Ever wondered how long to cook a pork shoulder? After reading this article, you’ll know how much time you need to cook a pork shoulder at the perfect temperature.


This article is for you if you’ve always wanted a smoked pork shoulder but don’t know how long you have to wait to smoke your pork shoulder at 275 degrees Fahrenheit. Read on below to find out how long to cook a pork shoulder to achieve a tender and delicious smoke pork shoulder.

What is a pork shoulder

How Long to Smoke a Pork Shoulder-1.jpg The famous pork shoulder has often been called by other names like pork butt and even Boston butt. No matter what you know, pork shoulder is the part of meat derived from the upper part of the pig’s back. The pork shoulder is nicely tasty if given the appropriate hours to smoke properly. If this isn’t done, you may end up with really tough meat. This is why the saying, slow but steady wins the race, perfectly describes the pork shoulder’s cooking process. It also explains why you need a good smoker like Realcook Vertical 17 Inch Steel Charcoal Smoker to get the perfect grilling. According to users’ reviews, this product offers the best protection and multifunctional feature. Besides, the fat and connective tissues of the pork shoulder demand a slow cooking period on low heat that the charcoal smoker provides. This could make the cooking time long, but it needs those long hours to break the fats properly. You are probably wondering how long you need to smoke pork shoulder at 275 degrees Fahrenheit to achieve the best result. Continue reading to find out all about smoking a pork shoulder at 275 degrees.

The ideal temperature for smoking a pork shoulder

There are a lot of factors that can determine what the ideal temperature for smoking a pork shoulder is. Some of the factors involved include how long you are ready to wait for the pork to get done, the weather temperature, whether you would prefer a crispy back or fully tender meat, the maturity and thickness of the meat, your pork shoulder recipe, and choice of heat. All these factors contribute to determining the ideal temperature for smoking a pork shoulder. How Long to Smoke a Pork Shoulder-2.jpg Usually, the pork shoulder will cook well at 225 degrees Fahrenheit. However, this will mean that it will take about 2 hours to cook a pound of meat. For 6 pounds then, you should be looking at approximately 12 hours. If you don’t mind waiting for longer hours, you could even go lower to about 185-200 degrees. The effect of this on your pork shoulder is really tender meat. Though this will definitely take longer hours as an 8 pound can take up to 24 hours before it’s thoroughly cooked. If you are in a rush and would love to save some time, you can cook your 8 pounds in as little as 10 hours if you set your cooking temperature to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. However, if you are sticking to 275 degrees Fahrenheit, you can cook your 1-pound meat between 80-90 minutes.

The duration of smoking a pork shoulder

Considering what we’ve discussed so far, you may decide to set your smoker above 225 degrees but not as high as 300. This leaves you in the range of 250-275 degrees. Now, if you’ve chosen to set your smoker at 275-degree Fahrenheit, you should prepare to wait for 80-90 minutes per pound cooking. This means that your 6-pound meat will take approximately 9 hours of cooking. These may be long hours for someone in a hurry, but if you start early, you can finish early too.

Smoking a pork shoulder: tips

Getting a tasty and nice pork shoulder is achievable. To achieve the perfect pork shoulder, though, you may need to make use of the following tips.

  1. Get the best and quality products

To achieve the best pork shoulder, you must ensure you get the best quality materials- the best pork shoulder, the best grill, and of course, quality wood. With quality materials for your smoke, you are almost assured of the tastiest smoked pork.

  1. Control your cooker temperature

Control your cooker temperature to low heat. It’s best to cook your pork meat on low heat to keep the moisture locked in the pork.

  1. Leave the trimmings alone

Usually, most chefs aim to achieve both the best look and best taste. In the process of getting the right look, most of the fat and meat would have been trimmed off. However, you can focus on getting delicious meat while you leave the looks alone.

  1. Don’t forget to add your seasoning

Enjoy your pork should with a dash of your favorite seasoning. To ensure the seasoning penetrates deeply into the meat, you can add some vinegar to the pre-oven setting. This will enable the meat to get tender and absorb the seasoning well.

  1. Give it time to sit

If you give your meat some time to sit after it’s done, you will likely enjoy it more as the meat will taste better at room temperature than when it’s smoking hot. Also, this will give the rub time to absorb and spread around the meat thoroughly.

  1. Serve 

You can either serve immediately or save for later. To serve immediately, you may need to shred your pork shoulder with a fork and gloves. This will protect your hands from the heat. If you’re serving later, you don’t need to shred.

The Texas crutch

 When your pork shoulder achieves this nice crunchy back while the inside meat is still tender, that is the Texas crutch. To achieve this crutch, you have to take advantage of the cooking stall time. Here is how to go about it. Observe your pork shoulder till it gets to about 150 degrees Fahrenheit. At 150 degrees, the temperature will stall around that degree for a while. While this could be annoying if you do this for the first time, it is an opportunity to derive your Texas crutch. During the stall time, the pork butt takes time to sweat out the natural moisture derived from the melted fat. This moisture has a cooling effect on the pork, and this can take a few hours. One of the things you can do to ensure the meat is stalled correctly and comes out great is to relieve it from the grill at 150-degree grill temperature. Then, securely wrap the meat with foil. This will keep the moisture locked in the foil. In the absence of foil paper, you can make use of butcher paper. This way, you can have your crunchy, crispy pork shoulder back. Securely wrapping your pork with foil will help your meat cook faster as the heat and moisture are trapped inside to continue the cooking process.

The Faux cambro techique

How Long to Smoke a Pork Shoulder-4.jpg The faux Cambro technique describes a way of keeping your pork hot for later hours, especially if you are not ready to eat right away. This technique derives its name from the Cambro brand insulated boxes used by professional caterers to keep their ingredients and meals either hot or cold when in transit. With this equipment, they are always ready to serve their meals even if they are cooked and packed for a long time. Now, while the Cambro insulated boxes may be a worthy investment for caterers, they may not be necessary for a home chef. To get the Cambro effect, you can imitate the process with your excellent cooler at home. How? Get quality and perfect cooler, pour some hot water in it, and cover the lid for approximately 30-40 minutes. Drain off the water when the time is up. Doing this will preheat the cooler and give you the Cambro insulated boxes effect. As soon as the pork shoulder is done and still steaming hot, you should wrap it in foil paper and keep it at the base of the already insulated cooler. If you do this, you can keep your meat hot for about 3-5 hours.

Final thoughts

The smoked pork shoulder is definitely one of the tastiest meats you would enjoy, especially if you pick the right choice of meat, grill, and temperature. So, how long to cook a pork shoulder? Well, cooking your pork shoulder at 275 degrees Fahrenheit will mean you cook at low heat for 80-90 minutes per pound cooking. It is, however, guaranteed that if you are patient to wait it out and allow the meat to enjoy the whole process of cooking, stalling, and foil wrapping, you will be settling to a plate of sweetly delicious and tender pork shoulder. 

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