Slow Cooker Barbecued Boston Butt

Slow cooker barbecued Boston butt recipe

The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 9 hrs
Total: 9 hrs 5 mins
Servings: 6 to 8 servings
Yield: 1 roast
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
385 Calories
10g Fat
45g Carbs
28g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 8
Amount per serving
Calories 385
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 10g 13%
Saturated Fat 3g 17%
Cholesterol 59mg 20%
Sodium 1487mg 65%
Total Carbohydrate 45g 16%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Protein 28g
Calcium 138mg 11%
*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.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

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 pre-revolution Massachusetts 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 crockpot. 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


  • 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)
  • Black pepper (freshly ground, to taste)
  • Optional: 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 to 3 cups barbecue sauce

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for slow cooker Boston butt
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  2. Put the pork shoulder in the slow cooker, cutting the roast to fit if necessary.

    Put the pork shoulder in the slowcooker
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  3. Add the water or other liquid and sprinkle the pork lightly with kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, and cayenne pepper, if using.

    Add the water and other liquid
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  4. Cover and cook on LOW for 7 to 9 hours.

    Cover and cook on low
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga 
  5. Drain off the excess liquids, shred the meat with two forks, and discard any excess fat and bone.

    Drain off excess liquids
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  6. Return the meat to the crockpot and pour about 1 cup of barbecue sauce over. Cover and cook another 1 to 2 hours.

    Return meat to crockpot
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  7. Serve the shredded barbecued pork with extra barbecue sauce on the side.

    Shred barbecued pork
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga


  • 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.