I Have A Big Ol' (Pork) Butt- What To Do?

In my fridge thawing is a 6 lb boneless Boston butt. I would like to make barbecued pulled pork with it. I have made butts before, in the crockpot and in the oven, but never one this big, and I’d like to make it on the grill. Any recipes/techniques to share? I see from the internets that one should smoke it- I don’t really care to make a special trip to the store for special wood. I do have some firewood stored up- will that work? Is smoking even necessary? Should I skip the whole grill thing and just make it in the oven?

Aw, no you don’t! That dress makes you look quite slim!

Dry rub, indirect heat, at 225 deg F, to an internal temperature of 190 deg F. For the rub I use a mixture of salt, black pepper, ancho chile pepper, and cayenne. I use wood for flavor , mostly apple, with a little hickory, but the heat source is charcoal.

It’ll take longer than you think, there’s a long plateau as cartilage is rendered into gelatin. Minimum 12 hours.

Look up Momofuku pork shoulder. You can thank me later, after you’ve eaten the ENTIRE THING :slight_smile:

I kind of had my heart set on barbecue (with a western NC mustard-based sauce), but I have to admit that this does look good. I will take it under advisement. If I don’t make it this time, it’ll definitely get made soon enough.

I did this once when I tried to use a friends inferior smoker which wouldn’t get hot enough. I might work for you if you don’t have a smoker. Rub it then grill it for a few hours at low temp, offset the meat so it isn’t over the flame and put in a water pan to keep the meat moist and help regulate the temp. Then finish it in the oven at 225-250 degrees, wrapped in foil, for 6-8 hours, until it slumps. It won’t be smokey but it will be pretty danged good.

Push it

push it real good

After further research, I decided that I don’t want to deal with the grill and smoking and thermometers and water pans and 8-10 hours of all that, so I’m just going to go low and slow in the oven. I haven’t decided yet if I’m going to start with a rub and end with barbecue sauce, or do the Pioneer Woman’s Dr. Pepper and chipotle recipe, or maybe whip up a pineapple-chipotle sauce of my own. I do love me some chipotles.

I love this title and I can so hear Bessie Smith singing it.

Parboil it, inject it with seasonings, and stick it on the grill.

I’m scared to grill it, okay? It’s a huge hunk of meat, I’m not that experienced with the grill, and if I spend all day and a bunch of work on it and it sucks, then I’m going to be pissed. I’ll experiment another time on the grill with a smaller piece. Plus I don’t have an injector.

Do it in the slow cooker with soy sauce, vinegar, fish sauce, and sweet chili sauce. Use about equal quantities of all those things, cook it until it falls apart, and cook it with the lid askew if things look too wet. This recipe gives absolutely delicious results and is all but impossible to foul up. For a piece of meat that size, you’ll want a half to three quarters of a cup total for the liquid ingredients. I make this frequently for parties and never have leftovers. Have some sweet pickles, buns, and Sri racha at the table and you are good to go.

I would be using the crockpot for this, but it won’t fit. I hate to use the oven for so long when it’s hot as hell in my house already and I don’t have AC, but I must suffer for my art.

I just made up a nice mustardy-garlicky rub and put it on it and stuck it back in the fridge. After cooking it, I’ll put a mustardy bbq sauce on it, then stick it on buns with coleslaw. Yum.

And absolutely do NOT boil it. Or inject it. Boiling it draws the flavor out, and injecting just makes it watery and weird. Dry meats like turkey are ok if injected. Pork? Not so much.

Here’s what you do if you don’t want to futz with the grill all day.

  1. Rub your butt (hee) with your mustard rub. Sit your rubbed butt (:D) in the fridge overnight.

  2. Next day, let your butt sit on the counter (hee) for about an hour until it comes to room temp.


  1. Turn on your grill as low as possible–about 250 or so ideally, 300 is ok. Get some kind of smoking wood (chip form). Hickory or fruitwood (apple, cherry) work really well. Don’t use mesquite. Really. Trust me on this. Yuk.

  2. Make 3 pouches out of tin-foil. Put about 1/4 cup of wood chips in each pouch and seal tightly. Poke a few holes in the pouches.

  3. If you have an electric or propane grill, turn off one of the burners. If you have a charcoal grill, back in step 3, put all the coal on one side. Either way, put one of the pouches as close to the flame as possible. Put your butt on the grill fat side up( :p) as far away from the heat as possible.

  4. As soon as you start seeing the pouch giving off smoke, close the lid and go away for ~20 minutes. After ~20 minutes, put on the second pouch. Final time, turn over your butt so the fat side is down (:)) and repeat again with the 3d pouch ~20 minutes later.

  5. After ~1 hour, take your butt off the grill (:D*) and then put it in the oven.

It can’t possibly burn or overcook in an hour, and you get a ton of smokey flavor from the first hour of smoking. AND you can do the rest in your oven to better control the temp. There’s a pretty good chance you’ll even get a smoke ring. And the smoke plus the mustard sauce that you haven’t posted the recipe for would be a freakin’ awesome combo.
Protip-if you do use hickory, note that it does something weird to the meat–kind dyes it pink. So if your butt is pink inside ( :D* ), it’s still cooked.

*That never, ever gets old. I’m so very immature. :wink:

We just made one this weekend. Here’s what we did:

Took the pork butt and covered it in kosher salt and gentile pepper then braised it on all sides.

Then carmelized 2 yellow onions, chopped up three granny smith onions and put 'em all in a crock pot with 3 cups apple juice, 1 cup beef stock, 1 bay leaf, and some fresh rosemary from the herb garden.

Let it cook on slow for 4 hours.


I wish I’d seen this last night- I would have done it. But I didn’t. I did put the rub on last night and let it sit in the fridge with it overnight, then I put it in the oven, at 425 for 15 minutes then 300 ‘til done- about 6 hours, I’m thinking. As for the mustard sauce, I will be using a local jarred sauce… store bought- the horror! I do sometimes make my own sauce (just made a peach-chipotle sauce for chicken last week) but this looked good, so I bought it. The next time I want to smoke my big ol’ butt, I will definitely take this advice and put it on the grill first then bake- thanks!

I’ve been dying to try** this **ever since I twigged to it a couple of weeks ago:

I agree with the smokers here. I just smoked two butts this weekend.

Rub the butt with mustard (thin layer).

You can put your favorite rub on it and let it sit overnight (or let it come to room temperature if you want to do it today).

Set your smoker up offset/indirect heat. Fire up two chimneys of charcoal. When they are ready, pour them out on the offset side. Wait about 20-30 minutes for the temp to come down to 225.

Place a piece of wood (NOT SPRUCE, PINE, OR EUCALYPTUS) on the fire. I have used Pecan, Apple, Cherry, and Hickory. I am partial to Pecan.

After it smokes for about 5 minutes, place that butt on.

Smoke that butt at 225 for 1.5 hours per pound minimum.

Do not forget to check your coals at the 3-4 hour mark (unless you have a big green egg or UDS).

Use a meat thermometer and pull your butt off when the internal temp is 195 (most of the cartilage will have transmogrified into yummy pork goo.

Let it cool for about 15 minutes, shred that butt up and drizzle in some sauce…

That’s the white pepper that they use so the guests at the country club won’t suspect that somebody actually put spices :eek: in the food, right? :smiley:

Waaaait a minute. Unless this an onion variety I’ve never heard of, you mean “apples”, right?

Modulo the “granny smith onions”, it does sound delicious!

Oops, that should’ve been granny smith *apples. * I’d assume granny smith onions would be scallions :smiley:

Send the pork butt to me so I can make posole for everyone!!
Not that I’ll share, of course. :smiley: