The pork butt is the top half of the shoulder, not the actual butt. Since it’s a very hard-working muscle it must be cooked low and slow. It got its name during the colonial days when butchers transported the meat in barrels called “butts,” the actual behind of the pig is where ham comes from.
Low and slow is the name of the game. To achieve the desired fall-off-the-bone perfection, you need to cook your pork butt to 180 degrees, and keep it there for a few hours. This time allows the connective tissue to break down, and lessens the chance moisture will escape. When slow cooking meat, you want to layer your flavors by using REAL stocks and bone broths along with fresh herbs in your braising liquid. One final piece of flavor voodoo is to not be afraid of acid. Always finish a deep braise with vinegar or fresh citrus. If you prefer to BBQ / smoke your pork butt, you always want to use real wood or wood chips and lump hardwood charcoal. You want your meat to be as dry as possible before going on a smoker to build a good pellicle for the smoke to adhere to.