How to Smoke a Pork Butt in an Electric Smoker: A Step-By-Step Guide

How to smoke a pork butt in an electric smoker? Well, if you have a reliable electric smoker that you can utilize, doing this sumptuous delicacy is really worth the try. I have seen a lot of people who want to recreate the juicy and exuberant taste of pork butt.

Typically, it was only the pitmasters that can achieve the perfection of this delicacy. However, let me tell you that even ordinary folks like us have the chance to do this recipe flawlessly. 

Specifically, pork butt or pulled pork is one of the favorite weekend treats of many American residents. But just recently, I have seen various online threads that speak about this glorifying dish. I want to be surprised by this, but on the other hand, I know that the wonders of this delicacy will soon be discovered. 


You can do a lot of tweaks when it comes to a smoked pork butt. You can inject different marinades with the use of a meat injector and create new flavors out of it. You can also garnish the meat with your favorite barbecue sauce or include it as the main star of your sandwiches. Once you can learn the right way of smoking pulled pork, you can utilize any way you want it. 

If you are planning another weekend cookout or picnic, I recommend that you should try making a smoked pork butt. Don't worry. I will teach you how to do this majestic smoked recipe. Let's start!

How to Smoke a Pork Butt in an Electric Smoker

You can call pork butt into different names. Some people call it pulled pork while others name it as the Boston butt. Specifically, this meat part is taken from the upper region of the front leg of the pork.

Typically, the said meat part is sliced in half. The upper half is called the Boston butt (pork butt for some) while the lower half is the shoulder. 

The pork butt is commonly used in various recipes. This is due to the fact that the said meat has a nice texture and moderate tenderness.

When the fat melts, this meat can provide a riveting taste to your mouth. For now, let's focus on how to prepare a pork butt with the use of your electric smoker. Here are the ingredients.


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    Pork butt (10 pounds)
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    Wood chips (Hickory, pecan, or apple)
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    Smoked paprika (1/3 cup)
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    Kosher salt (1/4 cup)
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    Ground black pepper (1/4 cup)
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    Brown sugar (1/4 cup)
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    Ground cumin (3 tablespoons)
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    Cayenne pepper (1 tablespoon)
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    Ground coriander (2 tablespoons)
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    Chili powder (1/4 cup)
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    Apple cider (1 cup)
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    Apple cider vinegar (1 cup)


Step 1:

The first thing that you need to do is to remove the extra layers of fat from the meat. Usually, you can see them on the sides and top of the pork butt. Use a sharp slicing knife to do this

Step 2:

Next, create around four long but shallow criss-cross slices on the fatty region of the meat (on its lower part). Its appearance should be similar to the shape of a tic-tac-toe.

This type of slicing is known as "scoring." The primary purpose of this method is to ensure that the meat can be as flavorful and tender as it gets. 

Step 3:

Do the initial preparations for setting up your electric smoker. You should fill its water box to the suggested amount. You can refer to the manufacturer's manual and look up for this information.

Also, don't forget to place the wood chips to its container. After this, you can already ignite the electric smoker. Let it preheat to around 40 to 50 minutes.

Step 4:

While waiting for the device to get heated, you can start mixing all the ingredients in the bowl (except for the apple cider and apple cider vinegar).

Use a spoon so that you can mix them thoroughly and adequately. Once done, rub the mixture onto the surface of the pork butt. 

Step 5:

If the preheating is finished, crank the smoker to 225 degrees Fahrenheit. Next, shove the pork butt in the device.

Make sure that the fatty side of the meat is placed upside. 

Step 6:

Wait for five hours so that the heat and smoke can gradually cook the insides of the pork butt. Don't worry if the process is long. After all, smoking is a slow-cooking method.

You don't expose the meat to direct heat, which makes the cooking time a lot longer than frying. But of course, this approach enables you to get the most flavor out of the ingredient. 

Step 7:

After five hours, take out the meat from the electric smoker. Use an aluminum foil sheet. Make sure that the sheet is big enough to cover the meat thoroughly. But before doing so, mix the apple cider and vinegar first.

Use this mixture to coat all the sides of the meat. I recommend that you should use a food sprayer when doing this step. The meat could still be hot and direct hand contact could scorch your hands. 

If you are finished with coating the pork butt, cover it with the aluminum foil and place it back to the smoker. 

Step 8:

Let the smoking continue for around 6 to 8 hours. Alternatively, you can stop the smoking process if the internal temperature of the meat goes down to around 200 degrees Fahrenheit.

And since we don't want to do the guessing game, I recommend that you use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the pork butt.

You can skip this step if your electric smoker has a thermometer that accurately tracks its internal temperature.

Step 9:

If you have achieved the desired temperature, take out the pork butt from the smoker. Let it cool down for about an hour before you serve it to the hungry stomachs around you.


  • When working with the meat and the electric smoker, make sure that you are wearing a pair of barbecue gloves. Obviously, things could get extremely hot here. Having these protective gears can ensure the safety of your hands and the smoothness of the cooking. 
  • If you want to shred or pull the pork, better use a meat claw. This tool can efficiently rip your meat without rendering too much waste. 


Knowing how to smoke a pork butt in an electric smoker is pretty easy. As long as you have a decent and well-performing electric smoker, you can do this recipe anytime you want.

Moreover, you can use various marinades with pork butt, which makes it a very versatile ingredient. 

Once you can master the basics of smoking, you can already explore new flavors and techniques. Trust me. Doing all these experimentations is worth your time. Not only it can make you fulfilled, but it can also fill your tummies, too!

Do you have any questions or suggestions? Feel free to tell them in the comment section below. Also, don't forget that sharing is loving! 

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