I usually purchase the bone-in as I feel that it has a better flavor in the end and the bone seems to help it to cook faster by carrying the heat into the center of the roast.
On the flip side, if you are at the store and the only thing available is boneless, don't fret. It will work just fine and you will have some amazing pulled pork when it's all said and done.
I generally do not bother with the picnic roast as it has a thick skin that I don't enjoy peeling off. There again, if that's your only option, you can make it work but why not make it as easy as possible on yourself.
I usually purchase a bone-in as I mentioned previously but as things sometimes go, I needed one quickly and boneless was all there was. I grabbed it up happily knowing that it would be delicious no matter what.
One of the important things when seasoning something like a pork butt is to use something to help the rub to stay in place and not fall off as you move it around and transport it to the smoker.
I have tried a lot of different things but nothing works quite as well as regular ol' yellow mustard. And you don't have to worry since it will NOT taste like mustard once it's mixed with the rub and smoked.
Place the pork butt fat side down into a foil pan for easy cleanup or you can just lay it on a large sheet of foil, wax or parchment paper to help contain the mess.
Add the mustard all over the top of the pork butt and use your hands to spread it out all over the sides.
Don't bother putting any on the fat cap at the bottom.
Sprinkle about ¼ cup of my original rub (Purchase formula here | Purchase bottled rub) onto the top of the meat and massage it into the meat allowing it to mix with the mustard and create a paste.
Add more rub wherever it looks like it needs more and don't worry about getting too much on there.. the more crust the better.
Set the pork butt aside as it is now ready for the smoker.
Set up your smoker for cooking at about 225-240°F with indirect heat.
You can leave the pork butt down in a foil pan while it cooks if you want to and this will contain the juices while still allowing the smoke to get to the pork just fine.
A better method if you have multiple racks is to place the pork butt on an upper rack and place the foil pan on a lower rack.
This allows the smoke to have better access to the meat while still catching the juices that render.
I recommend applying a light smoke for at least 6 hours if you are using an electric, gas or charcoal smoker. If you are using a wood smoker or a pellet smoker, the smoke will continue throughout the entire cook by default.
Be sure to use a digital probe meat thermometer such as the Maverick ET-733 to monitor the temperature of the pork butt. You can also use a quick read thermometer such as the Thermapen to check the temperature of the pork butt when it starts forming a dark crust and appears to be almost finished.
When it reaches about 205°F, it is ready to be removed from the heat so it can rest and be pulled.
I recommend tenting foil over the top of the pork butt and letting it rest for 30-45 minutes before attempting to pull the meat. This gives it some extra time to tenderize, render more of the fat and to cool off just a little.
Most pork butts cooked to this temperature in this way will pull apart so easily that you will not need to apply a lot of effort. Often the bone will just slide out as if it is greased with butter.
Use 2 forks to pull the meat apart into sections. It will often come apart at areas where fat has not rendered completely and this will give you a chance to remove some of the fat before the pulling process begins.
Further pull the meat into pieces but don't shred it up too much. In my opinion, pulled pork is best when it is in bite size pieces and not shredded into fine strands of meat.
The quantity of jalapenos you use depends on how much jalapeno flavor you want and how hot the jalapenos are. I usually take a little bite to see what I'm dealing with and go from there.
My jalapenos where quite mild so I opted to dice up about 12. I recommend dicing 3 jalapenos per pound of finished pulled pork for maximum flavor.
Tip: How many pounds of meat without weighing? You can generally count on about 50-60% of the weight you started with. So your original pork butt was 7 lbs, you can safely estimate that your finished amount is about 4 lbs.
Clean and dice the jalapenos..
I recommend you add only 2 or 3 diced jalapenos at a time and then taste it to see if you want to add more. In this way, the recipe is adjusted perfectly for you and your family.
Add about ¼ cup of Jeff's original rub (Purchase formula here | Purchase bottled rub) to the pulled pork and stir it in with the jalapeños.
Add a 20-oz can of crushed pineapple to 4 lbs of finished pulled pork and stir it in.
Note: You can do these last 3 steps in any order.
That's it and the jalapeño pineapple pulled pork is ready to use.
Need to reheat the pulled pork? Put the pulled pork into a large lidded pot on top of the stove. Place a stick of butter on top of the meat and turn the heat on medium. Once the butter is melted and the meat is warm through, it's ready to eat.