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Pork Boston Butt (Pulled Pork)

By July 3, 2023Low & Slow, Pork

Indulge in the irresistible flavours of slow-smoked Pork Boston Butt from Cotton Tree Meats. This recipe features a tender whole pork butt, generously seasoned with BBQ seasoning, and slow-cooked to perfection in a smoker. As it smokes, the meat absorbs the rich flavours and becomes incredibly tender. Once the internal temperature reaches a succulent 95-98˚ C, the Boston Butt is wrapped in foil with apple juice, allowing it to rest and retain its juiciness. After a de-steaming process and a minimum 30-minute rest, the bone is removed, and the meat is shredded and tossed with warm reserved jus and BBQ sauce. Patience is key when cooking this large cut of meat, and de-steaming helps preserve the perfect texture. So take your time, savour the process, and enjoy this mouthwatering dish that will be a hit at any gathering.


  • Pork Boston Butt (Whole – Approx 4kg)
  • BBQ Seasoning
  • Apple Juice (at room temperature)
  • BBQ Sauce


  1. Set your smoker to 130˚ C and rub your Boston Butt in your favourite BBQ seasoning.
  2. Smoke the Boston Butt for approx. 3 hours or until internal temp is above 60˚ C.
  3. Remove from smoker and wrap in Aluminium foil adding 80ml (1/3 cup) of Apple Juice before completely sealing it nice and tight.
  4. Place the wrapped Boston Butt back in the smoker making sure to keep any foil edges pointing up to prevent the juice from escaping.
  5. Cook it until the internal temp reaches approx. 95-98˚ C in the centre near the bone (approx. 5 hours),
  6. Once it has reached temperature remove the Boston Butt from the foil and place in a foil tray for de-steaming, (make sure to retain the jus from the foil and keep warm). After 15 minutes of de-steaming, foil over the tray tightly to keep warm.
  7. Let it rest for a minimum 30 minutes in a warm place before moving to the next step.
  8. Remove foil and remove the bone and shred the meat. Try to continually pull the strands apart to retain texture as opposed to squishing the fibres as they are soft and will turn to mush.
  9. Add some of the warm reserved jus and BBQ sauce in the mix and toss through until lightly coated.

Tips & Tricks

  • Make sure your apple juice is at room temperature (step 3). Cold liquid will stall the cooking process and can add hours to your cook.
  • Be patient (step 5) it’s a large piece of meat and can sometimes take longer to cook than expected. We always plan to start 2hrs early and allow for a 2hr rest before serving. It’s a bit of an insurance policy as it allows an extra window of cooking time if need be.
  • De-steaming (step 6) is the process of stopping the cooking process through time so we don’t overcook the meat. The core temperature of the liquid left in meat is near boiling point when removed from the smoker. This process allows to the juices to cool enough to stop cooking the meat internally and dropping them to a temperature that is still hot enough to carry into the rest period and stay warm.
  • Resting (step 7) can be done in an oven set at 65C or wrapped in towel and placed in a dry esky with the lid on. Either method will allow up to 5hrs rest time and remain at a serving temperature.

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