what would be the best way to cook a boneless pork butt? Would 4 1/2 hours at 350 be sufficient?
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Rub w salt pepper, transfer to crockpot, add 11 oz beer, and slow cook for 8-9 hours. It's done when it falls apart with the touch of a fork. Then do carnitas tacos or pulled pork sammies!!
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I'll politely disagree with Wizard. Pork butt (actually shoulder, how wierd is that) is best suited to slow roasting. I would use it for porchetta seasoned with fennel, rosemary and garlic. 350F is a good working temperature but it's not an hours per pound process (although that's a guideline). Use an instant read thermometer to check the temperature. Meanwhile baste every twenty minutes or so. When it hits 140F pull it out and allow it to rest, tented with foil, for 15 minutes. Go eat.
I slow roasted it at 350 degrees for about 5 hours, but you definitely want to test it with a fork if you want it to be falling-off-the-bone tender. You can't overcook it, so if it's still not tender, put it in for a bit longer. http://meatballsandmilkshakes.com/2012/02/15/slow-roasted-pork-shoulder-and-pork-tacos/
I was originally inspired by this post on Serious Eats, but it takes 8 hours at 250 degrees and I didn't have enough time. http://www.seriouseats...
Questions like this interest me because that's the way I think, in terms of "best". However, everyone has their own definitions of what that might be. Mention "pork butt" and my mind immediately goes to smoke because that's my favorite method of preparation.
Conversion of collagen (connective tissue) to gelatin doesn't begin until the meat reaches an internal temperature of around 140F. The longer the roast exceeds 140F, the more tender it will become. Fat will also be rendering during this time; make of that what you will.
While I think all the above ideas are good ones, the technique Kenji Alt describes in the referenced article immediately above is one well-worth exploring.
In case that wasn't clear, I'm referring to the relatively-low 250F roasting temperature. The concept is similar to braising except with dry heat.
I will try the Kenji Alt recipe and see how it works. I am marinating the 1/2 pork butt with skin overnight with a sage/garlic rub. Then getting up at the crack of dawn at 5 a.m. to take the meat out of the fridge for an hour before I put it in at 6:00. and then cook the ham at 250F until it's done. When I put the pork back in for the last 20 mins to roast the fat I would think you would it put it back on the rack so it' doesn't absorb all the extra fat dripping off? I will let you know how it turns out.
If you have the time, cook it up like pastrami and serve it pulled barbecue style - it's really fantastic. You basically brine the pork overnight in a pickling spice mix (homemade of course), then hot smoke it for several hours at about 225-250 degrees, then braise in a dutch oven at 200 degrees for another several hours. Let it drain, shred the meat and serve with your favorite barbecue sauce. If you have Ruhlman's book "Charcuterie", follow the brisket recipe for the details.
Another option would be to make pork confit, which is amazing. Here's a link to my taste-off for both techniques: