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Pulled Pork

Pulled Pork (Boston Butt)

Hi team, Kial here with another informative piece of BBQ blog to wrap your lips around.

I’m here to talk about what is commonly known to those in barbecue circles as a “Boston Butt”, or to the less informed, this is simply a pork shoulder with the blade still in. This cut of meat apparently gets its name from way back in the 19th century when butchers stored less prized cuts of meat into barrels for transportation. These barrels were knows as “butts”. I have read articles debunking this theory and basically taking the magic out of its name. Instead, it seems like the name just comes from a metaphor for the end of something – in this case, the end of the shoulder. Either way, this cut of meat is definitely a prized piece and is great for pulling due to its fat marbling throughout the meat keeping its long strands of muscle moist and super succulent.

Boston Butt

Alright, enough history lessons and folk laws, let’s get down to business on how I cook my Boston Butts.

You’ll need:

  • Boston Butt (pork shoulder)
  • A binder of your choice (I like to use Old Yella Habanero Mustard by Al Brown)
  • Your choice of rub (I like to make my own)


  1. First of all, trim up the meat if your butcher hasn’t already done this for you – remove any hard fat deposits leaving a small amount on to keep everything moist and flavoured. Also, remove any bone fragments left behind during the butchering process, just run your hands over the meat and you will feel them if there is anything there.
  2. Coat the meat with your binder, make sure you rub it into all the nooks and crannies. The binder helps to keep the rub stuck to your meat.
  3. Evenly coat your meat with your rub of choice and again, get into all those folds of the meat so everything is covered evenly then let sit for 15-20 mins to set.Snake Method
  4. Prep your smoker or grill to cook at a temp of around 225-250°F of indirect heat (I like to use the snake method for this on my kettle and make sure to add a water pan in the middle of the coals).
  5. Once your temperature is holding steady add your meat to the grill and place it above the water pan.
  6. Smoke with your choice of wood (for pork I like to use apple wood but most fruit wood will go well), cook the shoulder and spritz it every hour with a 50/50 mix of apple juice and apple cider vinegar.
  7. Once the shoulder hits an internal temp of at least 160°F it is time to take it off and wrap it and add a small amount of liquid (apple juice, beer anything you like). This will help to keep the meat moist by adding steam and will help with getting through the stall*.
  8. Place the wrapt shoulder back onto the grill and cook until the meat comes to around 200-205°F which is when it should probe like butter. If it isn’t nice and soft like butter then continue to cook until you get that feeling.
  9. At this point the meat is done, now you have two choices:
      1. You can remove from the heat and wrap the entire thing in a towel and place inside a cooler for a minimum of 30 mins, this gives the meat time to relax and re-absorb its juices.
      2. Remove from the foil and place the meat back onto the grill so you can glaze with a BBQ sauce or glaze of your choice and cook for a further 15 mins or so to let the sauce set. Remember to let the meat rest when you remove it from the heat.
  10. Once the meat has had its rest, now is the moment of truth….time to pull it! If your cut of meat has the shoulder bone still in this should just pull out nice and clean, then you can use your hands, a fork or if you are prepared, a pair of BBQ claws to break it apart. You can remove any of the unrendered fat that may still be present or leave it in, up to you and your diet.

From here you can leave the pulled meat in its natural juices or kick things up a bit by adding a sauce of your choice. I like to make a vinegar sauce that goes great with pulled pork. It originates from Carolina and is somewhat traditional in that part of the country, it adds some kick and goes great in burgers, sliders or tacos topped with some fresh salsa!

Kial – Fupa’s Barbecue

*The stall refers to the stage where the internal temperature of the meat stops rising and can hold for a long period of time. This is basically sweating itself and in turn, cools itself down.

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*The stall refers to the stage where the internal temperature of the meat stops rising and can hold for a long period of time. This is basically sweating itself and in turn, cools itself down.

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Backyard barbecue enthusiast, nerdy gamer, casual biker guy.

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