No grill needed~just a low, slow oven~ to turn a Boston Butt into succulent, savory BBQ pulled pork that folks will literally rave about!
Most of us Southerners think that good barbecue has to be smoked in a pit, right? Well, it might be the BEST way, but it isn’t the ONLY way. This oven baked Boston butt yields pork that is tender, flavorful, and unbelievably delicious~without an ounce of smoke.
In a perfect world, I do believe that the best Boston Butt is smoked over a pit. But my ability to “fire up the Big Green Egg” is zero. #idontdothesmoker This oven baked Boston Butt option is REALLY good, and once you add all the BBQ sauces and sides, few people would notice a difference.
What is the best cut of meat for pulled pork?
Boston Butt is the best cut of meat for pulled pork.
What is Boston Butt?
Boston Butt is a cut of pork that is actually from the shoulder. Most restaurants use an entire shoulder, which is hard to find in grocery stores. The butt is half of a shoulder; the other half is called picnic.
Is bone-in or boneless Boston Butt better?
The bone adds flavor and makes the meat more succulent. Once the Boston Butt is cooked, the meat will literally fall off the bone (and the bone can be easily removed).
Do you have to brine Boston Butt for making pulled pork?
You will get the best results from the Boston Butt if you brine it at least 12 hours. A 24 hour brine will make it even better. The long stint in the oven won’t dry out the butt as much if it is brined first.
What ingredients are used to brine a Boston Butt?
A good liquid brine for Boston Butt consists of water, brown sugar, white vinegar, and salt. A few seasonings can be added to taste. My brine ingredients are listed below in the recipe.
What do you put in dry rub for Boston Butt?
A good dry rub is easy to make (mine is below), but good store bought options are also available. I like Pilleteri’s Rub-a-Butt and use it for the brine (and I also rub a bit into the meat along with the homemade rub). William’s-Sonoma smokehouse rub is wonderful, and it has a smoky flavor in it that would complement pork perfectly.
What temperature do you cook Boston Butt in the oven?
The Boston Butt will be best cooked long, low and slow in the oven at 225 degrees F. I preheat my oven to 300 degrees F and change it to 225 F after placing the butt inside the oven. This will keep the oven from dropping below 225 F when the door is opened to put the butt inside. For 6 pounds or more, allow at least 12 hours, probably more.
What internal temp should the Boston Butt reach?
For the perfect pulled pork, you’ll want your meat thermometer to read 200 degrees. If you pull it from the oven at 190-195, it should reach 200 F after sitting for an hour or so.
In the short video below, you can see what the butt looks like after baking for 12 + hours (this butt took longer than usual). This is an instagram video that I posted on my story, so it is not high quality LOL.
What pan is best for baking Boston Butt?
In the photograph at the top of the page, I have a photo of the Boston Butt after baking on a roasting pan with grid. The video shows my last Boston Butt, which I baked in a disposable aluminum roasting pan. I prefer the latter, as it is easy to toss into the trash~no cleanup:-)
Allow Plenty of Time Make This Boston Butt
This recipe involves brining for 24-48 hours, so allow this time if making this Boston Butt for company or for a special occasion. I rarely cook this butt the same day I plan to serve it, as it takes about 12 hours in the oven. If I do cook it the same day, I get it in the oven early (5 or 6 a.m.). For large Boston butts, I’ve even put the Boston Butt in the oven the night before to cook long, low and slow overnight. The next day, I can pull it just before guests arrive. It is easier to keep a cooked butt warm than it is to try and beat the clock when serving this for dinner.
Helpful Tools for Making this Boston Butt
- Aluminum pans are perfect for Boston Butt. Easy cleanup. Cook the butt; toss the pans.
- These BBQ Meat Claws are the best way to shred large butts easily and in the perfect proportions.
- Handling hot meat is much easier with heat resistant BBQ Gloves. I like tight fitting ones as opposed to the bulky rubber ones.
Be sure that you serve this with a very good sauce, as this is what turns ordinary chopped or pulled pork into a treat. I always serve this with Alabama white sauce (Bob Gibson’s is my favorite), a good red BBQ sauce, and vinegar hot sauce (recipe below).
I’d love to hear from you if you try this. Comments from readers make my day! I so appreciate your stopping by and reading. Be blessed, and stay savvy!!!
- 1 4-6 pound Boston Butt (bone-in with layer of fat on top)
- 1 TB ground cumin
- 1 TB garlic powder
- 1 TB onion powder
- 1 TB chili powder
- 1 TB cayenne pepper
- 1 TB salt
- 1 TB ground pepper
- 1 TB smoked paprika
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- Brine Boston Butt 24 hours (brine ingredients in notes).
- Mix all dry rub ingredients.
- Coat Boston Butt with dry rub, rubbing all over and in crevices.
- Place butt in fridge for several hours or overnight.
- When ready to cook, remove from fridge for 30 minutes before cooking.
- Preheat oven to 225 degrees.
- Place butt (fat side up) in aluminum/foil roasting pan.
- Bake until internal temperature of butt reaches 200 degrees (roughly 2 hours per pound)
- Allow meat to rest at least one hour after cooking.
- Remove fat layer and shred pork (pulled) or chop with shears (chopped).
- Serve with your favorite BBQ sauce.
- 1/2 cup salt
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2 cups white vinegar
- 2 TB dry rub (this recipe or fave store bought)
- 6 cups water
Mix brine until all salt and sugar dissolves.
Place Boston Butt in 2 gallon ziplco; pour brine solution over.
Place bag in a sturdy container. Refriegerate for 24-48 hours.
Turn butt occasionally to ensure all areas are submerged.
- 1 cup white wine vinegar
- 2 TB ketchup
- 2 TB honey
- 3/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
In medium saucepan, mix all ingredients and simmer for 10 minutes. Serve at room temperature.