Pulled Pork (Boston Butt) Guide
Pulled pork is a barbecue staple, and surprisingly easy to master. Follow our guide to ensure you’ll end up with tender, juicy, mouth-watering pulled pork. Let's let the flavor run wild.
Boston butt (or pork butt) comes from the front shoulder area of the pig. So you can rest easy, you are not actually eating from the rear end of the pig (that's the ham). The amount of fat marbling on pork butt makes it a forgiving cut of meat. So don't worry, even if you get a temperature flare up you won’t do too much damage. Be sure to trim off any silver skin and excess fat before smoking. They won’t cook off, so best just to remove them now.
We always use our Pork Candy rubs when smoking pork butts. Pork Candy was specifically formulated to bring out the richness in pork, marrying together sweetness and tang to make the most succulent pork butts you’ve ever tasted. We added apple cider vinegar powder to our recipe which aids in tenderizing and breaking down those tight muscles and connective fibers, leaving you with juicy strands of super succulent meat. Try them out in our Sweet Hickory or Maple Sugar Bourbon varieties.
- PREPARE. Prepare the smoking temperature to 220-230 degrees. Best if you can hang in the 225-degree range.
- SEASON. Rub pork butt with olive oil all over to act as a binder for seasoning. Next, rub Pork Candy Rub all over pork butt and on the sides. (You can also use yellow mustard as a binder).
- SMOKE. Smoke pork butt until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. (You will want to have a water pan or pan with apple juice in the smoker throughout this initial cook to add moisture in the smoker. Lightly spritz the pork butt throughout this initial cook to keep the meat surface moist for maximum smoke absorption into the meat. Lightly spritz about every hour --we like to spritz with apple cider vinegar.)
- REMOVE AND WRAP. At 165 degrees remove pork butt from smoker and place pork butt in a foil tray. Shake more Pork Candy Rub all over pork butt. Slice ½ to ¾ of a stick of butter into pats and all over pork butt. Cover pork butt foil tray with foil. (Placing pork butt in foil tray is going to allow you to trap the juices into the tray.)
- RETURN TO SMOKE. Place pork butt in covered foil tray back in the smoker. Smoke until pork butt internal temperature reaches the MAGIC 203-degree temperature. Remove pork butt from smoker at this point. (You will not spritz during this 2nd phase when pork butt is in covered foil tray. The entire cook of 1st and 2nd cooking phases should be approximately 2 hours per pound.)
- REST. Let pork butt rest in covered foil tray for 30-45 minutes.
- SHRED/PULL. Remove pork butt from foil tray and place on large platter and shred/ pull pork butt.
- JUICES. Pour juices of pork butt in foil tray into a fat separator that will allow the juice to separate from the fat.
- SERVE. Pour pork butt juice over shredded/ pulled pork on tray and “make your mouth HAPPY!”
So there you have it. Get out there and cook up your own Pulled Pork story, and be sure to tell us about it!