Pulled Pork 

Although beef is King in Texas, pork is a close second. Up and down the Eastern seaboard pork reigns. Pulled Pork is made by slow smoking a pork butt (also known as a Boston Butt). If your not real familiar with what they are, just click pork butt  to find out more.

What you’ll Need

  • 8-10 lb Pork Butt
  • Dry Rub  (I used Adkins Western Style Seasoning)
  • Smoking Wood - Hickory, Pecan, Apple etc
  • BBQ Sauce
  • Disposable aluminum pan
  • Bowl of warm Mop Sauce - if you plan to mob. This is Optional

How it’s Done

  • Know Your Butt - You want to start off with a good Pork Butt. Contrary to it’s name, it is actually from the top shoulder of the pig. The lower portion adjoining the leg is the Picnic Roast. Although it needs to have good marbling (the veins of fat that run through the meat) it should not have any large pockets of fat. The only exception to this is that it should have a nice thin layer of fat on the bottom. During the cooking process, the fat is what keeps the meat moist and flavorful. 

  • Prep your Butt - Place your butt in a baking pan (one of those disposable aluminum pans is preferred since the smoke makes cleanup of one of your good pans very difficult). Liberally apply the dry rub over the entire surface of the meat…don’t be stingy. This can be done just prior to cooking or even the night before. If you apply it the night before, cover the meat with plastic wrap, NOT aluminum foil. The ingredients in many rubs will react with the foil and eat right through it. 

  • Plan your Timing - You can use the “ Low and Slow” method of  240℉ for about 12 hours or the “Hot and Fast” method of  315℉ for 6 hours. I much prefer splitting the difference. Using this cooking method the cooking time for a 9 Lb. Butt is ABOUT 8 hours. You must also plan on about a 45-60 minute cool down period and about 20 minutes to actually pull the pork. 

  • Prep Your Smoker - Use a grill or smoker that provides indirect heating. Use smoking woods such as: Pecan, Hickory or just about any fruit wood like Apple or Cherry. I would avoid Mesquite due to its harshness. I would recommend placing a drip pan under the cooking grate to make cleanup easier.  Start your grill / smoker and bring it up to a temp of 275℉ to 300℉. 

  • Smoke Your Butt - Place your Butt on the cooking grate above the drip pan, close the lid and maintain a temperature of 275℉ to 300℉ during the cooking process. Now I know it will be hard but try not to peak. Every time you open the lid to check out your work of art you are extending the cooking time by up to 15 minutes. After about 4-5 hours the meat will have absorbed all the smoke that it is going to. At this point, remove the butt, place it in a disposable aluminum pan and cover with foil (the rub won’t affect the foil at this time). You can then place it back in your smoker for the remainder of the cook time (or even place it in your oven preheated to 300℉). Once the internal temperature reaches 195℉, remove it from the heat and allow it to cool. Once cool enough simply begin pulling the pork apart into shreds while at the same time removing any fat left behind. While some people use forks or even those large “Bear Claws” for this, I prefer to use my hands which I find much easier and more efficient. 

  • Save Those Juices - Save all those juices and drippings from the meat…especially those from the pan with the Butt in it. Pour these juices through a strainer and into a container, then refrigerate. Once chilled, the fat will have floated to the surface with a light brown peanut butter type consistency. Scrape this off the top and discard leaving behind a dark brown jelly. This is the Au Ju, the natural meat juices. This can be left out at room temperature or heated for a few seconds in a microwave to return it to its liquid form. Adding some of these juices back to the meat will not only add tremendous flavor but also add moisture. This is especially important if you will be refrigerating or freezing the meat for use at a later time. 

Lets Review

  • Liberally apply dry rub
  • Smoke at 275℉ - 300℉
  • Cook to internal temperature of 195℉
  • SAVE THOSE JUICES - Separate and de-fat
  • Add some of the Au Ju back to the meat