I’m a sucker for pork butt recipes. Our freezer is filled with a bunch of shoulders (another name for the cut), because we serve it year-round.

In the summer, The One and I take to the great outdoors (well, to the limits of our backyard) and the grill and smoker. There’s nothing like slowly-smoked pork. Tacos, anyone?

Autumn is all about braised pork butt recipes, our favorite being carnitas.

Winter and spring are when we make casseroles, soups, and the delicious pork tinga below.

These sweet 16 recipes will have you lapping up supremely-succulent, deeply-flavored pork dishes every month of the year.


David Leite's handwritten signature of 'David.'
A slow cooker insert filled with shredded slow cooker pulled pork.
1 of 15

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

This slow cooker pulled pork is easy to make with pork shoulder, aka pork butt, onion, beer, sugar, and spices, and it capably feeds a crowd. (Just be certain to stash some in the back of the fridge so you have leftovers.)

Just learning to get over my fear of new recipes and broke out the slow cooker for its first run. This slow cooker pulled pork recipe was not only easy but absolutely delicious. I froze a good chunk of the pork afterward and took out some for pulled pork and egg breakfast sandwiches. 10/10, so glad you shared this.

A partially shredded roast pork butt in a roasting pan with a fork nearby.
2 of 15

Roast Pork Butt

This roast pork butt, coated in a simple rub of brown sugar, paprika, cumin, and red pepper flakes, is an easy recipe to make and yields enough pulled pork to feed a small army. Perfect for Super Bowl, weekend bashes, and weeknight dinners. Best of all, it can me roasted in the oven.

This roast pork butt recipe is THE perfect recipe for slow-cooked, fall-apart tender, crispy flavourful bark with a pork butt. Search no more. You have found the recipe you were looking for.

So unbelievably easy and really hard to make a mistake. Definitely make sure you have that meat thermometer.

A white speckled bowl filled with pork casserole with apples and cider, roasted carrots, and a fork resting on the side.
Mowie Kay
3 of 15

Pork Casserole with Apples and Cider

This pork casserole with apples and cider, made with slow-cooked pork shoulder that’s gently braised in a cider gravy with apples and mustard, is autumn comfort food at its finest.
A whole smoked pork shoulder.
Deborah Llewellyn
4 of 15

Smoked Pork Shoulder

When slow-smoking a pork shoulder, you should figure 1 1/2 hours per pound of pork. A 10-pound, bone-in pork shoulder takes a long time to cook, but for the majority of that time it is in the smoker. You can get it started right after breakfast and have it ready in time for dinner.

This smoked pork shoulder was absolutely mouth-watering, tender, and easy. Five stars without a doubt.

A bowl of pork tinga--pork stewed with tomatoes and chipotle peppers, along with bowls of lemon, sour cream, cilantro, cheese on a table.
Laura Edwards
5 of 15

Pork Tinga

Pork tinga, an authentic Mexican dish, is a slowly simmered pork stew made with roasted tomatoes, chipotle chiles, chorizo, and onions. When topped with avocado, sour cream, cilantro, queso fresco, and lime, it's comfort food at its finest.
Two pork tacos filled with shredded pork, radishes, jalapenos, salsa, and sour cream on a plate.
Leela Cyd
6 of 15

Pork Tacos

These pork tacos, made with pork, beer, spices, and soft tortillas, are wicked tender and almost like tacos al pastor. Slather, bite, repeat.

I tried the crockpot version of these pork tacos, and it was fantastic. Not to mention really easy to throw together. We ate our shredded pork over brown rice with guacamole on top. There was really no need to add anything else.

The pork was very flavorful and moist. I will definitely be making this again…and again…and possibly again.

A wooden cutting board with two pulled pork sandwiches in crusty buns and topped with coleslaw, with a bottle and glass of beer in the background.
Remko Kraaijeveld
7 of 15

Pulled Pork Sandwiches

As American as apple pie—and, if hashtags can be trusted, far trendier. It’s not hard to understand why. Knee-wobblingly tender and rich pulled pork collide with cool, crisp, tangy coleslaw to terrific effect.
A white bowl filled with quick posole with pork topped with avocado with a lime wedge on the side.
Andrew Purcell
8 of 15

Quick Posole with Pork

This quick posole is an easy one-pot meal made with pork shoulder, hominy, onion, stock, spices, and all your fave toppings, that can be made in the pressure cooker or slow cooker.
A red Dutch oven filled with braised pork cubes with an orange wedge on top and a few orange wedges, garlic cloves, oregano, and spoon on the side.
Romulo Yanes
9 of 15

Carnitas ~ Mexican Braised Pork

This old-school carnitas–pork shoulder simmered with onion, garlic, bay leaf, and orange until falling-apart tender and crispy–is excellent in burritos, tacos, or on its own. And it can be made in an Instant Pot or slow cooker.

This recipe is how I found my way to this food blog. I had never cooked carnitas before, and I was VERY skeptical. I have tried it all the ways, and it always comes out spectacular!! Texan friends were enamored!

amy c.
A bowl of chashu pork ramen, filled with braised pork, soba noodles, bean sprouts, peas, and bok choy, with a pair of chopsticks resting on top.
Issy Crocker
10 of 15

Chashu Pork Ramen

This chashu pork ramen will rival your local take-away spot for flavor and comfort levels. The gorgeous braising liquid is used as broth to take advantage of all the sumptuous flavors.
A person squeezing lime juice over an open pulled pork taco.
Nik Sharma
11 of 15

Pulled Pork Tacos

These pulled pork tacos with apple-serrano slaw are made with shredded pork cooked with a blend of Indian spices. Taco Tuesday just got a whole heck of a lot more interesting.
A white casserole dish of roast pork, potatoes and pears with a bowl of salad and two empty bowls with spoons beside it.
Toni Zernike
12 of 15

Roast Pork, Potatoes and Pears

This roast pork, potatoes, and pears is a simple German dinner casserole made with pork shoulder, Yukon gold potatoes, and pears.

I just took this recipe on a test run for a potential Christmas Eve dish, and it’s earned the coveted spot! Not only is it indecently delicious, but my house also smells like Christmas. And you can get the family into the kitchen to help create the “shoe.” Thanks for another winner, Leite’s!

kristen k.
A brown bowl of Instant Pot pork stew with hominy with a spoon resting inside and a dish of cilantro and a blue napkin on the side.
Ghazalle Badiozamani
13 of 15

Instant Pot Pork Stew with Hominy

This Instant Pot pork stew with hominy has that tender cooked-all-day comfort vibe, except it’s ready in just a little more than an hour. You’re welcome.
Braised pork with red wine sauce in a Staub Dutch oven.
Andrea Bemis
14 of 15

Wine-Braised Pork Shoulder

This braised pork with red wine is an easy, set-it-and-forget-it one-pot meal. Made with meltingly tender shredded pork shoulder, red onions, and a rich red wine and herb sauce, it boasts French overtones but without any fussiness.

This is absolutely one of my favorite recipes on the site. I made it on the weekend and was again surprised by just how good it is. Everyone who got a taste agreed AND they were actually pretty stunned when I told them how easy it is.

Honestly–it’s perfection. Serve it with brown butter garlic mashed potatoes for a divine dinner.

jenny l.
A white bowl filled with New Mexican red pork chili, garnished with red onion and cilantro.
America’s Test Kitchen
15 of 15

New Mexican Red Pork Chili

This New Mexican red pork chili is made in the slow cooker using cubed pork butt, chili powder, broth, chipotle chiles, coffee, raisins, and cilantro. It’s easy, set-it-and-forget-it comfort food.

Pork Butt FAQs

What’s the difference between pork butt and pork shoulder?

Pork butt and pork shoulder both come from the shoulder of the pig and can be used interchangeably.

Despite the name, pork butt does not come from the rear end of the pig. Pork butt is often also sold as “Boston butt” and was given its name because inexpensive cuts of meat, such as pork shoulder, were originally transported in large barrels called butts.

What’s the best way to cook pork shoulder?

Low and slow. Pork butt is a relatively fatty cut of meat and needs a long, slow cooking time in order to break down the connective tissue and render soft, shreddable meat. You’ll know it’s ready when it can be easily pulled apart with a fork.

What is the internal temperature of cooked pork butt?

Pork shoulder should be cooked to an internal temperature of 195°F to 200°F (90°C to 96°C) for best results. This may seem counterintuitive since pork is normally only cooked to 145°F (63°C) in order to stay moist and tender, but a higher internal temperature is needed for pork shoulder recipes in order for the fatty tissue and collagen to break down.

Do I need to marinate the pork before cooking?

Nope. You can, and it’ll impart additional flavor to the meat, but pork shoulder is naturally very flavorful, and you can achieve excellent results by simply seasoning it with salt and pepper and roasting the pork butt in the oven.

Can you freeze pulled pork?

Definitely. We highly recommend portioning out cooled shredded pulled pork into meal-size portions, stashing them in resealable bags, and tossing them into the freezer. They’ll be good for at least 3 months.

What do you serve with pork butt?

Shredded pork is usually served on buns with barbecue sauce on top. Popular sides include mac and cheese, creamy coleslaw, and baked beans. But depending on your recipe, you might opt for this apple and celery salad or go for Asian vibe with a smashed cucumber salad or Japanese-style cucumber salad. If Mexican is more your thing, definitely go for quick pickled onions and elote.

It’s obvious from our large collection of pork and ham recipes that we love our pork, particularly meltingly tender, shredded pork shoulder. It’s incredibly easy to cook, making it perfect for a newbie home cook, it feeds plenty (hello, leftovers!), and it’s incredibly forgiving and hard to overcook.

Last but not least . . .

Three pulled pork grilled cheese sandwiches stacked on top of each other and secured with a wooden skewer.

16 Superb Pork Butt Recipes

5 / 3 votes
This collection of drool-worthy pork butt recipes shows you how to cook inexpensive pork shoulder perfectly every time.
But…what about all those porky leftovers? One excellent solution is this wicked-easy and unstoppably good ☞ PULLED PORK GRILLED CHEESE.
David Leite
Servings1 sandwich
Calories583 kcal
Prep Time10 minutes
Total Time7 minutes



  • In a cast-iron pan or griddle set over medium heat, melt the butter.
  • Place the bun halves, cut side up, in the skillet. Place 1 cheese slice on each bun half. Top the bottom bun half with the pulled pork. Using a spatula, place the top bun half, cheese side down, on the other side that’s topped with pulled pork.
  • Cook, turning occasionally and gently pressing the sandwich with the spatula, until the cheese is melted, about 5 minutes.
  • Serve immediately. Don’t forget the napkins.


Check out the full recipe post for our testers’ reviews, more info, and tips on making the best-pulled pork grilled cheese sandwich. Ev-ah.
The South's Best Butts Cookbook

Adapted From

The South’s Best Butts

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Serving: 1 portionCalories: 583 kcalCarbohydrates: 43 gProtein: 26 gFat: 35 gSaturated Fat: 18 gMonounsaturated Fat: 7 gTrans Fat: 1 gCholesterol: 121 mgSodium: 1587 mgFiber: 1 gSugar: 21 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
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About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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