How Long To Smoke Boston Butt (And Why)?

Exact Answer: Upto 16 hours

Boston butt or pork butt is one of the easiest meat to be cooked at lower temperatures. It is a part of the pork shoulder containing the blade bone and the lean butt. It can be slightly wedged in shape as it is found just above the standard picnic cut.

Boston butt can be cooked in several ways to produce tender and delicious meat. One can use a wide range of spices and other essential ingredients to create easy to cook recipes.

Boston butt is moist due to the presence of high-fat content. Every 3.5 ounces of cooked Boston butt contains around 250 calories. Although Boston butt is high-calorie meat, it is also a good source of protein providing more than 50 percent of daily protein needs.

How Long To Smoke Boston Butt

How Long To Smoke Boston Butt?

The delicious Boston butt can be smoked in around 40 minutes to 16 hours depending on the weight and size of the meat. Since it is a versatile meat, people tend to experiment with the smoking procedure. The time needed to smoke pork butt also varies with temperature.

Per pound of Boston butt weighing around 3 pounds takes about 40 minutes to be smoked in an oven at a temperature of 180 degrees. It is recommended to smoke pork butt in such a manner that the internal temperature stays constant for longer periods to obtain tender meat. At a temperature of 225 °F, an 8-pound pork butt takes about 2 hours of smoke time per pound.

At a temperature of 250°F, a 4 pound Boston butt can take about 90 minutes in total to be smoked according to the famous recipes. A 5 pound Boston butt required 1.5 hours per pound to be cooked in an even at 200°F. All the timings mentioned are estimated versions and smoking Boston butt may require a different cooking time based on the weight of the pork used in the recipe.

The total time needed to smoke an 8-pound pork butt can extend up to 14-16 hours. Similarly, a 3 pound Boston butt requires about 2 to 3 hours in total to be edible. The resting period after smoking also varies according to the weight of the meat.

In summary:

WeightTime per pound
3 pounds40 minutes
5 pounds1.5 hours
8 pounds2 hours

Why Does It Take So Long To Smoke Boston Butt?

Boston butt is cooked slowly to obtain flavorful tender meat. The duration needed to smoke pork butt depends primarily on the size of the meat and the oven temperature. The time can be easily estimated based on the time needed to smoke per pound of meat at a particular temperature.

The time needed to smoke Boston butt also varies with different recipes. Pork butt is a versatile meat that has popular recipes such as:

  • Keto BBQ Pulled Pork
  • Slow-Cooker Cajun Boston Butt with Jambalaya Rice
  • Pork Butt Roast with Mushroom Gravy
  • Fennel and Tomato Italian Boston Butt
  • Smoked Boston Butt, etc

Each piece of Boston butt needs unique times to be cooked well. When using an electric smoker, the smoking time and the smoker temperature share an inverse relationship. The higher the temperature, the lower would be the smoking time.

A lower temperature needs more smoking time to smoke pork butt to tenderness. Other factors such as the shape, size, and maturity of the Boston butt also play an important role in determining the smoking time. For example, when a whole 6 pound Boston butt is smoked at around 225°F, the time needed per pound is one and a half hours.

If the same 6 pounds is cut into thin slices and smoked at the same temperature, the smoking time will drastically decrease. To have a correct estimation of the smoking time of Boston Butt, it is recommended to find out the exact temperature a smoker provides at each cooking stage. One can use an oven thermometer to measure the exact temperature of the Boston butt.


Smoked Boston butt is a world-famous recipe that is especially popular during the football season. The time needs to prepare this dish can be longer comparatively as smoking pork requires a lot of work and concentration. Several factors determine the smoking time of Boston butt.

Depending on the factors such as smoker temperature, recipe, shape, size, and maturity of the meat, smoking pork butt can take anything between 40 minutes to 16 hours or even more. One can always choose to slice down Boston butt into thick 1 inches pieces and smoke it at a higher temperature to decrease the smoking time.



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Hi! I'm Nidhi.

Here at the EHL, it's all about delicious, easy recipes for casual entertaining. So come and join me at the beach, relax and enjoy the food.

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