Oven-Roasted Pork Butt

The ultimate entertaining meal solution.

Oven-Roasted Pork Butt
Photo: Will Dickey
Active Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
4 hrs 35 mins

A pork butt is the ultimate multi-tasking meal. A 4- to 5-pound pork butt can feed a dozen folks at once or a family of four for a few meals. And the great thing about this one? You don't need a special smoker or grill. Your oven will do the work.

This recipe for pork butt takes its inspiration from low-and-slow barbecue cooking, but instead it's cooked in the oven until it's fork-tender. A delicious sweet-and-smoky barbecue rub made of brown sugar, smoked paprika, and other spices imbues the meat with flavor as it cooks, and gives it a delectable, sticky-sweet crust. Your kitchen will smell amazing as the meat roasts all afternoon in the oven.

How Long Does It Take To Cook a Pork Butt?

Pork butt is a large piece of meat, and has the bone intact, so it takes a while to cook until it's tender.

The best temperature for cooking pork butt is 350°F, and a 4- to 5-pound piece will take around four hours or longer.

It should have an internal temperature of 200° to 205°F and will be tender enough to pull apart with a fork. While the U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends that other cuts of pork be cooked to an internal temperature of just 145°F, pork butt has a lot of fat and connective tissue, which takes a longer cooking time and higher internal temperature to become tender enough to eat.

oven-roasted pork butt
Will Dickey

Is Pork Shoulder the Same as Pork Butt?

Contrary to its name, pork butt—also called Boston butt—is not from the actual rear-end of the pig. Rather, it's a cut that is from the thicker part of the pig's shoulder, and is usually sold with the bone in, and in a 4- to 5-pound piece that will feed as many as six people.

Pork shoulder—also called picnic shoulder—is a triangle-shaped cut from just above the pig's front leg. It's leaner and often sold with the skin on, which makes it a good candidate for a roast that is served sliced like ham.

What To Serve With Oven-Roasted Pork Butt

This recipe for oven-roasted pork butt is a delicious main-course option for a barbecue-style dinner. You can serve it in a sandwich or on its own, with all the classic barbecue sides: baked beans, cornbread, collard greens, and other classic meat-and-three fare.

How to Store Leftover Pork Butt

This recipe makes a lot of pulled pork. If you have leftovers, you can store them in an airtight container or zip-top bag in the refrigerator, and eat them within three to four days.

Heating the pork in the microwave or oven until it reaches an internal temperature of 145°F will ensure that it's safe to eat.

You can also freeze pulled pork in a vacuum-sealed bag or a freezer-safe zip-top bag. It will keep in the freezer for up to six months. Defrost it overnight in the refrigerator before heating and serving.

Ingredients

  • 4 tsp. seasoned salt

  • 2 tsp. dark brown sugar

  • 1 ½ tsp. granulated sugar

  • 1 ½ tsp. paprika

  • ¼ tsp. garlic powder

  • ¼ tsp. pepper

  • tsp. dry mustard

  • tsp. ground cumin

  • .0625 tsp. ground ginger

  • 1 (4- to 5-lb.) bone-in Boston butt pork roast

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Stir together salt, brown sugar, granulated sugar, paprika, garlic powder, pepper, dry mustard, cumin, and ginger in a medium bowl.

  2. Trim 1 (4- to 5-lb.) bone-in Boston butt pork roast. Pat dry.

  3. Sprinkle with seasoning mixture. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes.

  4. Place pork in an aluminum foil-lined (13- x 9-inch) pan. Bake 4 to 4 1/2 hours or until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest portion registers 195°F. Let stand 15 minutes. Shred pork with 2 forks.

Updated by
Jessica Harlan
photo of a white woman with mid-length brunette hair

Jessica Harlan is an Atlanta-based food writer and recipe developer for Southern Living. The author of nine cookbooks, she's written about food for nearly 30 years.

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