June 14, 2009

How to Cook Pulled Pork (aka Pork Shoulder or Pork Butt) - Easy Pulled Pork Recipe

We have a lot of folks ask us via email, twitter, or at food shows how to cook or smoke pulled pork - if you want a more complex recipe - check our Brett's Secret Pulled Pork Recipe. However, we almost always make the following BBQ recipe - its simple, and turns out perfect pulled pork BBQ every time! We are big Kansas City BBQ fans, but this recipe should make folks from all BBQ regions happy!

Easy Smoked Pork Shoulder / Pulled Pork Recipe

1 7 pound pork shoulder (also known as Boston Butt - bone in or boneless work great)

2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

4-6 tablespoons Pork Barrel BBQ’s All American Spice Rub

6 cans of beer

1 aluminum drip pan

5 chunks of hickory wood

3 chunks of oak wood

1 Bag of Lump Hardwood Charcoal

Get your BBQ smoker’s temperature up to 225-250 degrees. When lighting your coals, be sure to only use lump hardwood and always start with a chimney starter. If you are using a BBQ grill, you can still smoke! Just place the coals in a pile on one side of the grill, and plan to place the meat on the other side.

While smoker gets to temperature rub 1 tablespoon of olive oil on the first side of your meat and then rub 2-3 tablespoons of Pork Barrel BBQ’s All American Spice Rub into the meat. Repeat on opposite side. Allow meat to rest with rub on it for at least 30 minutes (this can be done ahead of time and placed in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours).

Place your drip pan into the smoker and pour the beer into it directly under where the meat will be sitting on the BBQ grill grate. If using a grill, simply put your beer into a disposable aluminum pan and place under your pork. Since we are both from Missouri, we always grill with (and drink!) Bud Light!

Here you can see our perfect foam - ready to make some great BBQ pulled pork!

Place the wood chunks onto the hot coals in your smoker and then place the grill grate in the smoker. Place your meat directly above the drip pan and close your BBQ smoker. If cooking in a smoker, I just mix the wood into the coals, but if I'm cooking on a BBQ grill, I soak the wood for 30 minutes to allow it to have a longer smoke (you can't go wrong either way!).

Make sure the temperature remains in the 225-250 degree range throughout the smoking process. Every couple of hours make sure you have enough fuel on your fire to maintain the desired smoker temperature. A pork shoulder should remain in the smoker for 11-13 hours. Here's what it looks like when you put it on the grill:

And here's what it looks like when its done! The internal temperature (always use a meat thermometer) should reach 195-205 degrees F - be sure to wrap it in foil immediately after cooking and let it rest for at least 30 minutes - this is one of the keys to juicy pulled pork!

Once its had a chance to rest, it should pull very easily - I just use some forks and pull away! Don't throw away the brown exterior shell - its the best part - known as "bark" it tastes like candy!

I serve on a kaiser or potato roll, with a side of slaw or some sauce - enjoy!!

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1 comment:

  1. That's some tasty looking pork, and really good directions, too. I would definitely recommend pork shoulder for anyone just getting started with barbecuing . . . it's very forgiving and much harder to mess up than, say, ribs or brisket.

    One trick I found is to rub down the Boston butts with plain old yellow mustard before applying the rub . . . it helps the rub stay stuck and makes the "bark" even more flavorful!