Smoked Boston Butt Pulled Pork is a simple, tasty, and better yet, easy meal that comes out flavorful and tender.
Pulled pork is a summertime (or really anytime) dinner that takes little effort. Whether served on a plate with sides or in a toasted bun topped with coleslaw, this smoked pork butt is destined to be a favorite go-to meal.
This post has been updated from its original November 2, 2017 publishing with new content, photography, and clarified recipe card.
Pulled pork is delicious whether you cook it in a Dutch oven or the slow cooker. But the flavor is intensified when cooked in a smoker.
What’s the difference between pork shoulder and Boston butt?
Nothing. According to the Pork Council, they are the same cut. Pork shoulder is the most commonly seen name, but it can also be labeled as Boston butt, pork butt, picnic roast, and blade roast.
Can Boston butt be used for pulled pork?
Yes, it’s actually the best and most common cut of pork used for pulled pork.
- Boston butt pork roast — this cut can also be labeled as picnic roast, pork shoulder, pork butt, or blade roast. We used bone in pork.
- Olive oil — to coat the roast before seasoning and smoking.
- Dry rub — flavor enhancer.
- BBQ sauce — technically this is optional, but we love to slather on the sauce once the meat is done.
Step by step directions
Step 1 — Coat the roast in the olive oil, making sure it is coated on all sides and ends. Then pat the bbq rub seasonings all over the roast.
Step 2 — Place on the smoker grates and heat the smoker to 225°F, until it reaches an internal temperature of 160°F. (6-7 hours.) Our smoker has meat thermometer probes, but a regular meat thermometer will work perfectly as well.
Step 3 — Once this soon to be delicious piece of meat reaches an internal temp of 160°F, place the pork in a cast iron skillet and cover with aluminum foil. Turn the smoker up to 300°F and continue to cook the pork shoulder until the temperature of the meat reaches 210°F.
Step 4 — Once done, remove the skillet from the smoker and place it in cold oven to rest for at least 45 minutes. Do not remove the aluminum foil covering. After the resting time, uncover and remove from the oven.
Step 5 — Use two forks to shred the meat right in the cast iron skillet. Coat with your favorite bbq sauce (if desired) and serve this delicious smoked pulled pork.
How to serve
There are many ways to enjoy this Smoked Boston Butt Pulled Pork. Here’s some of our favorites.
- Toasted bun — Toast your favorite hamburger bun and pile the meat high.
- Slathered in barbecue sauce — either completely coat or simply drizzle your favorite sauce.
- Topped with coleslaw — coleslaw is a classic accompaniment to pulled pork.
- On a plate with delicious sides — just like at your favorite BBQ joint, simply plate it and serve with delicious sides like baked beans, corn on the cob, and cornbread.
Absolutely. You’ll want to make sure the pork has been shredded and completely cooled before placing it in freezer-safe zip-seal bag. Remove all excess air to prevent freezer burn and ice crystals forming which can adversely affect flavor.
Using the leftover meat in tacos is delicious. We love using it on nachos (recipe coming soon.)
Yes! Just make sure to complete pat the roast dry before coating it with the olive oil.
Smoked Boston Butt Pulled Pork
- 12" Cast Iron Skillet
- 5 lb Boston butt pork roast (4-5 lb.); bone-in
- 16 oz pork rub seasoning
- 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Coat the roast in the olive oil, making sure it is coated on all sides and ends.
- Pat the bbq rub seasonings all over the roast.
- Place on the smoker grates and smoke at 225°F, until it reaches an internal temperature of 160°F. (6-7 hours.)
- Once the meat reaches an internal temp of 160°F, place it in a cast iron skillet and cover with aluminum foil.
- Turn the smoker up to 300°F and continue to cook the pork shoulder until the internal temp reaches 210°F.
- Once done, remove the skillet from the smoker and place it in cold oven to rest for 45 minutes. Do not remove the aluminum foil covering.
- Use two forks to shred the meat.
- Coat with your favorite bbq sauce (if desired) and serve.