|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Servings: 6 to 8|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 86g||110%|
|Saturated Fat 32g||158%|
|Total Carbohydrate 15g||5%|
|Dietary Fiber 0g||1%|
|Total Sugars 12g|
|Vitamin C 3mg||17%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
A Boston butt, contrary to the way the name sounds, is actually a pork shoulder cut. A Boston butt, also known simply as a pork butt, is a flavorful cut that takes well to low and slow cooking. It's the most popular cut of meat for making pulled pork. The name Boston butt may come from Massachusetts before the American Revolution, when cuts of pork were packed into barrels, also known as "butts."
This easy, no-frills pork butt recipe is made with only a few additional ingredients, including your favorite homemade or store-bought barbecue sauce. You can use a bone-in or boneless pork roast; a boneless roast can be cut into pieces to fit in the slow cooker, but if your roast is bone-in, make sure it fits before starting the recipe.
Serve the pork roast shredded with split, toasted buns, coleslaw, and fries or chips. Baked beans are traditional with a pulled pork meal as well. It's an excellent dish to take to a party or tailgating event—serve the shredded pork hot from the crock pot. You can freeze leftovers or incorporate them into recipes using leftover pulled pork.
Click Play to See This Slow Cooker Barbecued Boston Butt Recipe Come Together
"Piled on toasted buns and served with coleslaw, the pork was simple, tasty, and nearly effortless. I was happy to find the meat was very juicy and tender after slow cooking all day. I used a 7-pound, bone-in pork shoulder, chicken stock for liquid, and smoky bottled barbecue sauce for the final cooking and shredding." —Danielle Centoni
1 (6- to 8-pound) Boston butt pork roast (bone-in or boneless)
1/4 cup water (or beer, apple juice, or a mixture)
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional
1 cup barbecue sauce, plus more for serving
Steps to Make It
Gather the ingredients.
Put the pork shoulder in the slow cooker, cutting the roast to fit if necessary.
Add the water or other liquid and sprinkle the pork lightly with kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, and cayenne pepper, if using.
Cover and cook on low for 7 to 9 hours.
Drain off the excess liquids, shred the meat with 2 forks, and discard any excess fat and bone.
Return the meat to the crock pot and pour about 1 cup of barbecue sauce over it. Toss, cover, and cook on low for another 1 to 2 hours.
Serve the shredded barbecued pork with extra barbecue sauce on the side.
How to Store
- Leftover pulled pork should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days and reheated before enjoying.
- Pulled pork can be frozen. Place the cooled meat in a zip-top freezer bag, remove the air, seal, and freeze for up to three months. Defrost overnight in the fridge before using.
- You'll probably have leftovers, and there are so many ways to use them. Aside from sandwiches, pulled pork makes a tasty addition to a macaroni and cheese casserole or use the pulled pork to stuff egg rolls or biscuit cups.
- If you would like to make your own barbecue sauce but don't have a lot of time or ingredients, you can quickly throw together a basic recipe. In a saucepan, combine 1 cup of ketchup, 1/4 cup of molasses, 3 tablespoons of brown sugar, 1/3 cup of cider vinegar, 2 tablespoons of tomato paste, 1 teaspoon of onion powder, and a dash each of cayenne pepper and black pepper. Bring to a simmer over low heat and cook for 5 to 6 minutes, or until thickened. Makes about 2 cups of barbecue sauce.
What Is the Difference Between a Pork Shoulder and a Boston Butt?
Both the pork shoulder and pork butt come from the shoulder section of the pig. The pork shoulder is located higher, with the pork butt (or Boston butt) located slightly further down the foreleg. They are very similar cuts, and the names pork shoulder, pork butt, and Boston butt are often used interchangeably.
Can You Overcook Pulled Pork?
While tough, fatty cuts like pork shoulder or pork butt are hard to overcook since long cook times help to create tender meat, but it's still possible. The main risk is drying out pulled pork, which can happen if it is cooked at too high a temperature and/or cooked for far too long. Cooking the pork with a little liquid helps keep it from drying out.