Pork Butt


James Lake

TVWBB Emerald Member
Hi Donna and thank you for taking some time with us to answer our questions. I’m a backyard BBQer so my question is more about what is the best taste as opposed to what will do best in front of judges. I have read/heard several different opinions concerning pork butt and at what temperature to put the butt into the smoker. Some say that the butt should be allowed to come up to room temperature prior to going into the smoker and some say it’s best to take the butt from the fridge and straight into the smoker. What has your experience been in getting the best flavor?
Hi James,
Thank you for your question. There are at least two schools of thought. One would argue that keeping it cold will stretch the time the meat is able to receive smoke flavor because after a certain temperature, the pores in the meat close down from cooking. The problem is that you'll have a larger gradient of temperature across the meat, meaning the inside remains cold longer while the outside starts to warm up. If you bring the meat up to room temperature before cooking, you'll probably get more even cooking because the temp of the meat is closer to the temp in your smoker. For me, it doesn't matter so much as I'm cooking the money muscle which is the outside and cooks faster than the rest of the shoulder. Given that assumption, I'd put it in cold so you can get a better tasting crust and I also think it gives you an opportunity to enhance your smoke ring. But that's just my opinion. Hope that helps.