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How to Butcher Pork Butt

By Annie Petito Published

Butchering pork butt can be a tricky endeavor. Here’s an efficient way to tackle the task.

We often use pork butt for stewing and braising because it’s well marbled and contains lots of connective tissue. The fat is rendered and the connective tissue dissolves during long, slow cooking, giving the meat a rich, moist texture. Efficiently trimming the fat from this large roast and cutting it evenly into smaller pieces, as we do in our Braised New Mexico–Style Pork in Red Chile Sauce (Carne Adovada), can seem daunting. Here’s how to make the task more simple, step by step.

1. Remove any hard, waxy fat from the surface of the meat. Leave just a thin layer, and don't worry about removing any interior fat at this point. 

Cut Pork Butt Into Slabs

2. Slice meat crosswise into slabs of the desired thickness.

Cut slabs of pork butt into strips.

3. Cut slabs lengthwise into strips of the desired thickness.

Cut each strip of pork butt crosswise into cubes

4. Cut each strip crosswise into cubes.

5. As you work, remove any knobs of hard, waxy fat as they become accessible. Don’t worry about removing every last bit of fat.

Knives to Help You Get the Job Done

Victorinox Swiss Army Fibrox Pro 8" Chef's Knife

Our favorite knife for over 20 years, its super-sharp blade cuts through everything smoothly and retains its edge. 

Zwilling Pro 5.5" Flexible Boning Knife

This ultrasharp, moderately flexible blade makes every task nearly effortless. 

Try These Pork Butt Recipes

Recipe Braised New Mexico-Style Pork in Red Chile Sauce (Carne Adovada)

Restraint is the key to the purest, most robust chile flavor in this classic New Mexican pork braise. It's also what makes it dead simple to prepare.

Recipe French-Style Pork Stew

We wanted a stew with lots of pork flavor but without a lot of heaviness. Could a traditional French recipe pave the way?

Recipe Spicy Pork Tacos (al Pastor)

This taqueria staple features juicy, spit-roasted marinated pork that’s crispy at the edges and fork-tender within. Could we achieve that same trademark texture on the grill?

Recipe Chinese Barbecue Pork (Char Siu)

Sweet, salty, savory—get down with some serious Chinatown vibes.