Hey, let me ask you this: what's the best time of the year to smash four or five pulled pork sandwiches in one sitting?
If your answer was "Why, the best time of the year is all year round!", consider yourself Griller's friend now. Grab a beer from the ice bucket and come near the grill, it's Mountain Grillers smokey seasonal pulled pork recipe time!
Here's the best pulled pork recipe you'll find, straight outta' the cookbook: you won't need any injections or special tools to have a damn good pulled pork, just your trusty smoker, Griller's BBQ rub, and a slow roast!
First, let's learn the basics: Pork butt, or Boston butt, has a somewhat confusing name. It doesn't come from anywhere near the hog's butt! Actually, it comes from the shoulder of the pig, just as... well, pork shoulder.
Both cuts are tough, come with a fat cap, and melt in your mouth if cooked right. So why choose one over the other, huh? Here's a simple answer: Pork butt is marbled with intramuscular fat, and its rectangular, uniform shape is exactly what you're looking for when going for a pulled pork recipe on a slow cooker.
If you were to just cook and slice the meat, you would be eating tight muscles and fiber, chewing for hours on end. You don't want that. So, that's why this kind of cut is particularly great for a slow roast: the meat breaks down and gets tender, creating those strands of yummy smoked pork.
Alright! Now that's outta the way, let's get down to business.
That's it. Everything you need for an easy pulled pork recipe. Hey, this ain't my first rodeo, and I can bet on the fur of Griller's back you'll be the king of the backyard with this.
This is our signature sweet, smokey BBQ rub, and you can use it on EVERYTHING. Every pitmaster has their recipe, but since we're newfound friends now you can have mine as inspiration if you're just starting in the art of grillin'. I do encourage you to experiment and put your own twist on it, though!
Once you have all the ingredients assembled, it's as easy as thoroughly combining them in a bowl, and stirring well while you break any clumps with a fork. Then, store the rub in a spice jar (and any leftovers in an airtight container). The BBQ rub will be good for a month while stored in a cool, dry place.
This fool-proof smoked pulled pork recipe requires a smoker and time (between 16 to 20 hours, 2 per pound of pork).
Preheat your smoker to 225º F. I prefer to use a combination of apple and cherry wood for this pulled pork recipe, to go for a rich but balanced flavor while also giving the meat a dark, barbecued hue.
Coat the pork butt with mustard, preferably with a pair of nitrile gloves on to avoid any mess.
Season the whole pork with Griller's BBQ rub, coating that meat with an outer layer that will later turn into a flavorful outer crust.
Place the meat directly over the smoker's grill grates, fat side up. Yup, no tin foil wrapping yet, let that pork soak in all the flavor from your smoker and develop a CRUNCHY, caramelized bark.
Close the lid and let the meat smoke for a minimum of 16 hours. If you have a meat thermometer you can check the inner temperature of the pork, which should reach 200 ºF before it's done.
Once the pork is done, remove it from the smoker with a good pair of BBQ pit gloves on, and wrap it as tight as possible in aluminum foil. Let it rest for at least an hour.
After it has had time to rest, unwrap the pork, grab your Mountain Grillers Bear Claws Meat Shredder and rip up that bad boy. Remove the bone if there is one along with any excess fat and cartilage.
Serve your succulent pulled pork on a bun with some homemade coleslaw (below there's a simple and easy recipe with a holiday season twist!) and optional extra BBQ sauce. There you go, the perfect appetizer for a winter BBQ before a hearty grilled hunk o' meat!
There ain't no veggie that will give you the cascade of juice that comes off a well-done brisket on a first bite. But also, there's no discussion about this: a properly done pulled pork sandwich is nothing without a good slaw on top. So here's my red cabbage slaw recipe with a special holiday touch:
In a large bowl, combine the mayo, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Add the cabbage, onion, kale, and pomegranate seeds (yes, mmmm, crunchy) and toss. Refrigerate for an hour to let the flavors get together.
The kale and pomegranate seeds are unconventional ingredients, but they add the red and green festive touch to your pulled pork slider.
The best way to know if your pork butt is cooked is by grabbing a meat thermometer and checking if the temperature is at least 200 ºF, 205º F if you like your meat very soft.
This means you've sadly overcooked your meat, or that you're not using the right tool to shred meat. Getting the temperature right is very important, as you don't want the pork to cook too fast over high heat. Remember, it's all about smoking the pork at a low temperature to get those prized strands of meaty goodness.
This recipe calls for an 8 to 10 lbs cut, which will serve between 12 and 20 people. Keep in mind that a roasted pork butt loses half of its weight, so an 8 lbs cut will shrink down to 4 lbs. Since one pound of pulled pork yields about 6 sandwiches, an 8 lbs cut yields about 24 pulled pork sandwiches (which is barely enough to get a gorilla started, but I guess it can feed a large group of humans).
This goes without saying, but making too much pulled pork is the best thing ever! If there are leftovers after your backyard BBQ, you can make pulled pork tacos, pulled pork burritos, pulled pork stuffed potatoes, barbecue pizza...
Since this smoked pulled pork recipe takes a long time, a great idea is to cook your pulled pork the day before your backyard BBQ, and reheat it right before people start to come. Here are a few ways to pull this off.
Shove it into the oven: This is the easiest method, just stuff your shredded pork butt in a 350º F degree oven for about 5 minutes.
Give it a last smoke: Pull the meat from the smoker a couple of hours before it's done, wrap it in tin foil, and finish smoking it the day after.
Slow simmer in hot water: After your roast is done, wrap it in tin foil and let it rest for two hours to make sure it's room temperature. Pop it in the fridge. The next day, get it out of its wrapping and put it into a tightly sealed freezer bag. Bring a pot of water to a simmer (be careful not to let it boil) and drop your pork roast into the pot. Let it simmer for about 25-30 minutes.Heat it over the skillet: Cook the pork as per the recipe, shred the meat and store it in the fridge inside a freezer bag. Before serving, toss the shredded meat in a skillet with some neutral-flavor vegetal oil such as avocado oil. Flip the meat chunks every 2 or 3 minutes. This method is also great to reheat leftovers, and it's best for pulled pork tacos!
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