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Joe vs. the Boston Butt Pulled Pork recipe by Kamado Joe Cooking!

Updated: Sep 11, 2022

Check out the original video recipe: Cooked by the Kamado Guru Mr. John Setzler!

A few things to note if you are new to smoking meat. What is the difference between a Boston Butt, Pork butt, Pork Shoulder and Picnic Shoulder?

The Butt is normally rectangular in shape.

MEATOLOGY From Snake River Farms

This large cut is literally the shoulder of the hog and comes from the primal of the same name. This group of muscles is used frequently so the meat is lean but flavorful. Since there is not a lot of intramuscular fat, it’s important to slow cook this item so it is tender. Fast fact: Cuts from the shoulder are sometimes named pork butt, however, the source is the shoulder.

As you can see the shoulder is tapered towards the shank as it goes down towards the leg of the pig. Some recipes will call for either or. The Boston Butt is prefered when making pulled pork.

Now onto the cook! I pulled this one from the archives and didn't have other pictures on my phone during cook. I'm going to fire one up tomorrow for the New Years. So I'll come back and add some pictures.

A couple of my favorite things to do while cooking is to peel little pieces of bark of to taste test. In all actuality I'm not taste testing I'm really just impatient and hungry. The other one of my favorite things to do is to pull on the bone and watch it just slide right out of the meat. If the meat was cooked right it will pretty much fall right out and come out clean with little meat attached to it. I set it aside for the doggies once it cools.

When I go to my local grocery store I will check the meat section for marked down meats. One of the ones I frequent has had butts marked down often. They aren't high quality like the Meat N Bone or Snake River Farms or any of the other retailers featured on the Online Butcher Shop. I'll buy from one of those guys for a special occasion or party. I'll buy them and stick the butt in the freezer for a rainy day.

When I have a frozen butt I will thaw it in a brine as opposed to injecting as this recipe calls for. I'll write up a brine recipe later. I also make my own rubs as spices can be expensive. Speaking of rubs maybe they should be called pats since it's better to pat and not rub since rubbing can cause clump buildups.

The prep is easy on this recipe as long as you have a good injector. You can use mustard, or a hot sauce as a binder for the rub if you want. Whichever you choose will cookout of the meat during the process.

Remember to inject before you rub. You don't want the injection juices washing off the rub!

John puts a disposable foil pan on his Kamado. I use a reusable one that I will provide a link to. I will also either add water or an apple cider or apple juice mixture to the pan. Kamado's don't require a water pan but it will help prevent the drippings from being burnt on and the liquid will evaporate to help keep the meat moist. Just don't forget to check the levels or it will evaporate and burn.

Below is the finished product.

Products I used that you may find useful:

I use the Kamado Joe Classic II! Check out for more information on the Kamado Joe, accessories, fuel, meats and more! I also participate in some affiliate programs! So far I've made 2 dollars! Really excited about that! If you like what you see buy from one of my links! Check out the essential accessories and the Online Butchers!


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