I am breaking this recipe into bite sized pieces. Rub, Brining, and Cooking. Hopefully to make it easier to prepare. Basically three separate steps.
You make the rub first to complete the brine recipe.
You brine the meat to make it juicy, up to 48 hours.
And you cook the meat low and slow to make the magic happen!
1 4-7 pound whole Boston Butt Pork Roast with the layer of fat on the bottom.
Mine did not have the bone-in however that is what most recipes called for.
I have seen a dry rub of spices and sugar used in many recipes. This seems rather nice, it’s kind of inoffensive. I have tweaked it from where I found it, basically because I don’t care for heat. Originally this called for 1 tablespoon of Cayenne, I used ½ Teaspoon. Mix this up and reserve 3 Tablespoons for the Brine.
Ingredients - Dry Rub:
- 1 Tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 Tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 Tablespoon onion powder
- 1 Tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper – to taste. Recipes do go up to 1 Tablespoon
- 1 Tablespoon salt
- 1 Tablespoon ground pepper
- 1 Tablespoon paprika
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
Pork is an incredibly tender meat when cooked Low and Slow. This recipe called for a soak in the refrigerator for a minimum of 12 hours. I gave it 24 hours, simply because I could not fit the timing in. It’s Tuesday Afternoon and I am writing this as I finish preparing it, the brining started Sunday night!
So maybe the saltiness of the finished meat was partly due to that, but this was some of the most tender pork I ever had.
I do know that making a brine of 2 quarts of water plus ½ cup of salt plus 3 tablespoons of the dry rub spice mix was called for. Next time though I will twiddle with the salt levels since I just don’t care for the flavor of salty foods. You decide. I have seen recommendations to use half the salt I use here. ¼ cup salt to 2 quarts cold water. 16 parts water to 1 part salt, plus your spice mix.
Ingredients – Brining:
- 1/2 cup salt
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2 quarts cold water
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 tablespoons dry rub mix
Process - Brining:
Find a pot that is larger than the Pork Shoulder by a comfortable inch all around and at least 3 inches deep. Add the water to the pot, then the salt, and 3 tablespoons of the Dry Rub to the pot and mix until dissolved. Place the Pork Shoulder in the pot fat side up. Put the pot in your refrigerator and give this at least 12 hours to soak.
Cook until internal temperature reaches 200F. 90C. I have a temperature probe on my oven, so when 14 hours came to pass I was at 185F. I turned the oven up from 225 to 250F. If you have the luxury of time, check your results and adjust. I have also seen comments that this kind of recipe really should be done in a smoker.
Process – Cooking:
- Remove the meat from your brine and pat dry.
- Rub the spices on the entire Pork Shoulder and place on your baking pan that is 3 inches deep and comfortably an inch larger on all sides.
- Make sure your Pork Shoulder is Fat Side Up.
- Place the Baking Pan and Pork Shoulder in the oven and turn it on to 225F.
- Cook the Pork Shoulder for a minimum of 14 hours – or until the internal temperature of 200F/90C is attained.
- Turn off the oven.
- Leave the Pork Shoulder in the oven until the meat temperature drops to 170F.
- Remove the Fat Cap and discard along with any parts that are purely fat.
- Shred this to your heart’s content.
I used Pork Shoulder without the bone. I did not find any real benefit in paying for a soup bone I would never use.
I ended up with a pulled pork that was melt in your mouth. I came home after a workout, the oven was beeping that I was at temperature and immediately I took a small taste. Then another. I ended up eating ½ pound of the stuff before I realized that I should stop.
Yeah, it's that good.