Why Is It Called A Boston Butt?

When talking about barbeque, the classic Boston Butt doesn’t go unnoticed. With its unique name and signature flavor, this pork roast has consistently been a popular choice among pit-masters and food connoisseurs all over the country.

But, despite its widespread popularity, not many know why this classic roast is called a ‘Boston Butt’. In this article, we’ll explore the history behind this succulent cut of pork and discuss why it got the name it did. So, if you’ve ever been curious about why it’s called a Boston Butt, read on for the answer!

Why is It Called a Boston Butt?

One of the more widely known cuts of pork is known as the Boston Butt.

But where did this name come from? And why is it called a Boston Butt? Read on to find out!

The Boston Butt actually hails from the area around Boston, Massachusetts. It was originally thought to originate from the Revolutionary War when old salted pork barrels were stamped “Boston Butt” when they arrived in the city.

However, this history is largely folklore and most historians believe the name to likely have gotten its start in the 1800s.

The Cut of the Meat

The Boston Butt cut is taken from the upper part of the pork shoulder. This cut is essentially the top of the shoulder that includes the pork neck and pork shoulder blade.

It is high in fat, which is why it is so flavorful and popular for slow-cooked dishes or smoking.

Pork butts vs.

pork shoulders

It is important to note the distinction between a Boston Butt and a pork shoulder. Though both come from the shoulder area, the Boston Butt is actually cut from the top of the shoulder (also known as the shoulder butt) while the pork shoulder is from the bottom part of the shoulder. The pork shoulder is a better choice for slow-cooking while the Boston Butt is better for tenderizing and smoking.


The Boston Butt is a well known cut of pork that gets its name from the history of the city of Boston, Massachusetts. It is a high fat cut of the upper section of the pork shoulder that is well suited to slow-cooking, tenderizing, and smoking. It should not be confused with the pork shoulder, which is a better choice for slow-cooking.
Citation URL:

Leave a Comment