How long to cook boston butt in crock pot?

Boston Butt, also known as pork shoulder, is a versatile cut of meat that can be transformed into mouthwatering pulled pork when cooked with patience and care. Using a crock pot is an excellent method for achieving tender and flavorful results, making it a favorite among home cooks. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the techniques and secrets of cooking Boston Butt in a crock pot, ensuring that your next pulled pork endeavor yields fall-off-the-bone tenderness and tantalizing flavor.


To embark on this culinary journey, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 4 to 6-pound Boston Butt
  • 2 tablespoons of your favorite dry rub
  • 1 cup of your favorite barbecue sauce
  • 1/2 cup of chicken broth or water

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Prepare the Boston Butt: Begin by patting the Boston Butt dry with paper towels. This step helps the dry rub adhere better to the meat, resulting in a flavorful crust.
  2. Apply the Dry Rub: Generously rub the dry rub all over the Boston Butt, making sure to cover all sides. The dry rub will add layers of flavor to the meat as it slow cooks.
  3. Place in the Crock Pot: Place the Boston Butt in the crock pot, fat side up. The fat will melt during cooking and keep the meat moist and succulent.
  4. Add Liquid: Pour the chicken broth or water into the crock pot. This will create steam and help tenderize the meat as it cooks.
  5. Cook on Low: Cover the crock pot with the lid and set the temperature to low. Let the Boston Butt cook for 8 to 10 hours. Slow and steady cooking is the secret to achieving fall-apart tender pork.
  6. Shred the Meat: After the cooking time is up, carefully remove the Boston Butt from the crock pot and place it on a cutting board. Use two forks to shred the meat.
  7. Add Barbecue Sauce: Pour the barbecue sauce over the shredded pork and mix well to coat every piece with that irresistible smoky flavor.
  8. Return to Crock Pot: Return the shredded pork to the crock pot and cook for an additional 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.
  9. Serve and Enjoy: Once the cooking time is complete, it’s time to dig in! Serve the mouthwatering pulled pork on a soft bun or alongside your favorite sides.

Tips for Cooking Boston Butt in a Crock Pot

  • Choosing the Right Boston Butt: Select a Boston Butt that is firm to the touch and has a good amount of marbling. This indicates a well-balanced ratio of meat and fat, which will result in tender and flavorful pulled pork.
  • Experiment with Dry Rubs: Don’t be afraid to experiment with different dry rubs to create unique flavor profiles. Some popular options include a blend of salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and cumin.
  • Use a Variety of Liquids: While chicken broth or water are traditional choices for adding moisture, you can also use apple cider, beer, or even root beer to infuse the pork with additional flavor.
  • Cook on Low and Slow: Resist the urge to turn up the heat to speed up the cooking process. Slow and steady cooking on low heat allows the connective tissues in the meat to break down gradually, resulting in tender and juicy pulled pork.
  • Don’t Overcook: Overcooking can result in dry and tough pulled pork. Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the meat. It should reach 195°F for optimal tenderness.

What Cut of Meat to Use

The traditional and ideal meat to use for pulled pork is a pork shoulder, also known as a “pork butt” or “Boston butt” in stores. Although you could prepare a bone-in pork shoulder as well, I prefer a boneless roast that has been tied.

The top loin boneless roast can be used to produce a leaner pulled pork, but it won’t be as moist as traditional pulled pork. You might find the method I describe below for trimming excess fat from the meat useful.

How long to cook boston butt in crock pot?

I advise seasoning the pork shoulder unless you intend to add some BBQ Sauce at the end. You could use just salt, black pepper, and maybe some garlic powder, but I really like rubbing some homemade Sazon Seasoning on top. You could try any pork-specific rub here.

Cooking the pork in pineapple juice is another easy flavoring option that creates a delicious flavor combination with this type of meat. Just add a tiny 6-ounce can along with the other ingredients to the slow cooker. Apple juice is another nice complementary choice.

Add two tablespoons of brown sugar to the rub to slightly sweeten it without adding any liquid. I’ve tried it, and I’ve never experienced a problem with the sugar burning in the slow cooker’s bottom. Alternatively, you could try adding 2 tablespoons of liquid smoke or worcestershire sauce for a grilled-food-like smokiness.

How long to cook boston butt in crock pot?

The seasoned pork is prepared to go into the slow cooker once it has been rub down.

Crock Pot Pulled Pork is Easy to Make

Let the slow cooker handle all the work, then pile this pulled pork on crusty buns and top with some fresh homemade coleslaw for a dish everyone adores. This slow cooker pulled pork is ideal for Sunday supper, tailgating, or even for parties (on slider buns or piled on top of baked sweet potatoes).

This dish’s best feature is that it cooks in a slow cooker and is ready when you are, making it simple to prepare.

When serving a large group, you can simply set your slow cooker’s pulled pork on low to keep it warm until everyone is ready to eat. All we need to do is provide our guests with a bowl of slaw and a basket of rolls so they can make their own sandwiches!

How to make Tender Pork Roast in the Crock Pot (Boston Butt)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Can I sear the Boston Butt before putting it in the crock pot?

A: While searing the Boston Butt before cooking can add extra flavor by creating a delicious crust, it is not necessary when using a crock pot. The slow cooking process in the crock pot will still result in a tender and flavorful roast.

Q: How long does it take to cook a Boston Butt in a crock pot?

A: The cooking time for a Boston Butt in a crock pot depends on the size of the roast and the settings of your crock pot. However, as a general guideline, you can expect it to take approximately 8-10 hours on low heat or 4-6 hours on high heat.

Q: What liquid should I use to cook the Boston Butt in a crock pot?

A: It is recommended to use a liquid, such as broth, water, or a combination of both, to keep the Boston Butt moist during the cooking process. This will help prevent the meat from drying out. You can also add additional flavor by using ingredients like apple cider, barbecue sauce, or even beer.

Q: Can I cook vegetables with the Boston Butt in the crock pot?

A: Yes, you can definitely cook vegetables along with the Boston Butt in the crock pot. Root vegetables like potatoes, carrots, and onions work well as they can withstand the long cooking time without becoming mushy. Simply layer the vegetables in the bottom of the crock pot and place the seasoned Boston Butt on top for a complete and delicious one-pot meal.

Q: Can I use the drippings from the Boston Butt to make gravy?

A: Absolutely! The drippings from cooking the Boston Butt in the crock pot can be used to make a flavorful gravy. Once the meat is cooked, you can strain the drippings and simmer them in a saucepan with some flour or cornstarch to thicken it into a delicious gravy. Don’t forget to adjust the seasoning to taste before serving.

Q: How long does it take to cook a Boston butt?

A: 5 pork butt (also called Boston butt, picnic, pork shoulder, etc.) will require about 14 hours of total cook time if you run your smoker low and slow at about 225°F (107°C). Smoke the meat until it reaches 185°F (85°C) for slicing or about 207°F (97°C) for pulling (pulled pork).


Cooking Boston Butt in a crock pot is an easy and convenient way to achieve tender and flavorful pulled pork that will impress your friends and family. By following the step-by-step instructions and tips outlined in this guide, you’ll be able to master this culinary technique and enjoy mouthwatering pulled pork that melts in your mouth. So, fire up your crock pot, gather your ingredients, and embark on a culinary adventure that will leave you craving for more!

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