Rub the Boston Butt with your favorite spices, wrap and let sit overnight or for several hours.
How you cook this cut is the most important part to getting a nice moist pulled pork. This cut of pork is loaded with internal fat. It is this fat that we want to "render" away. Scientifically speaking, the connective tissues and collagen will start to break down at temps of around 150-160º. This is exactly what we want to happen. The great secret to allowing this process to occur is to try and keep the meat temp between 150-170º The longer you can hold those temps, the more this fat will render.
So, how do you achieve this? By cooking the meat at very low temps. We cook all of our pork butts at a temp of 225º and plan on taking 2 hours per pound. In the end, we want the meat temp to reach and exceed 190+º. This can be measured with a regular meat thermometer, just be sure you stick it into meat and not fat OR you can stick a fork into the butt and twist it….it should twist easily.
Cook the butt UNCOVERED. The goal is to make that outside bark, nice and crispy (without burning). The only way to do that is to expose the butt to the heat of the oven. If you were to cover the pan in any way, you will produce steam which will prevent the formation of a nice crispy bark.
Let the butt cook for about 4-5 hours before looking at it. At this point, you can open the oven and "mop" the meat. Mopping is applying a liquid to the surface of the meat…this will help to keep it moist and add some flavor. I use a very simple mop of 3 parts apple juice or cider and 1 part cider vinegar and 1 part of olive oil. This can be applied with a brush, a mop, or a spray bottle. You can now mop every couple hours or as often as you would like.
I believe the 2 hour per pound estimate will be accurate 90% of the time. However, one of 2 things will invariably happen when cooking a butt…..it will finish early or it will finish late. What to do? To speed up the cook, wrap as tightly as possible in heavy duty foil and place back in the smoker. It will still take some time to finish so plan accordingly. If it finishes early, remove from smoker. Wrap as tightly as possible in heavy duty foil, then wrap that in a towel and place in a dry cooler with some newspaper on the bottom. You can hold like this for well over 6 hours.
Once the butt is finished you can now "pull" the meat. Let it cool to the point where you can handle it. Then use your hands to pull strands of the meat. A pair of forks will also prove helpful when pulling the meat. There may still be pockets of fat, so remove these as you start pulling. Place this pulled meat into whatever serving vessel you plan on using. Be sure to mix in the nice darkened bark of the outside meat with the inside meat. You should also sprinkle more of your rub on top of the shredded meat. This allows the flavor of that rub and mop to be distributed within the meat.
To make an authentic pulled pork sammich, use a very cheap bun, pile with pork add any sauce you may desire and top with a dollop of your favorite cole slaw! Pure heaven awaits!
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|Serving Size: 1 Serving (0g)|
|Recipe Makes: 4 Servings|
|Calories from Fat: 0 (NaN%)|
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|Sugars, other 0g|
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