How To Cook A Boston Butt

If you’re battling with Sunday lunch ideas or want to impress the family for dinner one day, cooking a killer Boston butt is one fantastic answer to your struggles. If you’re curious about how to actually cook this cut of pork, you’re in the right place! Here’s everything you need to know. 

What part of the pig is the butt? 

Despite its name, the butt is not the rear end of the pig. It’s more the pork shoulder. We understand why people get confused as both butt and shoulder are used in grocery stores or at a butcher, but both will work with your chosen recipe (or, more specifically, the one we’re about to share with you). The Boston butt is situated high on the back of the pig where a lot of fat lies — the fattier, the better! 

How to cook a Boston butt

We know it’s easy to feel intimidated when cooking a large piece of pork, but fear not! This recipe is super easy and will be enough to feed around 16 people (depending on how hungry they are, which they will be when they smell you cooking this in the kitchen). Once you’ve bought your piece of thick flank, smoked pork (with the bone in) from a quality provider, create a rub. We recommend a rub that consists of: 

  • 1 tablespoon of brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of paprika
  • 1 tablespoon of ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon of red pepper flakes

To take out the guesswork, ensure you have an electric thermometer to help you keep track of the butt’s temperature when you cook it, either in a slow cooker, in the oven, or in a Weber. 


  1. Rub the Boston butt all over with your spice rub mixture, ensuring it’s coated on all sides. If you have the time, you can tightly wrap the butt in cling-wrap and keep it in the fridge overnight for the flavours to mingle and infuse. 
  2. Heat your oven to 120℃ and place your pork in a roasting pan, fatty side up. Place the roasting pan on your oven rack. 
  3. Roast the pork, uncovered, until the outer layer of the pork is crispy and dry. This will most probably take 4-8 hours. This can happen somewhere between 77℃ and 87℃. However, the internal temperature is less important than the delicious crispiness of the outer layer, or the “bark”. It’s important that you let the bark develop fully otherwise it will be slightly soggy and less enjoyable. 
  4. Once you’ve achieved this, carefully wrap the butt in a couple of layers of heavy-duty aluminium foil and put it back on the roasting pan. Continue to roast the butt until it reaches an internal temperature of at least 88℃ and preferable 93℃. Be prepared: it’s pretty much impossible to succeed with this recipe without a thermometer! Digital probe thermometers are the most accurate and are particularly favourable if they can be left in the pork as it roasts or grills. When measuring the temperature, stick the thermometer in the thickest part of the pork butt and not next to any bone to avoid false readings. 
  5. Remove the butt in the roasting pan and let it rest for 30-45 minutes before unwrapping the foil. 
  6. Now’s the fun part: start shredding! Use a couple of forks and shred the meat, ensuring to evenly mix the crunchy bark with tender pork pieces.
  7. If you want, you can douse the pork in your favourite barbeque sauce. 
  8. Voila! Serve in Portuguese rolls or serve on its own with a side of your choosing. 

We love pork because of how versatile it is. Pulled pork is an instant crowd-pleaser and this recipe is super easy, saving you stress and preparation time. Browse our range of wholesale specialised smoked pork or get in touch for more information.  

Van Wyngaardt’s delivery policy

Our delivery policy requires a minimum order amount depending on the region. You may order from Monday to Thursday. Should you place an order before 12:00, we assure you of next-day delivery. If you order after 12:00, the order will be delivered to you the following working day. This is only valid for Gauteng stores. Outer Gauteng stores delivery period may vary. At Van Wyngaardt, we pride ourselves on always providing exceedingly good meats.

Should you have any queries or require more information, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us, and one of our sales representatives will gladly assist you. 

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