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what you need to know

Root Source: Boston Butt

Root Source: Boston Butt


what you should know


A cheap, versatile slab of pork with marbled fat that helps keep it moist when cooked, Boston butt refers to a usually boneless cut taken from the shoulder.


high cotton Boston butt is decidedly not high on the hog. But because it's so fatty, it's the cut of choice for smoked and barbecued pulled pork. The fat keeps the meat so tender that, after hours and hours of cooking, it can be pulled into shreds with your bare hands.


two p's Boston butt also holds up well to braising and slow roasting, as in the Puerto Rican pernil and the Italian porchetta.


memphis leg Also called "pork butt" and "Boston blade roast," Boston butt is not so popular in Massachusetts and is not from the pig's rear. So what's up with the name? In 18th century America, cheap cuts of meat were stored in barrels called "butts."



what you need


Every barbecue lover has a favorite barbecue book. One of ours is Peace, Love & Barbecue, by Mike Mills (but not this one). All you need to know about the book is in the subtitle: Recipe, Secrets, Tall Tales and Outright Lies from the Legends of Barbecue.


After an informal poll of readers, Chip's settled on either Weber's One-Touch Gold Charcoal Grill or the Smokey Mountain bullet smoker. Thoughts?


Meanwhile, Brys is entering his second week of Big Green Egg ownership. (Initial reports are positive. More soon.)


When we're craving barbecued pulled pork but are feeling lazy, we turn to the slow cooker. We honestly can't say whether there's much of a difference between various slow cookers, but we can vouch for this Hamilton Beach 4-quart cooker.



Pulled Pork Sandwich


what you do


The classic treatment for a Boston butt is to cook it until it's tender enough to be pulled apart with your fingers and covered in barbecue sauce. Add some fruit and spices and make Coconut & Lime's smoky mango pulled pork.

If you can manage to resist eating it all and have some leftovers of either, try a pulled pork and black bean burrito.

If you have a grill or smoker (and some time on your hands), slow cooking a smoked pork shoulder in dry rub is a low-key (and yet somehow thrilling) way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

In Italy, you might use a pork shoulder to make porchetta, a butterflied pork shoulder stuffed with anise, rosemary and garlic.

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