Smoking Pork Butt in Electric Smoker

Updated March 18th, 2020

So, you’ve given the barbecue a break and you are going to take a step into the wild side of smoking meat. You’re one brave and daring guy or gal! No, we are serious. Attempting to smoke any meat in an electric smoker is no child’s play. It is an all day affair and takes quite a bit of preparation and on-going TLC. So, if you’re up for the challenge, let’s forge ahead with the how-to of smoking pork butt in an electric smoker.

First and foremost, you want to get yourself a smoker. There are various models on the market and we are not going to go into these right here. Right here is where we are going to give you some kick-ass tips on smoking that delicious pork butt.

Buying That Butt

A few tips on choosing the best piece of pork shoulder:

  • Ensure your meat is a naturally raised and fed pig (i.e. raised humanely and fed non-fattened grain foods and pasteurized grass, not meat) And definitely not hormone infused
  • The best cut – we recommend Boston butt or pork shoulder butt or even shoulder ham

So, now that you have the perfect cut of pork let us get that baby ready for the smokin’.

Prepping that Pork

First, ensure you have enough for everyone. We suggest erring on the side of ½ pound per person.

The Night Before

rsz_1rsz_img_1439Generously rub your pork butt with your choice of dry barbecue rub. Most barbecue rubs consist of basic ingredients like:

  • Salt and Pepper
  • A Peppery spice like Paprika or Cayenne
  • Onion or Garlic or both
  • Brown Sugar

Here are some of our firm fave recipes:

  1. Epicurious Barbecue Rub
  2. All Recipes Barbecue Rub
  3. Martha Stewart Barbecue Rub

rubbedroastYou want to coat the butt with your barbecue rub all over and once that’s done, cover the butt with cling wrap. Slide into the fridge and leave overnight. This allows the salts to sink into the meat and will give it that tender touch and taste that we all love.

The Day Of

Preheat your smoker to 225-degrees F. Allow your wrapped pork to stand outside of the fridge for at least an hour before cooking. The drip tray of the smoker should be free of water but you can line with foil for easy cleaning later. Unwrap your meat and pop your butt onto the tray and into the smoker about 5 inches above the drip tray. Allow for 2 hours of cooking per pound of meat.

Smoke It


Once you have your meat all ready and waiting, put one cup of wood chips into the smoker every hour for the first 4 hours.

Temp Out

Only check the temperature of your meat with your temperature probe after about three and half hours. Extra caution must be met for fear of food poisoning, so cleaning the probe after each use.

Temp Lookout

Around the 4 to 5-hour mark, the temperature of your smoker will sit nicely at around 165-175 degrees. This is the important part. This is where your meat starts to benefit from the moisture accumulated in the smoker. After hour 5, the moisture will start to dissipate and the meat will begin to cook right through.

That Last Hour

In hour 7 or 8 you want to extract the meat, wrap it in 2 layers of thick foil and a little tea towel. Place the wrapped bundle in a cooler box so it can continue to cook.

Rest Time

After an hour, unwrap and begin to pull your pork. Pulling pork is the act of literally pulling strips of pork off in layers. Lay in a dishing tray and cover again. Leave to rest for a further hour before serving and eating. Serve with either some mustard and definitely include some fresh buns and cold slaw:

We hope that your pork will be tender, tasty and moreish!

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