The Ideal Pork Thigh

One of our favorite site-featured recipes, pork butt makes a delicious and simple family meal. When cooked low and slow, the meat becomes increasingly tender as the fat renders. The resulting shredded pork is delicious and simple to prepare.

When cooked properly, pork butt, which is on the cheaper end of the meat spectrum, becomes tender and flavorful like a more expensive cut.

The good thing about this pork butt recipe is that you can make it with just an oven if you don't have an instant pot or slow cooker.

If you enjoyed our pork shoulder, you will absolutely adore this dish. You may already be familiar with our slow cooker pulled pork and instant pot pulled pork recipes.

Just what is pork butt?

Despite its misleading name, pork butt is actually a cut of meat from the upper part of the pig's body, just above the shoulder. It is typically sold boneless, in contrast to the bone-in shoulder.  

Pork butt is boneless and has more marbling than pork shoulder. Boston butt is another name for pork butt, so don't be confused if you see either of those names.

How Does Pork Butt Really Taste?

One of the most flavorful and delicious types of pork, pork butt roast is a tougher cut of meat that, when cooked long and slow, the tissues break down and the meat becomes very tender. Many delicious dishes feature pork butt as an ingredient due to its sweetness and flavor.

What's Up With the Name "Pork Butt"?

Despite what the name "bork butt" might imply, this particular cut of pork originates in the pig's upper shoulder region.

In colonial New England, pork shoulders were preserved in barrels of brine called butts, hence the name "Boston Butt," named after a major city in the region.

Is Pork Shoulder the Same Thing as Pork Butt?

Although pork butt and pork shoulder butt look similar, they are actually quite different.  

They are both frontal, coming from the pig's shoulder region, rather than the back. Pork butt is located higher on the foreleg than shoulder.  

Both of these cuts are tough and fatty, and they need a longer cooking time to go from tough to tender.

Which Pork Should I Use to Make Pulled Pork?

When slow cooked, pork butt becomes incredibly tender and easy to shred, making it the ideal cut for pulled pork.

How to Prepare Pork Butt Properly

Several methods exist for preparing a pork butt:

  • One of the best ways to cook boston butt is in the oven. It's easy; just bake it after seasoning it with common spices you probably already have.
  • Cooking your pork butt low and slow in a crock pot is an excellent way to ensure a juicy final product. Easy as pie, right? Season it, and the slow cooker will take care of the rest. Depending on the size of the pork butt, slow cook it for five to seven hours. Because you can simply set a timer and leave, this technique is very practical.
  • The Instant Pot is a countertop pressure cooker that can turn tough cuts of meat into tender ones in a fraction of the time. There are many delicious recipes that can be made in an instant pot, and if you don't already own one, you should consider getting one because they are not very expensive. They help you get dinner on the table quickly after a long day.
  • For this method, smoking a pork butt is required. When you do that, the porky flavor is replaced by the delicious ham flavor.  

Is There a Preferred Method?

Each of these methods for preparing a pork butt is both delicious and useful. It's hard to choose a favorite because it's nice to have options that make you feel like you're eating something new.

Considering that this is your first time making it, I would recommend oven roasting. Crispy on the outside and juicy and tender within, pork butt is an excellent candidate for oven cooking.

Pork butt contains what, exactly?

  • The recipe calls for pork butt, a cut that, when cooked low and slow, yields a tender, easily shreddable meat. It's not from the pig's hind end as the name implies, but rather the shoulder area.
  • Who doesn't agree that garlic powder makes any and all meats taste better? Granulated garlic is tasty and blends well with the other spices; however, fresh garlic is also delicious.
  • Similar to garlic powder in flavor, onion powder gives meat dishes an extra kick.
  • Salt - We used pink himalayan salt, but any kind of salt would do.  
  • Black pepper is best, and it can be ground either finely or coarsely.
  • Paprika is a fantastic spice that gives meat a little kick without overpowering it.
  • As a sweetener, we opted for a sugar substitute called Swerve, which mimics the texture of brown sugar in its packaged form without the calories or carbohydrates. If you are not concerned with your carbohydrate intake, brown sugar is another option.

Boston Butt, in All Its Permutations


  • Pork Ragu, with tomato sauce as the star of the show.  
  • BBQ sauce is a popular condiment that gives a pulled pork taste to any pork roast. You can find a recipe for low-carb coleslaw on our website, and you can shred the meat and put it on a roll to eat.
  • Put some beer on top of your pork butt and slow cook it.
  • Put some butter on top of your pork butt and let it melt while it rests.
  • For a tangy sauce that pairs well with the meat, try our recipe for cranberry sauce, which can be found on our website.

Alternative Seasonings

The meaning of spices can vary from person to person. It's up to you how much seasoning you put on your food; some people prefer less, while others prefer more. In addition to the spices we used, you can also try:

  • For a distinctly Mexican flavor, try cumin.
  • The addition of basil, oregano, and other Italian herbs and spices will transform the pork butt into a delicious Italian dish. etc
  • Chili powder is a mildly spicy, warming spice.
  • You can use either fresh or dried parsley to add color and flavor to your pork shoulder butt.
  • Use as little or as much crushed red pepper as you like to achieve the desired level of heat.
  • Brown mustard or dried mustard is what we call mustard.
  • Spice your pork with some lemon pepper for a subtle citrus kick.


  • Pork and chili peppers are a delicious combination.
  • A classic and delicious combination: pork and apple sauce. If you're on a low-carb diet, it's important to limit how much apple sauce you eat.

Preparing Pork Butt for the Oven

Here are just a few of the many delicious complements to an oven-roasted pork butt roast:

  • Macaroni and Cheese (or, for the health-conscious, Cauliflower Mac and Cheese)
  • You can make sandwiches by slicing a pork butt and serving it on bread or rolls with your preferred condiment, such as mustard or cheese.
  • Add some coleslaw to your pork meal, whether as a side dish, a topping, or a sandwich filling. As a side dish, you should try our Low Carb Coleslaw.
  • Potato salad (or a potato and cauliflower salad)
  • Salad with Macaroni
  • Pork butt is lean and makes a healthy addition to a green salad without adding too many calories or carbs.
  • Burritos
  • My favorite way to use up whatever leftover meat I have in the fridge is to throw it into a pot of chicken soup, and this pork butt is no exception.

The first order of business is selecting an excellent pork butt. Some things to remember are as follows:

Pork butts, also known as Boston butts, can be purchased at most supermarkets and butcher shops. If you have trouble locating it, your local butcher may be able to special-order it for you.

Points to Consider

Look for a pork shoulder butt that is a vibrant pink color when shopping for fresh meat. If it's not fresh, it will look tan or grey and has probably already gone bad.  

The expiration date on the package is a good indicator of how long the meat will keep, but I've learned the hard way that sometimes the meat spoils much sooner than the date suggests.

The pork butt roast will keep well in the fridge for up to two days if you plan on cooking it in that time. If you aren't sure how to use it, freeze it until you do.

How Many Pork Butts Should I Serve?

Depending on how hungry you are, you may eat anywhere from 3-12 ounces of pork butt when cooking. Knowing who you're talking to is essential. 6 ounces is a good middle ground.

For a given number of diners, more food should be prepared if some of the adults are hearty eaters. The number of vegetables and other side dishes you plan to serve with the meat is another consideration.

Invest in Markdowns

In order to save money, I always stock up on frozen meat whenever it goes on sale. When properly packaged to prevent freezer burn, most types of meat can be stored for up to six months.

Do I Need to Buy a Seasoned Pork Butch?

Although I have never seen one, it is possible that pre-seasoned pork butts exist. Buy it pre-seasoned if you can get a good deal, but if you have to pay extra, season it yourself. You can add whatever spices you like, and it tastes great either way.

How to Preserve Pork Butt for Dinner

You can keep the pork butt in the fridge for as long as the expiration date specifies on the package. To prevent leakage in the fridge, you could wrap it in plastic or place it in a plastic bag.

Instructions for Baking Pork Butt

With that in mind, let's move on to the recipe's actual cooking instructions. Let's take a look at the exact steps for baking pork butt.


You need to get a Boston butt ready for the oven before you put it in.

Prepare a baking rack to sit atop your oven pan to keep the meat at a safe distance from the heat while it cooks. For easier cleanup, use aluminum foil to line the baking dish.

Gather your spices and brown swerve (or brown sugar) and combine them in a small bowl.

Mix the spices together, then use them to season the pork butt on all sides. The dish is now prepared for baking.

The best way to cook a pork butt is on a wire rack set over a baking sheet. That allows air to circulate beneath the meat, creating a crispier exterior.


Prepare a 325 degree oven temperature by turning on the oven. Start baking the pork butt right away.

Time Required to Prepare Pork Butt

Boston burgers benefit from a low and slow cooking time of about 20 minutes per pound. Check the temperature with a meat thermometer. The ideal internal temperature for pork is 145 degrees.

In the Third Step, the Meat Rests

The meat should then be allowed to rest for 20 minutes before being cut. Taking this action is crucial.

It will finish cooking even after you take it out of the oven. The pork butt roast will be more tender after it has rested so that the juices can be absorbed.

The meat won't be as tender if you don't let it rest and cut into it right away; the juices will drain out.

Serve the meat sliced and savored.

Frequently Asked Questions & Expert Advice

If you have any concerns about preparing this pork butt recipe, I've answered them below. We will also share some of the useful advice we have acquired.  

  • The pork butt, the fattier the better. Flavor is a byproduct of fat.
  • Even though a big pork butt tastes great, the meat from a smaller cut is even more tender and juicy.
  • A three to four pound slab is ideal. Cut the meat in half lengthwise if you need more.
  • You can substitute a picnic shoulder for the pork butt if you can't find one.
  • The slower it cooks, the better it will turn out, so don't rush it.
  • Meat needs to rest after cooking so that the juices can be sealed inside. Juices will spill onto the plate if you wait until it cools to cut it. Don't be in a hurry to cut into the pork butt; resting it is an important step. Waiting the recommended 20 minutes before slicing prevents the meat's juices from spilling out onto your plate.

Should I Tent the Pork Butt While Baking?

When baking pork butt, there is no need to cover it with foil. Because of the low heat and the natural fat in the meat, it won't dry out even if it's covered while it cooks.

Should I Use a Wire Rack in the Oven?

In my opinion, a cooking rack is an absolute necessity when baking pork butt in the oven. That way, it won't get soggy while cooking in the fat that has rendered from the meat.

How to Preserve Boston Roast Beef

Boston Butt can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. I enjoy leftovers because they are convenient to store.  

It will keep in the fridge for about 4 days if stored in an airtight plastic container. Freeze it according to the instructions below if you won't be using it soon.

Warming Up

In my opinion, these are the top three ways to reheat pork butt leftovers:

  • 1-2 minutes in the microwave
  • Stovetop - Fry in a nonstick pan over low to medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.

Do You Know If Pork Butt Freezes Well?

Yes Raw or cooked, pork butt can be frozen and stored for later use.

When storing raw meat, I always use white freezer paper and clearly label it with the type of meat it is, its weight, and the date it was prepared. After I've wrapped the meat in paper, I put it in a plastic bag.

After the pork butt has been cooked, any leftovers can be easily frozen. To ensure the meat stays fresh for as long as possible, place it in a ziploc bag inside a second airtight plastic container.

You can also reverse the process by placing the plastic bag with the pork butt inside the airtight container.  

In either case, a properly wrapped pork butt has a shelf life of at least three months.

Few cooking utensils are required to make a delicious pork butt.

  • Gather the spices and put them in a small bowl.
  • Spoon - Use a teaspoon to mix the spices in the bowl.
  • To bake the pork butt, you'll need a large cookie sheet or roasting pan with a rack that can hold the roast at a safe distance from the bottom of the oven.
  • Rack - Something you put on top of your tray to keep your pork butt from getting greasy.
  • A large, sturdy cutting board is required for slicing the roast. You should save any drippings from the meat and drizzle them on top right before serving.
  • The meat can only be cut with a sharp knife.

Cast Iron Skillet: The Ultimate Pork Butt Cooking Tool

When roasting, I like to place it on a rack placed over a baking pan or cookie sheet that is about an inch thick. Any pan with a rack can be used for baking or roasting. You can't go wrong with glass, metal, or stone.

Should I Eat Pork Butt?

The pork butt is an excellent source of lean protein. It is low in carbohydrates and has a high protein content. When cooked low and slow, the fat renders, leaving behind a leaner, more tender product.  

Pork, like most meats, has some nutritional value in the form of vitamins and minerals, but eating it on a regular basis isn't healthy. If you round out your plate with some vegetables, you'll have a complete meal.

Pork butt calorie count?

There are only 89 calories in a 1 ounce serving, making this a healthy option for those watching their weight.

Recipes Suitable for the Following Diets

  • Keto/Low Carb – a viable alternative for those with carbohydrate intolerance.
  • Our pork butt recipe is completely gluten-free.
  • Avoiding the use of dairy products, this delicious cut of meat contains none.
  • Paleo: the ultimate diet for carnivores
  • Candida - A Verified Plan to Keep Your Blood Sugar in Check
  • Our oven-roasted pork butt doesn't contain any sugar.
  • If you have a nut allergy, you can eat this without worry.
  • This delicious roast is compliant with the Whole 30 diet.
  • Egg-Free - We don't use eggs in any of our pork butt products.

Other Mouthwatering Pork Dishes

If you like pork as much as we do, check out these other delicious recipes on our site:

All of these dishes are simple to prepare but will have your guests raving.

There's a clock icon, a knife and a flag, an Instagram icon, a Pinterest icon, a Facebook print icon, a square heart icon, and a heart solid icon.
  • Author: Oskwarek, Leigh
  • As a whole, Time: 105 mins
  • Yield: 8 Size of a Serving (6 oz) 1 x

You can't go wrong with this oven-roasted pork butt recipe. This tough cut of meat becomes more tender and juicy as it cooks. It's a more affordable cut of meat that mimics the flavor of more expensive cuts but easily falls apart. If it's on sale, stock up and save for the next family meal. Try our slow cooker and instant pot versions if you enjoy this oven-roasted pork butt.

  • ¼ tsp Salt
  • ¼ tsp "Black Pepper"
  • ¼ tsp Paprika
  • ½ tsp Powdered Garlic
  • ½ tsp Ground Onions
  • ¼ cup Brown Sugar Condensate
  • 3 4 lb Pork Butt
  1. Prepare your baking dish by lining it with foil. Raise the meat above the baking tray it will be cooked in by placing a baking rack over it.  
  2. In a small bowl, combine all of the spices and the brown swerve.
  3. Mix the spices together and then use them to season the pork butt on all sides.
  4. Turn the oven on to 325 degrees and then add the pan.
  5. Pork butt is best when cooked slowly for about 20 minutes per pound. Thermometer the meat with Cooking pork to an internal temperature of 145 degrees is ideal.
  6. Remove the pork from the oven and let it rest for at least 20 minutes before slicing to ensure that the juices are evenly distributed throughout the meat.

No Carbs Net

The ideal pork butt weighs in at around 4 pounds and is more fatty than lean. If you need more meat, rather than purchasing one large roast, consider purchasing two smaller roasts and cooking them together.  

The roast will turn out more tender if you take your time cooking it.

Resting the meat after removing it from the oven will prevent the meat from drying out when it is sliced.

Storing: Refrigerating your pork butt is a simple solution. Just store it in an airtight container in the fridge for four to five days.  

Reheating: The best way to reheat your pork butt is in a nonstick frying pan over medium heat for about 5 minutes, while constantly moving the meat around the pan to prevent it from sticking. It can also be heated for a minute or two in the microwave, which is a convenient alternative.

Freezing Pork butt will keep well in the freezer for up to three months if it is properly packaged in an airtight container inside a plastic ziploc bag.  

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 90 minutes
  • Category: Primary Dishes
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

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