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How to Cook a Boston Butt

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I am of a “keep things simple” mindset.


John’s first post, way back at the beginning is excellent. Variations are talked about, and might be worked in. I would go with known results rather than trying something new when cooking for an important event.


Stuff happens during the cook, like the battery fails in your insta-probe or a 100 other possibles. 


The most important part of this cook is pulling at a temperature in the 195-205 deg. range. Choose your own.


Sauce is a big factor to us. We have relatives in, and with no idea of what they like, I set out a few choices. I.e. homemade to stuff from the grocery.



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Wow.. this write up is almost eight years old now.  I just re-read it to see where my current methods have evolved from this.  Honestly, this is still a good reference.  There is only one part of this that I would change, and that is the use of the drip pan.  I DEFINITELY like the results better when the fat from the meat is dripping onto hot coals or grill surfaces where it can create smoke.  THAT smoke is good smoke and, IMHO, it improves the flavor of the finished product.  


I have evolved MY personal method for cooking a butt (and brisket as well) so maybe I should write up "How to Cook a Boston Butt - Advanced Edition" and get it online sometime soon....


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I picked up a butt yesterday - 13.5 pounder. We’re having a large group on the 4th, and I don’t want to run out of food. I took a look at it this morning and it looks like it could be 2 butts. It’s still in the cryovac packaging and appears to be 1 large cut, but it has 2 blade bones. I’ve circled the 2 bones in the picture below.


Not completely understanding the anatomy of a pig, can this be a single piece of meat, or is it 2 butts crammed into 1 package? If it is a single piece, would there be a benefit to cutting it in half for cooking? I’m concerned about the cooking time. If I cut it into 2 pieces, would that speed up the cook? 




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