Smoked Boston Butt

Boston butt is the most commonly used cut of pork used to make pulled pork. While some people "cheat" and cook pulled pork in the oven or slow cooker, you simply cannot beat the amazing flavour of a smoked boston butt cooked with charcoal and smoking wood. To do it right, you want to cook the boston butt and low temperatures for a loong time so that you can literally pull the shoulder bone clean out of the meat without any resistance. 


  • 3-4kg Boston butt (pork shoulder with bone)
  • Mustard


  • 4 teaspoons salt
  • 4 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 4 teaspoons onion powder
  • 4 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 3 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar


  • Apply a thin coat of mustard to the outside of the butt. This will provide flavour but also will allow the rub to stick.
  • Generously rub the butt with the rub mixture above. Wrap the butt tightly in cling wrap and allow to rest in the fridge overnight.
  • Optional - Some people like to inject the butt with apple juice to keep the inside of the meat moist.
  • Light your smoker and get it running at a consistent temperature of around 100 degrees.
  • Allow the butt to slow smoke for 6 hours, continually adding more wood during this time to ensure a consistent smoke. A lighter wood such as apple or cherry wood is preferred for pork, however, ironbark also works well. 
  • After 6 hours, remove the butt from the smoker and wrap in several layers of foil. Before fully wrapping in foil, make a well and pour in 100ml of apple juice. Then seal the foil well. The apple juice will be absorbed into the pork during the remainder of the cooking process.
  • Put the wrapped butt into the smoker and cook for another 6 hours at 100 degrees, or until the internal temperature of the butt reaches 93 degrees(Use a meat thermometer to read temperature). Once the butt is wrapped, it is not necessary to continue smoking the meat as the smoke will not be absorbed anyway. Ensure that the cooking temperature remains constant though.
  • After a total of 12 hours (6hrs smoking, 6hrs cooking) or when the internal temperature reaches 93 degrees C, remove the butt from the smoker.
  • Wrap the butt (still in its foil) in a bathroom towel and then put in an esky (without the ice) to allow the meat to rest and cool down. The butt can remain wrapped and resting for several hours, but a minimum of 1hr - 90 minutes.
  • When you're ready to serve, remove the butt from the esky and unwrap the towel. Put the butt in a large bowl or tray with a lip before removing the foil to ensure you catch all the juices.
  • Remove the foil and then pull the butt using forks or meat claws.

Hot Tip:

  • Wrap the butt in a large towel and place in an esky to allow your meat to rest while keeping warm.

Smoked Boston Butt

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by: Rhiannon Peterson