Smoke Pork Shoulder

How Long To Smoke Pork Shoulder At 250 (Complete Guide)

Smoking pork shoulder is a great meal and pastime for a lot of people. To be able to achieve this smoked, juicy pork shoulder, a lot of people choose to use a smoker that takes wood pellets using the most popular kind which is hickory, however, cherry or oak pellets can give it a unique taste. 

One of the most important things to know when you are smoking a pork shoulder, or really cooking anything, is the time it takes for a certain temperature.

Well, you would need to smoke for 90 minutes per pound of pork shoulder. Depending on how much you plan on smoking, you will have to make sure you have the time to get everything done.

If you decide to use a different temperature, the cooking time per pound will be different, so make sure you know what the time would be!

This type of cooking will allow the outside to be nice and crispy and the inside will get done and become nice and juicy and tender as long as you follow everything the way it needs to be followed.

Also check: How Long To Cook Country Style Ribs In Oven At 350

How To Cook Smoke Pork Shoulder With The Best Temperature

Knowing the best temperature to smoke your pork shoulder at is and can be important for some people, especially if this is your first time smoking anything or first time smoking pork shoulder.

Pork shoulder is often considered an immense cut of meat, so using a per-pound method for the timing and temperature is vital.

There are many temperatures and times you can use for your pork shoulder, depending usually on how fast you would like it done and how much pork you are smoking.

The best temperature to smoke pork shoulder at however, is at 225 degrees for 1 to 2 hours depending on the pounds of pork you are smoking.

This way it can smoke nicely and have a great taste. If you have more pork, the longer it will have to cook with this temperature.

However, this may be the best temperature for some people, but there could be a different temperature that you may like better, depending on how you want it done and based on other circumstances, like if you are in a rush or have forgotten to start it at a certain time, which I know I would end up doing, so no judgement if thats the case.

raw Pork Shoulder

Is Smoking Pork Shoulder 250 Degrees Too High?

When choosing the temperature you want to smoke at you have to keep some factors in mind.

One factor to keep in mind is how much time you have and need to be able to smoke this in time for your family dinner, or party, or maybe even barbeque.

Another thing to keep in mind is how many people you will be feeding. This will be essential for knowing how many pounds you need to cook. 

Quite a few people actually prefer this temperature over any other one. Smoking the pork shoulder at 250 degrees will not be too hot for the pork shoulder if that is what you choose is the best temperature for you. Just like the above, you’ll want to smoke this pork for 90 minutes per pound.

One of the things you should do when cooking at this temperature would be to use a meat thermometer.

Making sure every once in a while that it is at a good temperature is a great way to make sure it doesn’t overcook.

You can also watch the outside of it to make sure it doesn’t burn. You’ll want to make sure the internal temperature is 195 to 205 degrees before removing it from the smoker and enjoying!

Is 275 Degrees Too Hot For Pork Shoulder?

You may be in a hurry or maybe you have not done a lot of smoking and you are just wondering if this is too hot or perfect.

There is so much information about this temperature that we will cover within the next few paragraphs. 

Although 275 degrees is fine to smoke your pork at, and it could even save you more time, a lot of smokers prefer the lower temperature of 225 and 250 degrees.

You will want to make sure you are checking it enough to be sure it isn’t cooking too fast.

 If you do choose to smoke at 275 degrees, it could potentially help if you need to get it done quick, though the timing would be different due to this.

The timing difference is about 75-80 minutes per pound. It may not seem like too much faster, but it is a lot faster than 90 minutes per pound.

How Long Does It Take To Cook A 10 lb Pork Shoulder At 225?

If you have a 10 pound pork shoulder/butt you want to smoke and make into a delicious meal for everyone who will eat it, you will want to smoke it at 225 degrees. If we smoke it at that temperature though, how long should it be smoking for?

The time you would want is 10-12 hours at that temperature. If you are using higher temperature, the lower the time would be. You don’t want to go over 275 degrees for fear of drying it out and ruining the pork shoulder.

 The picture I added to this section should be what you are aiming for with looks on the outside of the pork shoulder.

A nice crispy, delicious outside which harbors a juicy, falling apart inside. However, if it is a little burnt looking it is all good, you just do not want it all to be black and burnt, because that could mean it is dry on the inside, no matter the size.

How Long To Smoke An 8 lb Pork Shoulder At 250 (make a table with sizes and time)

 There are so many sizes for pork shoulder which all can use different times. We will be talking about an 8 lb pork shoulder at 225 degrees, 250 degrees, and 275 degrees.

I have made a table to help us know the size and the time for each size along with the temperature for that time, and it will help keep it a little more neat and organized, which is easier to read I believe:

Size Time Temperature
8 pounds 8-12 hours 275 degrees
8 pounds 10-16 hours 250 degrees
8 pounds 14-17 hours 225 pounds

So, knowing what we know on the table, the 8 lb pork shoulder will take around 8 to 12 hours at 250 degrees, which is the preferred time for smoking pork shoulder/butt.

275 degrees is the highest you should ever go when smoking any size pork shoulder/butt, because going any higher can dry out your pork and cook it too fast.

You do want to cook this slow and low so it can be juicy and nice to pull apart.

How Long Do You Smoke A Boneless Pork Shoulder At 250?

There is such thing as bone in and boneless pork shoulder. Is there a difference in how to smoke it though? Especially at 250 degrees? Through my research there isnt too much of a difference in smoking.

Just like with the pork we were covering in this article, boneless pork shoulder will take 90 to 95 minutes per pound.

However, without the bone inside of the pork, it will need a little help and more supervision to make sure it stays nice and juicy and doesn’t dry out too fast.

The bone-in pork shoulder has a little help from the bones to stay somewhat juicier. 

So for example, if you want to smoke an 8 lb boneless pork shoulder/butt at 250 degrees, it could take a good 12 hours to smoke it.

That is 90 minutes per each pound of the 8 pounds. Just remember though, if you have bone in pork, it will take a little longer to smoke.

If you have a 10 pound boneless pork shoulder/butt, it can take upwards of 15 hours, maybe a little less. You will have to make sure it doesnt become dry, and spritzing can help with that. The ideal temperature you will want is around 205 degrees. 

Should You Smoke Pork Shoulder At 225 or 250 Degrees?

One of the most asked questions is what is the best temperature to smoke your pork shoulder/butt. A lot of people will say that 225 degrees is the best, and other people would say that 250 degrees is the better temperature. 

Through my research, the one that comes up the most as the better temperature is 225 degrees. Though this answer does vary on many factors.

Those factors are the size of the pork shoulder, as well as the type of smoker you have/are using.

Others think that 250 degrees is the best, and that may be for some with the same factors in mind. If there is more pork shoulder, it will probably be easier to use a higher temperature and time.

Even though there may be disagreements with which is best, these two different temperatures are much better to use than the higher temperature like 275 degrees. This temperature could dry it out too much.

Smoked Pork Shoulder Recipe

This specific pork shoulder recipe will take around 8 hours and 45 minutes and it has 303 calories! This delicious recipe is full of flavor and seasoning. This recipe is going to make a flavor blasting pulled pork which will be smoked slow and low!

Without further ado, here it is:


  • 8 pounds of pork shoulder, which could possibly be labeled pork butt.
  • Olive oil
  • Water

For the dry rub:

  • ¼ cup of light brown sugar, packed down
  • 2 Tbsp black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp paprika
  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp dried and minced garlic
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper

For the spritzing part:

  • ¼ cup apple juice
  • ¼ cup aple cider vinegar

Directions for smoking:

  1. Fill your smoker hopper with your preferred wood pellets.
  2. Start your smoker for 5 to 10 minutes at the temperature of 250 degrees.
  3. Fill a baking dish with water and set aside for later use. You can also use a foil dish if you prefer.
  4. After this, youll want to combine all your seasonings together in a small bowl.
  5. Place your pork shoulder/butt on a baking sheet and start rubbing it down with the olive oil.
  6. Sprinkle your combined seasonings on your pork and rub them in, making sure it is covered in seasonings.
  7. Add your baking dish of water on one side of the smoker, ontop of the grates.
  8. Get your spritzing bottle ready with the apple juice and apple cider vinegar. You’ll use this every hour to spray down your pork shoulder.
  9. Place your pork on the grate in the smoker and close the lid. Make sure your temperature stays around 250 degrees and start it out with four hours on the timer, spritzing every hour.
  10.  Take the temperature of the pork shoulder with a meat thermometer. Around this time the internal temperature should be at least 145 degrees. Not quite done but getting up there.
  11. Completely spritz your pork shoulder and then wrap it in aluminum foil then place it back into the smoker and continue your smoking for the next 4 hours wihtout spritzing it this time.
  12. Afterwards, you will want to check the internal temperature. 200 degrees is what your aiming for, but between 195 and 205 will make some great pulled pork. Once the temperature is where it should be, remove the pork from the smoker and wait 20 minutes before enjoying or storing.

Keep in mind that this recipe is for wood pellet smokers, so if you are using a charcoal smoker, a different one may work better!

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