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Old 07-19-2006, 08:30 PM   #1
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Question butt-roast

How long should I cook a 3-lb. pork butt-roast?

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Old 07-19-2006, 08:46 PM   #2
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Well, You'll get more sophisticated answers but mine would be exactly 1 1/2 ball games on a low simmer, or 2 1/2 in a crock pot on low or a 250F oven.
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Old 07-19-2006, 09:23 PM   #3
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What are you making? It is a tough cut of meat. Makes GREAT BBQ/pulled pork but that requires slow and low cooking. Cook it uncovered in a 250* oven for 6-8 hours. Pull and enjoy.
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Old 07-19-2006, 09:29 PM   #4
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Roasting a Pork Butt Roast

Generally you will want to roast it for about 45 minutes per pound at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. That said, it is very easy to overcook pork and so you should monitor the internal temperature. Cook until you get an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep in mind that when you test the temperature in the oven the internal temperature of the roast will continue after you remove it from the oven due to residual cooking effect. I normally remove my pork roasts when the internal temperature has reached 155 degrees Fahrenheit since there is about a 5 degree temperature rise after removing it from the oven.

Some folks say to cook until the juices run clear, but testing for clear juices will poke holes in the roast and allow the internal moisture to escape and make the roast dry.

If you are going to braise the roast by cooking it covered in a low temperature oven with a small amount of broth or water in the pan you will want to cook it until tender and start checking it after 2 to 2 1/2 hours.

Grilling over direct heat will take between 2 to 4 hours depending upon the grill temperature.

The key to all of these cooking methods will be to take the temperature. Instant read thermometers can be had for less than $20 anymore and it is not worth ruining a fine piece of meat due to overcooking because of being too cheap to have the right tools.
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Old 07-20-2006, 12:10 AM   #5
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Well, your talking about a piece of meat that can be put to a million uses. What exactly are you wanting to do with it? It is great for pulled pork, but it's great for many many over things as well.

One of the easiest things to do is cook it in a crockpot. You will need:

4 cans of seasoned black beans
1 cup of Italian salad dressing
Pork roast

put it in a crockpot and cook for 8 hours. Very tasty. Its a one pot meal. Then you can eat the leftover pork on white bread with mayo the next day. it will be so tender you can easily pull it. This is the crockpot method.

Now I like to do this recipe like this:

I set the oven to 350. Then I place a large pot over medium high heat. I salt and pepper a pork butt and sear it on all sides in vegetable oil. Then I set the pork aside. I throw in 2 whole onions, julienned. I cook them for about 5 minutes and throw in 6 whole garlic cloves. Then I place the pork back in on top of the onions. Then I pour in 4 cans of the black beans and 1 cup of Italian dressing. If you want you can throw in some fresh thyme and rosemary sprigs. Then I bring it to a boil, cover and cook in the oven for 4 hours.
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Old 07-20-2006, 06:20 AM   #6
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This piece of meat should not be roasted but braised in liquid for a long period or cooked at a low and slow temperature. Both of these methods break down the interior collagen fibers and make it meltingly tender. The internal temp for these cooking methods (low temp, long time) will reach 190*, a temperature you cannot reach by cooking at a higher temp.
It is not a "slicing" piece of meat like a loin or tenderloin, which you would cook to 145* internal temp at higher temps.
If you look up recipes for pulled pork or carne asada or carnitas you will find great uses for this piece of meat. It has lots of flavor but has to be cooked at low temp or it will be tough and dry.
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Old 07-20-2006, 10:42 AM   #7
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I agree with Gretchen. A butt (which is actually a shoulder) isn't really a cut that makes a good oven roast, which is why it's primarily used for BBQ.

IMO 45 min per pound * 3 = 2 hours and 15 min which is not nearly long enough to cook a pork butt. Though it may be good for an oven roast.

I usually cook mine outside over charcoal and wood for about 1 1/2 or 2 hours and then braise for another 2-3 hours. If you are making pulled pork there reallyis little danger of overcooking the meat. You want it to be falling apart.
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Old 07-20-2006, 10:50 AM   #8
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Just a small point in addition--there is not a big danger of overcooking the meat if at a low temp but there is great danger of cooking it at too high a temp. If/when meat is cooked at a high temp it tightens the proteins --cooking in that way requires a tender cut of meat.
Even tender cuts of pork should not be cooked to more than 145* and then rested. The pork today is just too lean and will be dry and tough if cooked to the "old" adage of 160*.
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Old 07-20-2006, 11:25 AM   #9
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Current USDA guidelines provide for cooking pork to a minimum of 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Can you provide a reference with the USDA that changes this requirement?

This is the recommended temperature for all Food Safety and HAACP guidelines, books and publications that I've read. I was just had my ServSafe Certification renewed and that is the guideline for ServSafe purposes.
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Old 07-20-2006, 11:33 AM   #10
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160 is medium/medium-well for most cuts of pork. The meat can still be pink.
Personally, I like my pork well done, so I cook it using techniques that will ensure that it isn't dried out.

145 is too low for pork, IMO. For beef, it's ok if you like it on the rare side.
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Old 07-20-2006, 11:35 AM   #11
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It is my understanding that the pork continues to cook while it's resting and covered with foil.
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Old 07-20-2006, 11:55 AM   #12
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If you remove it at that temperature, the meat continues cooking another 10*or even 15*.
I do not mind at all if others want to cook a loin or tenderloin to that temperature. I don't. If you cook it to 145* and let it rest, the final temp will will be about 155*. It will be barely rosy and have succulent juices.
Here is a quote from a cooking site--admittedly not the USDA which has to go to the outer extremes in order to cover all food safety contingencies. I do not think you could find a restaurant chef of any note that would cook pork to that high temp.
And again, we are talking about tender cuts for this temp. When tougher meats are cooked at low temperatures they can reach much higher internal temperatures--190-205* temp I mentioned which breaks down the collagen tissues of tough cuts of meat to make it VERY meltingly tender.
If you cook any piece of meat at 350* I don't believe you could even reach those temperatures--or insert a thermometer in the meat. ;o)

and an aside, 145* for beef, if you removed it at that temp, would make it well done after the resting temp. Remove at 125* for rare--the temp rises at least 10* after a rest which is used in order for the juices to retract and not bleed out if you started carving immediately. The larger the roast the longer the rest time that is recommended.

Here is the quote, with good information. Trichinosis has virtually been eliminated. Additionally, if your meat has been frozen, there is no possibility of the parasite.
The official line on cooking pork is that the internal temperature should be at least 71C (160F). If you want to be completely, utterly safe, then I recommend you cook it to that temperature.
However, the bad stuff (trichinella spiralis) that could potentially lurk in pork is not only fairly rare these days, it’s also killed at an internal temperature of 58C (137F). Also bear in mind that pork loin is a very lean cut of meat: there’s no marbling of fat inside to keep it juicy when cooked to an internal temperature of 71C (160F) or higher. I find that cooking pork loin to a temperature of 63C (145F) and letting it rest for 10 or 15 minutes results in meat that is tender, pearly white, fairly moist and definitely thoroughly cooked. If you buy good meat (ideally, organic and free range) and handle it properly, then your chances of getting ill from pork are quite slim indeed.
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Old 07-20-2006, 12:55 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Constance
It is my understanding that the pork continues to cook while it's resting and covered with foil.
Actually all meats continue to cook in this way.

While I have respect for the USDA, I don;t agree with their 160 F guideline.

I always remove the roast at a lower temp-usually 145-150 F and let it rest as Gretchen advocates. The roast can go up to that temp with residual heat, yielding the 160 F mark recommended. Active cooking in the oven to 160 F and resting will, in my opinion, yield a dry piece of meat.
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Old 07-20-2006, 01:19 PM   #14
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I usually only cook chops or tenderloin via oven roasting.

But I always brine them so that I can cook them to well done w/o holdover and not be dried out. I agree that cooking pork which hasn't been brined this way will make it very dry and unappetizing.
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Old 07-20-2006, 01:43 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jennyema
...But I always brine them so that I can cook them to well done w/o holdover and not be dried out. I agree that cooking pork which hasn't been brined this way will make it very dry and unappetizing.

I think brining is a tremendous benefit for pork roasts. I brine more for pork than other meats.
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Old 07-20-2006, 03:12 PM   #16
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A great way to cook chops or tenderloin (pork) is to sear in a cast iron pan and then finish in a 425* oven.
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Old 07-20-2006, 03:20 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gretchen
A great way to cook chops or tenderloin (pork) is to sear in a cast iron pan and then finish in a 425* oven.

I agree. That's usually how I cook them if I use the oven.
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