Pork Butt Internal Temperature: When To Pull The Pork

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Pork butt is a cut from the shoulder of the hog. It’s often confused by people who think it’s the same thing as pork shoulder.

Pork Butt Internal Temperature: When To Pull the Pork

Pork butt is usually sold whole, but you can ask your butcher to cut it into pieces if you want.

We’ll tell you exactly what temperature you need to cook your pork butt to so that you can get the tastiest result every time!

Pork Butt Temperature

Pork is safe to eat when cooked to 145 degrees Fahrenheit. However, pork butt needs to be cooked to 195 degrees Fahrenheit to render the collagen.

Pulled pork is made by cooking the pork butt at 195 degrees Fahrenheit for a long time.

Pork butt and brisket are tough cuts of meat. Smoking meat requires long, slow cooking at low temperatures. Mastering this technique takes practice.

Difference Between A Pork Butt And A Pork Shoulder

Pork butts are meatier than pork Shoulders. Their marbling makes them tastier.

Pork Butt is usually found at the end of the pig, while pork shoulder is found near the front.

Both are considered a prime cut of meat. Picnic shoulder is also called the picnic ham or picnic roast.

How To Prepare Pork Butt

Pork butt is a cut that is fantastic for slow cooking. If it’s cooked slowly enough, the fat and gristly bits will melt into the meat, making it tender and juicy.

So if you cook pork butt too fast, it will come out stringy, tough, and not very fun to eat!

Pork butt should be cooked slowly over low heat. This will allow the fat to render out and make the meat tender. You want to cook the pork butt until it reaches an internal temperature of 195 degrees F.

Seasoning the pork butt with a barbecue rub is an important step. The pork butt should be positioned with the fat side facing down. Fat drips off when placed face up.

There are ways to speed the pulling process along, but it takes a long time. You can expect the process to take most of the day. Don’t trim too much fat from your pork butt. High fat content makes pulled pork juicier.

Why Is It Called A Pork Butt?

Pork butt is a cut from the shoulder of the pig. Barrels were used to store meat before refrigeration.

The name came from the barrels in which the hogs were stored. Butt refers to the size of the barrel used to hold the pork. This size of barrel is also called butt.

Cook To Temperature Not By Time

Smoking takes time and patience. You should rely on your internal thermometer instead of a timer.

There are many variables that affect the cooking process, including the type of meat, smoker variation, wind speed and direction, and outside temperature. Using anything but a thermometer is no better than guesswork.

Pork butt needs to reach an interior temperature of at least 145 °F to be considered safe to eat.

All pork products must reach this temperature before being served. Ham is smoked and cured before reaching this temperature.

Pork should be cooked until it reaches 145 degrees F (63 C) before serving. To ensure safety, the USDA recommends cooking pork to an internal temp of 160 degrees F (71 C).

Ground pork should be cooked until 165 degrees F (74 C), while whole pork loins should reach 170 degrees F (77 C).

However, pork butt for pulling should be cooked until it falls apart easily. This means you need to get it up to at least 195 F! You can take it off the grill when it reaches 195 degrees.

Don’t overcook your pork! Pork butt should rest for at least an hour before being served. This waiting period allows juices to redistribute, and makes pulling pork easier. Cooling meat makes it more tender.

How Much Pork Do You Need?

Pork Butt Internal Temperature: When To Pull the Pork

You should plan on about 1/2 lb per person. There will be some shrinkage and waste, but you’ll still get a lot of meat out of it. Plan on losing about 30 percent of your total weight.

Making Pulled Pork – Top Tips

Pulled Pork is cooked by grilling or smoking. Heat your grill/smoker to 225 °F to make sure the meat cooks evenly.

Wrap the pork butt in foil to slow down the cooking time. Increase the heat to 325 °F to reduce the cooking time.

Pork butt should be cooked slowly over low heat. Otherwise, it will become tough and chewy.

Slow-cooked pork butt gets tender because of the long time it spends being cooked. A fork is used to shred the meat.

Pork butt is a tough cut of meat that contains lots of collagen. Cooking it slowly breaks down the collagen into gelatin, giving it a rich flavor and texture.

Pork butt needs to be cooked at 195 degrees F. Internal temp must reach at least 200 degrees F before the resting period begins. Tenderness depends on cooking time.

Pork butt should be cooked until it reaches an internal temperature of about 200 °F (93 °C). Don’t overcook it or it’ll be too dry.

Pork butt should be trimmed of excess fat before grilling. Seasoning should be done before cooking. Preheat grill or smoker. Build a low charcoal fire. Grill or smoke pork butt until tender.

At the 160 degree mark, the temperature will be stalled for several hours. To avoid this, you can either wait it out, or use the Texas crutch to speed up the cooking process.

You can remove the pork once it reaches 145 degrees Fahrenheit. However, you won’t be able to shred it because it won’t be cooked enough yet.

Your pork needs to reach 195 degrees Fahrenheit before the collagen breaks down to form that gelatin, and then you can take it out. Pork takes about two hours per pound to cook.

Pork butt should be wrapped in aluminum foil after reaching 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Then return it to the grill and finish cooking.

Foil should be used to prevent the skin from softening. Wait until the meat is cooked before removing the foil.

You should use two forks to shred the meat instead of using your hands. Turn the forks so the prongs face outward, and use them to tear the meat apart.

Pulled pork is usually made by tearing the meat apart with your hands, but this method is time-consuming. Investing in a set of shredding claws makes the process much faster.

Electric hand mixers are fast and easy to use. But be careful because the meat can become mushy when processed too much.

It should be served with some sauce and vegetables. You may also use leftover pork as taco filling.

Keep It Simple

Pork should be cooked slowly over low heat until it reaches an internal temperature of 145 °F (63 °C). It should then be removed from the heat and allowed to rest for 15 minutes before slicing.

Trim The Fat

Trim off most of the excess fat from the exterior of meat but not all the fat. Season the meat well and then grill it.

Make sure to use a grill pan or skillet because the grilling surface needs to be large enough to hold the steak.

Take The Time To Season Right

You should always wash your meat before you season it. This helps the seasoning stay put. Use this recipe for pork or poultry.

Black pepper is always a good seasoning. Yellow mustard and apple cider vinegar are other popular things to use with your pork!

Enhance Flavor With Wood Pellets

You can use any kind of wood pellets to smoke your pork. A hickory blend gives your meat a full body taste. Learn more about different types of wood pellets here.

Use A Meat Thermometer

Pork Butt Internal Temperature measurement

A good meat thermometer is an important tool for any cook. It helps you know when your meat is done cooking.

Digital thermometers are great because they are accurate and easy to use. You can also get them for less than $20 online.

Look for ones with two meat probes so you can check both the internal and external temperatures of your meats.

Wi-Fi capability is another great feature you might want to consider when purchasing a pellet grill.

You can use your smartphone or iPad to check the grill’s internal temperature. This will help you avoid overcooking your meat.

Keep It Low And Slow

Pork butt should be cooked slowly over long periods of time at high temperatures. This results in tender meat that melts in your mouth.

Pork butts are heavy muscles that need lots of work to be tender. Tenderizing them requires long slow cooking.

Pork butts stall after several hours of cooking. Because the meat is losing moisture, it stops cooking.

Pork needs to be cooked slowly to prevent it from drying out. Don’t turn the oven up too high because you’ll burn the fat off.

Wait until your pork reaches an internal temp of 145-150 degrees F before opening the oven door.


Wrapping Pork butt should be wrapped or tied up before smoking. Otherwise, it takes too long to cook.

Test For Doneness

When is it ready? Depends on the size. The Internal temperature needs to get to about 195 degrees Fahrenheit, which takes about 8-10 hours.

After that, test if the bone is loose by wiggling it. If it comes out easily, then it is done.

Pork butts must be cooked until they reach the desired internal temperature. You shouldn’t eat them if the color doesn’t match what you expected. Don’t smoke a boneless butt!

Don’t take it above 205 degrees Fahrenheit or the muscle fibers will give up moisture and become tougher.

Let It Rest

Pork needs to be cooked slowly over low heat until tender. A thin layer of fat must form around the meat before cooking. After cooking, let the meat rest for at least 30 minutes.

Always Pull Never Chop

Pork should be pulled apart by hand or in a stand mixer. Save any leftover drippings and pour them onto the pork.

Don’t Over-sauce

Don’t overdo it when making your sauce. You want to be able to taste the meat as well as the sauce. Also, make sure to enjoy it. Enjoying the process is part of the fun and the reason why we do what we do.

Safety Tips

Pork can be stored for up to four days in the refrigerator. To make sure the fridge temperature is below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, make sure the door is closed tightly.

If the leftovers are not thoroughly cooled down, they won’t be safe to eat.

Pork butt should be kept on the bottom shelf of your refrigerator. Keep it there until you cook it. Don’t store it in the top shelf or it may drip juices onto the surface below.

Meat should be tightly wrapped before storing it in the fridge. This prevents it from drying out.

Pork butt should be cooked using clean utensils. Wash hands before and after handling pork butt.

Pork must be cooked thoroughly before being stored or served. Refrigeration prevents the growth of harmful bacteria. Leftover pork may be kept in the refrigerator for up to two days.

Final Thoughts

Getting the perfect pulled pork is an art form! Hopefully, this guide has helped you learn more about getting it just right!

Julian Wells

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