Just picked up a nice 8 lb boston butt and wanted to do it up a little different. Instead of making pulled pork, I wanted to try slicing it and need some opinions.

First, would an internal temperature of 180 deg. be about right for slicing?

Secondly, is it even a good idea to slice rather than pull? Basically, which is the generally accepted preference here on the forums?

Normally, I just pull it because that's the only way I've ever done it - and boy do I enjoy it! However, my 17 year old daughter thinks she would prefer it sliced, so. . .
Original Post
I'd think you'd be happy slicing at that temp. While I've never really sliced one at home, I get a chance to eat a LOT of sliced pork when judging comps. I can't see anything wrong with eating it, but hey that will be something you and the family will have to decide.

I guess you understand which way to slice the product?
Now that you mention it... Nope, I have no idea how to go about slicing a butt. Always pulled mine too.
After pulling a PB out of the smoker and letting it rest a bit, press downward and let it fall apart into the muscles. A number of the long strand muscles, including the money muscle can be set aside and are easily sliced. The remainder can be pulled.

While it's possible to cook a PB to 180-185 and slice all the meat, it's going to be tricky, due to the various muscles involved.

My advice, set aside the money muscle and save it for your daughter. If you're not sure where to find the MM, say and we'll guide you.
180 is a good temp for slicing. You will see sliced pork more up in the midwest and Kansas City area. I only know of two places here in the Tampa bay area that offer sliced pork.
185 to 190 for me, I like those big muscles to be tender.

Give it a try and tell us what you think. Always fun to experiment.

Make sure to debone it and I would even butterfly it so you get more bark and the slices would be easier and more managable.
Good advice from the good cooks above.

Here in FL,we have some large chains,and a large "quanity" of bbq joints.

The cooker company reps taught them to buy bottom round and slice for their beef plates.

They may buy boneless butts for labor savings.

They would cook to about 170º because of less shrinkage and shorter cooking times.They would then slice thicker-like pork loins.

When Smokey Bones entered the market with pulled pork,it forced the other chains to follow.

SB also did brisket,so the chains started doing a bad version of brisket.

Yes,quality pulled pork does take longer,produces less product and can require a little more labor, if they have unskilled kitchen help.
Wow,

Thanks everyone for the helpful advice. Just to clarify, this is a Smithfield bone-in 8 lb whole boston butt, and I have no idea where or what the "money muscle" is (sorry for my pig anatomy ignorance!)
So 185 temp should be good or at least close to what I'm shooting for then? Then what, pull the bone out, press the butt into separate sections, and slice those individually, against the grain (across the narrow end). Is that correct?
Sorry again, but clearly, pulling the pork simplifies everything!!
When looking at the edge of the PB and you see the end of the bone. The muscles will run with the bone, so after removing the bone You'll want to slice perpendicular from the bone.

The money muscle is the piece of PB that is on the opposite side of where the bone is. Some comp cooks will cut off the money muscle and use it to slice for the turn in box. Very tender set of muscles make up the money muscle.

You will end up with some pulled/chopped PB by removing the bone.

Hope this helps!
Thanks Cal, and everyone else for the great info. I'm very clear on what I need to do now. I'll be smoking that butt up this weekend and will report back here on the results.
If you was a friend of mine,I'd say a 17 yr old will ask for what you don't have.

Cook it like you know how best,separate the biggest muscles the best you can,slice the two ounces she will eat and see if she eats it.

Next time will be something different.

The rest will be eaten by folks that appreciate it.

If she says that is the greatest thing in life,then learn all these tricks.

Out of the 10,000 folks on the forum,five or six know how to do what we are recommending.

Of course,a teenager will outgrow that request by the time we learn it. Big Grin
If you're not really used to separating pieces for slicing and such, may just pick up a pork tenderloin for that purpose. Pull the butt and slice the tenderloin. You can easily cook the tenderloin during the last part of your butt cook.
Tom,

You sound like a fella who's been around a 17 year old or two! They sure are a challenge! On the other hand, perhaps trying something different might open up "a whole new world of pork butt" for me. Maybe I'll discover that sliced pork butt is my true Q' calling in life!
Or maybe it'll be a disaster. Either way, it WILL be a bit of a learning experience, and Lord knows, I do need plenty of more learning!!!

Thanks again everyone for the good advice, humor and whatnot!

Bbq and beer - both begin with the letter "b". Coincidence? I think not!

So I realize this is a ridiculously old post, but I'm new to the forum so I figured I'd chime in. I realize your 17 year old daughter is probably married with her own children by now, but maybe this will help someone else!

As far as sliced pork butt, I've done this many times. In fact I grew up eating mostly sliced pork as opposed to pulled. I would recommend low and slow cooking- around 235-250 degrees until the roast reaches an internal temp of 140-150, depending on how you like it. What I've done at this point is pull it off the grill/smoker and put it in a clean cooler to rest, for at LEAST 30 minutes, but it will be fine even leaving it 2-3 hours if you want. I've always deboned the roast after the rest, as opposed to trying to cut the bone out prior to cooking. Usually a clean pair of pliers or channel locks to grab the end of the bone and it'll slide right out. Today is the first time I'm gonna try slicing this using a knife. Normally I use a commercial meat slicer. Once you get the meat cut up and into a pan, take the juices from the cooler and pour them over the meat. Serve on a bun with your favorite sauce!

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