Slow Cooker Barbecued Boston Butt

Barbecued Boston Butt Recipe With Slaw

The Spruce

Ratings (173)
  • Total: 9 hrs 5 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins
  • Cook: 9 hrs
  • Yield: Serves 6 to 8
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
385 Calories
10g Fat
45g Carbs
28g Protein
(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. This easy, no frills pork shoulder 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.


  • 1 Boston butt pork roast (pork shoulder)
  • 1/4 cup water or beer, apple juice, or broth
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Optional: about 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 cups barbecue sauce

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients

    Slow Cooker Barbecued Boston Butt recipe ingredients
  2. Put the pork shoulder in the slow cooker, cutting the roast to fit, if necessary.

  3. Add the water and sprinkle the pork lightly with kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, and cayenne pepper, if using.

    Slow Cooker Barbecued Boston Butt recipe
     The Spruce
  4. Cover and cook on LOW for 8 to 10 hours.

  5. About 1 to 2 hours before serving, drain off excess liquids, shred the meat, and discard any excess fat and bone.

  6. Return the meat to the crockpot and pour about 1 cup of barbecue sauce over. Continue cooking for 1 or 2 hours longer.

    Slow Cooker Barbecued Boston Butt recipe
     The Spruce
  7. Serve the shredded barbecued pork with split toasted buns, beans, and coleslaw, along with extra barbecue sauce on the side.

    Slow Cooker Barbecued Boston Butt recipe
     The Spruce

Tips and Variations

Being that this is such a basic recipe, there is plenty of room to add ingredients and enhance the flavors. For example, you can add two sliced large onions to the slow cooker before placing the pork on top. Then simply continue with the recipe. And you can really change the flavor profile of the finished dish depending on which type of barbecue sauce you use, whether it be spicy, sweet, or tangy.

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 simmer for 5 to 6 minutes, or until thickened. Makes about 2 cups of barbecue sauce.