How Long To Smoke Pork Shoulder For At 225 Degrees Fahrenheit

Succulent pork shoulder that has been slow-cooked is a delicious dish when it’s prepared the right way. Learning how to cook this meal is not hard and a person of any experience level can try it out.

How Long To Smoke Pork Shoulder For At 225 Degrees Fahrenheit

To do this you must follow some simple steps and rules. 

To discover how long you should smoke shoulder for when cooking at around 225 degrees to get pork shoulder that is soft and juicy throughout, read on!

Smoking Shoulder – 255 Degrees

The length of time that you should smoke a shoulder cut of pork will depend on how thick the cut is.

For every pound of meat, you will have to cook the shoulder for a minimum of 60 minutes, and often up to around 90 minutes.  

It usually takes on average 8-12 hours when fully cooking an 8-pound piece of beef to the proper internal temperature, depending on the size of the piece of meat.

This is the same cooking method used for pig butt. This cut of meat has some of the same characteristics as beef butt while also exhibiting a few distinctive features. 

When cooking smoked pork, a temperature of 225 degrees is perfect for setting to employ. With this lower heat, connective tissue and fat in the beef will gradually melt, making meat that is soft and tender enough to easily shred it. 

Cooking time for pork shoulder at around 225 degrees varies from 60 to around 90 minutes for every pound, depending on the thickness of the cut.

Please keep in mind that this temperature and cooking time is an estimate, not an exact time because all cuts of meat are different. 

It will also be affected by the consistency with which the temperature of your smoker is maintained throughout the whole cooking process.

In situations when the temperature has a chance to climb above normal, the meat may cook more quickly than usual.

If it is windy or cold outdoors, the cooking time will be extended if the smoker has problems maintaining the minimum temperature that has been specified.

Do You Wrap The Shoulder In Foil?

Wrapping a piece of the shoulder in foil halfway through smoking the meat is a process that is also called “Texas Crunch”.  The foil facilitates cooking by trapping steam and heat. 

Regrettably, this may also weaken the bark. Many pitmasters want to get the bark on their shoulder, but still, enjoy this method of cooking.

If you want to both wrap the pork and get a nice bark, then you take off the foil during the final hour or two of cooking.

Remove the meat from the smoker once the temperature hits 150 degrees if using the Texas crutch. Securely wrap the shoulder in foil, creating a nice double layer.

If you don’t have any foil, then you should wrap using butcher paper instead. This might be better because the paper provides a more porous barrier and hence delivers more savory results.

Always watch the thermometer once you put the meat back into the smoker to ensure the meat does not overcook. When the temperature is 10-15 degrees away from your ideal temperature, take the wrap off of the shoulder. 

What Is Spritzing?

“Spritzing” is a term that refers to the technique of spraying liquid onto cooked smoked meat to give flavor and moisture.

As the spritzing liquid, you may use a wide variety of things such as broth, apple juice, chicken stock, or apple cider vinegar. You could even mix a few of these to get a better flavor combination. 

While spritzing has its fans, many people feel that it takes away from the natural pork flavor too much.

Pork contains enough fat to keep it moist on its own, and the moderate cooking temperature should keep it from drying out, as long as you remove it from the heat before it becomes overcooked. 

Also, every time the lid is removed to spray the meat, heat and smoke escape. This may make the cooking time longer or might mess up the cooking process so the meat cooks unevenly. 

When To Stop Cooking The Shoulder 

Due to the size and weight of this kind of cut, it can be difficult to tell if the meat is done by just looking. Using a calibrated and digital meat thermometer is the best way to guarantee that the shoulder is cooked properly. 

Insert the thermometer into the part of the shoulder that is the thickest. Avoid touching any cartilage or bone, since this may result in an incorrect reading.

The meat is ready to be taken from the smoker when the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. It will be pliable and soft enough to cut into tiny pieces at this point.

Allow much longer time for the meat to cook when preparing pulled pork. Pork must be cooked until it reaches an internal temperature of around 195 degrees to be shreddable.

Just to be on the safe side, many have said that you should wait until the pork gets to 200-205 degrees.

Remember to rest the shoulder once it has been withdrawn from the heat. Although 30 minutes is an optimal resting time, you may leave the meat rest at room temperature for up to 2 hours.

If more time is required, store the shoulder in a tub until you want to eat it.

Pork Butt Vs Shoulder At 225 Degrees

An entire pig shoulder, which typically weighs between 12 – 18 pounds, is separated into two smaller sections known as ribs and shanks, depending on the size of the shoulder. 

The pig butt, also known as the Boston butt, is positioned right behind the animal’s head. This part of the foreleg is referred to as the shoulder, or picnic roast. 

The butt is the most popular cut of hog for making pulled pork, even though all of these parts are excellent for this dish.

Because of its rectangular form, this cut of beef is easy to handle, and it has a decent amount of marbling, which helps to keep the meat moist while it is cooking.

Although the fat cap on pork shoulder does not contain as much marbling as the fat cap on pig butt, it still provides a significant amount of moisture and flavor to the end product.

Other characteristics that separate the cut from the buttocks are its slightly triangular shape and the fact that it is often delivered with the skin still intact.

When the buttocks and shoulder are sold separately, the weight of each component will normally range between 4 and 10 lbs on average. It’s important to pay close attention to the weight since it will be used to establish the total length of time spent in the kitchen.

What Wood Should You Use?

If using a pellet smoker or wood chips, you may experiment with different types of wood to enhance the flavor of the pork. Due to the near-identical flavor characteristics of the shoulder and butt, these suggestions apply to any cut.

How Long To Smoke Pork Shoulder For At 225 Degrees Fahrenheit (1)

Cherry wood is delicate and delicious, with a red hue that lends smoked dishes a rosy tint. Apple is another viable option, as apple is used in a variety of pork recipes.

Maple wood’s sweet scents compliment smoked meats and help balance out the pork’s greasy richness.

Although hickory has a stronger flavor, these slices can withstand it. In Memphis, Tennessee, where barbecue is virtually a religion, the majority of pitmasters rely on hickory to impart their smoked meats with that distinctive flavor.

Consider adding mesquite to the mixture for a stronger flavor. Because mesquite may provide a bitter flavor when used in excess, we recommend pairing a little amount with one of the softer woods mentioned above.

Smoking Pork Butt – 225 Degrees

The fact that pig butt and pork shoulder have many characteristics in common means that the same cooking method used for one, usually works just as well on the other. C

Cooking durations ranging from 60 to around 90 minutes for every pound of meat are common for this cut of animals. Plan on cooking your pork butt for 8 to 12 hours at around 225 degrees.

This temperature means that you will need to set aside 8 to 12 hours overall to completely cook the meat. 

The Bark

To get the best results while smoking shoulder or pork butt, one of your key goals should be to develop a dark mahogany crust on the surface of the cut.

This crust is referred to as “bark,” and it is one of the qualities that distinguishes real barbecue pros from beginners. 

A crisp outside coating is created when smoke particles bind to seasoning and solidify, resulting in a crisp external coating that is edible. Its color can range from a dark black to a red shade, and it imparts a distinct flavor of smoked meat to any meal.

It’s a thrill to shred the pig since the contrast between the crispy skin and the delicate meat, as well as the combination of the two tastes, is so appealing.


When cooking shoulder. The best temperature to set your smoker/grill to is 225 degrees. This temperature has several advantages. It is the temperature that cooks the meat in the perfect amount of time, giving the fat inside the pork time to melt. 

Once this cut of meat is ready, you can use it for a pulled pork dish at your BBQ. This is a dish that everyone loves to see at a cookout.

John Rinder
Latest posts by John Rinder (see all)