Pork Butt Substitutes: 7 Pork Cuts That Are Just As Good As Pork Butt

Pork butt is ideal for stewing or braising recipes thanks to its perfect marbling fat ratio.

But what if the recipe calls for pork butt and there is no of this cut left in a grocery store, what can you use instead?

This article will provide you with a list of pork butt substitutes so that you will never have to worry about running out of this pork cut in your local butcher or grocery store.

What is pork butt?

Boneless Pork Butt Roast 2.5 lbs.

Despite the name, pork butt is a cut from the shoulder section of the pig instead of the butt.

It comes from the upper part of the pig’s back, while the pork shoulder cut is cut from the lower part.

Pork butt is also known as Boston butt, so when shopping for this cut in a butcher shop, grocery store, or supermarket, don’t forget to look for both of these names.

Pork butt has a tough texture with a lot of marbling fat, therefore, it is perfect for slow-cooking recipes like roasting, stewing, or braising to break down the connective tissue and tenderize the meat.

In addition to being extremely versatile with different cooking methods, there are also plenty of ways you can enjoy your pork butt after it is cooked.

Pork butt can be served as a single dish, chopped into cubes for salads or stir-fries, or shredded to make pulled pork.

Can you substitute pork butt in cooking recipes?

We cannot deny the versatility and deliciousness of pork butt, but in case you cannot buy this cut from a local store, it is possible to substitute it with many other pork cuts.

There might be some cuts that work for stewing and braising recipes, while others are more suitable for roasting or baking.

Therefore, you should also determine what dish you are going to make before heading to a local butcher shop or grocery store to look for a pork butt substitute.

What can you substitute for pork butt?

In the previous part, we have mentioned that there are many substitute cuts for pork butt, but what exactly are they? Look below to find out the best pork butt alternatives for your next meal:

1. Pork shoulder

Pork Shoulder Butt Roast Bone-In Step 1

Pork shoulder is a similar cut to pork butt because they are both cut from the shoulder section of the pig.

The pork butt is taken from the upper portion, while the pork shoulder is cut from the bottom portion.

In some definitions, pork butt is actually a smaller cut from a larger cut called pork shoulder.

Therefore, in general, there are many similarities between these two cuts, making it great to use them interchangeably.

Pork shoulder is also perfect for slow-cooking recipes because it is a tough cut too.

2. Pork top loin roast

Pork Shoulder Butt Roast Boneless Step 1

You can also use a top loin roast cut to replace pork butt.

As the name implies, the top loin roast is ideal for roasting.

However, since this cut is much leaner than pork butt, you will need to keep your eyes on it while cooking (normally with a shorter cooking time) to prevent it from being too dry.

3. Pork ham

Dietz & Watson Pre-Sliced Black Forest Ham, 7 oz

Pork ham can also be used as a substitute for a pork butt in some recipes.

These two cuts of pork come from two different sides of the pig, while the pork butt is taken from the upper part of the hog’s front legs, the ham cut comes from the hind legs.

Pork ham is often salted, cured, or smoked.

It has both lean meat and marbling fat too, making it a great alternative for pork butt.

If it is more suitable for smoking, then go for it.

You can smoke it over low heat to make the meat more tender, and then shred it to make pulled pork instead of using pork butt.

4. Other red meat shoulder cut

In case you want a slightly different taste in your dish, it’s time to try using other kinds of red meat to substitute for pork butt.

Beef/lamb shoulder or brisket cuts will be the top choices for pork butt substitutes.

Although these meats have a stronger flavor than pork, they are also versatile and can be cooked in different ways per your preference.

Moreover, beef and lamb are often more expensive than pork, so you can consider when shopping for these meat options to substitute for a pork butt in the next meal.

The bottom line

The list of substitutes that we have provided should be enough to help you find a good replacement for pork butt if this cut is out of stock at your local grocery store.

We have also mentioned which substitute cut is more suitable for a specific cooking method, so you can try out all of them without any fuss.

Consider cooking up a small batch before committing to making them on a larger scale.

You may even find that some alternatives produce better results than the original pork butt cut.

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