I love eating food from a stick.. popsicles, kabobs, corndogs, you name it, that's just my kind of thing. Smoked pork butt on a stick is right down my alley and I think you'll like it as well. With Labor day coming up, this could be a great appetizer to keep folks occupied and happy while the main course is on the smoker.

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Helpful Information

Preparation time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 2 hours
Smoker temperature: 240°F
Meat Finish temperature: 180°F
Recommended wood: Pecan, any fruit wood

What You'll Need

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Step 1: What to Buy

For this recipe I purchased a whole boneless pork butt but after having sliced it up myself, I highly recommend that you just buy a package or two of pork steaks to make it a lot easier. I do not mind slicing them up, but I am all about convenience.

2015-IMG_8188

If you do decide to use a pork butt, I recommend some freezer time for the butt to stiffen it up a little bit. You don't want it frozen but just at that point where it's solid enough to cut good slices.

A meat slicer would also work well for this if you have one or have access to one.

Step 2: Prepare the Meat

Remove as much of the fat on the outside as you can, you don't need the fat cap for these. Use a sharp knife and you don't have to spend a lot of time with it. Just remove what you can and move along.

Cut the pork butt into ¼ inch slices then into strips that are about 2 inches wide. If you are using pork steaks, you can probably get 2 to 3 strips from each steak.

2015-IMG_8189 2015-IMG_8191

Step 3: Marinate

Layer the strips of meat into a bowl and sprinkle my rub (purchase recipes here) onto each layer. The rub will draw some of the moisture out of the meat and it will become a thick marinade that will flavor the strips of pork very deeply.

2015-IMG_8193

Once all of the meat is layered into the bowl, sprinkle some extra rub (purchase recipes here) on top and cover the bowl.

Place the bowl in the fridge overnight to marinate.

Here's what it looked like in about an  hour:

2015-IMG_8196

Note, you can also use a zip top bag if that is more convenient. Place all of the meat into the bag and then pour enough rub into the bag to coat the meat really well. ½ cup is probably enough but you will have to make sure that all of the meat is coated well.

Massage the closed bag to combine the meat and the rub then place in the fridge overnight.

Step 4: Put it on a Stick

Do not rinse the meat when it is finished marinating.

Use long wooden skewers that are about 12-inches long if possible

2015-IMG_8197

Push the skewer through the meat making sure to keep it inside the meat if possible. If it seems to be hard to push through, try twisting the skewer as you push.

2015-IMG_8200

As the sticks are loaded, place them into a Bradley rack with room between each one so the smoke and heat can have ample access.

2015-IMG_8203

All four Bradley racks loaded with goodness. I could have crowded them and gotten more on each rack but I chose to give them a little more space for smoke and heat.

2015-IMG_8208

Step 5: Smoke it

Setup your smoker for cooking at about 225-240°F for about 2 hours and apply smoke for at least 1 hour. I used peach wood but any fruit wood will work great. You can also use whatever smoking wood you have available if you are limited and it will still be very good.

If your smoker has a water pan, fill it ¾ full with water to create a nice humid environment inside the smoker to reduce drying.

Place the skewers directly on oiled smoker racks or you can use the Bradley racks if you have them.

Once the meat reaches about 170°F, coat both sides with my barbecue sauce (purchase recipes here). It is ok to crank up the heat at this point if your smoker has this ability. I used a propane smoker for this session and turned the control knob to high to help caramelize the sauce and to get a little charring on the outside.

You could also transfer them to a hot grill for this operation. If using this option, let the meat reach 180°F in the smoker before removing them to the grill and adding sauce and high heat.

If you plan to use the grill to finish the meat, you will want to soak the skewers in water for a few hours before loading them with meat. This will help to prevent them from catching fire in the high heat. You should also keep a spray bottle of water close by the grill to extinguish any unexpected flare ups.

The time that these take to finish will vary depending upon several factors:

  • Meat thickness
  • How cold the meat is when it goes into the smoker
  • How often the smoker lid or door is opened.
  • Smoker temperature
  • Your smoker's ability to recover from heat loss
  • Ambient temperature

Use an instant-read thermometer such as the super-fast thermapen to check the temperature of the meat. I would expect these to take about 2 hours to reach 180°F at 225-240°F.

If they seem to be drying out and/or if you are not able to use a water pan in your smoker, the skewers of meat could be placed into a large roasting pan and covered in foil to finish once they get about 1 hour of good smoke.

Step 6: Serve

Let folks start grabbing these as soon as they are finished and while they are really hot and delicious. Be sure to provide some of my barbecue sauce (purchase recipes here) on the side for those who like to dip. I found that I did not need sauce after the fact as there was plenty caramelized onto the meat.

2015-IMG_8210 2015-IMG_8261

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Read these recent testimonies:

"Love the sauce and rub recipes. So far I have used them on beef ribs, pork ribs, and different chicken parts. Can't wait to do a beef brisket. Texas rub is great as well!" ~Peter S.
"I tried the rub on a beef brisket and some beef ribs the other day and our entire family enjoyed it tremendously. I also made a batch of the barbeque sauce that we used on the brisket as well as some chicken. We all agreed it was the best sauce we have had in a while." ~Darwyn B.
"Love the original rib rub and sauce! We have an annual rib fest competition at the lake every 4th of July. I will say we have won a great percent of the time over the past 15 years so we are not novices by any means. However, we didn't win last year and had to step up our game! We used Jeff's rub and sauce (sauce on the side) and it was a landslide win for us this year! Thanks Jeff for the great recipes. I'm looking forward to trying the Texas style rub in the near future!" ~Michelle M.

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Printable Recipe

Smoked Pork Butt on a Stick
Recipe Type: Appetizer
Cuisine: Hot Smoking
Author: Jeff Phillips
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
I love eating food from a stick.. popsicles, kabobs, corndogs, you name it, that’s just my kind of thing. Smoked pork butt on a stick is right down my alley and I think you’ll like it as well.
Ingredients
Instructions
Step 1: What to Buy
  1. For this recipe I purchased a whole boneless pork butt but after having sliced it up myself, I highly recommend that you just buy a package or two of pork steaks to make it a lot easier. I do not mind slicing it up, but I am all about convenience.
  2. If you do decide to use a pork butt, I recommend some freezer time for the butt to stiffen it up a little bit. You don't want it frozen but just at that point where it's solid enough to cut good slices.
  3. A meat slice would also work well for this if you have one or have access to one.
Step 2: Prepare the Meat
  1. Remove as much of the fat on the outside as you can, you don't need the fat cap for these. Use a sharp knife and you don't have to spend a lot of time with it. Just remove what you can and move along.
  2. Cut the pork butt into ¼ inch slices then into strips that are about 2 inches wide. If you are using pork steaks, you can probably get 2 to 3 strips from each steak.
Step 3: Marinate
  1. Layer the strips of meat into a bowl and sprinkle my rub onto each layer. The rub will draw some of the moisture out of the meat and it will become a thick marinade that will flavor the strips of pork very deeply.
  2. Once all of the meat is layered into the bowl, sprinkle some extra rub on top and cover the bowl.
  3. Place the bowl in the fridge overnight to marinate.
  4. Note, you can also use a zip top bag if that is more convenient. Place all of the meat into the bag and then pour enough rub into the bag to coat the meat really well. ½ cup is probably enough but you will have to make sure that all of the meat is coated well.
  5. Massage the closed bag to combine the meat and the rub then place in the fridge overnight.
Step 4: Put it on a Stick
  1. Do not rinse the meat when it is finished marinating.
  2. Use long wooden skewers that are about 12-inches long if possible
  3. Push the skewer through the meat making sure to keep it inside the meat if possible. If it seems to be hard to push through, try twisting the skewer as you push.
  4. As the sticks are loaded, place them into a Bradley rack with room between each one so the smoke and heat can have ample access.
Step 5: Smoke it
  1. Setup your smoker for cooking at about 225-240°F for about 2 hours and apply smoke for at least 1 hour.
  2. If your smoker has a water pan, fill it ¾ full with water to create a nice humid environment inside the smoker to reduce drying.
  3. Place the skewers directly on oiled smoker racks or you can use the Bradley racks if you have them.
  4. Once the meat reaches about 170°F, coat both sides with my barbecue sauce. It is ok to crank up the heat at this point if your smoker has this ability. I used a propane smoker for this session and turned the control knob to high to help caramelize the sauce and to get a little charring on the outside.
  5. You could also transfer them to a hot grill for this operation. If using this option, let the meat reach 180°F in the smoker before removing them to the grill and adding sauce and high heat.
  6. If you plan to use the grill to finish the meat, you will want to soak the skewers in water for a few hours before loading them with meat. This will help to prevent them from catching fire in the high heat. You should also keep a spray bottle of water close by the grill to extinguish any unexpected flare ups.
  7. If they seem to be drying out and/or if you are not able to use a water pan in your smoker, the skewers of meat could be placed into a large roasting pan and covered in foil to finish once they get about 1 hour of good smoke.
Step 6: Serve
  1. Let folks start grabbing these as soon as theyjjjj are finished and while they are really hot and delicious. Be sure to provide some sauce on the side for those who like to dip. I found that I did not need sauce after the fact as there was plenty caramelized onto the meat.
About the Author

Long time Industrial Engineer turned self-proclaimed fire poker, pitmaster and smoke whisperer and loving every minute of it!

3 Comments on this article. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. donald Butterbaugh September 3, 2015 at 11:32 am - Reply

    Wow I tried it and it was absolutely great! Wished I had cooked more, everyone kept eating and I was left with nothing for my self!

    Thank you for the recipe.

    Don

    • Jeff Phillips September 3, 2015 at 4:04 pm - Reply

      Don, I am glad you liked it. Next time, hide a few before you call “dinner” 😉

      • Otto Powers January 10, 2017 at 1:46 pm - Reply

        I have seen one ear cooking recipes to make pulled pork and I cannot find that and I’d love to make some pulled pork tomorrow before it gets cold could you please send me that. Please and thank you very much

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