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

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How to smoke a pork butt in an electric smoker? Well, if you have a reliable electric smoker that you can utilize, cooking this sumptuous delicacy is really worth the try. Smoking pork butts in the electric smoker is the ultimate flavor enhancer technique for this particular meat. The fume taste will boost the meat experience to such a heavenly level, that it would be unfair to compare that against any other cooking style, regardless of any spice or herb that you may use.

I have seen a lot of people who want to recreate the juicy and exuberant taste of pork butt. Pitmasters used to be the only ones who could achieve the perfection of this delicacy. Thanks to electric smokers, even ordinary folks like us now have the chance to do this recipe flawlessly.

Specifically, pork butt or pulled pork is one of the favorite weekend treats of many American households. You can inject different marinades with the use of a meat injector and create new flavors. Plus, you get to make the best sandwiches if you shred it. Once you learn the right way to smoke pulled pork, then 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 get started!

How to Smoke a Pork Butt in an Electric Smoker

Using old style charcoal smokers is time consuming and they need continuous attention which can get very tiring. However, modern electric smokers are very easy to operate in comparison. For one thing, the heat is adjusted automatically, and you still get the same rich flavor.

Pork butt has many 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, and then 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 mainly because it 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.



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 crisscross slices on the fatty region of the meat (on its lower part). You can also ask your butcher to do this when you are buying the pork butt. 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:

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. I always use hickory since they go great with almost all kinds of meats.  After this, you can ignite the electric smoker. Let it preheat to around 40 to 50 minutes (200°F).

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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.

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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.

How Do You Shred Pork?

Slow cooked or smoked pork can be used in many different recipes when shredded into small pieces. First off all, this makes the best Boston style sandwiches with pickled cucumbers, add a little Dijon mustard in there too.

Get a large enough bowl so you can shred the meat easily without creating any mess in the kitchen. Transfer the freshly cooked hot pork in to the bowl, and let it cool down. Grab two forks and start shredding the meat into small pieces. Make sure you separate all the large pieces of fat and bones.

You can also use meat claws or your hands if you like. In the end you should have meat shredded into thin strips without any bones or fat.

Don’t forget to return the shredded pork into the pan so that it stays moist with its own juices. Prepare some French dip for your shredded pork sandwich, coleslaw and French fries as sides. You can also use it for delicious tamales.

How Long Is Shredded Pork Good For In The Fridge?

You can keep the shredded pork in the fridge for up to 4 days. USDA states that you should not store cooked meat and poultry in the refrigerator for more than 3-4 days. Keep in mind that you can also freeze the excess pork when it is still fresh for future use.

Frozen meat will remain in good status for 6 to 8 months. Having shredded meat in the freezer means that you can make a sandwich anytime you want, all you need is some soft buns or sliced bread.


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! After all, slowly smoked meat is the best way to enjoy a weekend night dinner with family and friends.

Last update on 2022-09-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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