Pork butt is one of the numerous ways to whip up the main course to feed a vast crowd. And the delicious flavor and juicy texture would have your guest thank you for it. It’s why pork butt is a popular feature at any event, occasion, and even festive dinners.
But not everyone is fully informed on how much time pork butt needs to cook. Various factors like the size of the meat, oven temperature, and whether it’s bone-in or boneless can confuse. Well, cooking a pork butt doesn’t have to be so complicated. All you need is a specific temperature range and minute-per-pound cooking time, and you’re good to go!
Pork Butt Nutrition Facts
Pork Butt Cooking Tips
For those coming across this cut of meat for the first time, don’t start making tushie jokes just yet. Pork butt is gotten from a pig’s foreleg’s upper shoulder region, not the bum. It’s a cut of meat similar to the Boston butt, except the latter is cut from the lower part of the same leg. Regardless, both cuts of meat are tough, have excellent marbling, and are packed with flavors. As such, to get the best out of pork butt, some basic rules must be strictly obeyed.
Cook Low and Slow
The pork butt has lots of connective tissue, which makes the meat tough. And if not cooked properly, you’ll end up with a chewy texture you can’t enjoy. It’s why the best way to prepare pork butt is at a low temperature for an extended period. This way, the juices simmer gradually into the meat and break the connective tissues. And the result is a tender, pull-apart hunk of delicious pork, regardless of whether it’s bone-in or boneless.
More Fat=More Moisture
Most times, pork butt is best cooked in the oven where it’s seasoned and left to slow-roast in its juices. And one way of making sure the roast comes out juicy and soft is to buy meat cuts with lots of fat. As the pork butt slow roasts in the oven, the fat melts and bastes the meat, adding moisture and flavor.
Though pork butt is a tasty cut of meat due to its marbling, it’s still necessary to add enough spices. You can use any combination of herbs, seasonings, and spices you prefer. Pork butt excels with a black pepper and salt combo, but you can also go creative with other spice options. Thyme, adobo sauce, BBQ seasoning, chili powder, tomato sauce, and even herbs like tarragon and rosemary will add depth to its flavor profile.
Before slow-roasting the pork butt in the oven, it’s helpful to sear it first. Searing will help create a charred surface texture that locks in the moisture as it cooks. Plus, it gives the finished pork butt roast a crispy, crunchy finish.
Pork Butt Cooking Time
To answer how long you should cook pork butt, you must note one important factor. Regardless of the meat’s size, oven temperature, and bone, pork must be cooked to a specific internal temperature. As such, pork butt or any pork-based roast is considered done and safe to eat when the internal temperature reaches 165°F. For pork butt, you can still leave it till up to 180°F for more tenderness.
A standard temperature range you can cook pork at is from 300 to 350°F. And at this temperature, pork butt should cook for 30 to 40 minutes per pound. But regardless of your calculations, make sure the expected internal temperature for doneness is attained.Print
- One boneless pork butt, 4 pound
- One teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
- One teaspoon salt, kosher
- One teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon cumin, ground
- ½ teaspoon thyme, dried
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- Set the oven at 450°F to preheat, and while you wait, mix the spices in a bowl. Sprinkle the spice mix over the pork butt and rub it into the flesh.
- Place a large iron skillet on the stove at high heat, and sear the pork butt on all sides till it browns nicely. Transfer the seared meat to a baking dish.
- Cover the dish with foil and place it in the oven. Drop the heat to 325°F and cook for 3 hours. Afterward, take off the foil and cook for an extra hour. The roast is done at an internal temperature of 165 to 180°F. It should also be pull-apart tender.
- Set it down and leave it to cool for some minutes. This waiting period allows the juices to redistribute. Shred and serve however you please.
Also, consider this video recipe for more ways to cook pork butt.