Pulled pork sandwiches are staples at my house. I like serving them at home and taking a big platter to parties. This Boston Butt recipe makes pulled pork that’s tender, juicy, and delicious. If you’re a pulled pork fan like me, you’re gonna love it!
Making Boston Butt, or Pulled Pork Sandwiches
There are different takes on pulled pork. Some recipes are tangy with hints of vinegar, while others like it straight up spicy with lots of sauce. My recipe uses a couple of my favorite rubs to give the meat a uniquely sweet, delicious flavor that goes well with baked beans, corn on the cob, and coleslaw.
Wait, what’s a Boston Butt?
Back in “the day” butchers used cuts of meat in different ways. New England butchers took some parts of the pig and shipped them to other places. They used barrels called “butts” to ship them. That’s how the Boston Butt (which is actually part of the shoulder of the big) got its name.
- Boston Butt. I like the quality this company provides.
- Yellow mustard. Used as a binder, mustard adds a tinge of zesty flavor as the pork butt cooks.
- Sweet and Savory Fusion Bundle. Two of my delicious rubs, the Heath Riles BBQ Sweet BBQ Rub and the Heath Riles Pecan Rub work together to create a tasty powerhouse of flavor.
- Heath Riles BBQ Tangy Vinegar Sauce. Sweet, tangy, and peppery flavors make this one a well-rounded sauce that elevates any pork dish.
- Small bun. It’s a vehicle for the finished pulled pork.
- Homemade coleslaw. Made with angel hair slaw, mayonnaise, yellow mustard, Heath Riles BBQ Garlic Jalapeño Rub, it’s a really good pulled pork sandwich topper.
The Equipment Setup
The Process for Making My Boston Butt
- Get the butt ready. I wiped down the pork and did some minimal trimming on it, slicing off small pieces of the thicker fat. It didn’t take much to clean it up good. I didn’t remove the fat cap. Instead, I decided to cook the butt fat-side-up so the fat would drip down into the meat as it cooks.
- Add the binder. I decided to use yellow mustard for my binder. I’m from Memphis and that’s what I grew up watching my grandmother use, so I like using it. However, if you prefer olive oil or something else as the binder, feel free to use it. Using my hands, I rubbed a generous portion of mustard on all sides of the pork butt.
- Season it up. My Sweet and Savory Fusion Bundle was my choice for adding flavor to this pulled pork recipe. First, I grabbed my Pecan Rub and gave the meat a nice coating. This rub has a sweet, nutty finish perfect for pork dishes. Then I went back over it with my Sweet BBQ Rub. This was one of the first rubs I created, and I still have a spot in my heart for it. I used it to add sweetness and just a touch of heat.
- Get the grill ready. I fired up my Outlaw Patio Smoker to 275 degrees F using Royal Oak Charcoal and mini hickory splits.
- Put the butt to the flame. I laid the pork butt in the middle of the grill grate, fat-side-up and let it start cooking.
- Spritz it every hour. As the butt cooked, I opened the grill lid and spritzed it with water every hour. Sometimes I use apple juice to spritz, but I decided on water for this recipe.
- Sauce the butt and wrap it in foil. Once the meat reached an internal temperature of 140 degrees F (which took about 3 and a half hours) I took it off the grill and laid it on a double layer of aluminum foil. It was really looking good, with a nice mahogany color. It looked exactly like I wanted it to at this point. I poured my Tangy Vinegar Sauce over top of the butt, using quite a bit of it. Then I wrapped the saucy meat up in foil and put it back on the grill.
- Remove the butt from the grill. Once the pork butt reached an internal temperature of 200 degrees F (about 2 and a half hours), I took it off the grill.
- Let it rest. Giving the meat a chance to rest helps it get more tender and gives all the juices a chance to soak into the meat. I rested my pork butt for about an hour.
- Pull the pork. Using my cutting board, I pulled the pork apart. I could tell it was going to be really tender by the way it easily pulled apart.
- Make a sandwich. I piled a good-sized handful of pork onto the bun, because I like a good pork-to-bun ratio. I added some coleslaw and a few drizzles of my Vinegar BBQ Sauce to the top of it.
The only thing left to do was to bite into this bad boy and see how it tasted. I took a big, messy, man-sized bite and, boy, was it good. Those flavors were flat out mouthwatering. The pork butt was tender and juicy, and the smoke from the hickory wood added a flavor that set everything off. If you like tangy, sweet pulled pork with the slightest tinge of heat, this recipe is a must-fix. This sandwich is killer, ya’ll.
Serving Suggestions for Boston Butt (Pulled Pork Sandwich)
One sandwich with a side or two typically fills a person up, but if you want to eat two sandwiches, I won’t judge.
If you have leftovers, store them in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days. You can heat them up and make more sandwiches, use them in chili, or on tacos.
Equipment and Tools
Boston Butt (Pulled Pork Sandwich) Recipe on the Outlaw Smoker
Mustard (or binder of your choice)
Heath Riles BBQ Pecan Rub (part of the Sweet & Savory Flavor Fusion Bundle)
Heath Riles BBQ Sweet BBQ Rub (part of the Sweet & Savory Flavor Fusion Bundle)
Heath Riles BBQ Tangy Vinegar Sauce (to wrap)
Buns (if you plan to make a pulled pork sandwich)
10 oz package of Angel Hair Slaw
1/2 cup Mayo
2 tbsp Yellow Mustard
2 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
1 tsp of Heath Riles BBQ Garlic Jalapeño Rub (more if desired)
Mix ingredients together and place in refrigerator for flavors to merry.
Garlic Jalapeño Coleslaw Ingredients / Recipe:
Trim Boston Butt to your liking, we did not trim much off of this and we left the fat cap on.
Put binder on butt, we used yellow mustard.
Season butt with Heath Riles BBQ Pecan Rub and then Heath Riles BBQ Sweet BBQ Rub. (You can purchase both of these rubs in the Sweet & Savory Flavor Fusion Bundle on our website)
Get smoker up to temperature, we cooked at 275º and used Royal Oak Charcoal and Hickory wood for this cook.
Place butt on smoker fat side up and cook to approximately 140º, this was about 3 and a half hours for us. We did spritz our butt about every hour with water (you can use apple juice or whatever liquid you prefer).
Once butt reaches 140º we wrapped with our Heath Riles BBQ Tangy Vinegar Sauce and foil and placed this back on the smoker.
Cook butt to an internal temperature of 200º, this was another 2 and a half hours for us. Total cook time was 6 hours.
Allow cooked butt to rest for 1 hour.
Make coleslaw (recipe above) if you plan to make delicious pulled pork sandwiches!
Shred your meat and top with Garlic Jalapeño Coleslaw and Tangy Vinegar Sauce on your bun! Enjoy this deliciousness!