This is an awesome and tasty way to feed a lot of people, and not go broke doing it. I was going to smoke a pork butt for our Super Bowl party but ran out of space in the smoker. I decided last Sunday the time was right and I needed to practice before my wife’s family comes next week.
I picked up a bone-in pork butt, or another name for it is a picnic roast, that weighed 7.5lbs for about $12 at the local grocery store. I like to find a piece of meat that has lots of good fat marbling, this keeps the meat moist in the smoker and guarantees some excellent flavor as the fat will render during the long smoke. They say the meat is sweeter when it cooks with the bone in so that’s what I bought and they weren’t lying!!
When it comes to seasoning, I always tell everyone to use what you like. The one thing I tried with this pork was completely rubbing it down with French’s yellow mustard, being sure to coat the entire roast with a light layer. I did this to help the rub stick during the smoke process. I know what you’re thinking, and NO, it will not taste like mustard. The mustard will lose its flavor during the smoke and leave a nice brown crust.
I set the smoker temp at 220-230 and place the pork on the center rack with the fatty side up. This way the juices settle in to the meat adding the flavor. I always use Mesquite to smoke with. Must have something to do with growing up in southern Arizona. The rule of thumb when cooking is 1.5 hours per pound, so this pork is going to take some time. 10-12 hours smoke time is what you’re looking at. It is recommended that the internal temp should be allowed to reach 200 degrees. If you are using propane, electric or charcoal then you can stop smoking it, not cooking it, when it reaches about 140 degrees since it should be suitably smoked at that point. I smoked mine for 6.5 hours and pulled it from the smoker. The meat was super tender with great flavor but I removed it due to the fact it was late and I had to work in the morning. Another 3-4 hours in the smoker would have been perfect, but you can always remove it and finish it in the oven for convenience. As always, let the meat set for 30-40 minutes before pulling apart, two forks works well for this, and serving to let the juices redistribute. I served mine with an option of different BBQ sauces so everyone can choose their own flavor.
This was the first time I smoked a pork butt and the results were awesome! I haven’t met anyone yet that doesn’t like pulled pork sandwiches and it’s a great way to feed a lot of people for not a lot of money. Besides, it’s fun cooking and trying different recipes. Let us know how yours turns out as comments are always welcome and needed. GBR!!!