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Which Cut for Pulled Pork

By February 12, 2014

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You almost only see Boston Butts on the competition circuit (KCBS Rules of course), but that doesn't mean that the Butt is the easiest of best cut to smoke, just the most consistent. So, for those of you, serious about smoking pork, what cut do you use for your Pulled Pork?

POLL: What part of the pig do you use for your Pulled Pork?
1) Boston Butt
2) Picnic
3) Whole Shoulder
4) Whole Hog
5) Something Else (please specify in the comments)

Photo 2007 Regarding BBQ Inc., licensed to About.com, Inc.

Comments

February 19, 2009 at 10:24 am
(1) BBQ Bear says:

I found that the pork butt makes the best pulled pork. I usually
rub cheap yellow mustard over the butt roast that cover with my dry rub and let that sit for at least 24 hours. The I smoke approx 15-17 hours at 215-225 degrees using hickory chips that been soaking in apple juice for at least 24 hours.

After the butt roast is done in the smoker I wrap the roast in multiple layers of tin foil then wrap in in a blanket and stick it in a large insulated ice cooler to let rest for at least three hours. Man oh man is that good pulled pork.

February 28, 2009 at 6:29 pm
(2) Ashtray says:

Wow that sound good BBQ Bear. I’ve tryed smoking ribs with the mustard and my rub and they turned out excellent. What kind of rub do you put on the pork butt. I make mine spicy for the ribs.

January 18, 2010 at 10:57 am
(3) Johnny A says:

Great poll for smoking I agree that butts are best. But,for slow roasting in the oven I find shoulders do best at 275-300degrees for at least 7 hours. If I’m smoking I just through tons of salt under the skin and let the real flavors come out , no need to mask the great pork smokiness with rubs and sauces

February 17, 2010 at 6:00 am
(4) Phil Perrin says:

You can also add tons of flavor to pulled pork by adding some rub to the pulled meat. Yummy!

February 17, 2010 at 12:38 pm
(5) Celtic Spirit BBQ says:

My choice would depend on the sauce I am using. If I am using a typical Eastern NC Vinegar based sauce I will use the whole hog. The flavor profile of the mixed cuts of meat lend well with the Vinegar Based sauces.

If I am using the Tomato based Western NC Sauce I will cook butts or shoulders (AKA Picnic)

February 24, 2010 at 4:04 pm
(6) BBQ Brad says:

Boston butts are the way…either smoking or crock pot…always the best odds pulled pork. Of course the smoke adds the flavor I grew to love in Memphis and now in Colorado…cooking with altitude! Hickory soaked in apple juice and apple wood are my preferred choice. Also, the marinade and rub are equally important. Remember that smoking over 225 degrees will burn the sugar(s) used in any rub. Experiment! Whatever your style…Kansas City, Memphis, Carolina, Texas…tender loving care should be used with your favorite ingredients. This website is a great benefit to novices and seasoned BBQers alike. BBQ…not just for breakfast anymore (KCBS)!!!!!!!!!!

February 26, 2010 at 10:12 pm
(7) Johnny Cadillac says:

LOOK IM FROM SAN JOSE ,CA AND MY TASE BUDS DON’T STAY SATISFYED FOR TOO LONG,SO I’AM ALWAYS ON THE LOOK OUT FOR NEW RECIPES. I LIKE THE SWEET FROM K.C. TO VINIGER FROM N.C . AND SMOKE FROM TEXAS. SO I COMBINED THEM. DONT BE SO SCARED TO VENCHURE OUTSIDE YOUR COMFORT ZONE. IVE BEEN GOING ON THESE WEB SITES AND SEEING THE SAME OLD RECIPE’S. JUST LIKE BACK YARD MECHANICS THERE ARE BACKYARD SMOKE CHARMERS.

February 15, 2012 at 2:52 am
(8) BBQ Grail says:

I recently had Pulled Pork using Trotters and the taste was amazing. It’s probably not going to be for everyone, nor would I expect to see it in a KCBS competition but for something different give it a try.

February 16, 2012 at 11:48 am
(9) BBQ Kid says:

I use the boston but wanna try a picnic ham
How do they turn out?

February 20, 2012 at 6:51 pm
(10) VaderRulzs says:

To cut down on time and to make up for smoking on a gas grill I use tenderloins!

February 22, 2012 at 3:45 pm
(11) Jarhead says:

Tenderloin for Pulled Pork????? LOL
Butts are #1 in my book

February 23, 2012 at 7:53 am
(12) doggie says:

I think if you folks that soak your chips for any length of time will will inspect them you will find that the liquid only penetrates 1/8 to 1/4 inch and has little to no effect on the meat or the time of the chip providing smoke. Its a waste of time and water(juice)!

August 20, 2012 at 3:26 pm
(13) FloridaSteve says:

Inject it boys… inject it with ( yes, I am serious ) good old Coca Cola. Johnny Trigg won a national championship that way. I have tried it twice and it is beyond good!

February 3, 2013 at 7:21 pm
(14) Farmer Patty says:

I don’t want to step on any toes. I have friends who enjoy doing all that work. You can make great pulled pork without that much work when you use a good pork. Starting with one of our farm raised pigs; I use the butt roast. The day before let it cook 8 hours in a slow cooker with onions, garlic and a little salt and pepper. The next day I pull it apart with a couple of forks and add our favorite BBQ sauce. That’s it!!

February 13, 2013 at 9:51 am
(15) What? says:

Crockpot pulled pork?? No thanks.

February 20, 2013 at 12:15 pm
(16) John C. Campbell III says:

I use Butt preferentially, sometimes whole shoulder. In either case I dry rub it the day before and cook at under 200 for 10 hours in my Big Green Egg over small apple log wood with a few pieces of soaked cherry thrown in at the beginning. jccampb

February 20, 2013 at 1:08 pm
(17) Carolina Outdoor Cooking says:

Of the cuts listed, I have found the Boston Butt is the most forgiving, easiest to manage and provides the most yield per portion. It is also the smaller of the cuts listed and can be accommodated on most any smoker.

February 20, 2013 at 1:38 pm
(18) Easy smoke says:

I use the butt or the picnic. I usually mix a rub the night before and give it 15 to 20 hrs of rub love. Then I put it on my smoker for 12 hrs or so at 215 degrees. I smoke with a 50/50 mixture of apple and pecan wood. On hour 6 I spray the pork with apple cider and repeat that every 90 minutes. Take it off, let it rest for an hour and shred from there. You guys are making me want to smoke this weekend, and it is supposed to snow!!!

February 20, 2013 at 11:50 pm
(19) Andre Carvalho says:

Ribs!
I live in Brazil, and people here can’t make decent bacon.
So I buy the whole side of the pigs, separate the belly, which I use for the bacon later, and I smoke the ribs for 2 hours. After they absorb some smokiness and color, I throw the ribs in a pressure cooker on medium for another hour, turn it off and, while still pipping hot and with the lids still safely attached, I vigorously shake the cooker for 20 seconds. Open the lids and the pork is already pulled. The I just get rid of the bones.
If someone tries it, let me know if you don’t love it!

February 23, 2013 at 9:51 pm
(20) Sandy says:

Boston butt in crockpot with a can of root beer. Cook on high approx 6 hrs depending on how big. Shred with fork, put back in crock, add BBQ sauce & cook about an hour more.

February 12, 2014 at 1:54 pm
(21) Shadows says:

Boston Butt is the best but as far as availability here the picnic sholder
is wht I use the most.

February 20, 2014 at 12:12 pm
(22) Chuckles says:

I agree with the injecting suggestion… try using cherry Dr. Pepper in a BostonButt.

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