How long to smoke pork shoulder at 225? Learn Everything you need to know.

how long to smoke pork shoulder at 225

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Do you enjoy the taste of perfectly smoked pork? No wonder, a slow-cooked and smoked pork shoulder or butt tastes amazing. Achieving that flavor can be challenging, as cooking time is a crucial factor that varies depending on the cut of pork.

When it comes to pork shoulder and pork butt, sometimes people think they are the same, but that is not true. Smoking pork can be confusing because recipes often use pork shoulder and pork butt interchangeably, but there are important differences between the two cuts. Knowing these differences will help you smoke the perfect pork. 

In this guide, you will learn:

  • How long to smoke pork shoulder at 225?
  • How long to smoke pork butt at 225?
  • Pork butt vs. pork shoulder – what are the differences?
  • Best wood for smoking pork butt and shoulder
  • And more!

How Long to Smoke Pork Shoulder at 225?

To smoke pork shoulder, it’s important to consider the cooking time. A popular temperature for smoking pork shoulder is 225 degrees Fahrenheit because it allows the meat to cook slowly and evenly. This results in tender and juicy meat that falls off the bone. So, the question is: how long to smoke pork shoulder at 225?

smoked pork shoulder

To smoke a pork shoulder, plan on smoking it for 1.5 to 2 hours per pound. For example, a 10-pound pork shoulder will take between 15 to 20 hours to smoke at a temperature of 225 degrees. Remember that the exact cooking time will be influenced by different factors such as the size of the pork, the temperature fluctuations in your smoker, plus how well done you want the meat to be.

Please keep in mind that the cooking time for pork shoulder can vary based on whether or not you decide to wrap it while cooking. Wrapping the pork shoulder in foil or butcher paper can help cook the meat faster and prevent it from drying out, but it may also impact the texture and crust. As a suggestion, if you decide to wrap it, do so once the internal temperature of the meat reaches between 160-170 degrees Fahrenheit.

Using a meat thermometer is the easiest way to determine whether your pork shoulder is ready. The pork will be done when its internal temperature reaches 195-205 degrees Fahrenheit. When you remove the meat from the smoker, let it rest for at least 30 minutes before serving, thus allowing those juices to redistribute, ensuring the meat stays juicy and flavorful.

did you know - pork shoulder

Read more >> How long to smoke pork shoulder at 250?

How Long to Smoke Pork Butt at 225?

smoked pork butt

Another cut of pork commonly used for smoking is pork butt or Boston butt. This cut is found in the shoulder’s upper part and has more fat compared to pork shoulder. Therefore, it is suitable for cooking at low temperatures for an extended period.

If you intend to smoke pork butt at 225 degrees, you should ensure enough time to allow the meat to cook to perfection.

When smoking pork butt at 225 degrees, you should allow 1.5 hours of cooking time for each pound of meat. For example, a 10-pound pork butt will take around 15 hours to cook at this temperature. However, the cooking time may vary due to factors such as the size of the meat, smoker temperature, and the desired level of doneness.

If you want to smoke a pork butt, you can wrap it in either foil or butcher paper just like with pork shoulder. Wrapping can make the cooking process faster and prevent the meat from drying out, but it can also affect the texture and crust. In case you choose to wrap pork butt, it’s suggested to wrap it when it reaches an internal temperature of 160-170 degrees Fahrenheit.

The easiest way to determine whether your pork butt is ready is to check its internal temperature using a meat thermometer. A temperature of 195-205 degrees Fahrenheit indicates that the pork butt is done. If the internal temperature checks out, remove the meat from the smoker and allow it to rest for at least 30 minutes or an hour to let those juices redistribute.

Pork butt vs. pork shoulder

pork butt vs. pork shoulder

Before you start smoking pork shoulder or pork butt, it’s important to understand the differences between the two cuts of meat.

The pork shoulder is a big and tough cut of meat located in the upper part of the pig’s front leg. Due to the high amount of connective tissue, it is ideal for slow-cooking techniques such as smoking. Additionally, the pork shoulder boasts a rich and marbled texture with a deep flavor.

The pork butt, also called the Boston butt, comes from the area just behind the animal’s head. It is more marbled than pork shoulder, giving it a richer flavor and moist texture. Like pork shoulder, it has plenty of connective tissue, making it perfect for smoking.

Although pork shoulder and pork butt are ideal for smoking, the cooking process can differ slightly due to their distinct characteristics. Pork shoulder is denser and larger, meaning it requires more time to cook, whereas pork butt is more tender and smaller, hence cooking faster.

To ensure proper cooking, it is important to identify the meat cut and adjust the cooking time accordingly. Although both cuts can be cooked at 225 degrees with low heat, cooking times may vary slightly depending on the meat’s thickness and size.

To achieve the ideal tenderness and flavor, it’s essential to know the distinction between pork shoulder and pork butt so that you can select the right cut of meat for smoking.

Factors That Affect Smoking Time?

The smoking time for pork shoulder or pork butt at 225 degrees can be influenced by various factors such as:

big smoked pork shoulder
  1. Size of the Meat: To ensure proper cooking, it is important to determine the meat’s weight and calculate the required cooking time accordingly. Remember that larger cuts will take longer to cook than smaller ones.
  2. Starting Temperature: The cooking time of the meat can be affected by its temperature before placing it in the smoker. When the meat is cold, it is obvious that it will require more time to cook than when it is at room temperature.
  3. Smoker Temperature: To get the right level of doneness, it is important to keep the temperature of your smoker consistent. This means that maintaining the right temperature is very important for determining how long you should cook the meat.
  4. Type of Smoker: Smokers have different abilities to retain and distribute heat. This means that the smoking time will vary depending on your specific smoker type.
  5. Desired Level of Doneness: The cooking time will vary on how well done you want your meat to be. It will take longer to cook if you want it to be tender.
  6. Meat Thickness: If the meat is thicker, it will take longer to cook compared to thinner cuts.
  7. Type of Wood: The type of wood used for smoking can impact cooking time due to varying burn rates that affect temperature and overall cooking time.

To achieve the perfect level of doneness when smoking pork shoulder or pork butt at 225 degrees, it’s important to consider certain factors. By understanding these factors, you can plan for the cooking time and make necessary adjustments.

Should I Wrap my Pork Butt or shoulder?

When smoking pork shoulder or pork butt at a temperature of 225 degrees, people often wonder if they should wrap the meat. While wrapping the meat can quicken the cooking and prevent the meat from drying out, it can also impact the taste and texture of the finished dish.

When deciding whether or not to wrap your pork shoulder or pork butt, it mainly depends on your personal preference and desired outcome. Here are some factors to take into account.

  • Bark Formation: For a crispy and flavorful bark on your meat, you should avoid wrapping it. Wrapping will make the bark softer, which some might not prefer.
  • Cooking Time: If you’re in a hurry, wrapping the meat can be a good way to cook it faster because it helps retain heat and moisture.
  • Moisture Retention: To prevent the meat from drying out while cooking, consider wrapping it. This helps retain moisture and is especially useful if you’re worried about dry meat.
  • Smoke Flavor: If you avoid wrapping the meat, it will absorb more smoke flavor. On the other hand, wrapping the meat can reduce the amount of smoke flavor it absorbs.
  • Texture: If you prefer a firmer meat texture, avoiding wrapping is better because it can lead to a softer, more tender texture.

Ultimately, deciding whether to use a wrap or not when smoking meat is a matter of personal preference and what outcome you want to achieve. If you are just starting out, trying out both methods is a good idea to see which one you like better. Whether wrapping or not, it’s important to check the internal temperature to ensure it’s done and safe to eat.

Best Wood for Smoking Pork Butt and Pork Shoulder

offset smoker

To enhance the taste of smoked pork shoulder and pork butt, the choice of wood used in the smoking process plays a vital role. Here are some great options to try for the best results:

  1. Hickory: Hickory is a widely preferred option for smoking pork due to its bold and robust flavor that enhances the meat’s rich taste. However, it should be used in moderation since excessive hickory smoke can overpower the meat’s flavor.
  2. Oak: If you want to infuse your meat with a subtle smoky taste but not make it too strong, oak is a great option as it produces a milder smoke flavor.
  3. Apple: If you’re looking to give your pork a hint of sweetness, consider using Applewood for smoking. It produces a pleasant fruity smoke flavor that complements the meat well.
  4. Cherry: If you’re looking to add a hint of sweetness to your meat without it being too strong, Cherrywood is a great option, as it produces a mild smoke flavor that’s similar to applewood.
  5. Mesquite: Use mesquite wood sparingly because of its bold intensity and smoky, with an earthy taste. Too much mesquite can be overwhelming.

Choosing the best wood for smoking pork shoulder and pork butt comes down to personal preference. I would recommend experimenting with different woods to discover which ones you prefer. Don’t forget that different woods impart different flavors, so choose carefully.

What to Serve with Pork Butt and Pork Shoulder?

If you’re cooking pulled pork sandwiches and tacos or simply savoring the meat as is, several side dishes can enhance the pork’s savory and smoky taste. You can choose from various options that complement pork butt or pork shoulder, such as coleslaw, baked beans, mac and cheese, cornbread, roasted vegetables, and potato salad.

Pairing your smoked pork with sides that complement its smoky flavor can enhance your meal’s textures and flavors, making it more satisfying. To balance out the meat’s richness, consider serving it with a fresh salad or fruit. Experiment with different combinations to discover the perfect pairing for your smoked pork.


Smoking pork shoulder and pork butt at 225 degrees can be enjoyable and tasty. However, it requires some experience, skill, and patience. Knowing the differences between pork shoulder and pork butt, the aspects that impact smoking time, when to wrap, and the ideal wood for smoking all contribute to the finished product’s flavor.

To smoke pork shoulder or pork butt, it’s crucial to keep track of the meat’s internal temperature. This ensures that you end up with safe and tasty meat. Aim for an internal temperature of 195-205 degrees Fahrenheit for best results. This helps ensure that the meat is flavorful, juicy, and tender.

Trying out various techniques and wood types can assist you in discovering the ideal match for your taste. Whether you prefer hickory or applewood, wrap the meat or not, or like pork shoulder or pork butt, there’s no correct or incorrect method to smoke meat. The key is to explore and find out what suits you the most and enjoy the delectable outcomes.

So prepare your smoker and choose your preferred wood. With proper technique and patience, you can create a delectable smoked pork shoulder or pork butt in a short time.


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Tom Wilmer

I'm Tom Wilmer, an award-winning pitmaster and BBQ judge. I share my passion for barbecue through my blog, BBQ Soldiers, offering recipes, tips, and smoker reviews. Let's grill together!

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