5 Boston Pork Butt Substitutes: What Can You Use For Pulled Pork Beside The Best Pork Butt Cut?

boston pork butt substitute

Boston butt is a popular cut of pork, therefore, it is one of the most sought-after cuts and runs out of stock frequently.

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What can you use to substitute for Boston butt in the next batch of pulled pork?

Let’s figure it out in this article.

What is Boston butt pork?

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Boston butt pork, or pork butt, is a cut of meat from the upper shoulder and lower back of a pig, not from the butt section as the name implies.

There is a misconception about this cut that it is the same as pork shoulder.

In fact, Boston butt, or pork butt, is a part of the primal cut pork shoulder.

Boston butt has a perfect marbling fat ratio and so it is perfect for roasting to serve as a single dish or to make pulled pork.

It can also be used in ground beef, as well as other things like soups and stews.

In general, a slow-cooking method is perfect for the Boston butt to break down the connective tissue and tenderize the meat.

The Boston butt is a great option if you’re looking for something that tastes delicious without breaking your bank.

It is juicy, flavorful, and can be served in numerous ways, making it one of the favorite cuts among people from all classes.

Can you substitute Boston butt pork in cooking recipes?

Boston butt is a great cut of pork because of its juiciness, flavorful taste, and versatility.

However, it is not the only choice among many other cuts of pork, beef, or other kinds of meat.

Therefore, it is easy to substitute Boston butt pork in many cooking recipes.

You can make use of other pork cuts that result in a similar taste and texture, or swap to a totally new kind of red meat like beef, lamb, or goat.

What can you substitute for Boston butt pork?

There are many Boston butt pork substitutes that can work well in your kitchen.

If you are wondering what can you use to replace this cut, check the following options:

1.     Picnic shoulder

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Pork shoulder is one of the primal cuts of the pig that includes Boston butt and picnic shoulder.

Therefore, if you want to look for another cut that is closest to the pork butt, the picnic shoulder will be the answer.

Picnic shoulder has a tough texture with marbling fat, making it perfect for slowing-cooking methods like roasting, braising, or stewing. 

2.     Top loin roast

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Top loin roast, as the name implies, is perfect for roasting.

Although it is much leaner than the Boston butt, it has a tender texture that takes less time to cook to result in a juicy texture.

However, the top loin roast is likely to be more expensive than the Boston butt or most of the other pork cuts, so you should consider replacing this cut for the pork butt.

3.     Ham

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Ham is cut from the rear legs of the hog.

Ham is relatively tough, so it is perfect for roasting, braising, or stewing recipes like pork butt.

Ham is also often cured and then smoked to serve in thin slices with cheese and toast.

This versatile cut can be purchased from any grocery store in both raw meat and deli meat section.

4.     Other red meat shoulder cut

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Since pork is a kind of red meat, you can substitute similar cuts from other kinds of red meat like beef, lamb, or goat.

The shoulder cut from beef, lamb, or goat might have different names, but basically, they are great for slow-cooking like roasting or braising to result in tender and juicy meat.

5.     Beef brisket

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Beef brisket is one of the primal and favorite cuts of beef.

It can be used to replace Boston butt in pulling recipes due to the tough texture that is suitable to be slow-cooked until fork-tender without being too mushy.

However, it has a stronger flavor compared to the pork version and is also more expensive, so not everyone can afford this cut.

The bottom line

Boston butt pork cut is a versatile and delicious cut, so it’s no surprise that it is not always available in your local butcher or grocery store.

If you want to make pulled pork but there is no Boston butt, don’t worry, there are many other options to substitute for pork butt, especially other cuts from the shoulder of other kinds of red meat like beef, lamb, or sheep.