Okay Readers, as promised here is my recipe and method for pulled pork. Pulled Pork is typically made from the Pork Shoulder or Butt as some know it by.
It is a very good Cut for smoking purposes because of the fat content. And it takes the smoke flavor very well. You have a couple of options when buying this, you can either get the whole shoulder, or smaller Boston Butt Roasts. I typically will get the whole shoulder. If you have a smaller Smoker you may want to consider the smaller roasts. The whole shoulder will usually be around 10 lbs of meat.
Now the actual process of making this actually starts the day before you want to cook it. The meat will need to be thawed and prepared with a spice rub, and allowed to sit overnight in the fridge. And if you want some killer BBQ sauce to go with it I would also recommend making that the day before as well. Here is my BBQ Sauce Recipe.
Now I mentioned a Spice Rub So here is the ingredient list for that:
Spice Rub For Pulled Pork
1/4 cup Brown Sugar
1/4 cup Paprika
2 Tbsp Black Pepper
2 Tbsp Salt(Kosher)
1/2 Tbsp Cayenne(More if you like it hot)
2 tsp Dry Mustard
Combine all these together in a bowl and set aside for a bit. Remove your Pork Shoulder from packaging, rinse it off under cold water and pat dry. Now take some plain yellow mustard and brush the entire surface, top ,bottom, and sides, making sure you get all the little nooks and crannies. Now its time to apply the spice rub. sprinkle it all over the meat and pat down gently, covering every surface. Now place the meat into a zip-lock bag or wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and put tin the fridge until the next morning. Now set your alarm clock because your going to need an early start.
As soon as you make your way to the kitchen the next morning, take the meat out of the fridge, and let it sit on the counter until your smoker is ready. Get your chimney starter, fill the bottom with crumpled up newspaper, and fill the top with your lump charcoal. Set it into the fire box of your smoker and light the newspaper. When the coals are ready, pour them (carefully) into the fire box, and add more lump charcoal being carefull not to smother your hot coals. Close the lid and adjust the air vents to get a good burn going. Also make sure your oven thermometer is on the cooking rack and the lid for that is closed. While the coals are getting ready fill a bucket with water and put some of your Hickory chunks in it to soak.
After a bit check lift the smoker lid and check your temp. Your looking for 225 -250 Degrees, No Higher. If your not there make some airflow adjustments and wait a bit longer. When you get the right temp range, Now you can add your water pan filled with apple cider to the well of the smoker, right underneath the grates that your meat will be setting on. Now its time to place the meat on the grates. You will want tit about center and not to close to the fire box for even cooking. Close the smoker lid, Pull some of your hickory chunks from the water pat dry and add to the fire box. Close the fire box lid and walk away. for at least an hour and half. Don’t open the lids, keep the heat and smoke in and let them do their jobs.
Now that you have some time on your hands, back to the kitchen and in a small saucepan combine some minced garlic butter, and apple cider, and just let it warm, no need to boil it. you just want the flavors to gently combine. When it is warmed through, take it off the heat and let it set for a few minutes. Now, using a funnel Pour it into your spray bottle.
After the hour and half are up, Now it is time to check your coals. Add some more lump and more hickory chunks at this point. Now lift your smoker lid and armed with your spray bottle,give the meat a good spritzing. Close the lid and have a seat. Now you will want to do this every hour. Checking your temps as well to make sure you aren’t getting to high or low. For a 10 lb Shoulder you should be anticipating about 10 to 12 hours of cooking time. (This is why I had you get up so early) At about 8 hrs in to the cook time, Look at the meat, it should look something like this
At this point Wrap it in some heavy foil, spritz again, and place it back on the smoker. Continue to spritz every hour and also from this point on you want to be using your instant read thermometer. What you are looking for is a temp near the center of the meat of about 190 Degrees. Once you get there it is time to take the meat off the smoker. Leave it wrapped in the foil and place on a sheet pan and put it in the oven. Don’t turn the oven on, your just using it as an insulated box right now. You could also wrap the foil wrapped meat in a thick towel and place into an ice chest for the same results. What we are doing here is letting the meat rest. It’s had a long cook and it’s tired. Leave it be for an hour or so, then remove it from the foil, and place on your cutting board. Now this is IMPORTANT!! In the bottom of that foil is some magic liquid. Save this!! Find the bone in the meat, give it a good twist and it should pull right out. Now take a couple of forks and start shredding the meat like this:Once you have it all Shredded transfer it
into a tinfoil roasting pan and serve it from there. Take a good portion in your tongs and dip it into the reserved juices before putting it on the plate or sandwich and serve it with some of my BBQ sauce on the side. Sit back and watch the happy faces as they consume this delicious Pulled Pork. Serve with some Cole Slaw and some Smoked BBQ beans(other recipes we will share in this series) And you’ve got yourself a great family get together meal.
Cook from the heart, taste the love