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FAQs about shoulder blade roasts

Although the name of the cut sounds like it should come from the rear of the pig, pork butt comes from an area closer to the front. The pork butt is part of the shoulder, one of the four primal cuts of a pig. Altogether, a pork shoulder includes the butt, the upper shoulder, and the picnic, which is the lower part of the shoulder.

Culinary historians believe that the term “pork butt” originated with the barrels that typically stored pork hundreds of years ago. Because the barrels were called butts, so were the pork cuts. Since these barrels came from New England, the term “Boston butt” also became popular.

Yes, and no. A pork shoulder includes a Boston butt or a pork butt, and a pork blade steak is a portion of the butt roast. Butchers can call it a steak, a chop, or a roast, as these terms can all mean the same thing. Pork blade roast and Boston butt can both come boneless or be bone-in.

Yes, you can definitely use a pork shoulder blade roast for pulled pork. In fact, the pork shoulder is the classic cut for pulled pork, so there's no better choice.

To make pulled pork, season the shoulder roast with salt and pepper or your favorite dry rub. Then use a slow cooker to cook the pork for about eight hours. Remove it from the slow cooker and let it rest for about 15 minutes before using forks to pull the meat. Pour the liquid from the slow cooker onto the pulled pork and enjoy.