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Texas Style Pork Butt

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This Texas style pork butt with its savory flavor and just enough spice to give that perfect kick will make any Texan proud and you can bet your boots and spurs on that darlin'!

Helpful Information

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Fridge Time: 8 hours
  • Cook Time: 8-14 hours
  • Smoker Temp: 225°F (107°C)
  • Meat Finish Temp: 207°F (97°C)
  • Recommended Wood: Mesquite or Hickory

What You'll Need

So.. what is a Texas style pork butt?

Unlike most smoked pork butts, the Texas style pork butt does not use a sweet rub in the cooking process. It is all about the salt and the pepper and often includes garlic and some spices for a little kick.

I use my Texas style rub (Purchase formulas | Purchase bottled product) in this recipe but you can also use a 50/50 mix of salt and pepper called a Dalmatian rub or you can use my SPOG rub* which is the following:

  • 2 TBS coarse black pepper
  • 2 TBS coarse kosher salt
  • 1 TBS onion powder
  • 1 TBS garlic powder

*You can tweak SPOG to your own liking.

My Texas style rub is similar to a SPOG rub but the ratios are tweaked and with a few other ingredients just because I can.

I also skip the traditional yellow mustard for the binder in this recipe and use Worcestershire instead. You can tweak the binder by adding some Texas Pete hot sauce, Cholula hot sauce, etc. whatever you like and even add some minced garlic to it for a little extra zing.

Let's Make This Texas Style Pork Butt

Step 1: Add the Rub

Place the pork butt down in a half-size foil pan (fat cap down) then douse Worcestershire sauce all over that thing. Mine was boneless so I also got some in there where the bone used to be.

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Crack open a bottle of Jeff's Texas style rub (Purchase formulas | Purchase bottled product) or you can use something different if you're so inclined as long as it's a salt/pepper style rub.

(Otherwise, you just can't call it Texas style pork butt.. just sayin')

Sprinkle the rub all over the top and sides..

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..and if the butt is boneless, go ahead and get some in there where that bone used to be.

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I didn't season the bottom/fat cap side but you can if you wish.

Step 2: Overnight in the Fridge

Now place that puppy in the fridge and fuggedaboudit for about 8 hours. The rub needs to have time to get to know the meat and as you know, good things like this are worth the wait!

More Smoked Pork Butt Recipes

Step 3: Fire Up the Smoker

I decided to use the Pit Barrel Cooker for this because I wanted a lot of smoke flavor on this and because I wanted to do other stuff while it cooked.. I have things to do sometimes other than cook (I know that's hard to believe)🤣

Of course, you can use whatever smoker you have and it will work just fine.

For true Texas authenticity, use mesquite for smoke but of course oak is also a great option, heck mix the two together if you're feeling it.

In the PBC you're looking at constant temperatures of around 300°F (149°C) so that meat is not going to take as long as it does in a traditional style smoker at lower temps.

I recommend running your smoker at 275°F (135°C) if possible.

If your smoker uses a water pan, fill it up and once the smoker is up to temperature, it's time to cook!

Step 4: Smoke Time

Place the pork butt directly on the grate for now. I recommend fat cap down especially if you are using a pit barrel cooker or other charcoal grill to smoke. The fat cap protects the meat and if it sticks to the grate, you are only sacrificing fat, not the meat you want to eat.

You can also go ahead and place the meat into a pan and cook it that way if you want to. Smoke can still get down in there and you'll save yourself a lot of time on cleaning.

Let the pork butt cook until it reaches about 160°F (71°C) or starts getting a really nice mahogany color on the outside.

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A couple of times during the cook, douse it with some Worcestershire sauce to keep the outside wet. The smoke sticks better and it will create a nice barky layer of flavor on the outside.

Step 5: Texas Crutch that Son of a Gun Slinger

Now that it's a perfect color and somewhere around 160°F (71°C) internal temperature, we'll place this down in a half-size foil pan and cover it with foil.

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Can you use butcher paper for this Texas style pork butt? great question and yes, you certainly can. Just like smoked brisket, the paper does a great job of letting the steam escape so there's a little less braising but it also keeps the meat nice and moist and prevents it from drying out.

I like to use a pan because:

  • I can catch all of the rendered fat
  • It supports the meat better
  • It's easy to cover with foil
  • It keeps the smoker cleaner

Once the meat moved into a pan, I transferred it to a pellet grill. I could have just as easily moved it to the oven.

At that point it just needs heat to finish so do what is most convenient for you.

Push a meat thermometer down through the foil and into the meat so you can keep an eye on the internal temperature of the meat.

We are looking for a finish temperature of 207°F (97°C) which, in my personal opinion, is the perfect final temperature for Texas style pork butt or any pork butt for that matter.

Time to Cook Pork Butt Based on Temperature

  • 225°F (107°C) – 12-14 hours
  • 275°F (135°C) – 6-7 hours
  • 300°F (149°C) – 5-6 hours

The fluctuation in time is due to size and thickness of the meat and how cold it is when it goes into the smoker. There are other factors as well such as how often you raise the lid and how well the smoker maintains the set temperature.

Ultimately the meat is done when it's done but this will help in the planning.

Step 6: Remove and Rest

When the pork butt reaches it's finish temperature, you can remove the meat from the smoker and bring it into the house.

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I recommend letting it rest for an hour before pulling it but you can let it rest a lot longer than this if you want to.

To rest the Texas style pork butt for up to 4 hours:

Place the foil wrapped pan of meat into an empty cooler and cover with towels, newspaper, blankets, etc. then close the lid tightly.

It will stay too hot too touch for hours.

Step 7: Pull, Slice or Chop

Once you're ready to move forward, you can remove the foil from the pan and proceed to pull the meat or you can slice it, chop it, whatever serves your purpose depending on whether you are making sandwiches, tacos, burritos, etc.

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Wow! Look at that smoke ring!

Step 8: Serve it Up

Serve some of my barbecue sauce (Purchase formulas | Purchase bottled product) warm on the side for anyone who wants it and enjoy some of the best Texas style pork butt you've ever had!

5 from 8 votes

Texas Style Pork Butt

This Texas style pork butt with its savory flavor and just enough spice to give that perfect kick will make any Texan proud and you can bet your boots and spurs on that darlin’!
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time8 hours
Total Time8 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 10

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Place pork butt fat cap down into a foil pan.
  • Douse with Worcestershire all over then sprinkle Jeff's Texas style rub onto the top and sides of the meat.
  • Place pan with pork butt into the fridge overnight or about 8 hours.
  • Set up your smoker for cooking at 225°F (107°C)  to 275°F (135°C)  depending on your smoker and how fast you want it to get done. Use mesquite wood for smoke.
  • Douse with Worcestershire a few times during the cooking process to keep it moist.
  • When the Texas style pork butt reaches an internal temperature of 160°F (71°C) and/or it has reached a perfect mahogany color, place it into a half-size foil pan and cover with foil.
  • Continue cooking the meat until it has reached an internal temperature of 207°F (97°C).
  • Remove the pan with the Texas style pork butt from the smoker and let it rest for at least an hour before serving.
  • Just before serving, you can pull it, chop it or even slice it depending on whether you are using it for sandwiches, tacos, burritos, etc.
  • Enjoy immensely!

Notes

Cook Times Based on Smoker Temperature
  • 225°F (107°C) – 12-14 hours
  • 275°F (135°C) – 6-7 hours
  • 300°F (149°C) – 5-6 hours
The fluctuation in time is due to size and thickness of the meat and how cold it is when it goes into the smoker. There are other factors as well such as how often you raise the lid and how well the smoker maintains the set temperature. Ultimately the meat is done when it’s done but this will help in the planning.

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Recipe Rating




11 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This recipe is simple and great. I only made a couple modifications, one voluntary, one under duress. I used 50 percent cherry to lighten up the mesquite. And I couldn’t keep my wife waiting an hour before I pulled the meat, mixed in some jus from the pan, and made her a sandwich (just a burger bun with bread and butter pickle slices and cole slaw on the side). This recipe is my favorite use of Jeff’s Texas rub so far. My favorite recipe using Jeff’s Original is another simple one: Hot Smoked Salmon on a Stick. Looks like a Surf and Turf menu for the Fourth of July.

  2. 5 stars
    Hello Jeff:
    Sitting here contemplating bourbon and Bar-B-Q. I have a liking for the outside bark that forms on these smoked Pork buts. Have you thought of cutting a butt in half or in quarters to smoke? I’m thinking the total time would be less as the pieces would be smaller and I would have about 4 times the dark crispy bark on the outside. Make any sense to you?

  3. 5 stars
    I made this recipe on my Grilla Silverbac pellet grill. I trimmed most of the fat cap from the boston butt prior to seasoning though since we don’t like as much fat. Smoked with oak, hickory, mesquite blend and used a smoke tube as well. It came out perfect! It was so good we didn’t bother with any sauce. My 19 year old son said, “This is the best BBQ I have had in my whole life!”

  4. 5 stars
    I’m doing a pork butt on a Bradley Electric Smoker for Thanksgiving. Oven temp is set at 280 and after 6 hours it has an internal temperature of 150. I will let it smoke for another hour and then wrap in foil and put it into the oven to finish it off.

  5. 5 stars
    Jeff, Thanks for sharing all your wonderful recipes. They are all fantastic.
    Lately I have been using an ORION COOKER for butts, brisket and ribs.
    Have you had the opportunity to try one? The cooker is new to me (been using about 1 year) and I am really starting to like it…
    Just curious as to your thoughts.

    Mel

    1. Sam, I went out there about every hour and doused it but you could do it more often if you wanted. A couple of times during the cook should be plenty or anytime it starts looking dry.

  6. If I follow your directions (smoker at 275) till but is at 160 and then into oven at 300F, what are total times (how long in smoker and how long in oven)? Would help with planning, thx

    1. Should take about 2.5 to 3 hours to reach 160°F (71°C) when you’re cooking at ~275°F (135°C). This will vary depending on how cold the meat is when it goes on and how thick the meat is but should give you something to help with planning.