How to Season a Boston Pork Butt

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Things You'll Need

  • Mixing bowl

  • Measuring cups

  • Measuring spoons

  • Brown sugar

  • Paprika

  • Chili powder

  • Ground red pepper

  • Ground cumin

  • Ground mace

  • Salt

  • Cracked black peppercorns

  • Aluminum foil

  • Knife

  • Cutting board

  • Garlic

  • Skillet

  • Fennel seeds

  • Spice mill

  • Whole black peppercorns

  • Crushed red pepper

  • Coarse salt

  • Glass baking dish

  • Waxed paper

  • Olive oil

The Boston butt pork roast is a cut that comes from the upper shoulder portion of the pig. Its high proportion of fat makes it a juicy cut that is well-suited to cooking slowly with a technique such as braising. Before cooking the meat, season it with a rub that incorporates the flavors you would like the pork to have. For barbecue pulled pork, use a southern-style barbecue pork rub. For an Italian-style Boston pork butt, use a mix of Italian spices.


Southern Barbecue Pork Butt Seasoning

Step 1

Set out a mixing bowl that will hold at least 2 cups of dry ingredients.

Step 2

Measure 1/4 cup packed brown sugar, 1/2 cup paprika, 1/4 cup chili powder, 2 tbsp. ground red pepper, 2 tbsp. ground cumin, 1 tsp. ground mace, 1/4 cup salt and 1/4 cup cracked black peppercorns. Pour all ingredients into the mixing bowl.

Step 3

Mix all of the ingredients together until fully combined.


Step 4

Rub the spice mixture all over the surface of a Boston pork butt. The recipe makes plenty of rub for a 6-lb. boneless roast.

Step 5

Cook the meat immediately or cover it with aluminum foil and refrigerate for up to 24 hours before cooking to allow the flavors to more thoroughly flavor the meat.

Italian Pork Butt Seasoning

Step 1

Mince six medium-sized cloves of garlic with a knife and cutting board.


Step 2

Toast 2 tbsp. of whole fennel seeds in a skillet over medium-high heat for about five minutes, or until they become more fragrant and start changing color to a darker shade of greenish brown.

Step 3

Dump the fennel seeds into a spice mill. Add 1 tbsp. of coarse salt, 2 tsp. whole black peppercorns and 1 tsp. crushed red pepper.

Step 4

Grind the spice mixture until it is a fine consistency, but not completely powdered.


Step 5

Rub the minced garlic over the exterior of the Boston pork butt roast with your fingers. Then spread the spice mixture evenly over the surface of the pork and gently press it in with your fingers so it sticks.

Step 6

Place the pork in a glass baking dish, cover it with waxed paper and refrigerate overnight. Just before cooking it the next day, drizzle about 2 tbsp. olive oil over the surface of the pork.