry and tough meat that lacks flavor and juiciness.

Can you let pork butt rest overnight?

Yes, you can let pork butt rest overnight after smoking it. Allowing the pork butt to rest in the refrigerator overnight can actually intensify its flavor and tenderness as the juices redistribute throughout the meat.

How to keep pork butt moist when smoking?

To keep pork butt moist when smoking, consider using a water pan in the smoker to maintain humidity levels. Additionally, periodically mop or spritz the pork butt with a flavorful liquid such as apple juice or broth to add moisture and rich flavor.


Smoking a pork butt at 250°F is an excellent way to achieve tender, flavorful meat that’s perfect for any barbecue occasion. 

This low and slow cooking method allows the pork to absorb the smoky essence while breaking down connective tissues for melt-in-your-mouth tenderness. 

By following proper preparation techniques, maintaining a consistent temperature, and monitoring the cooking process, you can produce mouthwatering pulled pork that’s sure to impress.

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