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Old 03-18-2007, 02:51 PM   #1
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Cooking a Boston Butt in the oven

What temp do you cook yours on? and do you put the fattier side up on top or down next to the pan?? Thanks for your help. Some say to put the fattier side up on top to baste the meat as it drips down. Then others say to put the fat side down near the pan. Which is better??


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Old 03-18-2007, 03:00 PM   #2
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The way I have learned on this site-is to cook it fat side up- low and slow which is put seasoned butt on a rack (in pan) uncovered 250' 8 hrs. - awesome !

"Candocook" deserves all the credit !!!

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Old 03-18-2007, 04:20 PM   #3
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Coat with olive oil, salt, and pepper (some kind of rub if you want also but it's not necessary).

Fat side up in a pan with 2" sides. You want part of the meat to be above the top of the pan. Last time I cooked mine on 225 but 250 will be fine. Depending on the poundage, time will vary. You want the internal temp to reach 200 degrees. I know pork is done sooner but the whole purpose of cooking a Boston butt is to have it pullable. DO NOT COVER while cooking. This will give the whole outside a nice crust and keep the inside moist and tender.

I cooked one (can't remember poundage but it WAS a big boy!) and it took almost 20 hours. Another one took about 8. The key though, like I said, is getting it to an internal temp of 200. And those browned harder bits on the outside of the meat are "prime" good eats. Don't throw those away, devour them when no one is looking!

Once at 200 let rest for about 20 - 30 minutes before slicing. If you slice too soon you will lose all the juice that keeps it tender. Remove fat cap and start pulling the meat in shreds. You can also keep in chunks if you'd rather eat it that way. Either way it's going to melt in your mouth.

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Old 03-18-2007, 06:19 PM   #4
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Update on Boston Butt

I started the Boston Butt at 250*, but didn't have 10 hrs, so I cooked it at 350* until it was done. I shredded it with 2 forks. We made sandwiches ith slaw. They were so gooood!!!!
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Old 03-18-2007, 08:23 PM   #5
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Please don't put water in the pan and please don't cover. And yes,, you roasted at 350* it willl be "good" and you can shred it. But roasted at a lower temp and longer gives VERY moist meltingly tender meat that is the real "pulled pork" of southern BBQ fame.
When meat is roasted the proteins tighten at higher temps. At lower temps the collagen of tougher meat literally melts and the meat becomes tender. i have never tried to slice this meat nor have had it served to be sliced. It would be almost impossible because you have cooked it so it CAN't be sliced--it is to be pulled apart, or we have served it whole, and people just pull off big chunks to put on their buns or plates.

You could not roast a piece of meat at 350* and get it to an internal temp of 190*-200*--and have it edible. You CAN roast a piece of the correct kind of meat--like a Boston butt, fatty and tough with collagenous tissue--at a LOW temp like 225-250* for a LONG time and have it reach that temp--and be absolutely delectable--as described above it equals "pulled pork".

It is possible that if you had a one piece of meat piece that weighed more than 10 lbs., it could take longer to cook. I have NEVER had that to happen (even with 7# pieces) and I have been making this recipe for 40 years. It is also possible that ovens malfunction or fluctuate in temperature, and most certainly, if you are doing it on a fire cooker, the temperature is not anywhere near constant.

Carolina Pulled pork
I posted it a long time ago. It is truly easy and delicious.
1 pork shoulder or butt, bone in or out--any size--the cooking time is the same for a 3#or 8# piece. BBQ rub of your choice (I will post mine if you want) or just rub the meat with a mixture of coarse ground black pepper and brown sugar. Let marinate 8 hours or overnight.
Method 1--IF you have a smoker that can control the temp (I have a sidebox smoker and can keep the temp at 200*-250*) smoke the meat for 4 hours, keeping the temp low. Then place the meat in a 250* oven for 4 hours to finish. It will be meltingly tender and have a wonderful smoky flavor. Method 2 (and this is the one I have really used for 30 years). Place the meat in a 250* oven for 8 hours uncovered . I have often done them overnight. It will still have the melting tenderness. You will have to slap your hands to have any left over as you take it out of the oven.
When ready to serve pull chunks of meat off and then "pull" the meat into shreds by pulling between 2 forks. Do not discard the fat--mix it in. This is not a low fat dish and to really enjoy, use it!!!
For a traditional Carolina serving method very lightly moisten the meat with sweetened vinegar (1 qt. vinegar + 1/4C sugar and 2TBS coarse black pepper). To warm before serving put the vinegared meat in a pan (black iron frying pan is good) and cover tightly. Heat at 250* until heated.
To serve, offer bbq sauces, cole slaw (in the Carolinas, it goes ON the sandwich), baked beans, rolls, and banana pudding. For fall bbq's Brunswick Stew is also offered.
For BBQ sauce here is my tomato based:
1 bottle ketchup (28 or 32 oz.) 1 ketchup bottle of cider vinegar 6 oz. yellow mustard 6 oz. worcestershire sauce 1/2C brown sugar 3 oz. liquid smoke 2-3 TBS coarse black pepper Tabasco to your taste Simmer for 45 minutes.
If you use commercial bbq sauce I suggest diluting them 1/2 with vinegar for this use.
Eastern NC uses vinegar sauces--sweetened vinegar with 1/4C (at least!!) cayenne pepper OR black pepper. It is too hot for me! South Carolina uses a mustard based sauce but don't know the recipe.
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Old 03-19-2007, 09:43 AM   #6
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I usually do two pork butts at a time, and I cook them at 200-225 for 24 hours. I put a dry rub on before I put them in the over, and cook them on a rack.

The dry rub is a cup of brown sugar, several tablespoons of chili powder, and a tablespoon of salt. Add some cayenne if you like some heat. The brown sugar will caramelize, making a great crust and adding just a touch of sweetness.
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Old 03-19-2007, 10:31 AM   #7
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I've never done pulled-pork in the oven, but I have had large butts take 18 hours in the smoker @ 225. I remove the fat cap because the rub cannot penetrate it, plus there is so much internal fat and collagen that it will stay very moist and tender. I baste at half-times (2 or 3 times) with apple juice in a spray bottle. My favorite rub to use on butts I found on TVWB, as follows:

Willy Wonderfull Wub

3/4 cup paprika
1/4 cup black pepper
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons coarse salt
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons onion powder
2 teaspoons cayenne
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon celery seed
1 tablesoon mustard powder

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