How Long to Smoke a Boston Butt at 250: Master the Perfect Cook


To smoke a boston butt at 250 degrees, it takes approximately 12-14 hours. Boston butt is a delicious cut of pork that is known for its juicy and flavorful texture.

Smoked boston butt is usually an indulgent experience for barbecue lovers as it is slow-cooked and infused with enticing aromas and flavors. However, cooking a boston butt to perfection takes patience, skill, and a lot of practice. One critical aspect to consider when smoking a boston butt is the temperature as it determines how well the meat will cook and how tender it will be.

In this article, we will provide you with insights into calculating the approximate smoking time for a boston butt at 250 degrees fahrenheit.

How Long to Smoke a Boston Butt at 250: Master the Perfect Cook


Preparing The Boston Butt

Choosing The Right Cut And Weight:

When looking for a boston butt to smoke, ensure it is between six to eight pounds. Try to choose a piece with a uniform thickness to ensure consistent cooking.

Trimming The Excess Fat:

Fat is essential for flavor and moisture in smoked meat. Nonetheless, excessive fat will result in clumps of greasy meat piled on the plate, which nobody wants. Therefore, trim any excess fat from the boston butt, especially around the top.

Applying The Rub:

Applying the rub is the last step of preparing the boston butt before smoking. A rub is a mixture of dry spices and seasonings that add flavor to the meat. When applying the rub, rub it well into the meat, cover every corner and edge with a considerable amount of the rub.

The Importance Of Letting The Rub Rest Before Smoking:

It is crucial to let the rub rest on the boston butt for at least 30 minutes before smoking. This ensures that the rub penetrates and flavours the meat while allowing its natural juices to come out, leaving the meat moist and delicious.

When the rub settles on the meat, it forms what pitmasters call a “bark,” which is the crusty exterior that is bursting with flavor.

When smoking a boston butt at 250 degrees, there are a few essential things that you cannot compromise on, such as choosing the right cut and weight, trimming the excess fat, and applying the rub. By following these simple steps, you will undoubtedly have a fantastic smoked boston butt that everyone will adore.

Smoking The Boston Butt

Smoking a boston butt is an excellent way to get delicious and tender meat infused with smoke flavor. But to achieve the perfect flavor and texture, it’s essential to smoke the boston butt at the right temperature and time. Here’s all you need to know about smoking a boston butt at 250 degrees fahrenheit.

Setting Up The Smoker

Before smoking the boston butt, you must set up the smoker. Follow these instructions to set it up:

  • Start by cleaning the smoker thoroughly. Remove any debris or ash left from the previous smoking session.
  • Fill the smoker’s water pan with water or your preferred flavoring liquid.
  • Set up the smoker’s charcoal chamber by placing unlit charcoal on the bottom and lighting some charcoal on top.
  • Add the wood chips to the smoker’s wood chip box or directly on the charcoal.
  • Preheat the smoker to the desired temperature, which is 250 degrees fahrenheit in this case.

Choosing The Right Wood Chips

Choosing the right wood chips for smoking the boston butt can make a significant difference in the flavor of the meat. Here are some of the best wood chips to use for smoking a boston butt:

  • Hickory: This wood chip imparts strong and bold smoky flavors, making it perfect for boston butt.
  • Apple: This wood chip gives the meat a slightly sweet and fruity flavor that complements the pork’s savory taste.
  • Pecan: This wood chip gives the meat a slightly nutty and sweet flavor, perfect for those who prefer less intense smoky flavors.

Smoking Time Per Pound Of Boston Butt At 250

The smoking time per pound of boston butt at 250 degrees fahrenheit depends on the meat’s weight. As a general rule of thumb, you should smoke the boston butt between one to one and a half hours per pound. For a seven-pound boston butt, it will take around seven to ten hours to smoke it at 250 degrees fahrenheit.

Maintaining The Temperature

Maintaining the smoker’s temperature is crucial to ensure that the boston butt cooks evenly and thoroughly. Follow these tips to maintain the temperature:

  • Add charcoal every hour to keep the temperature steady.
  • Adjust the air intake and exhaust vents to control the temperature. A higher intake of air will increase the temperature, and a lower intake will decrease it.
  • Keep the smoker’s door closed as much as possible to prevent heat loss.

Using A Temperature Probe

Using a temperature probe is vital to ensuring that the boston butt reaches the correct internal temperature. Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the meat, being careful not to touch the bone. The recommended internal temperature for pork is 195 degrees fahrenheit.

Smoking a boston butt at 250 degrees fahrenheit can be a little challenging, but with the right preparation, you can achieve perfect and delicious results. Follow these guidelines, and you’ll get tender and flavorful meat that your family and friends will love!

Wrapping And Resting The Boston Butt

Understanding The Stall And How To Overcome It

When smoking a boston butt at 250, you may face a phenomenon called “the stall”. This is when the internal temperature of the meat reaches around 150°f, and doesn’t seem to want to rise any further, sometimes even dropping down a degree or two.

Don’t panic! This is a perfectly normal part of the cooking process. This happens because the moisture of the meat reaches a point where it begins to evaporate, which then cools down the meat, making it feel like the temperature isn’t rising.

However, this is an essential stage in rendering the fat out of the boston butt, which results in juicy and tender meat that falls apart. You can overcome the stall by increasing the temperature of the smoker to 275 or even 300°f.

This will help the meat reach 190-195°f more quickly.

The Benefits Of Wrapping The Butt

Wrapping the boston butt in foil or butcher paper during the cooking process can speed up the cooking time and make the meat juicier. Wrapping the butt helps it retain moisture and prevents the outside from getting too dark. Wrapping also reduces the amount of smoke the meat is exposed to, so the flavor is less smokey.

When the internal temperature of the meat reaches 160-165°f, it’s time to wrap it. Make sure to use a double layer of foil or a single layer of butcher paper to wrap the meat tightly, ensuring no moisture can escape.

Then put the wrapped butt back into the smoker and continue cooking until it reaches 190-195°f, which should take 4-5 hours more.

How Long To Rest The Meat

Resting the meat is an essential step that should not be skipped. Once the boston butt reaches 190-195°f, take it out of the smoker and wrap it in a few more layers of foil. Place the wrapped butt in a cooler or a large container and let it rest for at least 1 hour, up to 3 hours.

During this time, the internal temperature of the meat will continue to rise, and the juices will redistribute throughout the meat, resulting in a more flavorful and tender meat.

The Importance Of Letting The Meat Rest Before Shredding

Do not shred the boston butt immediately. Letting the meat rest before shredding is crucial to get the best results. Once you take the meat out of the cooler or container, remove the foil and drain any accumulated juices. Then, shred the meat using two forks or meat claws.

By letting the meat rest, the juices are redistributed through the meat, resulting in a more flavorful and juicier dish. If you shred the meat right after cooking, you will end up with dry and tough meat that lacks flavor.

Give the meat the time it needs to rest, and you will be rewarded with an amazing and delicious boston butt that is perfect for serving to a crowd or for meal prep.

Serving The Perfect Boston Butt

Boston butt is a popular cut of pork that needs to be cooked to perfection to yield a juicy and tender dish. While many factors influence the cooking time of boston butt, we recommend smoking it at 250 degrees fahrenheit for around 90 minutes per pound.

Here’s how to serve the perfect boston butt:

The Best Way To Shred The Butt

  • Let the meat rest: Before shredding the boston butt, let it rest for about 30 minutes to an hour. This will allow the juices to redistribute, and the meat will be more tender.
  • Remove the bone: Once the boston butt is rested, remove the bone, so it’s easier to shred.
  • Use two forks: Using two forks, shred the boston butt along the grain.
  • Don’t toss the juices: While shredding the meat, make sure to add some of the juices from the boston butt to keep it moist.

The Ideal Sauces And Sides To Serve With Boston Butt

Boston butt tastes best with the right sauces and sides. Here are some ideal sauces and sides to serve with boston butt:

  • Barbecue sauce: Nothing complements a boston butt better than a sweet and tangy barbecue sauce. You can either make your own or get your favorite store-bought version.
  • Slaw: Coleslaw is another classic side dish that pairs well with boston butt. It adds a refreshing crunch to the dish and balances out the richness of the meat.
  • Baked beans: Baked beans are a popular side dish that goes well with any barbecue meat, and boston butt is no exception. The combination of sweet and savory flavors is unbeatable.
  • Cornbread: Cornbread is a delicious side that complements the smoky flavors of the boston butt. You can either make it from scratch or get a premix from the store.

Plating And Garnishing Techniques

  • Serve on a platter: Transfer the shredded boston butt onto a platter.
  • Garnish: Garnish the boston butt with some fresh herbs like parsley or cilantro, or sliced jalapenos.
  • Serve with sides: Arrange the sides around the platter and serve.

By following these tips on how to smoke a boston butt, shred it, and serve it with the right sauces and sides, you’re guaranteed to impress your guests with a delicious meal. Enjoy!

Frequently Asked Questions Of How Long To Smoke A Boston Butt At 250

How Long Does It Take To Smoke A Boston Butt At 250?

It takes approximately 1. 5 hours per pound of meat. So, a 6-pound boston butt will take around 9 hours to smoke at 250 degrees.

Do You Wrap A Boston Butt When Smoking?

It’s a matter of preference. Wrapping the boston butt with foil or butcher paper at the halfway point will help it cook faster and retain more moisture.

What Type Of Wood Should I Use To Smoke A Boston Butt?

Hickory, applewood, and cherry wood are commonly used to smoke boston butt. Use hardwood that has been seasoned and isn’t too green to avoid a harsh taste.

How Can I Tell When The Boston Butt Is Done Cooking?

Use a meat thermometer to check for an internal temperature of 195-205 degrees fahrenheit in the thickest part of the meat. The bone should also pull out cleanly.

Should I Rest The Boston Butt After Smoking?

Yes, let the meat rest for at least 30 minutes before slicing or pulling. This redistributes the juices and makes the meat more tender and flavorful.


To sum up, smoking a boston butt at 250 degrees can take anywhere from 12 to 16 hours, but the key is always to cook it to an internal temperature of 195 degrees fahrenheit. Patience is key when it comes to smoking meat, and it can be a rewarding experience when done right.

Understanding the basics of smoking, such as preparing the meat, using the right wood, and keeping a steady temperature, will ensure a succulent and flavorful pork shoulder that will be the star of any barbecue. Experimenting with different rubs, injections, and sauces can personalize the flavor to your liking.

Remember, smoking meat is a journey, and there’s always room for improvement. With practice and experience, you’ll be able to perfect your smoking technique to achieve your desired flavor and texture. So fire up your smoker, grab a cold drink, and get ready to enjoy some mouth-watering smoked boston butt!

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