This post contains affiliate links.
If you have been smoking meat for some time, or you are just starting out, chances are you have hear that 225° is the golden number when it come to smoking temperature. But what if I told you that might not be the best temperature to smoke pork butt at?
There is actually a wide range of temperatures you can smoke pork butt at all with their own pros. In this article we will go over the 4 most common temperatures to smoke pork butt at and which one you should choose.
What Is The Best Temperature To Smoke Pork Butt At?
If you are looking for the most smoke flavor, the best temperature to smoke pork butt at is 225° Fahrenheit. For those looking to sacrifice some smoke flavor to shave hours off the cooking time, the best temperature to smoke pork butt at is 275° Fahrenheit.
What Temperature To Smoke Pork Butt At?
As with many things when it comes to smoking meat, choosing what temperature to smoke pork butt at comes down to personal preference. Pork butt is typically smoked between 225° Fahrenheit and 275° Fahrenheit, though I know many people who prefer a hot and fast pork butt at 300° Fahrenheit and above.
Before we dive into which temperature you should smoke your pork butt at, I should preface that no matter what temperature you choose, you can make tender and juicy pork butt. With that said, choosing what temperature to smoke at comes down to two questions.
Do You Want The Most Smoke Flavor?
If you are looking to impart your pork butt with the most amount of smoke flavor, then you should aim to smoke your pork butt on the lower end of the smoking spectrum. 225° – 250° Fahrenheit are great temperatures for this.
At these lower temperatures, the meat is going to cook more slowly. That means that the meat is spending more time in the smoker and subsequently, taking on more smoke.
The downside to smoking your pork butt at these lower temperatures, is that you are going to have to deal with slower cooking times.
How Fast Do You Want To Cook It?
If you are looking to speed up the cooking process a bit, then you should aim to smoke your pork butt at the higher end of the smoking spectrum. 275° Fahrenheit is an ideal temperature for speeding up the cooking time while still allowing the meat enough time to take on smoke.
Yes, you will be sacrificing some smoke flavor when you smoke your pork butt hotter. The meat is going to cook much faster and therefore won’t spend as much time in the smoker; however, you can still get plenty of smoke flavor into your pork at those higher temperatures.
In many cases, the difference in smoke flavor from 225° F to 275° F is barely noticeable.
You can smoke a pork butt at any temperature between 225° F and 300° F and turn out tender and juicy pork butt. For those looking for the most smoke flavor, you should stay on the lower end of the spectrum. Those who want faster cook times, stay on the higher end of the spectrum.
What Temperature Do You Smoke Pork Butt At Poll
I decided to run a poll in the meat smoking community to get a better idea of what the most popular temperature to smoke pork butt at was. My poll found that an overwhelming majority of people smoke their pork butts at 225° Fahrenheit.
Smoking Pork Butt At 225° Fahrenheit?
Smoking a pork butt at 225° F is by far the most common temperature to smoke pork at. This temperature gives you the most amount of time under smoke allowing the best smoke flavor and bark formation.
This does come with a drawback though. Smoking a pork butt at 225° Fahrenheit is going to take longer to smoke. This is where you need to decide if the added flavor is worth the extra time. You are able to save 30 minutes to and hour of cook time per pound of pork by smoking at a higher temperature.
Can You Smoke At 225° Then Bump It Up?
An extremely popular method of smoking pork butt is to start smoking it at 225° F and then increase the temperature to 275° F once you wrap the pork butt. I won’t go into why you should wrap your pork butt here. You can find that information in my article, “Should you wrap pork butt? Foil vs Butcher paper”.
But once you wrap your pork butt, the meat can’t take on any more smoke, so why not increase the temperature and take advantage of those time savings. This gives you the best of both worlds, you still get good smoke flavor, and you can cut down on cooking time!
How Long To Smoke Pork Butt At 225° Fahrenheit?
When smoking pork butt at 225° Fahrenheit, you can expect it to take about and hour and a half per pound of meat when left unwrapped. Wrapping your pork butt at the stall can speed the smoking process up.
You can use the chart below to estimate how long your pork butt will take to cook. If you are wrapping, these times will be sped up quite a bit.
|Pork Butt Size (Pounds)||Time To Cook at 225°F|
|6 lbs.||9 hours|
|7 lbs.||10.5 hours|
|8 lbs.||12 hours|
|9 lbs.||13.5 hours|
|10 lbs.||15 hours|
|11 lbs.||16.5 hours|
|12 lbs.||18 hours|
Cook To Temperature Not Time
These time estimates are just that, estimates. Each pork butt will cook differently and there are a variety of factors that go into determining how long a pork butt will take to smoke. You can use these time estimates to give you an idea of how much time you need, but you should always cook to the final temperature.
Pork butt is done one it reaches an internal temperature of 205° Fahrenheit. At this temperature, all the fat and connective tissue has had enough time to properly render down leaving you with tender and juicy pork butt.
The easiest way to tell when your pork butt is done is to use a Bluetooth thermometer. I personally use the Chugod Bluetooth thermometer found on Amazon. I leave the probe in the thickest part of my pork butt and set a temperature alert on the app on my phone. Once my pork butt reaches 205° F, an alarm goes off to alert me that my pork butt is done. Can’t get easier than that!
If you don’t have a thermometer yet, here are some ways you can tell if your pork butt is done without a thermometer.
Smoked Pork Butt At 250° Fahrenheit
Smoking a pork butt at 250° Fahrenheit is not much different than smoking one at 225° Fahrenheit. At 250° F, your cook times may be sped up a little, but it will still take a long time to cook. The benefit to this, is you are still getting great smoke flavor into your pork butt.
The other great thing about smoking pork butt at 250° F, is that it gives you room for temperature fluctuations. A lot of smokers, especially the lower end smokers, struggle to maintain a constant temperature.
Whether the temperature spikes or drops, smoking at 250° F, can allow those fluctuations to happen and still be within smoking temperature. Your temperature spikes 25°? Your still in smoking temp. Your Temperature drops 25°? Your still in smoking temperature. 250° F gives you room for error.
How Long To Smoke Pork Butt At 250° Fahrenheit?
Smoking a pork butt at 250° Fahrenheit takes approximately 1 to 1.5 hours per pound of meat to cook. This process can be sped up by wrapping your pork butt at the stall.
|Pork Butt Size (Pounds)||Time To Cook at 250°F|
|6 lbs.||7.5 hours|
|7 lbs.||8.75 hours|
|8 lbs.||10 hours|
|9 lbs.||11.25 hours|
|10 lbs.||12.5 hours|
|11 lbs.||13.75 hours|
|12 lbs.||15 hours|
Smoked Pork Butt At 275° F
Smoking a pork butt at 275° Fahrenheit is where we really start to see the time savings come in. At this temperature, you are able to smoke your pork butt much faster and still get great smoke flavor. Yes, you will lose some smoke flavor. The meat cooks faster and therefore it doesn’t sit in the smoke as long; however, the difference in smoke flavor is very minimal.
If I gave you pork smoked at 225° F and some pork smoked at 275°F very few people would be able to tell the difference and if you could taste the difference, it would be minimal. Personally, I almost always smoke at 275° F. I am more than willing to sacrifice a little smoke flavor to save some time!
How Long To Smoke Pork Butt At 275° Fahrenheit?
When smoking pork butt at 275° Fahrenheit, you should expect it to take about an hour per pound of meat. This process can be further sped up by wrapping your pork butt in butcher paper or aluminum foil.
|Pork Butt Size (Pounds)||Time To Cook at 275°F|
|6 lbs.||6 hours|
|7 lbs.||7 hours|
|8 lbs.||8 hours|
|9 lbs.||9 hours|
|10 lbs.||10 hours|
|11 lbs.||11 hours|
|12 lbs.||12 hours|
Hot And Fast Smoked Pork Butt At 300° F
This is for those out there that really want to speed up cooking times. At 300° F, your pork butt is going to cook significantly faster; however, you are going to sacrifice smoke flavor. This is at the edge of the threshold for imparting smoke flavor into your pork butt and would not recommend this temperature unless you are really short for time.
I find that you can get better results with similar time savings by smoking your pork butt at 275° F. With that said, it is possible to make great pork butt at 300° F. In fact, my local BBQ catering business always smokes their meat at 300° F.
While the smoke flavor might not be as prominent, it all comes down to how well you cook it! There is plenty of flavor coming from the fat rendering down and the rub.
How Long To Smoke Pork Butt At 300° Fahrenheit?
When smoking a pork butt at 300° F, you can expect it to take about 30 minutes to 1 hour per pound of meat to cook. This process can be further sped up by wrapping your pork butt in butcher paper (Amazon link) or aluminum foil.
|Pork Butt Size (Pounds)||Time To Cook at 300°F|
|6 lbs.||4.5 hours|
|7 lbs.||5.25 hours|
|8 lbs.||6 hours|
|9 lbs.||6.75 hours|
|10 lbs.||7.5 hours|
|11 lbs.||8.25 hours|
|12 lbs.||9 hours|