Thursday, June 17, 2010

Pulled Pork - Boston Butt - Pork Shoulder - It's all the same thing - GOOD

One of the smoker triumvirate! 

Ribs... Really, pretty easy to make. 

Brisket... Much more difficult to get right.

Pulled Pork... many consider the Holy Grail of slow cooked BBQ.  And for good reason.  Cooked Texas style (meat. meat and meat, with sauce on the side), or Kansas City style with the pitmaster's favorite tomato based sauce added before serving... Or my personal preference in Carolina Style, with a vinegar sauce mixed in.

For my latest pulled pork session, I used a vinegar based mop (again, with a secret ingredient in the mop, as well as in the finishing sauce.  While I can't divulge the recipe yet (I am entering it in a contest), I can tell you that it is the best pulled pork I have ever tasted.  And I taste a lot!

But if you want to learn more, I have done several detailed posts on how to smoke a pork shoulder (sometimes called a Boston Butt).  Click Here... or Here for two of the more detail oriented posts.

But really, making a Pork Shoulder (on of the fattiest, toughest cuts of pork) into the beauty that is pulled pork is very easy (just very time consuming)...

First, apply a rub...

That's just a fancy name for a mixture of herbs and spices, usually combined with some brown sugar.

Allow that rubbed meat to sit for an hour to let the spices permeate into the meat, and allow the meat to slowly rise to near room temperature.

Pop into a preheated smoker, 225 degrees...

Apply a mop to keep the meat moist... apply that mop every hour for at least the first 4 hours, and more if you have the rub.

And 18 hours later, you reach an internal temperature of 190 degrees.  At this point, I drizzle some honey over the top, wrap in foil tightly and let the meat rest in a cooler (no ice) for about 4 hours.

And now you pull... If you have tough hands (even after the pork has rested for 4 hours, keeping it wrapped in foil and in a cooler (no ice) will keep the meat hot), pull the meat apart by hand, or use a fork to get each piece bite size...

And finally, I pour a sauce of vinegar, a seasoning liquid (that's my secret ingredient) over the meat...

And serve as is...

Or make yourself the best sandwich and plate of BBQ you can imagine...  Add your own Cole Slaw, serve on a home made hamburger bun, with a couple bones of Baby back ribs, and sides of Smoked beans and blue cheese potato salad!

Oh, and Happy Bogoversary to me... one year ago today!


  1. When does the contest end? I am waiting for that secret ingredient!

  2. Looks great... curious as to your secret ingredient.... Happy Blogerversary!!!!

  3. Wow, how time flies! Has it really been a year? Happy bloggiversary to you, Dave. I know this has been a fun, wonderful year for you!

  4. Happy Blogaversary Dave!

    Yum, North Carolina pulled pork is hands down my favorite pork - love the vinegar/crushed red pepper/Tabasco combo - and served with coleslaw on a bun? Heaven on a plate!

    I need to start checking my sale papers - I can usually get a pork shoulder for .99 cents a pound!

  5. YUM, one of my all time favorites!

  6. Happy anniversary Dave- The polled pork is making me drool!

  7. Congrats on your blogiversary, cher! Looks yumolicious!

  8. Happy blogiversary Dave. That pulled pork is beautiful. David just got a smoker. You are his inspiration. We just went to a BBQ and wine tasting at an upscale restaurant last night. I will blog about it soon. I think I know what your secret ingredient is.