Pork / Cook Pulled Pork - The Crown Jewel of Sandwiches
There are two schools of training when it comes to pulled pork
although they probably both require sweet tea. One school makes
a vinegar based sauce, East Carolinas. The other makes a tomato
base sauce, West Carolinas. Both are excellent.
Traditional pulled pork, comes from devoting hours to make a
perfectly cooked, preferably smoked pork butt. Other names for
this cut of pork are Boston shoulder roast, Boston roast, Boston
butt, Shoulder butt and Shoulder blade roast. These are all considered
It is common for a pork butt to be slow smoked for 12 hours or
more. This creates pork that falls off the bone and is perfect
for a pulled pork sandwich.
Best Tools, Best Results
Buy a dual digital thermometer. We use a Maverick ET-73. There are newer versions but the one we have still works fine. This will take all the guess work out of making perfect bbq.
Use quality lump charcoal. Briquettes sometimes use fillers in them and impart an inferior flavor. You will have to keep an eye on the temperature as lump or chunk charcoals will burn unevenly but the flavor is superior and worth the extra effort.
Preparing pork butt for cooking
A large pork butt (8 lbs) is prepared a couple ways and in combination.
You can trim the fat or leave it, both are good. Take the time to rinse off the butt and dry it before continuing.
In recent years "injecting" marinades has become more
familiar to the general public. We prefer injecting pork butt
as well as applying a dry rub before cooking. A simple injected
marinade for pulled pork is as follows;
Pork Marinade for injecting into pork butt
- 1 cup Apple juice or cider
- 1/4 cup Cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup Water
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Knox's Chipotle BBQ rub or your favorite dry
rub for pork, ground into fine powder
- 2 tablespoons Corn syrup
Mix all the ingredients together and stir before loading your
injector. Inject a fair amount of marinade every couple of inches
all over the pork butt.
We also prefer using a dry rub seasoning blend, for obvious reasons. Knox's Chipotle BBQ dry rub seasoning is excellent for pulled pork. When using a dry rub seasoning it is common to rub the pork butt with mustard. You can use any type of mustard you want from simple yellow mustard to a fancy stone ground mustart, what ever you like. We find that using mustards with whole mustard seed does not work as well and may fall off.
Cooking Pork Butt for pulled pork
Pork butt for a pulled pork sandwich is generally cooked on a
grill with indirect heat using chunks of hickory for a rich smoky
flavor. If you have a smoker with a side smoker box you are probably
already familiar. If not, you can pour hot coals from a chimney
starter over soaked hickory chunks to achieve a thick smoke.
Cook the injected and rubbed pork butt between 220 - 250°F.
Your goal is to achieve an internal temperature of about 180°-190°F over
a 10 to 15 hour period. Rule of thumb would be 1 1/2 to 2 hrs per pound. Some would say you need an internal temperature of 200 but we have excellent results from 180 to 190 degrees with a good 30 minutes or more of resting afterwards.
Place the Pork Butt fat side up on the grate. It is very important that you do not open
the cooker. With a good remote thermometer
you will be able to check the temperature without opening the
When the internal temperature is met. Take the pork butt off
and wrap it in foil and place in a small cooler and loosely packed
with balled up newspaper. This will allow the butt to slow rest
and is very important to the process. Slow resting allows the
juices to redistribute and become very tender. Allow to rest for
about an hour.
When you have perfectly cooked pork you are halfway to having
excellent pulled pork. Take the cooked pork and with a fork pull
it apart by pulling the fork along the grain of the meat. You
can also use your hands to break apart the meat as it will be
very tender. You will find a list of breads and toppings
for your sandwich. Experiment, enjoy and eat well.
Pulled Pork Sandwiches
One of the most coveted of sandwiches is the pulled pork sandwich.
We like to toss pulled pork in a vinegar based BBQ sauce and top of the sandwich with a tomato based BBQ sauce. You are now ready to build the ultimate
The bread: toasted. Below is a list of tasty breads to place
- Hamburger Buns
- French Bread
- Sandwich Rolls
- Onion Roll
- Kaiser Roll
Once you have piled on the pulled pork smothered on sauce you
can add your toppings. This is only limited by your imagination
and product availability. Some of our favorite toppings are listed
- Cole Slaw
- Hot Pepper Relish
- Corn Relish
- Shredded Lettuce
- Hot Peppers
- Pickled Hot Peppers
- More Barbeque Sauce
Serve warm with a giant slice of pickle and don't forget the
sweet tea, please.
If you have a pulled pork sauce recipe you would like to share,
please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org