Tender marinated Boston Pork Butt Roast Recipes practically falls apart as you cut it! This Boston Butt Pork Roast is perfect on its own, as pulled pork, and many other ways. It’s rubbed with a simple dry rub marinade and cooked slow and low for that tender fall apart pork roast we all love!
This is a perfect recipe for super bowl gatherings, potlucks, Sunday dinners, and special occasions like Christmas Dinner! Don’t forget to grab your printable recipe card below!
Making a Boston Butt Pork Roast may sound or seem daunting if you’ve never done it before, but it’s really pretty simple! There are two main steps: First, dry rub marinade overnight, then just roast it all day! There’s a little more to it, but really not much!
Best Pork Butt Roast Recipe
The best Boston or Pork Butt Roast is crusty, dark and flavorful on the outside and so tender inside that it falls apart as you cut it. It’s perfect on its own or in a variety of pulled pork sandwiches, in enchiladas or tamales, soups, stews, and a million other ways.
We’re oven roasting this Boston pork butt for ages, at a super low temperature. Resulting in the best pulled pork with a flavorful crusty bark outside and tender meat inside!
My sister is coming over this week, so We’re having a big family dinner and I am making….. A Boston Butt Pork Roast! I’ll serve it with a simple green salad and rolls. Nothing fancy, just super yummy and satisfying! I’ll use leftovers in pulled pork sandwiches later this week.
Buying A Boston Butt Roast
When you’re at the grocery store shopping for a Boston Pork Butt Roast, make sure to get one with the bone in and lots of visible fat on it! Believe it or not, the bone and the fat give all that meat a great flavor, and the fat keeps the roast moist through hours and hours of slow and low roasting!
What Is A Boston Butt Roast
Everyone automatically thinks that a butt roast comes from the butt of the pig. Interesting fact… A pork butt, or Boston Butt, is not actually the butt area of the pig at all… That’s the ham! The Boston Butt is actually just past the head above the shoulder in the neck area … (if pigs had necks lol.)
You want to get the butt roast instead of the shoulder, or picnic roast because it’s a higher quality cut of pork. The shoulder or picnic roast tends to have more connective tissue (or gristle) in them. When you cut into a pork shoulder roast there will be more tendons and tissues holding the meat to the bone and together… The Boston Butt roast has much less of that and a nice marbled high quality meat.
You Want To Buy A Fatty Butt Roast
Fat does two super important things when cooking your Boston Butt Roast… The first thing it does is to keep the roast MOIST, and prevent it from drying out! No one likes a dry roast, it’s hard to swallow! The fat in and on the roast slowly melts during cooking and bathes the meat keeping it moist and tender!
The second thing fat on your Boston butt roast is it adds FLAVOR! There are opinions about what the flavor comes from, the bone or the fat. However, as the fat melts and bathes the meat, it adds flavor! So make sure to buy a Boston butt roast with a nice big layer of fat on top and marbled into the meat!
The fat on top of the roast melts (or renders) through the roasting process and turns into this delightfully tasty crust that everyone loves! As you cut your meat, you’ll mi this yummy crust with the rest of the roast to flavor it!
Tool You WIll Need
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To make the best Boston Butt Roast, with a good “bark” on the outside, you’ll need just a couple of tools:
- Large Roasting Pan
- A rack that goes inside your large roasting pan! This is really important to keep the bottom of the roast from sitting in liquid!
- Kitchen Shears – to open the plastic wrapping.
- Aluminum Foil or Pink Butcher Paper
- Meat Thermometer – There’s really no way around this one… The perfect butt roast is cooked by temperature, not by time. That’s because each roast is a different size and all ovens cook a tad bit differently from each other. You’ll cook your Boston butt roast till it reaches an internal temperature of 200 degrees!
- An extra large Cutting Board
- A Large Knife
- Serving Dish
- Tupperware or a large container with a lid to keep all the yummy leftovers!
The Boston Butt is different than a T-bone steak… It’s not naturally tender so you can’t cook it on high heat the same way! If you cook a Boston butt too hot or too fast it will be tough, and not fall apart at all. There really are no shortcuts… The only way to make a Boston butt roast fall apart good is through the low and slow cooking process.
When you’re roasting a Boston Butt Roast or pork butt roast, you have to cook it at a super low temperature. In fact, the temperature you cook at is closer to the temperature that the fully cooked roast is when it’s done! Roast for hours at 250 degrees until internal temperature reaches 200 degrees!
The Boston Butt is a SLOOOOOOOW cooking roast, so give yourself PLENTY of cooking time. Whether you are making this recipe for a gathering or special dinner, or just a weeknight meal, you need to start marinating it the day before, then put it in the oven FIRST THING the next morning… So it can roast all day long!!
After rubbing seasonings and marinating your roast overnight, you will be slow cooking for a long time… AT LEAST 6 hours for a small (3pound) roast. Bigger roasts will roast for AT LEAST an hour more per pound, till internal temp reaches 200 degrees. You can continue roasting for a couple of hours longer and it will still be great, but NOT less.
How To Cook The Perfect Boston Butt Pork Roast
This is the best pork roast recipe I’ve used and is made with a 6-8 pound Boston Butt Pork Roast.
Step One – Marinade
Boston Butt Pork Roasts are for meat-eaters! You can’t be squeamish about touching or handling raw meat. To prep this big roast with dry rub, it’s all hands on deck! You’ve gotta get right in there with both hands, and really give it a good rub with all those yummy spices! Don’t worry, you can wash them well when you’re done.
The first step to a perfect Boston Butt Pork Roast is to RUB marinade spices generously all over the exterior of your raw roast. I use this great recipe:
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 2 teaspoons of ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon dried Thyme
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
*** After a generous rub all over the entire roast, cover it with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge to marinate overnight! ***
Variations: You can rub olive oil over your roast before adding spices to give it a bit more moisture, or use liquid smoke!
How Long Do You Marinade Boston Butt Pork Roast
Marinate pork roast in the fridge, in a covered container, up to 5 days. If you want to use the marinade for cooking, Boil used marinade before brushing on cooked pork.https://www.fsis.usda.gov/food-safety/safe-food-handling-and-preparation/meat/fresh-pork-farm-table
Roast Pork Butt – Get The Bark Started
Put a wire rack at the bottom of your large roasting pan, then place the Boston Butt Roast FAT SIDE UP on the rack, in the pan, and set it on the counter.
Preheat the oven to 450° f, and let the roast come up to room temperature while the oven is preheating. Place roast UNCOVERED into your high temperature oven, and roast for a half hour. Then, turn it down to a 250° f oven temperature for the rest of the day.
Slow Roast Till A Good Bark Forms On The Outside
Turn the heat down to 250°f and let it roast uncovered till the exterior develops a “bark” or becomes dry and crispy, about 8 hours for a medium-sized roast (about 6 pounds). Make sure the outside is good and CRUSTY… Most people think the “bark” or exterior of the roast is the best part because that’s where are the spices are!
Then carefully remove the roast from oven and completely wrap it in 2 layers of heavy duty aluminum foil or pink butcher paper. (Pink butcher paper holds juices in and still lets steam escape.)
Return Boston Butt to the oven and roast at 250° till the internal temperature (at the deepest part of roast) reaches 200° f.
How Long Does It Take For A Boston Butt Roast To Cook?
Cooking times differ with the size of the roast… Plan for it to take all day to finish cooking a good Boston Butt Roast! You’ll be roasting a six-pound roast at a low temperature for at least 8 hours! 3-pound roasts take about 6 hours. But whatever the size roast you use, you’ll always know it’s done by using your meat thermometer. Roast till the internal temperature comes to 200 degrees!
If you cut the cooking time short, you’ll have a tougher roast that does not fall apart when you cut it and has more fatty deposits still inside. Fully cooked Boston Butt Roasts fall apart as you cut them and the fat inside and out has melted into the meat, so there are no big chunks of fat left!
Is Boston Butt Roast Good Pulled Pork?
Yes! Boston Butt Roasts make THE BEST pulled pork when they are cooked slow and low all day long to an internal temp of 200 degrees!
Cooking a Boston Butt Right forms a “bark” on the exterior that’s crispy and flavorful… After cutting up the roast, and it falls apart, mix together the bark with the inside meat to give flavor to the entire batch of high quality pulled pork!
Which Is Better Boston Butt Roast or Picnic Butt Roast
Boston butt is 100% better than picnic butt roasts for quality of cut! The picnic butt comes from down lower on the leg and has way more tendons and connective tissues that are grisly!
Boston Butt comes from up above the leg and shoulder, where you’d think the pig’s neck should be. It is just a high-quality cut of good meat without all those connective tissues.
Boston Butt Pork Roast Recipe Card
- 6-8 pound Boston Butt Pork Roast
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 2 teaspoons of ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon dried Thyme
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- *** After a generous rub all over the entire roast, cover with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge to marinate overnight! ***
- Variations: You can rub olive oil over your roast before adding spices to give it a bit more moisture, or use liquid smoke!
ROAST PORK BUTT – GET THE BARK STARTED
- Put a wire rack at the bottom of your large roasting pan, then place the Boston Butt Roast FAT SIDE UP on the rack, in the pan, and set it on the counter.
- Preheat oven to 450° f, and let the roast come up to room temperature while the oven is preheating. Place roast UNCOVERED into your high-temperature oven, and roast for a half hour. Then, turn it down to a 250° f oven temperature for the rest of the day.
SLOW ROAST TILL A GOOD BARK FORMS ON THE OUTSIDE
- Turn the heat down to 250°f and let it roast uncovered till the exterior develops a “bark” or becomes dry and crispy, about 8 hours for a medium-sized roast (about 6 pounds). Make sure the outside is good and CRUSTY… Most people think the “bark” or exterior of the roast is the best part because that’s where the spices are!
- Then carefully remove the roast from the oven and completely wrap it in 2 layers of heavy-duty aluminum foil.
- Return Boston Butt to the oven and roast at 250° till the internal temperature (at the deepest part of the roast) reaches 195-200° f.
The Best Things To Serve With Boston Butt Pork Roast
The Boston Butt Roast is perfect for picnics, sandwiches, potlucks, family gatherings, Christmas Dinners, and everyday meals! It goes well with so many things, but my favorite side dishes are:
- Loaded Potato Salad
- A light Strawbery Walnut Salad!
- Pasta Salad
- Deviled Eggs
- Berry Fruit Salad
- Homemade Sourdough Dinner Rolls
- Don’t forget dessert! I love chocolate Texas Sheet Cake!
- Old Fashioned Maple Pecan Pie!
- Vanilla Ice Cream with Berry Crisp
For Pulled Pork Sandwiches, try making homemade rolls! You’ll want to add your favorite BBQ sauce to pulled pork to add flavor and moisture! Sliced tomatoes, lettuce leaves, and cheese are also good to set out for a pulled pork sandwich bar!
Why Do They Call The Shoulder The Boston Butt Roast
The name Boston Butt refers to the place that made the Boston Butt famous… Boston MA! Don’t ask me why the word Butt was ever used for these roasts, the Ham is the butt of the pig!
What Cut Is Best For Pulled Pork
The best cut for pulled pork is the Boston Butt Roast, but you’ve got to cook it right! If you have less time the pork loin can also make a good but a bit more dry pulled pork. Pork loin has less fat in it, so it results in dryer pulled pork.
Can You Over Cook Pulled Pork?
It is possible to overcook pulled pork… You’d have to forget it for a long period of time to overcook it. Overcooking Boston Butt for pulled pork is much harder than overcooking pork loin for pulled pork because the Boston Butt has more fat to keep the inside moist.
Is Pork Butt The Same As Boston Butt
No the shoulder roast, and sometimes a picnic roast is sometimes called a butt roast. The Boston Butt is a higher cut on the pig, and higher quality cut with fewer tendons and connective tissues.
Do You Cover Boston Butt In The Oven?
No, and then yes. Do not cover Boston Butt in the oven till it has roasted for 6-8 hours and developed its “bark” like outer skin crust. Then, cover with foil till internal temp reaches 200 degrees! This ensures the crusty outer bark and tender fall apart meat inside!
Do NOT trim off excess fat, because it melts during the cooking process and makes the meat tender!
Internal Temperature for Pork Roast
Fall apart pork butt roast is best at 200ºF. However, according to the USDA’s website, all pork must be cooked to 145 ºF to be safe to eat. They say,
USDA has lowered the recommended safe cooking temperature for whole cuts of pork from 160 ºF to 145 ºF with the addition of a three-minute rest time. Cook pork, roasts, and chops to 145 ºF as measured with a food thermometer before removing meat from the heat source, with a three-minute rest time before carving or consuming. This will result in a product that is both safe and at its best quality.
This does not apply to ground meats, including beef, veal, lamb, and pork, which should be cooked to 160 ºF and do not require a rest time.
“Rest time” is the amount of time the product remains at the final temperature, after it has been removed from a grill, oven or other heat source. During the three minutes after meat is removed the heat source, its temperature remains constant or continues to rise, which destroys harmful bacteria.https://www.usda.gov/media/blog/2011/05/25/cooking-meat-check-new-recommended-temperatures
What To Do With Leftover Boston Butt Pork Roast
Leftovers are awesome for pulled pork sandwiches and salads! So, store leftovers in the refrigerator and enjoy them for 3-5 days, or wrap them well in plastic wrap and an air-tight zip lock bag to freeze for 4 – 6 months!
How ToThaw Boston Butt Pork Roast Safely
There are three safe ways to thaw pork: in the refrigerator, in cold water (in an airtight or leak-proof bag) and in the microwave. Never thaw at room temperature on the counter or in other locations.
It’s best to plan ahead for slow, safe thawing in the refrigerator. After thawing raw pork by this method, it will remain safe in the refrigerator 3 to 5 days before cooking. During this time, if you decide not to use the pork, you can safely refreeze it without cooking it first.
When microwave-defrosting pork, plan to cook it immediately after thawing because some areas of the food may become warm and begin to cook during microwaving. Holding partially cooked food is not recommended because any bacteria present wouldn’t have been destroyed. Foods defrosted in the microwave or by the cold water method should be cooked before refreezing because they potentially may have been held at temperatures above 40 °F.
It is safe to cook frozen pork in the oven, on the stove or grill without defrosting it first; the cooking time may be about 50% longer. Use a meat thermometer to check for doneness. Do not cook frozen pork in a slow cooker.https://www.fsis.usda.gov/food-safety/safe-food-handling-and-preparation/meat/fresh-pork-farm-table