On a long smoke, pork shoulders or briskets will reach a point in which its temperature stops rising – this phenomenon is known as “stall”, and is completely normal.
To bypass the stall, open up your smoker and spritz your pork butt with water, before wrapping it with aluminum foil and continuing smoking.
Pork butt is an irresistibly delicious crowd pleaser and versatile ingredient that works in many recipes, from comforting classics like ragu to crispy carnitas and beyond. Perfect as pulled pork sandwiches on Hawaiian buns topped with creamy coleslaw; use it to create comforting ragu, delicate omelets for breakfast, pizza toppings or salad toppings… the possibilities are truly limitless; leftovers taste just as satisfying!
Season your pork butt with salt, pepper and paprika and allow it to marinate for several hours while you prepare the smoker and other ingredients. After that, place it into your smoker and allow it to cook undisturbed for three hours without interruption – every hour open up your smoker to spritz with water in order to maintain an evenly moist environment within. Try spraying mist instead of direct blast and be sure that all areas of the pork receive equal moisture coverage.
Before smoking the pork, its internal temperature should reach between 195 and 205 degrees F – this temperature marks when collagen begins to breakdown in the meat, creating tender pieces of pork. Once reached, remove it from the smoker and allow it to rest for one hour before shredding it into shreds.
To create the best tasting pork, it’s essential to use a high quality pellet smoker. These devices maintain consistent temperatures while fans within them circulate heat and wood pellet smoke throughout the meat for even cooking. A wireless remote probe thermometer should also be utilized so as not to interrupt this process by having to open or disturb it at any point during its cookout process.
As with all long cooks, there will come a point when your meat’s temperature stops rising – known as the “stall.” This occurs as collagen breaks down and can be very frustrating; just bear with it – eventually it will begin rising again and reward you with delicious bark. I highly suggest investing in an instant read probe thermometer so you can monitor its internal temperature during this period.
This classic pork butt recipe will surely impress your family and friends. Requiring only minimal ingredients, cooking is straightforward, and feeding a large crowd shouldn’t be any issue. Smoking low and slow all day gives the meat enough time to break down and tenderize as well as produce that delectable bark we all love about smoked meats – definitely an essential recipe to have in any smoker!
Start by trimming away any fatty pockets or glands with a sharp knife, before using dry rub to coat the meat – large pork butts may require two coats. A good instant read probe thermometer can also help ensure you don’t over or undercook the pork butt.
Before placing the pork butt on your grill, it is wise to add several tablespoons of apple juice into an aluminum pan. This will keep the meat moist while smoking and also lend a delicious sweet flavor that will enhance pulled pork dishes.
Once your pork butt has been placed on the smoker, it is recommended to cover it in either cling film or foil for added protection during smoking and reduce your overall cooking time by up to 1 hour per pound of meat.
After wrapping, cook the pork until it reaches fork tender, typically 6-12 hours later. You will know it is done when the pork wiggles easily with minimal resistance at an internal temperature between 195 and 204 degrees.
Once the pork has reached fork tenderness, it can be easily pulled apart and shredded using forks or your fingers. Add some of the reserved juice from the bottom of your pan to help moisturize as it shreds for optimal results. Pull pork makes an excellent addition to tacos, sandwiches and quesadillas or served alone as an appetizer to guests at your next gathering.
Dry brine it
Pork butts are one of the smokiest, tenderest hunks of meat you can make on the smoker – and are sure to impress any crowd! For maximum success, use high quality pork from pasture-raised organic sources from reliable local butchers; similarly purchase your smoker from an established manufacturer.
Dry brine is composed of salt and sugar along with herbs or spices such as peppercorns (both black and white), garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper powder, rosemary leaves and winter spices like cloves and cinnamon. Apple cider is often added for extra flavor; although many prefer using water instead. Apples add sweet fruitiness that complements well the smoked pork butt.
Brine the pork for between one to two days depending on your refrigerator’s humidity levels, then smoke for six hours (depending on its thickness) at an internal temperature between 195 and 205 degrees Fahrenheit until it reaches perfection. You should monitor its internal temperature throughout this smoking process so as to know whether or not your target has been reached.
For extra crispy pork butt, try adding baking powder to the dry brine along with kosher salt in an equal proportion; this will give it extra crunch! Just be sure that a ratio of about one teaspoon of baking powder for every three tablespoons of kosher salt is used for best results.
Once your pork butt has finished smoking, remove it from the smoker and cover it in butcher paper for around half an hour to allow some of its moisture to escape and prevent the meat from stewing in its own juices. After this rest period has expired, pull apart and shred into juicy, flavorful strips using your hands, forks or tongs – or all three!
Smoked at low heat, the pork butt becomes tender enough to be easily torn apart with dinner forks or your hands, providing delicious bite-size chunks that can be eaten as-is or mixed with barbecue sauce for an excellent sandwich filler or used to fill rolls, wraps, or tacos. Plus it’s quick and simple! This easy smoked pork butt recipe makes a fantastic way to use up leftovers from the week!
Once on the smoker grate with fat side up and thermometer probe inserted, your pork butt should reach an internal temperature of approximately 203 degrees Fahrenheit within 1 1/2 to 2 hours per pound of meat.
After your meat has finished smoking, remove from the smoker and allow it to rest for one hour (still wrapped). This will allow it to warm back up, becoming even tastier; if it remains tough after this rest period then more time must be given as collagen must convert to gelatin for it to disintegrate properly.
If your smoked pork is coming out mushy and not crumbling, chances are it has been overcooked. Usually this happens due to cooking at too high a temperature – for it to disintegrate at its optimal time, heat must remain consistent and gentle throughout.
For an easier method of shredding pork, use an electric mixer at low speed with an attachment featuring a flat beater paddle to help shred it more efficiently and quickly. Serve this delicious pulled pork as is or combine with my Homemade Coleslaw Recipe and Cornbread Recipe to create the ultimate pulled pork sandwich experience! This smoked pork butt can make a wonderful weekday lunch or memorable dinner party centerpiece; and can even be prepared ahead of time; just smoke according to directions the day before using your refrigerator until serving time comes around!