The Absolute Best Cut Of Meat For Pulled Pork

Pulled pork is a quintessential barbecue dish and while it tastes delicious and is a crowd favorite, pulled pork can also be an intimidating item to cook. But don't be too worried because in terms of barbecue meat, it's so forgiving. Unlike other popular items like ribs or brisket, pulled pork won't get tough or rubbery the longer it cooks or when its reheated for leftovers, per BBC Good Food

Further adding to its appeal, this type of meat can be cooked multiple ways. You can slow smoke it on a traditional pit barbecue or cook it indoors with a slow cooker or Instant Pot (via Tastes Better from Scratch). The real key to cooking it is to keep it low and slow, allowing the meat time to break down, which results in the desired tenderness that can be shredded with a fork. 

But, when it comes to picking out the meat, is there a preferred cut for pulled pork?

A marbled cut yields the best results

While you can make shredded pork from a leaner cut — like a top loin roast — the marbled content from the pork shoulder is best for making pulled pork, as detailed by The Spruce Eats. The moniker can be a bit confusing since the full pork shoulder includes two distinct cuts within it — the Boston butt (sometimes called a Boston roast) and the picnic roast. A Boston roast is a fattier piece of meat and can have the bone in or it can be sold with it removed, while the picnic roast is almost always sold with the bone in (and sometimes the skin on). 

For even more clarity, this article on Serious Eats further outlines the differences between the two cuts. No matter which portion of the shoulder you use, the versatility of pulled pork makes for a variety of leftovers. You can of course serve it on a bun as a sandwich or try it on nachos or rolled up in a burrito. Whichever way you decide to incorporate it into your meal, you wont be disappointed.