Classic Pulled Pork

0
226

When getting a new smoker, I always recommend cooking a classic pulled pork first.  This is a great recipe to test out the grill, learn fire management and most importantly perfect that tender meat.  It’s fool proof, easy and you can always camouflage it with BBQ sauce if too dry.  That said, my two-step method will guarantee tender, juice and flavorful classic pulled pork every time.

Get the pork ready and on the grill.

This recipe is definitely not a last minute dinner choice.  It is a process that needs time and patience for the meat to cook through nice and slowly while containing the tenderness and flavorfulness of the pork as well as the seasoning that’s applied throughout.

Seasoned pork shoulder

To get started,  score the fat cap in a checkered pattern. This will allow the seasoning to penetrate deeper into the meat locking in those amazing BBQ flavors.  Next, coat the entire bone in pork shoulder with yellow mustard which will work as a binder for the seasoning. I used Hardcore Carnivore Red for the BBQ rub which is an all purpose run. This is where you can trial different spices.  Sometimes I’m in the mood for something a little and I’ll mix in a sweeter rub to enhance the flavor of the meat.

Pat the seasoning down vs. rubbing to avoid any of the spice from falling off. Don’t be shy with the seasoning.  The shoulder is a large chunk of meat, so make sure to coat it heavily on all sides. Some of the spice will burn off during the cooking process.

While you wait for the smoker to reach 250 degrees, leave the seasoned pork shoulder in room temperature for about 30 minutes and allow it to sweat which opens up the meat to absorb all those wonderful spices.

Depending on the size of the shoulder, you should estimate 1.5 hours/lb. Total cooking process will last 7-9 hours.

Phase 1 of smoking a classic pulled pork – direct smoking

Place the seasoned pork shoulder on the grill set up for indirect heat.  Leave it on until the internal temp of the protein reaches 170 degrees.

Depending on the size of the shoulder, you should estimate 1.5 hours/lb. Total cooking process will last 7-9 hours.

For the first 2 hours, leave the pork on the smoker and let the grill do its magic.  After that, spray the pork shoulder with apple cider vinegar every hour.  This helps keep the meat moist and prevent the bark from burning.  It does not impact the flavor of the meat.

After about 4 -5 hours or when the internal temperature of the pork reaches 170 degrees, it’s time to wrap it up.

Phase 2 of smoking a classic pulled pork – wrapping

Smoked Pork Shoulder

The long smoking process is what makes the meat so tender, that it falls off the bone.  In order to keep the moisture and prevent the protein from drying out, you need to wrap it for the final cook.

Once the grilled pork shoulder reaches 170 degrees, place it in an aluminum pan or on a large foil sheet and add brown sugar and pour honey for the sweet BBQ effect, add cubed butter and some more seasoning since some of it cooked off. Next,  seal it off with a sheet of foil or wrap the foil around the chunk. The wrap will help keep all the moisture inside the cook and allow the butter and sugar to penetrate through the meat and infuse it with all those amazing classic BBQ  flavors.

Wrapped Pork Shoulder

Leave the pork on the grill for another 2-3 hours or until the internal temperature reaches 204 degrees. In addition to the internal temperature, test the tenderness of the meat by doing a probe test which should go into the pork shoulder with easy.  Remove the wrapped pork from the grill and let it rest for 1 hour.

Remove the bone and shred the meat, mixing it in with all the rendered juices. Serve in a soft brioche bun with some BBQ sauce and enjoy!

Shredded pulled pork

Printer friendly recipe

Classic Pulled Pork

Prep Time 5 mins
Servings 10 People

Ingredients
  

  • 6 Lbs Bone in pork shoulder
  • 2 tbsp Yellow mustard
  • 6 tbsp BBQ rub
  • 1/2 cup Apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 stick Unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup Brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup Honey

Instructions
 

  • Score the fat cap in a checkered pattern.
  • Coat the entire pork shoulder with mustard and season with your choice of BBQ rub.
  • Set up the grill for indirect heat at 250 degrees.
  • After the first 2 hours on the grill, spritz the pork every hour with Apple cider vinegar.
  • Once the internal temperature of the pork reaches 170 degrees, remove the pork off the grill and time to wrap it up.
  • Place it in an aluminum pan or on a large foil sheet and add brown sugar and pour honey, cubed butter and more seasoning.
  • Seal it with a sheet of foil or wrap the foil around the chunk and place it back on the grill until internal temp of the pork shoulder reaches 205 degrees.
  • Remove the wrapped pork from the grill and let it rest for 1 hour.
  • Remove the bone and shred the meat, mixing it in with all the rendered juices

 

Check out the Recipes Page for other tasty ideas!