They said it couldn't be done. You have to have an outdoor smoker to properly smoke pork butt, they said. You'll burn down the house first.
Along with my bacon, I picked up one pound of pork butt from the farmers market this week. I was determined to do something new, and the first recipe to come up in my search was "smoked pork."
Yes, it is a lot trickier without a grill or smoker, and wisdom would suggest anything involving smoke should be done outside. However, that wasn't an option in the imperfect kitchen, so I improvised and used a combination of a few recipes that I found.
As I always say, you'll find lots of different ways to cook this, but here's how I did it.
First, brine your pork. I used this recipe from All Recipes: Basic Brine for Smoking. Super simple. I left mine in the fridge over night and through the morning.
Next, you'll need mesquite wood chips. Not very expensive at all. I spent maybe four bucks.
You need just enough to cover the bottom of a shallow pan, so scope out what you need and follow the directions to soak the wood chips in water for 15 minutes or more.
While those are soaking, it's time to macgyver your smoking apparatus. Get an aluminum pan (I used a metal one) and place a rack on top of it. The meat will sit on the rack; the wet wood chips will be in the pan. With the rack on top of the pan, it simulates a grill inside of your oven.
Set the oven to 200 to 225 degrees. Then I hope you have about six hours to spare. According to the other recipe I used (Smoked Pork Butt), it could take up to 18. My one-pound butt, cut in half, took six hours.
I did not burn the house down. It barely warmed the kitchen. However, I can't advise that you leave this unattended. Just the idea of wood and meat and heat over the course of hours just sounds like a recipe for a forest fire.
When it was done and I pulled it apart with a fork, it was tender on the inside and there was a slight crisp on the outside.
Even without a rub, it was highly flavorful. We put a little barbeque sauce on it and served it with a side of roasted vegetables. This little pound fed me, two friends, one roommate, and two dogs with some to spare.