Boston butt on a traeger?

Welcome to our blog, where we’re all about laid-back cooking with top-notch results. Today, we’re diving headfirst into the mouthwatering world of Traeger grills and showing you how to flawlessly cook a Boston Butt. If you’re a fan of slow-cooked, fall-apart-in-your-mouth pulled pork, then this post is a flavor explosion you won’t want to miss.

There’s just something about Boston Butt that tickles your senses – the savory scent dancing in the air, the anticipation of tender meat that practically melts on your tongue. And when you combine this delectable cut with the magic of a Traeger grill, you’re in for some seriously epic barbecue goodness.

Whether you’re a seasoned pitmaster or a newbie at the grill, our guide will guarantee melt-in-your-mouth perfection every single time. From picking out the perfect Boston Butt to creating an irresistible dry rub, we’ll walk you through each step with insider tips and tricks that’ll have your taste buds doing a happy dance.

So grab your trusty apron and give your Traeger some love – it’s time to turn an ordinary Boston Butt into a work of art that’ll make everyone beg for seconds (and thirds…and maybe even fourths). Get ready to take your grilling game to new heights with this ultimate Boston Butt on a Traeger recipe.


What is a Boston Butt?

Prepare to embark on a culinary journey that will elevate your grilling game and leave your taste buds craving more. The Boston Butt, a cut of pork from the upper shoulder of the pig, holds the key to mouthwatering pulled pork like you’ve never experienced before. In this article, we will delve into the world of Boston Butt and unravel the secrets to cooking it to perfection on your Traeger grill, infusing it with the enchanting flavors of slow-cooked wood-fired goodness.

The Origins and Misconceptions:

Contrary to its name, the Boston Butt does not come from the pig’s posterior. Rather, it hails from the front shoulder. The moniker “Boston Butt” originated in colonial New England, where pork shoulders were packed into “butts” for storage and transportation. This historical tidbit adds a touch of intrigue to this delectable cut.

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Marbling and Tenderness:

The Boston Butt’s marbling and connective tissue are its claim to fame. These attributes contribute to its tender and flavorful nature when cooked with care. Perfect for slow cooking methods like smoking or braising, this cut allows collagen to break down while rendering fat, resulting in juicy, succulent meat that melts in your mouth.

Versatility and Culinary Delights:

The Boston Butt’s versatility knows no bounds. Its applications range from creating melt-in-your-mouth pulled pork to being incorporated into stews, casseroles, sandwiches, or even transformed into succulent grilled steaks. This cut offers endless possibilities for culinary exploration.

Tips for Traeger Grill Masters:

When preparing a Boston Butt on your Traeger grill, take the time to properly season and marinate the meat. Allow its flavors to mingle and penetrate the fibers for at least an hour, or let it marinate overnight for an explosion of taste. Preheat your Traeger grill to a low and slow temperature of 225-250°F (107-121°C) and position the meat with the fat cap facing up. This technique ensures self-basting during cooking, enhancing the flavors and tenderness.

The Slow-Cooking Symphony:

Place your seasoned Boston Butt on the grill grates or in a foil-lined pan, close the lid, and let the symphony of flavors begin. The precise cooking time depends on the meat’s size, but plan for approximately 1.5 to 2 hours per pound. As the wood-fired heat works its magic, the collagen breaks down, and the fat renders, transforming the Boston Butt into a tender masterpiece.

What is a Traeger Grill?

The Traeger Grill is a game-changer in the world of outdoor cooking, offering a unique and delicious way to prepare your favorite meals.

Invented by Joe Traeger in the 1980s, the Traeger Grill has gained a cult-like following among outdoor cooking enthusiasts. It uses indirect heat to cook food, giving it a distinct smoky flavor that simply can’t be replicated with traditional grills. The secret lies in the wood pellets that fuel the grill.

Made from compressed sawdust and hardwood materials, these pellets are loaded into a hopper which then feeds them into a firepot. Once ignited, the burning pellets generate heat and smoke that circulate around the food, infusing it with that unmistakable smoky taste we all love.

But it doesn’t stop there. Traeger Grills are known for their versatility. From succulent grilled meats to perfectly baked goods and even mouthwatering desserts, these grills can do it all. With their large cooking surface, you can cook for a crowd or prepare multiple dishes at once.

What sets Traeger Grills apart is their digital controller. This feature allows you to set and maintain a specific temperature, ensuring consistent results every time. No more worrying about overcooking or undercooking your food. The convection fan is another standout feature of Traeger Grills. It helps distribute heat evenly throughout the cooking chamber, eliminating hot spots and ensuring that your food cooks evenly from all sides.

And if you thought it couldn’t get any better, some models even have Wi-Fi capabilities. That’s right – you can monitor and control your grill remotely through an app on your smartphone. Whether you’re running errands or lounging by the pool, you can keep an eye on your food and make temperature adjustments with ease.

Preparing the Boston Butt for the Traeger Grill

Then it’s time to fire up your Traeger grill and get ready for some mouthwatering, fall-off-the-bone goodness. Today, we’re going to dive into the art of preparing a Boston Butt for the Traeger grill, so grab your apron and let’s get started.

First things first, let’s talk about the star of the show – the Boston Butt. This cut of pork comes from the upper part of the pig’s shoulder and is known for its marbling and connective tissue, which makes it perfect for low and slow cooking. Before you even think about firing up the grill, it’s important to choose a high-quality piece of meat. Look for one that has a good amount of fat marbling throughout; this will help keep the meat moist during the cooking process.

Once you’ve selected your Boston Butt, it’s time to prepare it for greatness. Start by trimming any excess fat from the surface of the meat. While you want to leave a thin layer of fat to add flavor and protect the meat during cooking, too much fat can result in a greasy final product. So, trim away any excess but leave a little for that delicious flavor.

Now it’s time to add some flavor. Season your Boston Butt with a dry rub of your choice. You can keep it simple with just salt and pepper or get creative with a blend of herbs and spices. Make sure to coat the entire surface of the meat with the rub, pressing it into the flesh to help it adhere. This step is crucial for developing that mouthwatering crust.

But don’t rush to the grill just yet. After seasoning, give your Boston Butt some time to marinate in all those flavors. It’s recommended to let it sit in the refrigerator for at least a few hours or even overnight. This allows the flavors to penetrate the meat and helps develop that beautiful crust when cooked.

Now let’s talk about the cooking process. Preheat your Traeger grill to a temperature of around 225°F (107°C). This low and slow cooking method is key to breaking down the connective tissue in the Boston Butt, resulting in tender and juicy meat. Once your grill is preheated, place the seasoned and refrigerated Boston Butt directly on the grill grates, fat side up. This allows the fat to render down and baste the meat as it cooks.

Preheating and Setting Up the Traeger Grill

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Preheating and setting up your Traeger grill properly are crucial steps in achieving the perfect grilling experience. Whether you’re cooking a Boston butt or any other delicious dish, following these steps will ensure even cooking, juicy meat, and mouthwatering flavor.

Firstly, preheating your Traeger grill is essential. This allows the grill to reach the desired temperature before placing the food on the grates. For most recipes, including a Boston butt, it’s recommended to preheat your Traeger grill to 225°F. This low and slow cooking method is ideal for breaking down tough connective tissues in the meat, resulting in tender and flavorful results.

To preheat your Traeger grill, start by cleaning the grill and removing any debris. Next, fill the hopper with your preferred wood pellets. The type of wood pellets you choose can add a unique flavor profile to your food. Popular choices include hickory, applewood, or mesquite. Once filled, ignite the grill and set the temperature to 225°F. Allow the grill to preheat for approximately 15-20 minutes until it reaches the desired temperature.

While the grill is preheating, it’s important to properly set up your Traeger grill for cooking. Start by placing a drip pan beneath the grates to catch any drippings and prevent flare-ups. This will also make cleanup easier later on. Additionally, insert a temperature probe into the thickest part of the meat to monitor its internal temperature throughout the cooking process.

Once your Traeger grill has reached 225°F and is properly set up, it’s time to place your food on the grates. Ensure that the food is positioned correctly for even cooking. For a Boston butt, it’s recommended to place it in the center of the grill over the drip pan. Close the lid and let the Traeger work its magic.

Throughout the cooking process, it’s important to monitor both the grill temperature and the internal temperature of the food using a digital thermometer. For a Boston butt, it will typically take around 1.5 hours per pound to cook. However, cooking times may vary, so it’s important to rely on internal temperature rather than time alone. The internal temperature of a fully cooked Boston butt should reach 195-205°F for tender and easily pulled meat.

Cooking the Boston Butt on a Traeger Grill

Mastering the art of cooking a Boston Butt on a Traeger grill is a must. The Boston Butt, known for its marbling and tender meat, is perfect for slow cooking methods like smoking. And when it comes to infusing that smoky flavor into your meat, nothing beats the versatility of a Traeger grill.

To get started, preheat your Traeger grill to 225°F (107°C). This low and slow cooking temperature is essential for breaking down the connective tissues in the meat, resulting in tender, juicy pulled pork that will make your taste buds sing.

While your grill is heating up, prepare your Boston Butt by trimming any excess fat and generously seasoning it with your preferred rub or marinade. A winning combination includes salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and brown sugar. This creates the perfect crust on your pork.

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Once your grill has reached the desired temperature, place your seasoned Boston Butt directly on the grill grates, fat side up. Ensuring even cooking and preventing any burnt spots, position the meat away from direct heat sources.

Now comes the hard part – patience. Close the lid of your Traeger grill and let the magic happen. Allow your Boston Butt to cook undisturbed for several hours. A general rule of thumb is 1.5 hours of cooking time per pound. So if you have a 6-pound Boston Butt, be prepared for about 9 hours of tantalizing aromas wafting through your backyard.

Throughout the cooking process, maintaining a consistent temperature inside your Traeger grill is key. Luckily, Traeger grills come equipped with a built-in temperature control system that allows you to easily adjust and monitor the temperature. No need to constantly fuss with the grill – just sit back, relax, and let the Traeger work its magic.

To take your Boston Butt to the next level of flavor and moisture, periodically spray it with apple juice or apple cider vinegar using a spray bottle. This technique prevents the meat from drying out and adds a subtle sweetness that will have your guests begging for your secret recipe.

After what seems like an eternity of mouthwatering anticipation, your Boston Butt will reach an internal temperature of 195°F (90°C) and be tender enough to easily pull apart with a fork. This can take anywhere from 8 to 12 hours, depending on the size of your meat and the cooking temperature. Once it’s reached this stage, remove it from the grill and let it rest for about 30 minutes. This resting period allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, resulting in a more flavorful end product.

Adding Wood Pellets for Smoky Flavor

Elevate your Boston butt to smoky perfection by adding wood pellets to your Traeger grill. It’s the secret ingredient that will have your taste buds begging for more.

Let’s start by exploring the different flavors of wood pellets available. Hickory, mesquite, apple, cherry, oak – the options are endless. Each pellet brings its own unique flavor profile to your meat. For a Boston butt that craves a robust and rich smoky flavor, hickory or mesquite pellets are the way to go. Trust me, your taste buds will thank you.

Now that you’ve got your wood pellets ready, it’s time to load up your Traeger grill. First things first, make sure your hopper is clean and free of debris. That way, no unwanted flavors will sneak into your delectable meat. Once the hopper is clean, fill it up with your chosen wood pellets. Be careful not to overfill – we want optimal airflow and temperature control.

With the hopper filled, close the lid and fire up your Traeger grill. Set the temperature to your desired level for cooking that succulent Boston butt. As the grill heats up, those wood pellets will start to smolder and release an enticing cloud of mouthwatering smoke. Can you smell it yet? I’m getting hungry just thinking about it.

Here’s where the magic happens. The amount of smoke flavor can be adjusted by controlling the temperature of your grill. Lower temperatures yield a more intense smoky flavor, while higher temperatures offer a milder smoke profile. Play around with different temperature settings until you find that sweet spot that satisfies your cravings.

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As your Boston butt slowly cooks to perfection, keep an eye on that hopper. Depending on the size of your meat and cooking duration, you may need to add more wood pellets to maintain a consistent smoke throughout the process. Don’t worry, it’s all part of the fun.

Checking Internal Temperature of the Meat

Checking the internal temperature of the meat is a crucial step in achieving grilling greatness. Today, we’ll focus on the beloved Boston butt and explore the best practices for ensuring it’s cooked to perfection on a Traeger grill.

First and foremost, you’ll need a reliable meat thermometer. Opt for an instant-read or leave-in thermometer, ensuring it’s squeaky clean with warm soapy water before use. We don’t want any cross-contamination ruining our mouthwatering barbecue.

Now, let’s address the thermometer placement. Find the thickest part of the meat, avoiding any bones that could throw off your readings. Gently insert the thermometer and wait for a few seconds until the reading stabilizes. Take a deep breath and let the anticipation build.

But what temperature are we aiming for? For a Boston butt, shoot for an internal temperature of around 195°F to 205°F (90°C to 96°C). These numbers guarantee tender, juicy meat with flavors locked in tight. It’s the sweet spot for grilling glory.

While checking the internal temperature, exercise caution and avoid touching any scorching surfaces or the thermometer itself. Safety first. Slip on some trusty oven mitts or heat-resistant gloves to shield your hands from burns.

If the temperature hasn’t hit its mark yet, fear not. Continue cooking your Boston butt on the Traeger grill until it reaches that optimal range. Keep watch over that thermometer like a hawk, determined not to overcook or undercook your precious creation.

Once you’ve hit that magic number, remove your Boston butt from the grill and resist the urge to dive right in. Allow it to rest for a few minutes before serving. I know it’s tempting, but this resting period is crucial. It allows those tantalizing juices to redistribute throughout the meat, resulting in an explosion of flavor and tenderness.

Resting and Serving the Boston Butt

Now, we’re going to dive into the delicious world of resting and serving a Boston Butt. It’s time to unlock the secrets to achieving a flavorful and tender final product that will leave your taste buds dancing with joy.

The Importance of Resting:

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Imagine you’ve just finished grilling the Boston Butt to perfection on your trusty Traeger grill. Now, it’s time to let it rest. But why is this step so crucial? Well, my friends, resting allows the juices within the meat to redistribute, resulting in a moist and flavorful end result. It’s like giving the meat a well-deserved break before it dazzles us with its deliciousness.

During the resting period, the internal temperature of the meat continues to rise slightly, reaching its peak tenderness. Additionally, this downtime allows the muscle fibers to relax, ensuring a melt-in-your-mouth texture that will have you swooning.

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Carving and Serving Like a Pro:

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Once the resting period is over, it’s time for the grand finale – carving and serving your masterpiece. But before we dig in, let’s talk about presentation. Remove any excess fat or skin from the exterior of the meat, ensuring a clean and appealing appearance. Now, grab your trusty carving knife and slice the meat against the grain into thin slices for an elegant presentation. Alternatively, use two forks to pull apart the meat for a more rustic shredded texture – perfect for sandwiches or tacos.

Pairing Flavors:

To elevate your Boston Butt experience, consider pairing it with classic barbecue sides such as coleslaw, baked beans, or cornbread. These traditional accompaniments add depth and variety to each mouthful. And let’s not forget about sauces. Whether you prefer a homemade barbecue sauce or a tangy vinegar-based Carolina-style sauce, these flavor boosters are the perfect finishing touch to your Boston Butt masterpiece. Brush them on during or after cooking, or serve them on the side for dipping – the choice is yours.

Plating and Presentation:

Now that your Boston Butt is perfectly carved and paired with mouthwatering sides, it’s time to plate and present your creation. Arrange the slices or pulled meat neatly on a serving platter, making sure each piece is showcased beautifully. Don’t forget to garnish with fresh herbs like parsley or cilantro for that extra pop of color and freshness.

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In conclusion, cooking a Boston butt on a Traeger grill is a culinary adventure worth embarking on. The smoky aroma that fills the air as the meat slowly cooks is enough to make any barbecue enthusiast’s mouth water. The Traeger’s ability to maintain a consistent temperature ensures that the pork shoulder becomes tender and juicy, with a perfectly crisp exterior.

With each bite, you’ll be greeted with an explosion of flavors. The combination of the Traeger’s wood-fired smoke and your choice of seasonings creates a symphony of taste that is hard to resist. Whether you prefer a tangy vinegar-based sauce or a sweet and smoky glaze, the Boston butt on a Traeger can handle it all.

But it’s not just about the taste; it’s also about the experience. As you tend to the grill, carefully monitoring the temperature and adjusting the vents, you become part of a time-honored tradition. It’s an opportunity to slow down, connect with nature, and savor every moment.

So fire up your Traeger grill, grab a Boston butt, and get ready for an unforgettable barbecue experience. Your taste buds will thank you, and your friends and family will be begging for seconds. Don’t be surprised if this becomes your go-to recipe for gatherings and special occasions.

In conclusion, cooking a Boston butt on a Traeger grill elevates your backyard barbecue game to new heights. It’s not just about grilling meat; it’s about creating memories and indulging in mouthwatering flavors that leave everyone wanting more. So go ahead, unleash your inner pitmaster, and let the Traeger work its magic on that succulent piece of pork shoulder.

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