Cooking great pulled pork is easy to do if you have the right BBQ pulled pork recipe. With some patience and a cheap smoker, you’ll get great results every time.
Here’s what you need:
- One 5-6 pound pork butt
- A little bit of vegetable oil
- Your favorite pork rub
- Some wood chunks
- Some bbq sauce
Trim and Tie
Before you apply your rub, you’re going to want to trim the excess fat off of your pork butt. Don’t trim it all off. Try to leave 1/8 to 1/4 of an inch of fat. Make sure you get all of the little pieces that are hanging off.
Once you have it trimmed up, you’ll want to tie it with some cooking twine (you can usually find this over by the spatulas and stuff at your grocery store). It’s going to be super tender when you take it off the grill and you don’t want it falling apart and ending up as dog food in the grass.
Rubbing Your Pork
Its time to get dirty. Rub your pork butt all over with enough vegetable oil so that it is well coated, but not dripping everywhere. It’ll help make a nice crunchy bark. Once its good and coated its time to apply your rub.
I’m using my own rub this time around for this BBQ pulled pork recipe.
Cory’s Butt Rub:
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup paprika
- 1/2 cup kosher salt
- 2 tbs garlic powder
- 2 tbs cayenne pepper
- 2 tbs coarse ground black pepper
- 2 tsp mustard powder
If you don’t like it too spicy, you can cut the cayenne down to 1 tbs, or be adventurous and make your own.
Coat the meat with enough rub so that you can still see the meat through it. Make sure to rub it in so that it doesn’t fall off the butt. The vegetable oil will also help it stay on.
Cover it loosely in foil and let it sit in the fridge for a couple of hours, or overnight if you want, and its ready for the pit.
Time to Fire up the Smoker
First, get rid of your lighter fluid and use a charcoal chimney starter. Nobody likes the taste of lighter fluid.
For this BBQ pulled pork recipe, get a full chimney going and put it on your grill. If you’re using an offset smoker, put it in the firebox, if not, make sure your pit is set up for two zone cooking. Get a cheap aluminum pan and place it under the area where you will put your pork butt and fill it with water. Don’t bother using beer, apple juice or cider. In my opinion, its a waste of money. Water is fine.
When you have your charcoal going its time to open your first beer. This is very important.
Once your pit heats up to around 250 degrees its time to put on the pork. Set up your wireless thermometer, making sure the food probe is in the thickest part of the butt and not against the bone. The BBQ probe should be near the meat, but not up against it or the metal.
Close the door, sit down and sip your beer for a while and keep an eye on the pit temperature to make sure you don’t need to make any adjustments to your vents.
BBQ Pulled Pork Recipe – Time to Cook
Throw a chunk of wood for smoking on every thirty minutes or so for the first two or three hours of cooking. Just be careful not to overdo it. Its better to have too little than too much smoke.
I prefer to use apple wood chunks but, there are plenty of other types of wood for smoking to try. Cherry, pecan and hickory (hickory can be overpowering if you overdo it) are commonly used for pulled pork too.
For this BBQ pulled pork recipe, you’ll want to maintain your pit at around 250 degrees throughout the cook time. Its ready to come off when the internal temperature hits 195 degrees. Expect about an hour and a half cook time per pound.
One thing to look out for is the “stall”. When the meat hits around 150 to 180 degrees, there comes a point when it seems like it has stopped getting hotter. Its not your thermometer and, don’t go try to speed it up by making your fire hotter. Its normal, and if you’re patient, the meat temperature will start going up again. The stall period can last more than an hour.
Now, you’re all set, go take a nap, or open another beer.
Time to Pull Your Pork
When your pork butt is done, take it off your grill and put it in the oven at about 170 degrees for half an hour to an hour so it can rest. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat. Some BBQ pulled pork recipe recommend wrapping it in tin-foil. This softens the bark, which in my opinion is the best part. Don’t do it if you can avoid it.
After it has rested, remove it from the oven and grab a couple of forks, its time to pull it for sandwiches. First, pull the shoulder blade bone out. It should pop right out and be fairly clean, with no meat on it. Then, break apart the meat and remove some of the larger chunks of fat.
You should be able to easily shred the chunks of meat at this point with the forks.
Some hamburger buns, sliced onions, pickles and a little barbecue sauce on the side and you’re ready to rock.
This isn’t the only BBQ pulled pork recipe out there but, its tested and is hands down my favorite way to eat BBQ.