Steve’s Own Pellet Smoked Pulled Pork is a staple barbecue dish that takes 10-15 hours to cook and another quarter-hour or so to pull the pork. It makes little sense to me to do a small amount of meat when you commit this much time. You have a choice of using a pork shoulder roast or a picnic roast. I prefer the shoulder roast, which for some odd reason butchers call a butt roast. These come in 8-10 lb. hunks with a blade bone. I usually do two of them at a time and freeze a lot of meat for the future for family, friends, and visiting dignitaries. This is truly pork we can believe in. The butt shoulder roast is a very inexpensive cut of meat and will yield over 80% of its original weight in edible meat. Generally, people use it to make sandwiches, but nothing prevents you from stuffing it in a flour tortilla or a casserole with corn and mashed potatoes.
Smoked Pulled Pork Preparation
- Wash the roast thoroughly with cold water and then pat dry.
- Rub generously with Green Mountain Pork Rub. Rub into all the nooks and crannies.
- Wrap or cover and refrigerate overnight.
- Remove from the refrigerator and let stand about an hour to bring it to room temperature.
- Turn your grill on to 380°. When the grill stabilizes at that temp, put the roast(s) in fat side down.
- Cook 30 minutes, turn the roast over, and cook another 30 minutes, fat side up. Cover the roast with aluminum foil.
- Turn the grill down to 215°. When the grill reaches this temp, remove the foil.
- Barbecue the roast(s) for 6 hours, spritzing (spraying) the meat whenever you think about it with an apple juice/Worcestershire mixture (to taste) using a small spray bottle available at most dollar stores or super centers.
- Wrap the roast completely with aluminum foil, pouring in about 1/2-3/4 cup of the apple juice mix. Insert a meat thermometer exactly halfway into the thickest part of the roast, but do not touch the bone.
- Total cooking time will usually run about 1:20 per lb., so you have about 3 1/2 to go for an 8-lb. roast and 6 1/2 hours to go for a 10-lb. roast. The number of roasts you have in the grill will not affect this time.
- Finish the meat to an internal temperature on your meat thermometer of 193°. You can eat pork safely at 165°, but you will find it much more difficult to pull at the lower temp
- Let the roast(s) cool for about an hour.
- Now just start shredding – pulling apart – the pork.
You can eat this as is, but many people like to add a favorite barbecue sauce. Either way, with or without barbecue sauce, or with or without cheese and lettuce, this will set you free. Or, you can make it a Carolina pulled pork sandwich by adding coleslaw to the pile.
Note: When you reheat this for sandwiches, just add a small amount of water in a saucepan and cook on low/simmer for long enough warm it thoroughly.
Prologue: The culinary delight factor of pulled pork lies in the different textures and different tastes we find in a single bite. We sear this at 380° initially, not to seal in the juices (a huge myth!) but rather to caramelize the sugars in the meat’s surface for a sweet/pungent flavor and a crunchy texture (called “bark”). We also get the sponge cake-like texture of the meat that comes from close to the bone, as well as the pleasantly chewy texture of the meat between the surface and the bone. Additionally, we see three different colors – dark brown crunch, white, and red. All in all, this rather simple dish has complex tastes which appeal to several of the taste buds that comprise our palates. Enjoy!