Pulled Pork Barbecue
When my son fell down the rabbit hole and landed in the world of barbecuing, I had no idea what was about to happen. He now has an all-consuming obsession of recipes, rubs and techniques that is never-ending. I might call him Alice now and then, but that’s a complement for the steady stream of delectable meats he learned how to cook in Wonderland.
Smoking vs. Grilling
Learning how to grill meat is a rite of passage for manly men, but there’s a big difference between that and smoking. The former uses high heat over short periods and yields almost instant gratification. The latter requires lengthy dedication lasting hour upon hour of time and attention. Smoking barbecue is a labor of love, combined with a dash of craziness, but the result is amazing.
The Pulled Pork Sandwich
A pulled pork sandwich is a staple of every barbecue restaurant menu and it begins with the pork butt. This is smoked using the dry rub method. However, there are almost infinite recipes that allow you to customize the flavor to your heart’s desire. When ready, we shred or “pull” it and that’s when it’s time to eat.
A Word About Sauce
This pork is juicy and tender enough to eat without sauce but a little bit never hurts. Sauce variations are endless and they fall into three distinct categories, mustard, vinegar and tomato based. Then there’s Alabama sauce, with their mayonnaise and vinegar recipe. I don’t understand it, but that’s what makes the world go ’round.
The pepper in this rub gives the pork a little bit of built in heat, just enough that a sauce with some sweetness provides a delicious counterpoint. We make our own tomato based sauce two ways, with a mild version and a hot one with habanero for the true pepper-heads. Both have that hint of sweetness to complement the pork.
You will have to wait for my sauce recipe, maybe until it’s available at your local grocer someday. I’m working on that. Meanwhile make do with your favorite commercial brand, but don’t be afraid to customize it to achieve perfection – to match this pork!
- 9–10 lb organic pork butt
- Yellow mustard
- Barbecue rub made with the following:
- 1/4 cup kosher salt
- 1 TBL celery salt
- 2 TBL garlic powder
- 1 TBL lemon pepper
- 1 TBL honey-sriracha dry seasoning
- 2 TBL onion powder
- 2 TBL spanish paprika
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 2 TBL chili powder
- 1 tsp ground white pepper
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- Thoroughly mix all the dry ingredients to create the rub
- Pat the pork butt dry with paper towels
- Lightly coat the pork butt with yellow mustard
- Generously and completely coat the pork with the spice mix and rub it in
- Cover with aluminum foil and rest in the refrigerator overnight
- Preheat your smoker until it stabilizes at 250 degrees
- Place the pork butt in the center of the smoker and spritz with apple juice hourly until the internal temp reaches 165 degrees
- Continue to smoke until the internal temp reaches 195 degrees – about 8-10 hours total
- Remove the pork from the smoker and place in a disposable aluminum pan
- Pull it apart with a set of bear claws or large forks and dispose of the bone
- Call the hogs (your guests) to the trough and get out of the way!
- Serve with your favorite barbecue sauce and potato salad. Get my recipe HERE.