Fall Apart Boston Butt Pork Roast Recipe, Best Pulled Pork (2024)

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This succulent and flavorful Boston Butt Pork Roast recipe is guaranteed to fall apart as you cut into it.

Fall Apart Boston Butt Pork Roast Recipe, Best Pulled Pork (1)

Perfect for pulled pork or simply enjoying on its own, this dish is sure to please everyone at the table.

This is an easy recipe that's perfect for family gatherings and any special occasion!

Boston Butt Pork Roast

Despite its misleading name, the Boston Butt Pork Roast is a culinary gem hailing from the upper shoulder region of the pig, not its rear end.

Fall Apart Boston Butt Pork Roast Recipe, Best Pulled Pork (2)

This bone-in pork shoulder, also affectionately called the pork shoulder, boasts exceptional versatility and flavor, particularly when treated to slow and low cooking methods. Its natural marbling, visible fat cap, and muscle fibers combine to create the perfect foundation for succulent and tender pork dishes.

Simple ingredients like garlic powder,brown sugar,black pepper,and kosher salt come together in a magical spice rub,elevating the innate flavor of the Boston Butt.The extended cooking time at a low temperature further enhances this magic,ensuring the meat reaches the perfect internal temperature for an undeniably delicious result.

This versatile cut is the ultimate choice for pulled pork, transforming into a crowd-pleasing main course that shines at any gathering. Whether roasted in a trusty pan, wrapped in aluminum foil, or slowly simmered in a crockpot, the Boston Butt Pork Roast's adaptability and exceptional taste have earned it a place of honor in recipe books and kitchens around the globe.


Gear Up for Deliciousness with Essential Tools for Your Boston Butt Roast Masterpiece

Before diving into this easy pork recipe,let's assemble the essential tools for a perfect Boston Butt roast:

  • Roasting Pan or Large Cast Iron Skillet:Your trusty pan will be the stage for slow-cooking magic.Choose a roasting pan for even heat distribution,or a large cast iron skillet for its superior heat retention and sear.
  • Paper Towels:These handy helpers are perfect for prepping the roast and cleaning up spills.
Fall Apart Boston Butt Pork Roast Recipe, Best Pulled Pork (3)
  • Roasting Rack:Elevate your roast for optimal airflow and crispy edges.
  • Aluminum Foil or Pink Butcher Paper:These unsung heroes are key to creating a moist and tender roast.Aluminum foil traps juices,while pink butcher paper allows for steam release while preserving moisture.
  • Meat Thermometer:Forget about guesswork!This trusty tool ensures perfectly cooked meat,achieving the ideal internal temperature of 200 degrees Fahrenheit for a fall-apart Boston Butt.
  • Large Cutting Board:Once your masterpiece is cooked to perfection,a spacious cutting board provides the perfect platform for carving and preparing juicy slices.
  • Air-tight Container:Leftovers are a blessing! Store your delicious Boston Butt in an airtight container for future enjoyment.
Fall Apart Boston Butt Pork Roast Recipe, Best Pulled Pork (4)

Key Ingredients

A symphony of Flavor for Your Boston Butt Pork Roast

Ingredients play a vital role in creating a succulent and flavorful Boston Butt Roast. Let's explore the key players and their contributions to this culinary masterpiece:

  • Garlic Powder & Onion Powder:Infuse the roast with savory complexity, building layers of flavor during slow cooking.
  • Brown Sugar:Adds sweetness, balancing savory elements and creating a delightful contrast, while contributing to a mouthwatering crust.
  • Kosher Salt:Enhances flavor, seasons evenly, and promotes moisture retention.
  • Black Pepper:Delivers a subtle kick, elevating the taste profile with a hint of heat that harmonizes with other spices.
Fall Apart Boston Butt Pork Roast Recipe, Best Pulled Pork (5)


Craft the Spice Rub:In a small bowl,combine the salt,pepper,thyme,brown sugar,onion powder,and garlic powder.

Generously Season the Roast:Rub the spice mixture all over the pork roast,ensuring it reaches every nook and cranny for maximum flavor distribution.

Fall Apart Boston Butt Pork Roast Recipe, Best Pulled Pork (6)

Marinate for Depth of Flavor:Place the seasoned roast in the refrigerator to marinate for at least 12 hours.This allows the flavors to penetrate the meat and develop richness.

Preheat and Prepare for Searing:Preheat your oven to 450°F while the roast comes to room temperature for 30 minutes.This ensures even cooking.

Searing for a Flavorful Crust:Place the seasoned roast,fat side up,on a roasting rack in a roasting pan.Roast uncovered at 450°F for the first 30 minutes,creating a delicious "bark" on the exterior.

Slow Roast to Fall Apart Tender:Reduce the oven temperature to 250°F.Continue roasting uncovered until the exterior develops a dry and crispy "bark," approximately 6-8 hours for a medium-sized roast.

Fall Apart Boston Butt Pork Roast Recipe, Best Pulled Pork (8)

Wrapping Roast

Wrap and Let the Magic Happen:After achieving the desired "bark," carefully remove the roast and securely wrap it in two layers of heavy-duty aluminum foil or pink butcher paper.Pink butcher paper allows steam to escape while retaining juices,resulting in a more flavorful and moist roast.

Return to the Oven for Low and Slow Cooking:Place the wrapped roast back in the oven and continue slow roasting for the remaining time.This extended cooking at a low temperature breaks down the connective tissues and fat marbling,delivering incredible tenderness.

Achieve Perfect Doneness:Monitor the internal temperature of the roast using a meat thermometer.Aim for 195-200°F for the ultimate melt-in-your-mouth texture.Remember,never cook it below 195°F. This will take another 2-5 hours depending on the size of your roast.

Fall Apart Boston Butt Pork Roast Recipe, Best Pulled Pork (9)

Rest for Optimal Juiciness:Once cooked,carefully remove the roast from the oven and let it rest for 15-20 minutes.This allows the juices to redistribute within the meat,ensuring a moist and flavorful final product.

Fall Apart Boston Butt Pork Roast Recipe, Best Pulled Pork (10)

Slice or Pull to Your Preference:Slice the roast against the grain for a traditional presentation or pull it apart for perfect pulled pork texture.

Fall Apart Boston Butt Pork Roast Recipe, Best Pulled Pork (11)

Serve and Enjoy:Serve the roast with your favorite barbecue sauce for an extra burst of flavor and moisture. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days or frozen for future enjoyment.

Fall Apart Boston Butt Pork Roast Recipe, Best Pulled Pork (12)

Serve Boston Butt Roast With

  • Soft Sourdough Rolls
  • Moist Cornbread
  • Baked BBQ Beans
  • Pasta Salad
  • Loaded Potato Salad
  • Fermented Red Sauerkraut
  • Waldorf Salad
  • Green Goddess Salad

Let me know what you think!

Share your cooking tips and feedback in the comments below.

Did you add any twists to these recipes? I'd love to hear!

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If you try this recipe and love it, I’d love if you give it 5 stars and let me know how it turned out in the comments or review!Tag me on Instagram@farmhouse_harvestwith your delicious creation!

Fall Apart Boston Butt Pork Roast Recipe, Best Pulled Pork (13)

Fall Apart Boston Butt Pork Roast Recipe

Yield: 6 pounds

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 9 minutes

Additional Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 49 minutes

Boston Butt Roast Recipe is dry rub marinated overnight, then slow roasted and wrapped so it practically falls apart as you cut it. Perfect on its own or as pulled pork! Serves 6-8


  • 6-8 pound Boston Butt Pork Roast
  • 1.5 (1 and ½) tablespoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons of ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried Thyme
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder


  1. Marinate: Combine the salt, pepper, thyme, brown sugar, onion powder, and garlic powder in a small bowl. Rub the mixture all over the Boston Butt Pork Roast. Cover and refrigerate for at least 12 hours, or overnight for best results.
  2. Put a wire rack at the bottom of your large roasting pan, then place your Roast FAT SIDE UP on roasting rack, in the pan, and set it on the counter.
  3. Preheat oven to 450° f, and let the roast come up to room temperature while the oven is preheating.
  4. Place roast UNCOVERED into your high-temperature oven, and roast for a half hour.
  5. Then, the oven down to a 250° F for the rest of the cooking time.
  6. Let the it roast uncovered till the exterior develops a “bark” or becomes a bit crispy, about 6-8 hours for a medium-sized roast (for a 6lb roast). Make sure the outside has a nice CRUST.
  7. Carefully remove the roast from the oven and completely wrap it in pink butcher paper, or 2 layers of aluminum foil.
  8. Return roast to the oven and cook at 250°F till the internal temperature (at the deepest part of the roast) reaches 195-200° f. (about 2-5 more hours)
  9. Remove from the oven to a cooling rack or cutting board and let it rest for 20-30 minutes so juices can redistribute.
  10. Slice Boston Butt Roast against the grain, or pull it apart with forks.
  11. Serve with your favorite BBQ sauce or enjoy all on it's own!


  • Give your self plenty of time with this recipe... You can let it marinate in the fridge for up to 3 days!
  • Start cooking it early in the morning the day you'll serve it. I start at 6 am to serve it at 6pm.
  • Take the internal temperature by pushing my instant read thermometer right through the butcher paper or aluminum foil wrapping.
  • If you don't have pink butcher paper, you can use heavy-duty aluminum foil. However, pink butcher paper is better at allowing steam to escape while still retaining moisture.
  • Let the pork come to room temperature before cooking for more even cooking.
  • The internal temperature of the roast is the best way to determine doneness. Don't rely on time alone.
  • For pulled pork, you can add your favorite BBQ sauce to the shredded meat or drizzle over the top!
Nutrition Information

Serving Size 4 oz
Amount Per ServingCalories 210Total Fat 14gCholesterol 70mgSodium 380mgProtein 20g

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Store & Reheat Like a Pro

Cool your cooked roast completely before storing.Divide into portions and store in airtight containers.Refrigerate for 3-5 days or freeze for 3 months.

Reheat gently using the oven, slow cooker, or stovetop. Add a touch of liquid to retain moisture. Enjoy roast pork butt leftovers aspulled pork sandwiches, tacos, or as a main course.


How Long To Cook Boston Butt Roast in the Oven Per pound?

At 250 degrees F, you will cook your Boston butt roast, fat side up, for 40 minutes per pound. Till internal temperature reaches 190-200 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer.

Is Boston Butt Roast Good Pulled Pork?

Boston Butt Roast makes THE BEST pulled pork when it's cooked slow and low all day long to an internal temp of 195 - 200 degrees!
Cooking a Boston Butt right forms a "bark" on the exterior that's crispy and flavorful... After cutting up the roast, mix the bark crust together with the inside meat to flavor the entire batch of high quality pulled pork!Fall Apart Boston Butt Pork Roast Recipe, Best Pulled Pork (14)

What Cut Is Best For Pulled Pork?

The best cut for pulled pork is the Boston Butt Roast! If you have less time the pork loin can also make a good but a bit more dry pulled pork.

Is Pork Butt Roast The Same As Boston Butt Roast?

No the shoulder roast, and sometimes a picnic roast is sometimes called a butt roast. The Boston Butt is a higher cut on the pig, and a higher quality cut with fewer tendons and connective tissues.

Do You Cover Boston Butt Roast In The Oven?

Not at first... And then yes later on. Do not cover Boston Butt Roast in the oven till it has roasted for 6-8 hours and developed its "bark" like outer skin crust. Then, wrap with foil, or pink butcher paper and roast till the internal temp reaches 195-200 degrees!

Do you put water in roasting pan for pork?

I don't recommend putting liquid into the bottom of your roasting pan.... This roast is full of fats that keep it moist so it does not need extra moisture in the pan. Plus it cooks at such a low temperature most of the time that drippings don't burn onto the pan.

Fall Apart Boston Butt Pork Roast Recipe, Best Pulled Pork (15)

More Pork Recipes

Grilled Pork Loin

Easy Bone-In Pork Chops

Smoked Pork Loin

Fresh Ham Roast

The Best Pulled Pork

Picnic Shoulder Roast

Grilled Pork Tenderloin


National Pork Board

Culinary Institute of America

Fall Apart Boston Butt Pork Roast Recipe, Best Pulled Pork (16)
Fall Apart Boston Butt Pork Roast Recipe, Best Pulled Pork (17)

Hey, I'm Juliea!

I've been making this Boston Butt Pork Roast Recipe for years... I hope you love it too!

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Fall Apart Boston Butt Pork Roast Recipe, Best Pulled Pork (2024)


What is the secret to pulled pork? ›

Apple cider vinegar: Adds a little tanginess and helps to tenderize the pork. Without it, the pork tastes flat. Adding the vinegar wakes everything up. Fish sauce or Worcestershire: Seasons our cooking liquid and adds a nice burts of umami, which makes the pulled pork even more delicious.

What is the best liquid to cook pulled pork in? ›

Transfer everything to a large slow cooker and add a splash of liquid — water is great, but so is broth, apple juice, or beer if you have them handy. Cover and cook on low until the meat is tender and pulls apart easily.

What is the pulled pork 3 2 1 method? ›

The six (6) hours comes from three (3) hours smoking, two (2) hours wrapped in foil on the grill and one (1) hour with sauce on it. We invited some friends over for Memorial Day so we BBQ'd four rack of pork ribs as shown in this Instructable.

Is pulled pork better in the oven or slow cooker? ›

Crock Pot Pulled Pork: I prefer the oven, which yields a nice crispy exterior; however, the slow cooker gives you really tender and juicy meat as well. Place the pork in a Crock Pot and prepare as directed in the recipe. Cover and cook on LOW for 10-12 hours or on HIGH for 6-7 hours.

What liquid keeps pulled pork moist? ›

Additionally, spray chicken broth or apple juice on the meat to prevent it from losing more moisture in the crockpot. To add a strong flavor during the process, white wine can also be sprayed.

How do I get more flavor in my pulled pork? ›

We use brown sugar, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, smoked paprika, a good amount of salt & pepper, and a pinch of cayenne! Make sure you use all of the seasoning! Also, really rub it into the pulled pork, get all of the nooks and crannies!

Why do you put apple cider vinegar in pulled pork? ›

After you've pulled your pork butt, drizzle over the meat and combine. The vinegar adds contrast to the smoky flavor and cuts through the fat in the meat. It also helps mellow out the darker, gamier-tasting parts of the butt. This makes enough for a 8 pound pork butt/shoulder.

Why add apple cider vinegar to pulled pork? ›

Apple cider and apple cider vinegar come together in this dish to give the smoked pork a subtle sweetness and reintroduce some moisture back into the cut of meat. Apple and pork are a classic flavor combo — just think of pork chops and applesauce.

Is pork butt good for pulled pork? ›

Pork butt is an ideal choice for barbecue pulled pork, but it also lends itself to braising and stewing, which tenderizes the meat and melts the fat. Use pork butt in any recipe where you're looking for fall-apart-tender meat and a rich, porky flavor, such as pulled pork, carnitas or stew.

How long should pulled pork sit before pulling? ›

Allow pork butt to rest for as little as 30 minutes to as long as 5 hours; however, the ideal resting period to rest pork butt is between 1 and 2 hours. This gives the meat enough time to relax and allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat.

What temperature does pulled pork fall apart? ›

The USDA recommends that pork is cooked to an internal temperature of 145°F (62.8°C) for food safety. But every griller worth their salt knows that cuts rich in collagen, like pork butt, need to be brought to much higher temperatures (195-205°F [91-96°C]) to properly break down the connective tissues.

What is the magic number for pulled pork? ›

You could eat it at a lower temperature, but the magic number is between 200 and 205 degrees. This is the best temperature for pulling the pork apart. Take it out of the oven and let the pork rest. Just like when you cook a steak, you should let any meat rest so you don't lose the juices by cutting into it too early.

Should I sear pork before slow cooking for pulled pork? ›

Preparing the pork

I prefer to season the meat before adding it to the slow cooker with my favourite spices, along with salt and pepper. I also recommend browning the meat slightly prior to slow cooking which will help maximise the flavour. However, this is a step that can be left out if you don't have enough time.

Is wet or dry rub better for pulled pork? ›

Wet rubs are fantastic when you are cooking low and slow – again, brisket and pulled pork. This allows your food to develop a unique bark and allows the sugars to caramelize instead of burn.

Can you overcook pork for pulled pork? ›

By the way, just as it's possible to overcook beef in a beef stew, it's quite possible to overcook pulled pork. You want your pork to be pull-apart tender—an indication that the connective tissue has broken down—but not so cooked that the muscle fibers themselves start to lose structure and turn to mush.

What makes pulled pork better? ›

What is the best cut of meat for pulled pork? Pork shoulder is ideal for pulling purposes. It has an optimum fat content that yields to create tender, melty meat, but it's essential you cook it slowly to allow the protein to break down properly.

Why do you put vinegar in pulled pork? ›

This thin, vinegar-based finishing sauce, which differs from a BBQ sauce, is the secret ingredient to kick up my smoked pulled pork. After you've pulled your pork butt, drizzle over the meat and combine. The vinegar adds contrast to the smoky flavor and cuts through the fat in the meat.

Why add soda to pulled pork? ›

This easy Pulled Pork recipe is made with pork shoulder (or butt), pantry spices and co*ke to tenderize the meat and add sweetness to the seasonings. The result if perfect, tender and juicy pork cooked in the oven, slow cooker or instant pot!


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