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Aug 29, 2008 05:19 PM

Need Boston Butt Help Fast!!!

I'm cooking for about 20 ppl that we've invited over for a football game tomorrow night. I've got three boston butts that I'm going to slow roast in the oven. I'm not marinating nor will I use a rub since it is essentially going to be a poor man's BBQ (I know its a far cry from the real thing but so be it). My question is, how long should I expect to cook them for. I'm putting them in at 250 degrees and I have every intention of cooking them all night. Each one is about 6lbs so should I figure my cook time based on about 1 1/2 hours per pound based on the size of an individual butt or should I figure 1 1/2 hours per pound for the whole thing. If that's the case then I'm screwed because I don't have 25 hours to cook these things for. It can't be that long. Please help!!!!!

Thanks in advance.

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  1. I use USDA recommendations for cooking times and, in my experience, roasting a 6 pound pork butt in an uncovered shallow roasting pan at 350 degrees in a preheated oven usually takes about four and a half hours - about 45 minutes per pound. That's to achieve a finished temperature of somewhere between 160 and 170 degrees. 160 degrees is usually considered medium and 170 degrees well done.
    Remember that "minutes per pound" is simply an estimate. It's the internal temperature that is most important.
    Your cooking at 250 degrees so your internal temperature isn't going to reach the appropriate finished cooking temperature at 45 minutes per pound; which I suspect explains how you came up with 1 1/2 hours per pound. But 1 1/2 hours per pound is twice the figure I would expect to use at 350 degrees and I don't think your roast will need that much time. From your posted figures I surmise that you're cooking three roasts (25/6x1.5 hours)
    Perhaps, to be safe, you could borrow the neighbor's oven for one of them? Just a thought.

    1. Pull them out of the oven when the internal temperature reaches 195 degrees. I've pulled them at 185 in a pinch but they seem to like 195 the most. Let them rest for 30 minutes and then they should be ready to pull.

      1. Here's my report:
        I did end up using a rub. I used brown sugar, salt, black pepper, paprika, cayenne, cinnamon, garlic powder, and onion powder. There was little to no planning for the rub. I just threw together what I had in the cabinet that seemed like it would taste good together. It did fine.
        I cooked the three loins in a big roasting pan with the rack in to keep them off of the bottom. Put them in the oven with the fat side up. Turned it on 250 and left them there. I did have the good sense to use a meat thermometer so I resigned myself to not touching a thing until it registered 195. 10 hours later it got there. I pulled them out and let them sit for half an hour or so and then put them in the fridge to pull apart later. ***A note on that. I read a couple of different opinions about pulling now or later. I didn't really have a preference but I pulled them out at about 6:30 in the morning and I wanted to get back to sleep so I stashed them in the fridge until I had my morning coffee. I think I will keep doing this if I have the time. As I pulled them apart I was able to get a huge amount of the fat off that I don't think I could have removed otherwise because it was nice and congealed. I was a nasty job but I think it made for a much leaner meal and I doubt seriously that it affected the taste. Now I doused my with BBQ sauce after I picked it so dryness was not a problem but if you are going to serve it some other way that might be a decent argument for leaving more of the fat in.

        All in all I was extremely satisfied. I had a good crust, was very tender, and extremely flavorful. One more thing I that did was as I pulled it I seperated all of the really crusty pieces from the inside meat and had them in a seperate bowl to munch on. From the responses that I got everyone seemed to like that so I'll definately do it again.

        Happy cooking!!

        1 Reply
        1. re: GrillMaster

          Them's called "burnt ends", son, and they're popular enough to be a separate item on BBQ house menus.

          You really don't have to jump up and yank the meat out the instant it reaches 195. I'm not at all sure there IS such a thing as "overcooked shoulder butt". Of course, you didn't cover yours, did you? I've done several by searing them in fat, then covering the pot, putting it in the oven, and then going to bed. Besides having a delightful-smelling house in the morning, I got the loveliest pig meat imaginable.