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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 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 closer to a SPOG rub but the ratios are tweaked and I add in a couple of 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 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 warm on the side for anyone who wants it and enjoy some of the best Texas style pork butt you've ever had!

Print

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’!

  • Author: Jeff Phillips
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Fridge Time: 8 hours
  • Cook Time: 8 hours
  • Total Time: 16 hours 10 minutes
  • Yield: 10 1x
  • Category: Barbecue
  • Method: Smoking

Ingredients

Units Scale

Instructions

  1. Place pork butt fat cap down into a foil pan.
  2. Douse with Worcestershire all over then sprinkle Jeff's Texas style rub onto the top and sides of the meat.
  3. Place pan with pork butt into the fridge overnight or about 8 hours.
  4. 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.
  5. Douse with Worcestershire a few times during the cooking process to keep it moist.
  6. 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.
  7. Continue cooking the meat until it has reached an internal temperature of 207°F (97°C).
  8. Remove the pan with the Texas style pork butt from the smoker and let it rest for at least an hour before serving.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.

Keywords: Pulled pork, smoking, barbecue

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