What is Boston Butt?

Shoulder Butt

Also known as Pork butt or Shoulder Butt because the cut comes from the Blade shoulder.

Boston butt  is the cut of pork that comes from the upper shoulder of the pig nearer the shoulder blade (Blade shoulder). It’s more meaty and less bony.

The shoulder yields two large pork roasts.

  1. Boston butt (Blade Shoulder) or shoulder butt or Pork butt: This is the upper part of the shoulder, which is more meaty and may contain the blade bone.
  2. Picnic shoulder (Arm Shoulder): This is the lower part of the shoulder, which is technically the foreleg of the hog (pig). This portion is nearest the trotter (hock). It’s less meaty and has a large bone in the centre.

Why is it called Pork Butt?

I am sure you must be wondering why this cut is sometimes called “pork butt” even though it doesn’t come from the actual rear end. In old English, the word butt, means “the widest part”. On the pig, the widest part is the shoulder not the actual butt on the rear end.

Boston Butt, quick notes

  1. It comes from the upper part of the shoulder.
  2. It is generally sold as a 5 to 10 pound boneless roast at the grocery store.
  3. The Boston butt is flavourful, but contains lot of sinew. It’s best braised to dissolve this connective tissue.
  4. It can also be roasted.
  5. You can also cut it into chunks, marinate them and grill or broil them for kebabs.
  6. For home cooks, it’s a very inexpensive cut of meat.


Author: Liz

I love everything food: eating, cooking, baking and travelling. I also love photography and nature.

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