How to Choose a Pork Butt
What's a Pork Butt?
A pork butt, or Boston butt, refers to a cut from the upper part of a pig's shoulder. A butt may be sold and cooked with the bone in or boneless. Butts cook faster than shoulders, and the meat is especially marbled and flavorful.
An 8-to-9-pound pork butt cooks in 6-8 hours at 275 degrees F and should yield 15 4–5-ounce servings.
Signs of Quality
Wherever you purchase your pork butt, look for the pinkest meat. Check the liquid in the bottom of the package, known as purge, and avoid it if the liquid is dark red.
Look for a pork butt that weighs at least 7 pounds. Small butts come from younger pigs with lower fat content. The marbled fat in a quality pork butt is essential to the best flavor.
Unlike fat marbling, the fat cap has little effect on the flavor of the pork, so save your money and buy a butt with a small fat cap. Pay for marbled meat, not blocks of fat.
Choosing Your Pork Butt
You can buy pork butts at Sam’s, Costco, and some supermarkets. The pork butts you buy at supermarkets and big-box stores will come from mass-produced commodity pigs.
For the finest quality and taste, you'll need to find a supplier of Heritage pork, such as here at Grillbillies. There is no USDA grading for pork, only industry designations. The highest industry designation is Heritage pork, which indicates fine meat from the best hogs, such as Berkshire, Duroc, and Cheshire. You'll pay more for a Heritage pork butt, but for an important event it's well worth the price. Check out our Specialty Meats page to source Heritage pork butts.
After cooking low and slow, pork butt can be chopped, pulled, or sliced into medallions. When it's time to cook and serve, your investment in choosing the right pork butt will deliver a payoff you can taste!
Impress your family and friends with meat that is a cut above the selection often found in grocery stores. Here at Grillbillies BBQ, our freezers are packed with premium selections of popular cuts such as brisket, pork butts, ribeyes, hot dogs, bratwurst, bacon, and so much more.
Visit our store to purchase carefully-sourced, high-grade meats that you can cook with confidence. Your family and guests will thank you!