Best Pork Butt Recipes
Top Rated Pork Butt Recipes
This Carolina Pulled Pork is brushed in a tangy-sweet mixture including French’s Yellow Mustard and McCormick Grill Mates Carolina Gold Seasoning. It's cooked low and slow until it's tender enough to fall off the bone.Recipe courtesy of McCormick Grill Mates
For most people, pulled pork is one of those dishes that's worth going out for because it seems like such a hassle to make at home — however, with the help of a handy slow cooker, this meaty comfort food dish is super easy to make.Like most dishes that are made using a slow cooker, the prep is minimal and the bulk of the work is done by the appliance, so with some patience, the pork will be fork-tender and ready to pull without much effort at all. Click here to see The Slow Cooker Challenge.
“My brother Isaiah, Ike for short, makes unbelievable pulled pork. He carefully smokes the pork butt over the lowest imaginable heat for four hours before roasting it in the oven for an additional five to six hours. The result is undeniably delicious, but I do not have the patience for manning a smoker for that long and I am always out of wood chips, so I developed a pulled pork recipe that ‘cheats.’ Using liquid smoke eliminates the need for smoking and reduces the cooking time by almost half. Come to think of it, I am not sure what it ‘cheats,’ because it is not the flavor, that’s for sure!”— Damaris PhillipsThis recipe is courtesy of Southern Girl Meets Vegetarian Boy. You can buy the book here.Southern Girl Meets Vegetarian Boy © 2017 Damaris Phillips from Abrams
There's nothing better than eating a hot sandwich in the fall. This hearty sandwich, inspired by DiNic’s roast pork sandwich in Philadelphia, may take some time to make, but it's packed with great flavor from the homemade broccoli rabe and jus.
This flavorful, easy-to-make slow-cooked pork is a great winter dish to savor all week long.
- salt and pepper to taste
- garlic powder to taste
- 6 pounds pork butt roast
- 2 onion, sliced
- 20 new potatoes, raw
- 16 carrots, peeled
- 2 cups mushrooms, halved
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Heat a large frying pan over medium high heat. Sprinkle pork on all sides with salt, pepper and garlic powder rub into meat. Sear the meat on all sides until lightly brown. Transfer to a roasting pan.
Place onion slices over meat and in the roasting pan. Fill the pan 2/3 full of water. Cover and place in preheated oven for 3 hours. Add the potatoes and carrots cover and cook 45 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook another 15 minutes. Remove and let stand at least 10 minutes before serving.
- Preheat your oven to 300ଏ.
- Once you have trimmed away any excess fat, wash your roast well under cold running water. I leave just a little fat on the meat. Your butcher may be able to trim it for you.
- Rub the trimmed roast all over with olive oil. Then, rub it down with sea salt, ground rosemary, and garlic powder. I like to cut small, deep slits in my roast and insert the spices down into the slits so that the spices flavor the meat way down deep and give it a wonderful, delicious flavor.
- Place your roast on the rack in the pan. To cook your roast, you will want a baking pan with a rack in the bottom that holds it up off the bottom of the pan. I like this so I can use the drippings for making the gravy.
- Pour one can of beef broth into it. As your roast cooks, juices will drip down, and you do not want the bottom of the pan to get dry. If necessary, add another can of beef broth during the cooking process as you want the liquid from the pan to make gravy.
- Roast for about 6 hours, or until your thermometer reads 160ଏ when inserted into the thickest part of the meat. You&aposll want to insert your instant-read thermometer into the thickest part of the meat to be sure you get a true reading on the thermometer. You want to cook your roast slowly until it is falling apart. A 5-to-7-pound Boston butt will take about 6 hours in a 300ଏ oven to reach an internal temperature of 160ଏ. Don&apost overcook your roast!
Potatoes and carrots are excellent side options for this delicious dish.
I have no way to control the temp on my grill (it's old, and I don't have an oven thermometer), that statement right there tells you exactly what you did wrong. Making BBQ as forgiving as it might be is still a technical dance of madness and duration. Pork Butts IMO need to be slow cooked on a grill with a smoke box or smoker at 225 for up to 16 hours to achieve that true decadent pulled pork that we all line up to have. Please eliminate the grill all together and use your oven, you will lose the smoke flavor but will still have a decent product in the end.Pit Master Jason
Smoked this for 7 1/2 hours and was fall off the bone good. Then added some of my special BBQ sauce and that took it to another level.
Flavor wise, great. We had trouble maintaining the temp in our smoker, and wound up finishing in the oven, the charcoal pan is too far away from the meat maybe, it did "pull" ok. If I don't want to mess with the smoker again, thereby foregoing the crust part, I'm thinking maybe 12 hours in the oven at 225, in a pan, tightly covered in foil. Would you recommend that, or have a better idea? I have made pork butt starting in the oven at midnight, at 225, and moved to crockpot in the morning so as not to heat up the house. Was delicious, but swimming in liquid.
To Salander: To do this the way the recipe intended, it's best if you use a smoker. You can pick up a basic one at the big box home/garden stores for under $100. In a smoker, the meat builds up that brown "bark" slowly. You had the right idea when you put it in the oven to finish, but you just tried to cook it too fast for too short a time. In order to get that pull apart tenderness, you have to leave it in there for hours at that low temp until it gets to the right internal temp. Start this meat in the morning to eat it in the evening next time, and even in your oven you'll have a great tasting meal if you remember that LOW and SLOW is the name of the game for good barbeque.
I don't know what I did wrong, but this didn't turn out well for me at all. I have no way to control the temp on my grill (it's old, and I don't have an oven thermometer). I browned it on the grill hoping to give it some smoky flavor. I finished cooking it in the oven and about an hour and a half before it should have been done I checked the internal temp and it was only 165, so my husband turned up the temp to 350 for the remainder of the cooking time. It did not shred at all. I also did not get any flavor from the injection fluid or the rub either. Can anyone tell me what I did wrong?
11 International Pork Shoulder Recipes From Around the Globe
Pork shoulder isn't just for pulled pork. Discover a dozen ways to cook with pork butt make hearty soups, tacos, meatballs and more.
Photo By: Adam Rose ©2014, Cooking Channel LLC. All Rights Reserved
Photo By: Alice Gao ©2014, Cooking Channel, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.
Beer-Braised BBQ Pork Butt
Braising pork butt in good ale, mustard seed and ground coriander makes for foolproof tender, juicy Southern-style barbecue.
Puerto Rican Pork Shoulder
Discover Puerto Rican flavors with pork shoulder slow-roasted with rosemary, achiote paste and smoked paprika.
Shredded Pork and Pineapple Tacos
Spice up taco night with slow-cooker pork, sweet pineapple and classic Mexican fixings such as Cotija cheese and guacamole.
Alex Guarnaschelli uses ground pork shoulder in her take on Italian meatballs, smothered in zesty marinara sauce and plenty of Parmesan cheese.
Chili Verde (Colorado Green Chili)
Green Colorado chili gets its subtle heat from Anaheim chiles and has a thin broth that's perfect for slow-cooked pork shoulder.
While ramen is more commonly found in Japanese cuisine, this shredded pork dish incorporates gochujang and kimchi for a spicy Korean twist.
Slow-Cooker Coconut Braised Pork
Made with coconut water and fish sauce, this fall-apart braised pork is influenced by Southeastern Asian cuisine.
Chimichangas, a Mexican-American take on fried burritos, are stuffed with pork seasoned with coriander seeds, sherry vinegar and chipotles in adobo sauce in this irresistibly crunchy meal.
Red Pork Posole with Pickled Onions and Queso Fresco
Posole, a Mexican soup, is filled with shredded pork, chiles and pickled onions for a tangy-spicy bowl.
Pulled Pork Shoulder with Lexington-Style Dip Sauce
Get old-fashioned Southern flavor with cider vinegar, cayenne pepper and sugar by smoking pork shoulder over hickory and oak wood coals.
Braised Hawaiian Pork Shoulder
Pineapple juice, Hawaiian sea salt and brown sugar bring the Aloha State to your kitchen in this savory-sweet recipe.
Rub with Garlic Olive Oil or Olive Oil and with your favorite rub or Jim’s Rub, or below wrap put in frig over night.
Pre heat smoker to 275 vent 1/2 open and Fill water Pan 1/2 Full with Apple cider vinegar or water or Apple juice or 50/50. Add chips 45-60 mins for at least 6 hrs or use a A-Maze-N pellet smoker or cold smoker or Wedgie
Put pork butt fat side down in a 9x13 foil pan, Smoke at 275, empty pan at 5hrs and 7 hrs.( Save the juice you can use it later when you pull it. It will add more flavor.)
When temp reaches 203 wrap in foil then a towel and put in cooler with extra towels to take up space let rest for 45min to 1 hr. ( the butt will continue to cook to 204-205) Remove and pull add the juices you saved and mix in a little of the rub you used.
Like a delicious mustard-based salad dressing, this marinade is a nice break from the typical. The acidity of the vinegar and Dijon mustard tenderize the meat, adding flavor while the porks marinates.
Combine mustard, olive oil, garlic, dry herbs, and spices to form a paste. Let stand for 10 minutes for the flavors to develop. Marinate your meat and cook as preferred. Ready in 5 minutes.
Add the final touches to the pulled pork
After the pork has roasted for two hours, check the temperature of the largest chunk with a digital probe thermometer. You want the chunk of pork to reach 208 to 215 degrees Fahrenheit. Continue to roast if it hasn't reached that temperature, checking every ten minutes. Once it's done, take the pork out of the pan and place in a medium casserole dish or bowl and let it rest for 15 minutes.
"Resting allows the juices to redistribute into the meat, so it stays juicy. Otherwise, they just rush out of the meat. Also, if you use gloved hands to pull the pork like I do in the video, you need that cool down time," Rapone said.
Take the cooking liquids the pork was just sitting in and run it through a mesh strainer into a large glass measuring cup, glass jar, or fat separator. Let it rest for at least ten minutes, then skim off the fat unless using a fat separator, which does the job for you. discard any fat in the garbage. Once the pork has rested, shred it with your hands or two forks, pulling out and tossing bigger chunks of fat or tissue. Then pour approximately 1/3 of the cooking liquid back into the meat to add flavor or moisture, Rapone directed.
4 Tips When Cooking Pork Butt
We’ve learned a thing or three about pork butt (giggle…we said butt) over the years, and so we want to share those tricks with you. Feel free to chime in and add a comment below with any truths you’ve experienced in your pork butt (giggle) escapades.
Pork butt isn’t actually the butt
Pork butt is not actually pork butt. It’s more like the pork shoulder. Although it gets confusing because you may find either or both of those terms on the label at the store. And either will work in this recipe. But the pork “butt” is actually situated higher on the back of the pig and the “shoulder” is a little lower. Confusing, right?! You want to get the butt when you can, and not just because it’s more fun to say. As one of our recipe testers, Suzanne Fortier, explains, “I was taught by my French-Canadian grandmother and father to request the butt end of the shoulder, or the Boston butt. The other end is sometimes called the picnic shoulder, and it tends to be gristlier. The Boston butt is the only way to go, according to Grandma Rose. Why mess with a good thing?”
The fattier your pork butt, the better
A lot of folks swear by bone-in as opposed to boneless pork butt for the best flavor. Others prefer the convenience of boneless pork butt. Shrug. Suit yourself. Honestly? We feel the same way our recipe tester, Jackie Gorman does. In her words, “With pork butt, I don’t think that the flavor is dependent upon the bone, but the amount of fat it has.” See, pork has been bred to be leaner and leaner over the years, which is not a good thing. Not a good thing at all. Our advice is to get yourself a nice heritage pork butt that’s well-marbled and has an obscenely thick layer of fat on it, just as God intended. Because as the pork roasts, the fat sloooooooowly melts, constantly bathing the underlying meat in what we like to think of as essential fatty acids of a different, porkier, yet still healthful sort. You won’t be sorry.
Smaller pork butts seem to remain moister
Size matters. Although exactly how it matters depends on your personal preference. We prefer to roast a couple modestly sized 3- or 4-pound pork butts side by side in the same roasting pan rather than a single 8-pound pork butt, only because they seem to remain moister. But that’s just us.
2016 Dizzy Pig Competition Style Pork Butt Recipe
Our original “Dizzy Pig Pulled Pork” recipe was posted on our website over 10 years ago, and is one of our most visited pages on our website. But we’ve competed in over a hundred competitions since then, so we figured it is time for an update!! The Dizzy Pig team has racked up top ten finishes in the “Pork Shoulder” category in well over half of the contests we’ve competed in, and we’ve had plenty of time to dial in our flavor profiles and technique.
This recipe is a culmination of all those awards the Dizzy Pig team has won over the years while cooking about two tons of pork butts. I always like to remind folks that there are many roads to delicious barbecue and endless possibilities for flavoring, so feel free to add your own twist. But this is how we (and many other professional BBQ teams) make the toughest judges happy with Dizzy Pig.
- 1 7-10 lb. Boston Butt (sometimes called Pork Shoulder Blade Roast
- 2-6 chunks Your favorite DRY smoking wood. Hickory is a natural on Pork
- 2 cups Pork Stock (preferably home made with fresh pork bones)
- 2 Tbsp MSG
- 4 Tbsp raw cane sugar (Turbinado, Demarera)
- 2 Tbsp coarse Kosher salt
- 6 Tbsp Dizzy Pig Crossroads
- Also excellent: Dizzy Pig Dizzy Dust, Raging River, Swamp Venom
- Wrap Liquid
- 1/2 cup Pork Stock
- Leave fat cap on, but trim excess fat, silver skin, and membranes from the rest of the pork butt. Optimally, you want the rub to build a crust on the meat itself, so make sure and trim everything that is not meat.
- Inject marinade into all sections of the butt. I find it best to punch a hole and go in at an angle, then just before the needle pulls all the way out, insert at a different angle. The less holes you punch, the better.
- Re-inject any excess liquid that ends up in the pan.
- Apply a light dusting of coarse Kosher salt all over the butt.
- Apply a heavy coating of Dizzy Pig Crossroads (or your favorite Dizzy Pig blend) and press in with your hands, until entire butt is covered.
- Cover and rest for at least 30 minutes, and up to 3 hours.
- Preheat your grill/cooker/smoker, with charcoal and hickory chunks, to 240°F with an indirect setup (drip pan between meat and fire)
- Wait for smoke to turn blue, thin and make sure it smells good. Strong smoke can overwhelm the flavor of your pork and make it very dark in color. This can take an hour or more sometimes.
- Place pork butt in cooker fat cap down (assuming your heat is coming from below).
- Cook at 240°F for 8-9 hours, or until the exterior has a rich brown crust, and the temperature in the center of the butt is approximately 165-170°F.
- Remove from cooker and double wrap in heavy duty aluminum foil, adding 1/2 cup of pork stock.
- For a little extra layer of flavor, grind a couple teaspoons of Dizzy Pig Crossroads Seasoning finely and add to liquid.
- Return to cooker and cook until 195°F internal temperature in the center.
- Check for tenderness. The meat should wiggle a little like jello, and be very tender to your temperature probe. If still not tender, return foil-wrapped butt to cooker and cook 15 more minutes and repeat tenderness check. It is not uncommon to need to cook to 200°F or 205°F internal.
- When fully tender, remove from EGG, cover with towels, a blanket or place in cooler to rest for at least 1 hour and up to 4.
- Pull, shred, chop or chunk to your preference. Add salt, fine ground rub to taste.
Injecting pork butt with moisture and flavor
Salted and partially rubbed
Ready to go into the cooker!
The bark is nicely colored and ready for wrapping
Wrap with foil and return to cooker
We like a mixture of chunks and pulled. Enjoy!
When selecting meat from the shoulder, whether it be the picnic, the Boston butt, or the whole shoulder, it is a good idea to use a reliable meat packer or butcher that you know gets pork from a good source. Make sure the meat is all-natural. The easiest way to ruin your barbecue is to purchase an enhanced piece of meat. Avoid anything that says “self basting” or “injected with a solution”.
Pork is not graded like beef, so it is even more important to know what you are looking for. The meat should be reddish pink, and not light pink. The fat cap should be pearl white, and the meat should have plenty of internal fat. Analyzing the fat content in pork takes a little practice because it all looks fatty to the untrained eye. It always helps to have several to compare. You’ll start noticing the fat in certain muscles. Unlike beef, the fat is not always in straight lines embedded in the grain, it is more of an irregular marbling pattern. Try and look at the same muscle in each piece you compare, and you’ll notice that some are way more marbled than others. Some of the main “veins” of fat will be thicker. Once you see it, it will be obvious that the hog was eating well and not skipping breakfast. A fat pig is a happy pig, and a happy pig tastes good!
I like to leave the entire fat cap on, which I place on cooker facing down. The fat cap protects the meat from the heat coming from below. Everything else on the butt gets trimmed down to meat. Trim excess fat, silver skin, and membranes from the rest of the pork butt. Optimally, you want the rub to build a crust on the meat itself, so make sure and trim everything that is not meat. The rub, the smoke, the juices from the meat all work together to create a beautiful and flavorful crust. The last thing you want is to have that amazing crust on a membrane or chunk of fat that slides off when you are pulling.
Injections can impart some great flavors into the depths of your meat and help a little with moisture content of the final product. Over the years I have found it is easy to put too much flavor into your pork. Pork, after all, tastes pretty damn good. So I stick with pork stock, salt and sugar. Pork loves salt and a little sweetness, and you can’t go wrong with a little more pure pork flavor! You may want to put your own twist on this, but I recommend starting pure, then adding flavors later based on your liking. It can’t hurt to throw in a TBSP or so of MSG if you do that kind of thing.
There are lot of muscles in a pork shoulder, so inject marinade into all sections of the butt. I find it best to punch a hole and go in at an angle, then just before the needle pulls all the way out, insert at a different angle. The less holes you punch, the better. Re-inject any excess liquid that ends up in the pan.
It is pretty hard to over-salt a pork butt, and salt enhances pork beautifully. Also, Dizzy Pig seasonings do not have a ton of salt in them. So I apply a light dusting of Coarse Kosher Salt all over the butt.
Now for the seasoning. The butt will probably still be damp with a thin layer of the injection on the outside, which is the perfect amount of moisture to help the rub adhere. Apply a heavy coating of Dizzy Pig Crossroads or your favorite Dizzy Pig blend (Dizzy Dust, Raging River, Swamp Venom are also excellent) and press in with your hands, until the entire butt is covered. It is hard to put too much on, and the long cook will not only build your luscious crust, but will mellow and round out the spices to create a perfect flavorful bark. Once applied, give the seasoning some time to set up and “melt in”. Cover and rest for at least 30 minutes, and up to 3 hours. May as well do this before you fire up your cooker.
As with flavoring, there are so many different ways to cook a pork butt. We’ve tried them low and slow for 14 hours at 225°F without wrapping. We’ve also tried a hotter, faster method at 350°F for 4 hours, then wrap for 2 hours and rest for 2 hours. And we’ve tried everything in between. We’ve settled in on 240°F for our cooking temp, and just enough time in the foil to complete the rendering of the fat and collagen for perfectly tender and moist results. Whatever you find works best on your particular cooker is the right method. The goal is to get good clean smoke flavor, and build up a rich brown crust before wrapping in foil to finish the cooking and rendering without losing an moisture.
Preheat your grill/cooker/smoker, with charcoal and hickory chunks, to 240°F with an indirect setup (drip pan between meat and fire). Wait for the smoke to turn blue, thin and make sure it smells good. Strong smoke can overwhelm the flavor of your pork and make it very dark in color. If it smells strong and burns your eyes, your fire needs a little more time to dry the wood enough so it burns cleanly.
Place pork butt in cooker fat cap down (assuming your heat is coming from below), and cook at 240°F for 8-9 hours, or until the exterior has a rich brown crust, and the temperature in the center of the butt is approximately 170-175°F. The smells coming off will be absolutely unbelievable…the rich brown Dizzy Pig crust, the succulent fatty pork.
Remove from cooker and double wrap in heavy duty aluminum foil, adding 1/2 cup of pork stock. You’ll want good wide pieces so you can wrap tightly so no steam escapes. For a little extra layer of flavor, grind a couple teaspoons of Crossroads seasoning finely and add when you wrap.
Return to cooker at 240°F. Since the moisture will not be able to evaporate from the meat, the temperature will rise quickly once wrapped, and 1-2 hours should be all it takes to reach 195°F internal temperature in the center. It is not necessarily done at this temp, so check for tenderness. The meat should wiggle a little like jello, and be very tender when poked with your temperature probe. If still not tender, return foil-wrapped butt to cooker and cook 15 more minutes and repeat tenderness check. It is not uncommon to need to cook to 200°F or 205°F internal. When fully tender, remove from your smoker, cover with towels, a blanket or place in cooler.
The pork has probably been cooking a total of 10 or 11 hours by now, but it’s not quite done. I don’t understand, or need to understand, the science of why, but an hour rest makes a lot of difference in the texture of the final product. And a rest of 3 hours is also totally acceptable. You really have a range of 1-4 hours and this is great, because sometimes the cooking takes longer or shorter than expected. So the rest is the perfect place to make up for the differences in cooking times. If it is done late, do a shorter rest. If it is done early, do a longer rest.
Well, the time has come. The Dizzy Pig pork butt has received much love, then enjoyed a good comfortable rest. It is ready to be served!! Nothing beats meat that has been freshly pulled apart, and while time has been your friend during the entire cook, now you are working against the clock! The sooner you can get the moist chunks and strands of pork into the mouths of your family, friends or judges, the better. Plan accordingly so that you are pulling and serving at the same time, and the product will be that much better.
Barbecue smoked pork butt is served many ways, and many folks prefer to take big giant forks and shred everything into a pile. And there is nothing wrong with that!! We take it a step further, and pull the meat by hand to get a nice mixture of chunks and pulled strands. There are many types of heat resistant gloves available, and they are very helpful when your meat is still very hot. Once you dig in with your fingers, you’ll see and feel the muscles pulling apart. My favorite method is to separate the muscles first, pulling off and discarding any leftover membranes, pockets of fat and chunks of cartilage. It will become clear which pieces get pulled, and which chunks get served whole.
This is your chance to add any additional flavor as well. Could it use another dash of salt? Does a sauce you have compliment the meat and fit with what else you are serving? Does it need a little hit of black pepper heat or cayenne?
We hope that Dizzy Pig, combined with some of our time tested competition secrets, can elevate your pork to another level. Please let us know what you think!