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Quick Boston Butt question...

RoanokesmokeRoanokesmoke Posts: 29
edited 5:56PM in EggHead Forum
I just purchased a 4 lb. butt, but this one (unlike any other butts I've bought previously) was tied up/held together with string. I bought this particular one figuring I could really get my rub into the thing, as it seemed looser than more typical butts. With all this in mind....can I smoke the butt with the string still attached, or should I remove it before cooking and put it on something (like a roaster) that will help keep it in place? Thanks in advance for your help.


  • Sounds like you bought a boneless butt that they tied up after removing the bone. I've not cooked a butt with the string, but I have cooked leg of lamb with it and it was no problem. If you remove the string, it will probably be "floppy" and irregular, but if you get your meat probe in the thickest part, it should do ok.

    Next time, make sure you get one with the bone in.
  • why should I get one with the bone in? Honestly every butt I've ever purchased has been boneless.
  • It's been my experience that most meats, when cooked, get a good bit more flavor when bone-in versus boneless. Maybe it's just anecdotal experience. I've always bought bone-in butts, and I can't remember seeing many, if any, boneless ones on this forum.

    It would be interesting to see what others have to say. Might be just personal preference. (I might have to buy a boneless one and give it a try). ;)
  • There are so many reasons to use a bone-in butt for pulled pork that there are almost too many to list. A few........................

    De-boned = Someone elses hands and knives have been deep inside your roast. No thanks to that.

    If you have temperature issues with the Egg during a long cook (fire goes out or way down for example), the inside of your roast that has been potentially exposed to bacteria is now an active breeding ground. Bone-ins don't have that issue.

    Bone-ins are almost always cheaper.

    Assuming you're going to make pulled pork with it, if cooked properly, the bone will pull out of the roast with little or no effort whatsoever.

    Bone-in = better flavor in the opinion of some.

    I NEVER use de-boned butts for making pulled pork.

    As far as the string goes, you're fine to leave it on, some of your bark will come off with the string when the roast is finished though. Mark
  • Rolling EggRolling Egg Posts: 1,995
    I have never cooked a boneless butt, but I think it will be fine and it will taste great. All the reasons that WW mentioned are great reasons not to. I grew up cooking everything straight from the slaughter house that my family took their hogs too and there wasn't much de-boning going on there, so it's more of a traditional, I've never done it that way kinda thing for me. I think yours will turn out great but I would start going bone in if I were you. Compare and see how you like it. Have a great day.
  • BacchusBacchus Posts: 6,019
    I normally use BI, but have used boneless and they are fine. Although Ive never seen one tied in twine.
    Im sure it will be fine.
  • I tie mine all the time. Actually, I prefer it, especially if I have multiple butts, it holds them together (even bone in). I don't have any recent cooks but here is an old pic I have.

  • Rib FanRib Fan Posts: 305
    I would not cook a boneless for the reasons already listed.
    Why mess with perfection?

  • I have cooked both bone in and not. The results seem to be almost the same. Bone in seems to be a little more moist, and you can wiggle the bone to determine doneness. Boneless shoulders I usually put rub/garlic inside the butt. With boneless you need to tie it up or it will fall apart during cooking. Good luck.
  • Celtic WolfCeltic Wolf Posts: 9,773
    I have done both. Boneless usually seem to cook a bit faster, but not enough to worry about it.

    I have never had on trussed up before, but if you are looking at more bark the strings will pull it off after the cook.

    flavor won't be much different one way or another, Don't put too much rub on it. Let the flavor of the meat shine through
  • I don't either. I think I have only cooked one that was w/o a bone and too many to count with them.....
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