When getting a new smoker, I always recommend cooking a classic pulled pork recipe first. This is the perfect opportunity to test out the grill, learn fire management and most importantly perfect that tender meat. And the great part of making pulled pork is the variety of recipes you can make using the smoked protein. Family was in the mood for nachos, so I made them some pulled pork nachos using Doritos cool ranch chips. It’s perfect for family nights, tailgating or any backyard party. Full of flavor, texture and fun.
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.
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 GWD Dad’s All Purpose Rub. It’s the perfect blend of savory and peppery flavors that bring out the sweet and savory notes in pork.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
To make pulled pork nachos, start with a layer of any tortilla chips. I recommend Doritos Cool Ranch. It ads a punch of zesty flavors to the dish with each bite. Next, add a layer of shredded cheddar and mozzarella cheese mix, spread a generous layer of the pulled pork and sprinkle more cheese over the top. Place it back on the grill allowing the cheese to melt. Once removed, drizzle some mexican sour cream and hot sauce, add sliced jalapenos and enjoy!
Printer friendly recipe
Pulled Pork Nachos
- 6 lbs Bone in pork shoulder
- 2 tbsp Yellow mustard
- 1/4 cup Dad's all purpose rub
- 1/2 stick Unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup Brown sugar
- 1/2 cup Honey
- 1/4 cup Apple cider vinegar
- 1 bag Doritos cool ranch chips
- 1 Jalapeno
- 2 tbsp Mexican sour cream
- 2 tbsp Hot sauce
- Score the fat cap in a checkered pattern.
- Coat the entire pork shoulder with mustard and season with Dad's all purpose 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.
- For the nachos, start with a layer of any tortilla chips. Next, add a layer of shredded cheddar and mozzarella cheese mix, spread a generous layer of the pulled pork and sprinkle more cheese over the top. Place it back on the grill allowing the cheese to melt. Once removed, drizzle some mexican sour cream and hot sauce and add sliced jalapenos.
Check out the Recipes Page for other tasty ideas!