Perfect Backyard Boston Butt (Pulled Pork)


- Boston Butt (or Back Ribs)

- Apple Juice (not from concentrate)

- Big Dad’s Spicy Dust or Big Dad’s Sweet Heat


- Smoker

- Boning Knife

- Cutting board

- GrillSpyk wireless thermometer

- Bear Claws – Pork Pullers

- Foil Steamer Pan

- Aluminum Foil

- Large cooler


1. Choose the right Butt

I prefer to choose a Boston Butt that is heavier, as this means there is more meat.

2. Prep the Butt

  • Trim any loose pieces off the butt, as these pieces will just burn.

  • I like to take as much of the fat off that I can.  When we season it, we want to season meat, not fat. Once it is smoked, you will remove most, if not all, of the fat, thus you would just be removing the seasoning.  Plus, the more meat that is exposed, the more bark you will end up with.

3. Season the Butt

  • Season all sides heavily with Big Dad’s Spicy Dust or Big Dad’s Sweet Heat.

  • Allow the seasoned butt to rest in the refrigerator overnight. This allows the meat to absorb the moisture and seasoning, resulting in more flavorful pulled pork.

4. Smoke the Butt

  • Set your smoker to 250 degrees.

  • Place the butt on the smoker and insert the GrillSpyk.

  • This step typically takes about 90 minutes per pound. This by no means is the rule; more of a guideline.

  • Smoke the butt until the temperature reaches 165 degrees.  As you are monitoring your cook, you will notice that once the temperature reaches 150-160 degrees, you will reach the stall.  What is happening is that the moisture in the meat is evaporating, which actually cools the meat.  Once all moisture has evaporated, it will pick back up.  Don’t panic…this always happens.  DO NOT increase the temperature of the smoker.

5. Cover the Butt

  • Place the butt in a half-size foil steamer pan.  Pour some apple juice in the bottom of the pan; just enough to cover the bottom of the pan.  If you are cooking more than one butt, use a full-size steamer pan.

  • Cover the pan with heavy duty aluminum foil and place the GrillSpyk through the foil back into the butt.  Once the butt reaches 203-205 degrees, it is done.

6. Rest the Butt

At this point, you can remove the GrillSpyk.  Wrap the pan in a moving blanket and place in a large cooler.  We will let this rest four a couple hours.

7. Pull and Serve

  • Take the butt out of the pan and pour the juice into a bowl.

  • Put the butt back into the pan, and using the bear claws, pull the pork.  You will notice large pieces of fat while you are doing this.  Take these out and discard; nobody likes getting a big bite of fat when eating pulled pork.

  • Once it is completely pulled, go ahead and give the meat a light dusting with Big Dad’s Spicy Dust or Big Dad’s Sweet Heat.  Start light, taste it and decide if it needs more.

  • Finally, pour some of the juice back over the top of the meat and mix everything up.  Again, start with a small amount, taste it and decide if it needs more.

Final Thoughts

The most common question is how long it will take to smoke a Boston Butt.  This is a tough question to answer as there are a lot of factors to be considered.  There are some “standard” rules you can follow, but these are more of a guideline than a rule.  When smoking a Boston Butt at 250 degrees, I like to plan about 90 minutes per pound.  

When I smoke a Boston Butt in the Grill Shak, I like to smoke it over night at a lower temperature. I will typically start it around 10:00 pm and go to bed.  I don’t worry about it, because I’ve got my phone beside me, and with the GrillSpyk, I will get an alert on my phone if the temperature reaches 165 degrees sooner than I was planning. Once it reaches 165 degrees, I get the butt into the foil pan and crank up the smoker to 250 degrees and plan for 2 to 3 hours to finish.  Once finished, I can leave the butt in a cooler wrapped with a moving blanket for several hours and it will stay hot.  I’ve left them in a cooler for 6 hours and they still came out hot.  

One more thing I like to do is pour the juice from the foil pan into a fat separator. This will allow the fat to rise to the top and you have the perfect juice to pour back into the pulled pork.  When you use a fat separator, the juice comes out of the bottom, so all of the fat remains and you’re left with the perfect juicy pulled pork.

Good luck, and if you have any questions, find us on Facebook and we can help you through one of the things we consider the easiest cooks for your smoker.

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