5 Delicious Pork Butt Substitutes to Try in Your Recipes

pork butt substitute

Welcome to our ultimate guide to pork butt substitutes! If you love pork butt but can’t find it in your local store or are looking for a healthier alternative, this guide is for you. We’ll explore the best pork butt substitutes and tips and recipes for making delicious meals without pork butt.

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Understanding Pork Butt and Why You Might Need a Substitute

A pork butt is a cut of pork from the pig’s upper shoulder. It does not come from the pig’s rear end despite its name. Pork butt is a popular cut of meat for slow cooking and smoking because it is rich in flavor and becomes tender when cooked low and slow.

However, there are many reasons why you might need a pork butt substitute. Maybe you can’t find pork butt in your local store or want a healthier alternative to this fatty cut of meat. Whatever the reason, we’ve got you covered.

5 Pork Butt Substitutes: Exploring Your Options

There are many great alternatives to pork butt that you can use in your favorite recipes. Let’s take a look at some of the best pork butt substitutes:

1. Beef Chuck Roast

Beef chuck roast is a flavorful and tender cut of beef that’s perfect for slow cooking. It’s also easy to find in most grocery stores. You can use beef chuck roast in any recipe that calls for pork butt, and it will add a delicious beefy flavor to your dish.

2. Beef Brisket

Beef brisket is a more brutal cut of meat, but it’s full of flavor and perfect for slow cooking. It’s also an excellent substitute for pork butt because it has a similar texture and can be shredded easily. You can use beef brisket in recipes like beef tacos or beef chili.

3. Pork Shoulder

Pork shoulder is a similar cut of pork that’s leaner and has a milder flavor than pork butt. It’s a great substitute if you’re looking for a healthier alternative to pork butt. You can use pork shoulder in any recipe that calls for pork butt, and it will add a delicious pork flavor to your dish.

4. Chicken Thighs

Chicken thighs are juicy, flavorful, and versatile. They’re a great substitute for pork butt if you’re looking for a leaner protein. You can use chicken thighs in recipes like chicken tacos or chicken chili.

5. Jackfruit

Jackfruit is a vegan option that mimics the texture of pulled pork. It’s a great substitute if you’re looking for a plant-based alternative to pork butt. You can use jackfruit in recipes like jackfruit tacos or jackfruit BBQ sandwiches.

Tips for Cooking with Pork Butt Substitutes

Now that you have some pork butt substitutes in mind let’s talk about how to cook with them. Here are some tips for cooking with pork butt substitutes:

  • Choose the proper cooking method for each substitute. For example, beef chuck roast and beef brisket are excellent for slow cooking, while chicken thighs are better for grilling or sautéing.
  • Season and marinate your meat for maximum flavor. Try using a dry rub or marinade to add flavor to your dish.
  • Cook your meat to the correct temperature. Use a meat thermometer to ensure your meat is cooked to the correct temperature and is safe to eat.

Recipes for Delicious Pork Butt Substitute Meals

Now that you’re equipped with knowledge and options for pork butt substitutes let’s put them into action with some delicious recipes:

Beef Barbacoa Tacos with Homemade Salsa

For the beef barbacoa, you’ll need:

  • 2 lbs beef chuck roast
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 cup beef broth

For the homemade salsa, you’ll need:

  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Salt to taste


  1. Preheat your oven to 300°F.
  2. Combine the beef chuck roast, onion, garlic, cumin, smoked paprika, oregano, salt, black pepper, and beef broth in a Dutch oven or oven-safe pot.
  3. Cover the pot with a lid and place it in the oven for 3-4 hours, or until the beef is tender and easily shredded with a fork.
  4. While the beef is cooking, prepare the salsa by combining the diced tomatoes, onion, jalapeño pepper, cilantro, lime juice, and salt in a bowl.
  5. Once the beef is done, please remove it from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes.
  6. Shred the beef with a fork and served on warm tortillas with homemade salsa.

Chicken Chili

For the chicken chili, you’ll need:

  • 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cans (15 oz each) of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (15 oz) of diced tomatoes
  • 1 can (8 oz) of tomato sauce
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • Optional toppings: shredded cheese, sour cream, chopped cilantro, sliced jalapeños


  1. Heat a large pot over medium-high heat and add the chopped chicken thighs. Cook for 5-7 minutes or until browned on all sides.
  2. Add the chopped onion, minced garlic, and bell peppers to the pot and cook for another 5-7 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
  3. Add the drained and rinsed black beans, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, chili powder, ground cumin, salt, and black pepper to the pot.
  4. Stir everything together and bring the chili to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for 30-40 minutes until the chicken is cooked and the flavors melded together.
  5. Serve the chili with your choice of toppings.

FAQs About Pork Butt Substitutes

Here are some FAQs that you might have about pork butt substitutes:

Can I use pork tenderloin as a substitute for pork butt?

Pork tenderloin is a lean cut of meat that is best suited for quick cooking methods like grilling or roasting. It’s not the best substitute for pork butt because it doesn’t have the same flavor or texture.

What is the best substitute for a pork butt in pulled pork?

Beef chuck roast and beef brisket are great substitutes for a pork butt in pulled pork because they have a similar texture and flavor when cooked low and slow.

Can I use tofu as a substitute for pork butt?

Tofu is a great vegetarian and vegan protein option, but it doesn’t have the same texture as a pork butt. If you’re looking for a plant-based substitute, try using jackfruit instead.

In conclusion, there In conclusion, there are much great pork butt substitutes out there that you can use in a variety of dishes. Whether you’re looking for a vegetarian option or want to switch things up, these alternatives can help you create delicious and satisfying meals.

Remember, the key to finding the right substitute is to consider the original ingredient’s texture, flavor, and cooking method. Experiment with different options until you find the best one for your recipe and taste buds.

So next time you’re in the mood for pulled pork, chili, or another dish that calls for pork butt, don’t be afraid to try one of these substitutes. You might discover a new favorite ingredient!