Everybody deserves great pulled pork, and here are six ways to get there without a smoker—three with pork butt and three "fake" using other cuts of pork. All super easy with step-by-step photo instructions.
It is pulled pork season, graduation, and summer parties, but not everybody has a smoker—but you want great pulled pork anyways.
Real pulled pork must come from pork butt. It is just the way it is folk. But it doesn't need to be hard, nor do you require a smoker.
Or you can fake it with other more lean cuts of meat that will give you great results but are healthier.
Pork Butt AKA Boston Butt Recipes
Like many cuts of meat, there are multiple names about the same thing. Pork butt and Boston butt are the same.
The pork shoulder is the thinner area of this cut but is commonly cooked and used the same as the butt. It has a bit less marbling and less fat and is usually not separated from the butt. But usually, the term pork shoulder is used interchangeably with pork butt and Boston butt.
If you are wondering, butt means thick, so that is why the term "butt" is used. Lastly, the picnic ham and picnic shoulder are not the same as this cut.
Grilled/Smoked Pulled Pork from Butt
This is the real thing done on your gas grill set up to smoke.
Oven Pulled Pork from Butt
This is what I usually do when I get a pork butt. So easy and the house smells wonderful all day long.
Crock Pot Pulled Pork Butt
It seems everybody wants this recipe. The last of the "real pulled pork from butt recipes," but it comes out of your crock pot.
"Fake" Pulled Pork
Other cuts of pork can be used for a "fake" pulled pork. Here are a couple of pork loin and a pork tenderloin method.
Both will produce near pork butt quality pork that is much lower in fat. The term "shredded" pork may be more accurate.
I have used the pork loin methods for cooking for groups of up to 50 servings. And I love the smaller tenderloin version.
Top It Off Right
To have great BBQ, you need a great sauce. This is it. This could make cardboard taste good but add it to some great pulled pork, and you are in pig heaven.
References to Help You
Have a great summer,
Originally Published April 28, 2019. Update with new recommendations and discussion, usually yearly.