Grilled Pork Butt


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Servings: makes about 6 pounds pulled pork , enough for about


    sandwiches or 10-12 cups shredded pork

Appears in

Love Your Leftovers

Love Your Leftovers

By Nick Evans

Published 2014

  • About

I called this “grilled” because that’s how I prefer to do it if I have the ability, but I’ve roasted the exact same recipe in the oven with excellent results. Either way you choose, be sure to get a pork butt (aka shoulder) with the bone in and with a decent amount of fat in it. As it cooks, the fat will prevent the meat from drying out and the bone will flavor the meat nicely.

Either this method or the slow cooker method yields delicious pulled pork. My personal preference is for grilling it–just because I like drier pulled pork that I can then add sauce to– but honestly, I’ll take it any way I can get it!


  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 8- pound bone-in pork butt


  1. Stir together the first six ingredients in a small bowl. Optionally, you can also try this recipe with any of the dry rub recipes from the Flank Steak chapter!
  2. Rub the pork butt well with the spice mixture. It should completely cover the butt on all sides.
  3. Tightly wrap the pork in plastic wrap and store in your fridge overnight. (This step isn’t completely essential but does help the flavors mingle.)
  4. Heat your grill or oven to 250°F. I highly recommend using an oven thermometer on the grill surface to make sure your temperature is as close to that as possible. If you’re using a gas grill, this will probably mean turning off all the burners except one and turning that burner on medium-low to low. If you’re using a charcoal grill, prepare your grill for indirect heat and build a good coal base before adding the pork. You will most likely have to add charcoal a few times throughout the cooking time to maintain a nice even heat. It’s also not a huge deal if your grill gets hotter or cools off a bit. Just do your best to keep it low and steady.
  5. Place your pork fat side up directly on the grill or in a roasting rack if you’re roasting in the oven.
  6. Cook the pork at 250°F until it reaches an internal temperature of 190° to 195°F. You absolutely need a meat thermometer to make sure it’s done. A pork butt at 170° and one at 190° look and feel very similar. This will most likely take between 7 and 10 hours depending on your grill, the size of your pork butt, and the exact temperature. I’ve had it take up to 14 hours on a finicky charcoal grill.
  7. When the pork hits the desired temperature, remove it from the grill and wrap tightly in foil. Let it rest for 30 minutes.
  8. Shred the pork with two forks and use it in sandwiches, or store it for use in other recipes. It will store well in the fridge for 7 days. If you’re freezing it for later, I recommend dividing it into 1-pound servings and freezing it in freezer-safe storage bags.