How to cook Boston Butt on a BBQ

What cut is Boston Butt?

Pork Boston Butt is one of the best large meat cuts to throw on the barbeque and cook throughout the afternoon. This cut, also known as pork shoulder, makes for a sweet and succulent centrepiece for any occasion. In this post, you’ll find our detailed guide for cooking Boston Butt on a BBQ so you’re prepared for the British summer.

Boston Butt comes from the upper part of a pig’s front legs and includes part of neck. It contains a decent amount of fat marbling and connective tissue, all of which breaks down during long periods of cooking. It’s for this reason that pork Boston butts are frequently used to make pulled pork. This cut typically includes the shoulder blade bone, although this can be removed if you ask your butcher. The average Boston Butt will weigh 2-2.5kg and feed roughly 7-10 people.

We take a deep dive into Boston Butt, including serving suggestions and its name origins in our other blog ‘What is Boston Butt?’.

Looking for Boston Butt UK?

While Boston Butt might have seem like an American staple due to its name, it can be enjoyed all the same here in the UK. Expert butchers such as The Village Butchers source only the highest quality cuts of pork, beef, lamb, and more. We have a range of delicious recipes for the produce we stock, so if you’re stuck wondering how to make this summer’s BBQs special, we’ve got the inspiration you need. If you have any questions about our delivery options or anything else, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Cooking method for BBQ Boston Butt

As mentioned, Boston Butt is often recommended for making pulled pork. This method is therefore designed to produce a pork joint that can easily be shredded. You do this at the table for some extra flair or mix it with other spices and sauces afterwards for use in sandwiches.

Step 1: Preparation

Preheat your BBQ to around 107-121°C. This low and slow cooking is ideal for breaking down the tough connective tissues in the meat. Then, trim excess fat from the meat if any remains. Usually, a quality online butcher will do this for you ahead of time. If you’re using a dry rub, apply it at this point on all sides of the pork butt and massage it into the meat.

Step 2: Smoking Setup (optional)

For added flavour, you can add wet wood chips to your BBQ to produce smoke. If using a charcoal BBQ, place the soaked wood chips directly on the coals. If using a gas BBQ, you can use a smoker box or aluminium foil pouch filled with the soaked wood chips. The result is that during the cooking, the meat absorbs a hint of the smoky flavours.

Step 3: Cooking

Once your BBQ is at the right temperature, place the Boston butt on the grill grate, fat side up, away from direct heat.

Close the lid and let it cook undisturbed for about 1.5 to 2 hours per pound of meat. Be prepared that cooking times may vary based on your BBQ’s temperature and the size of the Boston Butt.

During cooking, periodically check the temperature of the meat using a meat thermometer. You’re aiming for an internal temperature of around 90-96°C for perfectly tender pulled pork.

About halfway through cooking, you might want to spritz the meat with apple juice or cider vinegar to help keep it moist and add flavour.

Step 4: Resting

Once the Boston butt has reached the desired temperature, remove it from the BBQ and tent it loosely with aluminium foil. Let it rest for at least 30 minutes to allow the juices to redistribute within the meat.

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