How to Smoke a Boston Butt Roast

Whether it’s Labor Day weekend or an ordinary Saturday, it’s always a great time to barbecue pork! If you don’t have a lot of time to study how to smoke a Boston Butt (aka pork shoulder), here’s a quick tips list:

*Fire up your grill

It will take anywhere from 30-45 minutes for your grill to reach a steady temperature.

*Keep a fire stoked next to your grill

Whether it’s charcoal or wood or both, this will allow you to shovel small amounts of new heat into your grill in order to keep your temperature steady throughout. We kept our side fire in a small smoker next to our barrel pit.

*Plan your initial cook time

90 minutes per pound at 225 degrees

21 minutes per pound at 275 degrees

*If you want to inject marinade

1 cup of your favorite marinade per 5 pounds of meat

Inject all over – the marinade will run out of the meat, out onto your counter.

You’ll do this before the rub.

*Get your rub on

Slather yellow mustard all over the shoulder to use as a binder, then generously sprinkle your favorite dry rub all over. Now it’s ready for the grill.


*Know the first internal temperature to reach

140 degrees (roughly 3.5 hours for a 10 lb. bone-in Boston Butt or 1.75 hours for a 5 lb. at 275 degrees)



Once per hour – use a spray bottle with equal parts red wine vinegar and water


*Wrap it up

When the pork shoulder reaches an internal temperature of 140 degrees, bring that bad boy in for a little more baste, a little more rub, and the meat probe insertion.

Wrap it in three layers of foil, making sure the probe wire can easily extend from the meat, through the foil and out of your bbq pit.

*Let the goodness cook

Set your internal meat temperature alarm for 180 degrees for pork slices and 200 degrees for pulled pork.


*Glaze it

Once your pork shoulder hits the right internal temp, pull it off and brush glaze all over it. Set it on a wire rack or tray and put it back on your bbq pit for 15 minutes.



While you’re  getting your side dishes ready to serve, allow your Boston Butt to rest for 15 minutes before slicing or pulling.

We served pulled pork sliders with grilled bell peppers, salad and mac and cheese. Dee-lish-us!




For more tips and recipes, check out these two expert BBQers:

Malcolm Reed – How to BBQ Right – He has extremely helpful videos that show you what to do, plus he shares his recipes. While we did cull tips from a variety of people, Malcom was our main go-to when it came to studying techniques.


Susie BullochHey Grill Hey – She has a ton of recipes on her website, and she also has plenty of how-to videos.


Here are some resources you might need for smoking pork:

BBQ pit temperature gauge – When your heat needs to stay at a constant temperature, it’s pretty important to know what that temperature is. If your grill doesn’t have a temperature gauge, you can retrofit it with one.

Internal meat thermometer – We find it helpful to use a leave-in probe. You can set the internal temperature your meat needs to reach, and an alarm will sound when that happens. If you don’t enjoy spending time outside, get one that syncs with an app on your phone.


Heat resistant gloves – If you need to lift a large slab of meat off the pit or if you need to adjust a rack or get close to the flame, you might want to invest in a pair of gloves that will prevent your skin from getting scorched. This is the kind we have:

Working gloves – We learned from studying Malcolm Reed that when you need to get your hands into the hot meat to separate out sections or pull the meat apart, it’s safer and easier to do it if you wear a pair of working gloves underneath a pair of nitrile gloves.


Marinade Injector – The resources listed above are more important than this syringe, but the injected marinade sure helps make the meat even more tender

Happy BBQing!


What does smoking a pork shoulder have to do with time management? Simple. The better you’re able to manage your time, the more time you’ll have to do the things that make you happy. For me, that would be time spent enjoying delicious food. How would you like to spend your extra time?


For the complete guide to improving your time management so you have more room for fun in your life, be sure to get The Inefficiency Assassin: Time Management Tactics for Working Smarter, Not Longer.

About Helene Segura, M.A. Ed., CPO®

As The Inefficiency Assassin™, Time Management Fixer Helene Segura empowers professionals on the go with the tools to slay lost time. Personal inefficiency at work leads to increased stress levels, lower morale, higher absenteeism, more turnover – and rising spending on employee health care and hiring. Why not improve productivity, decrease stress levels, and increase profits instead?The author of four books – two of which were Amazon best-sellers – Helene Segura has been the featured organization expert in more than 200 media interviews. She has coached hundreds of clients to productivity success and performance improvement by applying neuroscience and behavioral modification techniques to wipe out destructive, time-wasting habits.Helene turns time management on its head by sharing both client case studies and pop culture examples to teach her mind-bending framework for decreasing interruptions, distractions and procrastination so that companies can spend more time generating revenue.

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