“Almost everybody’s happy to be a fool for barbecue.” – Jack Nicholson
Beef has always been the preferred barbecue meat in Texas. Pork is just now finding its place in the last few years. I was in my mid-twenties in 1976 before I even knew that pork could be barbecued and, even then, I had to vacation in Georgia before making that discovery. Being a native Texan, it almost pains me to admit that I prefer a smoked pork butt over a beef brisket any day, especially if I’m doing the cooking. Beef takes almost twice as long to cook as does pork especially when using the “Texas crutch” method of wrapping the meat in aluminum foil during the final hours of cooking.
A bone-in pork butt roast is often called a picnic pork roast or a Boston butt or a pork shoulder. It is a tie between Smoked Pork Baby Back Ribs and Smoked Pork Butt Roast as to which is my favorite meat to smoker cook. At least to me, the pork butt roast is easy, simple & quick and the results are mouth-watering. Try this recipe and let me know if you agree!
Season the roast with the dry rub 4 to 12 hours before cooking. Pat the roast dry with paper towels and gently cover it with a thin coat of yellow honey mustard which will act as a binder to hold the dry rub. Next sprinkle the dry rub all over the roast. Last, place the roast in a large zip-lock bag and refrigerate it.
(Note before beginning to cook ... Without a remote thermometer to measure both meat temperature and smoker temperature you're shooting blindfolded!) Only for schedule planning purposes assume a cook time of about one hour per pound but remember that YOU COOK TO TEMPERATURE, NOT TO TIME. Preheat the smoker to 220-degrees on High Smoke. Place the roast on the cooking grate ... it really doesn't matter if the fat side is up or down. The smoke only penetrates the meat during the first few hours of cooking ... after that we are just slow-cooking the meat with low heat.
At the end of the second hour and the third hour and finally, the fourth hour, liberally spritz the meat with the apple juice (or beer, orange juice, soft drink, etc.)
When the internal temperature of the meat reaches approximately 160-degrees, it is time to spritz it one last time before wrapping it in aluminum foil and placing it in an aluminum pan before returning it to the smoker.
Insert temperature probe(s) through the foil into the meat and monitor the temperature closely.
When the internal temperature reaches 205-210 degrees (I prefer 210-215) it is time to remove the roast from the smoker and let it rest for 1 hour while still wrapped in the foil. Before removal from the smoker, double-check the accuracy of the probe temperature by using an instant read thermometer. Again, remember that TEMPERATURE IS EVERYTHING when it comes to smoking meat!
After allowing the meat to rest, reserve the juice in the pan and place the roast on a cutting board where you have to decide between shredding the meat with two forks or chopping it with a cleaver (that's another posting!).