How Long To Smoke A Pork Shoulder At 250? A Matter Of Time

Are you planning to serve up some delicious pork shoulder for your next family gathering?

Or maybe you’re just curious about how long it should take to properly smoke a pork shoulder.

Either way, understanding the proper temperature and cooking times is key!

There’s nothing worse than under or over-cooking meat, and unfortunately, it happens more often than not.

Pork shoulder should be smoked for around one and a half hours for every pound of pork at a temperature of 250 degrees Fahrenheit.

Therefore, it should take between 12 and 15 hours to cook an average of 8 to 10 pounds of pork shoulder.

Always cook on low heat for a long period of time until the internal temperature reaches between 180 to 190 degrees Fahrenheit.

To know more, let’s dive into what exactly is involved in smoking a perfect pork shoulder at 250 degrees Fahrenheit – from preparation to timing, we’ve got all the answers here!

How Long To Smoke A Pork Shoulder At 250?

Smoke A Pork Shoulder

Temperature Time per Pound Time for 4-6 pounds Time for 8-10 pounds
225℉ 2 hours 8 to 10 hours 16 to 18 hours
250℉ 1 ½ hour 6 to 9 hours 12 to 15 hours
275℉ 1 hour 4 to 6 hours 8 to 10 hours
350℉ 40 to 60 minutes 3 to 5 hours 6 to 8 hours


Cooking pork shoulder at a lower temperature for an extended time period may help to bring out a greater flavor in the meat.

To smoke pork shoulder, heat a smoker to 250 F and place the pork shoulder into it.

The amount of time it takes to smoke pork shoulder is affected by various factors, such as the size, weight, fat content, and thickness of the joint.

Generally speaking, you can expect to wait around 1 hour and 40 minutes per pound of jοint or 3 hours and 20 minutes for a 2-pound piece.

Check the internal temperature of the meat as it cooks; once it reaches an internal temperature of 180 to 190 degrees F, the pork is ready.

Smoked pork shoulders should rest before they are carved or pulled so that they can reabsorb their juices.

When done correctly, smoking can be one of the most delicious ways to cook pork shoulders.

Also Read: How Much Pulled Pork for 20 People? [SERVING SIZE GUIDE]

How To Select Meat For Smoked Pork Shoulder?

A pork belly is a substantial meat cut. It is obtained from the upper portion of the pig’s front leg.

A full pork shoulder will usually weigh around 12 to 16 pounds. When selecting this cut of meat, look for the following things:

1- Look For A Pork Shoulder That Has A Good Amount Of Marbling. 

Marbling is the streaks of fat that run through the meat.

It may seem counterintuitive, but the fat is actually what helps to keep the meat moist during the smoking process.

A pork shoulder with a good amount of marbling will also have a more intense flavor.

2- Avoid Pork Shoulders That Have Been Injected With Brine. 

Brine is a saltwater solution that is often used to flavor meats.

While it can make the meat more flavorful, it can also make it tougher.

If you are looking for a tender smoked pork shoulder, avoid those that have been injected with brine.

3- Choose A Pork Shoulder That Is Pink In Color. 

Pork shoulders that are pale in color may have been treated with nitrates or other chemicals.

These chemicals can give the meat an off-flavor and may also be harmful to your health.

Choose a pork shoulder that is pink in color for the best flavor and safety.

4- Look For A Pork Shoulder That Has A Layer Of Fat On One Side. 

The layer of fat on the pork shoulder will help to keep it moist during smoking and will also add flavor to the meat.

Avoid pork shoulders that have been trimmed too closely, as this will make them dry out more quickly during smoking.

5- Choose A Bone-In Pork Shoulder For Smoking. 

While boneless pork shoulders will work for smoking, they will not be as flavorful as those that are bone-in.

The bone imparts flavour to the meat while also keeping it moist all through smoking. If you are looking for the best flavor, choose a bone-in pork shoulder for smoking.

6- Avoid Frozen Pork Shoulders For Smoking. 

Frozen meats can often be tough and dry, so they are not ideal for smoking.

If you are looking for the best results, choose a fresh pork shoulder for smoking

What Should Be The Internal Temperature of Cooked Pork Shoulder?

If you’re cooking a pork shoulder, it’s important to know the internal temperature that you need to reach in order to ensure the dish is fully cooked, safe to eat, and juicy!

The ideal internal temperature for cooked pork shoulder should be 180 to 190℉ (according to the USDA, it is safe to consume cooked pork at 145℉) with a 10-minute rest time after coming off the heat.

To make sure your pork shoulder is cooked through, use an accurate meat thermometer for best results and check at least three times in different parts of the shoulder.

This technique helps ensure that no bacteria survive, making it safe to eat.

Make sure there’s no pink left, and when pierced with a fork or knife, the juices run clear.

How To Avoid Overcooking And Undercooking Pork Shoulder?

When it comes to successfully cooking pork shoulder, timing is key.

To avoid both overcooking and undercooking the meat, you should keep an eye on the internal temperature with a digital thermometer.

The USDA recommends removing pork shoulder from the heat once it reaches 145 degrees Fahrenheit.

If the meat has been brine-injected, remove it from the heat at 135 degrees Fahrenheit.

This will give you a perfectly cooked internal temperature of 145-150 degrees after its 10-minute rest period.

It’s important to note that if you let your pork shoulder cook too long, it can dry out quickly.

So check your thermometer often and make sure you don’t overcook your favorite pork dish!

How to Smoke Pork Shoulder At 250 Degrees?

Facts About The Recipe:

  • 8-10 Servings
  • 30-minute Prep time
  • 8-10 hours of cooking time
  • Difficulty: Simple


  • 1 (5-7 pound) shoulder of pork
  • 2 tbsp of your favorite BBQ sauce
  • 1 pound wood chips (we like hickory or mesquite)
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • salt by taste
  • pepper by taste
  • paprika
  • garlic powder
  • 1 cup water


  •  Choose The Right Cut Of Pork

When smoking pork shoulder, it is important to choose the right cut of meat.

The best cuts of pork for smoking are the Boston butt and the picnic shoulder.

These cuts are well-marbled with fat, which will help to keep the meat moist during the smoking process.

  •  Trim The Fat

Once you have selected your cut of pork, it is important to trim off any excess fat.

While some fat is necessary for flavor and moisture, too much fat can cause the pork to become greasy.

  •  Make A Rub

After trimming the fat from the pork, it is time to make a rub.

A rub is a mixture of spices that are rubbed into the meat before cooking.

There are many different recipes for rubs you can add some tablespoons of your favorite BBQ rubs.

Additionally, for a better taste, you can include salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, and apple cider vinegar.

  •  Smoke At A Low Temperature

When smoking pork shoulder, it is important to smoke at a low temperature.

The ideal temperature for smoking pork is between 225 and 250 degrees Fahrenheit.

Smoking at too high of a temperature will cause the meat to dry out and become tough.

  •  Use Hickory Or Mesquite Wood Chips

When smoking pork shoulder, it is best to use hickory or mesquite wood chips.

Hickory or mesquite imparts a sweet and fruity flavor to the meat that pairs well with the natural flavors of pork.

Other types of wood chips can be used, but hickory or mesquite is generally considered to be the best option.

  •  Monitor The Internal Temperature

It is critical to keep an eye on the core temperature of the pork during its smoking.

A meat thermistor inserted into the thickest part of the meat should be used to monitor the internal temperature.

The pork is finished smoking when it reaches an internal temperature of 180 to 190 degrees Fahrenheit.

  •  Allow The Pork To Rest

Once the pork has reached its desired internal temperature, It is critical to set it aside for a minimum of ten minutes before slicing as well as trying to serve.

This allows the juices in the meat to redistribute, resulting in an even more tender and flavorsome final result.

Should You Wrap Your Pork Shoulder In Foil?

Cooking with pork shoulder in foil can improve the texture and flavor of your dish when done correctly.

Wrapping the pork in foil before cooking helps to preserve moisture while trapping flavorings and seasonings inside the foil so they can’t escape into your cooking environment.

In addition, wrapping the meat in foil creates a steam-cooking environment which yields a more tender result than roasting or grilling alone.

When selecting a wrap for your pork shoulder, look for heavy-duty foil that won’t easily tear, as large pieces of pork can be quite heavy!

Of course, always ensure your smoker is preheated properly before placing your wrapped pork inside to get the best results possible.

Some Tips And Guidelines For Smoking Pork Shoulder At 250 Degrees

Here are some Tips and guidelines to follow when making slow-cooked pork shoulder temperature:

1- Pay Attention To Weather Conditions

Yes, the weather can affect how hot or cold your cooking chamber gets. In turn, this can change how fast your pork shoulder cooks.

On days when it is very hot, the cooking chamber will heat up very quickly. In fact, it might heat up faster than what you set on the temperature dial.

When it’s cold, it’s the other way around. The key is to keep the smoker at a high enough temperature so that the meat cooks at the right rate.

On days when it’s windy, put the smoker somewhere that blocks some of the wind.

But you should never keep a smoker in a room that isn’t open to the air.

2- Set Up Direct And Indirect Heating Zones

You will need to prepare two zones, whether you are using a charcoal smoker or an electric smoker.

One will be located in the area that is receiving direct heat. This is part of a charcoal smoker where the coals are stacked.

Therefore it’s important to keep an eye on it.

This section of an electric smoker is where the burners are turned on and off.

The region that is being heated by indirect methods is part of the oven in which there are no coals, and the burner has been switched off.

This is going to be the spot where the pork shoulder is positioned.

3- Use A Hood Thermometer

There are some smokers that already have a thermometer installed in their hood.

This makes it much simpler to determine the precise temperature of the smoker. You will also be able to keep track of any changes that occur while the dish is being cooked.

4- Use The Vents To Your Advantage

Ventilation systems are standard on charcoal smokers; in order to keep the temperature within the smoker constant, you need to be familiar with how these systems operate.

When the vents are opened more, a greater volume of air can be drawn in. This adds fuel to the fire, which results in an increase in temperature.

When you close the vents or adjust their position, the temperature within the cooking chamber will fall as a direct result.

5- Be Aware Of The Stall

When you prepare a complete pig shoulder or a larger cut of pork, there is a possibility that the cooking process will stall.

When the core temperature of the pork shoulder stays at the same point for several hours, the shoulder has reached this stage.

This normally occurs between temperatures of 150 and 170 degrees Fahrenheit.

Wrapping the smoked pork shoulder in butcher paper or aluminum foil will prevent the stall from occurring and allow the smoking process to continue.

After that, give it back to the person smoking it.

It is essential to maintain a close eye on the cooking process in order to determine the precise moment at which the meat should be wrapped.

How Long To Smoke A 5 Lb Pork Shoulder At 250?

Smoking a 5 lb pork shoulder

Smoking a 5 lb pork shoulder at 250 is great for achieving that delicious smoky flavor.

To do it right, the total cooking time should be around seven and a half hours.

The rate of cooking at this temperature is 1 lb per 90 minutes, so at 5 lb, you can expect the timeline to reflect that.

Making sure that the food comes out as perfectly as possible requires patience, as well as dedication to achieving excellent results.

How Long To Smoke 8 Lb Pork Shoulder At 250?

The amount of time it takes to smoke an 8 lb pork shoulder at 250 degrees Fahrenheit depends on several factors, such as the outside temperature, the quality of your smoker, and the initial temperature you are starting with.

Generally speaking, you should plan for around 90 mins of smoking time per pound.

With that being said, an 8 lb pork shoulder will likely require anywhere from 13 hours of smoking in total to ensure that it is cooked through and ready to serve.

How Long To Smoke A Bone-In Pork Shoulder At 250?

When smoking a bone-in pork shoulder, a cook should plan on smoking it at 250°F for 6 to 8 hours.

This is dependent on the size and thickness of the pork shoulder. Generally, larger cuts of meat need more time.

Additionally, if a crispier bark is desired, then plan to smoke it for closer to 8 hours, as keeping the temperature lower for longer gives it more time to form a crust.

To test for doneness, use an internal thermometer and look for an internal temperature of 180 to 190°F which should indicate that the pork is cooked all the way through perfectly.

Can I Smoke A Pork Shoulder At 225 Or 250 Degrees?

Because the speed of the roasting process is more or less the same no matter what temperature you cook smoked pork shoulder at—225 or 250 degrees.

It really doesn’t make much of a difference whatever temperature you use.

At a temperature of 250 degrees, you should probably keep a closer eye on the internal temperature because it might cook a little bit faster.


Cooking the pork shoulder to an internal temperature of 185 to 200 degrees Fahrenheit is the recommended method.

To what degree the smoked pork is cooked would also be determined by the desired crispiness of the exterior.

For instance, pork shoulder that is cooked at 350 degrees Fahrenheit will have a skin that is more evenly browned and crisp than pork shoulder that is cooked at a lower temperature.

A temperature of 250 or 275 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal for smoking pork shoulder.

Also Read: How Long to Smoke Pork Shoulder at 275? [ANSWERED]

Leave a Comment