Do you know how long does it take to cook Boston Butt in oven per pound? I will show you the best recipe with the perfect cooking times and temperatures.
Boston butt is pork shoulder, contrary to the confusing name. In fact, it is the uppercut of the pork shoulder, slightly above the shoulder blades, and is best used for roasting, braising, or smoking. They are often called shoulder butts as well. The name Boston butt comes from the name of the barrel pork was stored in during the Revolutionary War, while the name Boston butt comes from being a New England favorite.
On Boston butts, there is a lot of fat and connective tissue, so it’s best to cook them slowly or smoke them to be tender. They are great for making pulled pork, stews, and smoked barbecues. You can keep the pork shoulder from drying out by brining for long hours to keep in more moisture.
Pulled pork and Boston butt can be quite expensive in restaurants because they need many hours of preparation. You can easily save money by making it at home for the family and even creating your own master recipes.
How long does it take to cook Boston butt in oven per pound?
It takes about 40 minutes per pound to cook Boston butt in the oven at 250 degrees. This can slightly vary depending on whether you bought a bone-in or boneless version.
Meats with bone-in tend to have an elevated and deeper flavor overall, but require slightly more time to cook perfectly. For this recipe, we prefer to use a boneless version. If you insist on Boston butt with bones, add an extra 20% of cooking time to the recipe.
What is the best temperature to cook Boston butt?
To soften the connective tissue in Boston butt, it must be cooked to at least 195 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s best to cook it at 225–250 degrees, though. Cooking them on lower heat for longer ensures a soft consistency and more variety to use afterward.
When you cook Boston butt at a higher temperature for a shorter time, the connective tissues won’t break down that easily, and the flavors won’t be as strong as when cooking them slower.
Boston butt is best when tender, easy to cut like butter, but still juicy and not dry at all. That is why it’s best to cook them at 250–350 degrees for longer periods of time.
How to Cook Boston Butt in Oven: Delicious Recipe
Creating the perfectly tender Boston butt in the oven requires some preparation beforehand, such as brining and basting the pork shoulder at least one night beforehand.
For a masterful, robust flavor, allow it to bast in the spices in the fridge for at least 24 hours. Brine it in the fridge, and keep it completely sealed while doing so, either in a freezer bag or sealable container.
Boston Butt in Oven at 325 Degrees
- 2 pounds Boneless pork shoulder (boston butt)
- ½ tbsp Sea salt
- ½ tbsp Sweet smoked ground paprika
- ½ tbsp Ground cumin
- 1 tbsp Garlic paste
- 1 tbsp Dark cane sugar
- ¼ tbsp Chili powder
- ½ tbsp Ground black pepper
- ½ tbsp Mustard seeds
- 1 tbsp Balsamic vinegar
- Mix all the ingredients for brining together and add 1-2 tbsp of water to them. You can always switch and twist any recipe, but make sure to incorporate sweet, acidic, and savory components when brining meats to have a balanced flavor.
- If you want to take that further, you can add some umami flavor as well, such as tomato paste, soy sauce, or Worcestershire sauce.
- Make sure to rub the spice mixture into the pork as deeply as you can, covering it evenly everywhere.
- Repeat this process, and re-rub it every few hours.
- Before cooking, let the brined Boston butt come to room temperature for 2-3 hours.
- Preheat your oven to 325°F. In a suitable baking pan (I tend to use aluminum), cook for 1 hour and 20 minutes for a 2-pound pork shoulder. For every extra pound, add an additional 20 percent of cooking time.
- When you remove the Boston butt from the oven, let it rest packed tightly in aluminum foil for at least 1-2 hours before serving.
Can I cook at 350 degrees?
If you choose to cook Boston butt at 350°F, it takes 30–45 minutes per pound to cook properly.
You can cook them at 350 degrees. However, most chefs advise you to cook them longer on lower heat if you have the time to do so. This allows the marbling and connective tissues to break down, resulting in a soft, juicy, and perfect Boston butt.
Although you can surely cook a delicious Boston butt in the oven at higher temperatures, even as far as 400-450 °F, it won’t be any good for making pulled pork because it won’t be as soft and tender.
So to utilize leftovers the best, it’s better to cook them at a lower temp for longer periods of time. It’s also done wonders for the flavors. Cooking longer can deepen the aromas in any dish, as long as you don’t overcook it.
Can I use frozen meat?
It happens to the best of us that we forget to thaw the meat, and only realize the mistake right when we start the cooking. It’s not a big deal, as you can easily make oven-baked Boston butt from frozen meat straight from the freezer.
You have to add approximately 50% extra cooking time for the frozen Boston butt to cook thoroughly.
Chefs use another technique when cooking bigger chunks of frozen meat, such as cooking in steam. If you cook frozen Boston butt straight from the freezer, insert a pan full of water into the oven when you start to preheat it.
After steaming the pork shoulder for 40 minutes, take it out and rub in the spices heavily. Take out the steaming pan of water from the oven, and cook it regularly for the remaining time.
How do I know when the Boston Butt in oven is done?
The surefire, professional way to know whether a dish is done cooking is to use an internal kitchen thermometer.
For Boston butt, the meat must reach an internal temperature of 200°F for good consistency and food safety reasons as well. Besides using a meat thermometer, there are other cues to look for. The juices of the cooked Boston butt should be clear and not bloody in the slightest when done.
The meat should be loose and jiggly, and extremely easy to cut into, while glazed on the outside. Past the 210°F internal temperature, the pork shoulder will steadily overcook and become a dry mess. You don’t want to chew on that!
Boston butts are not just amazing for a big family dinner or holiday special, but great for a lump of quick leftover meat. If you have some leftover Boston butt, you can make a delicious sandwich for a quick weekday lunch, or elevate a healthy salad with it for extra flavor and some protein.
Some people love to drown their Boston butts in sauces, but masterful cooks are perfectly aware that this just takes away the hard work and preparation that went into creating a perfectly harmonizing dish.
If you insist on serving some deliciously juicy sauce with the Boston butt, create one from the meat’s own juices left in the pan. This way, you will only enhance the natural flavors of the dish, and not take them away.