Let’s talk about pulled Pork!
Everyone wants the best smoked pulled pork, it’s fantastic on everything from nachos to tacos, in burritos, over rice, on lasagna.. you can literally put pulled pork on anything and it will elevate that dish.
Let me walk you through how I get the best pulled pork from a standard pork shoulder or pork butt.
The first thing you’re gonna look for is a pork butt that is bone in, a boneless pork butt is not gonna have the same flavour. There is a ton of flavour that comes off of that bone when we’re smoking it.
Also skin on or skin off it really doesn’t matter you can easily trim the skin off with a simple knife running through the fat and it’ll peel right off or you can score the fat up and massage your rub into the meat.
Trim any heavy fats or thick fat off of your pork butt, but leave a little bit as it’s going to run into anything soft. As far as fat goes will run the route and add to the flavour in the seasoning
Next is a pork rub, you can use an all purpose barbeque rub or you can make your own. I love adding a little bit of chilli powder, a ton of paprika, a little bit of brown sugar and Lowery‘s seasoning salt. I will even add a hint of Cajun and you’re in the bank.
Once you have that pork butt heavily rubbed down and ready for the smoker, you wanna fire it up to 225 or 250 Fahrenheit indirect with Hickory Oak or Maplewood.
Smoking low and slow for the first couple hours maybe two hours into it start spritzing with a 50-50 mix of apple juice and apple cider vinegar. Spritz it every hour on the hour as it continues to smoke.
Once that pork butt reaches the colour that you’re looking for, with an internal temperature of 160 to 170 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s time to pull it off and wrap it with tinfoil. Personally, I’ll give it another heavy spray with that spritz and a quick splash with that rub before tightening up the foil.
Then put that butt back on the smoker and turn it up to 300 / 325 F and let it run until you have an internal temperature between 200 and 205 degrees Fahrenheit.
Now, this is the key step: pull it off open the tinfoil up and let it steam out for five minutes then tighten the foil back up and place it in a cooler to hold the warm heat and let it rest for at least two hours.
Once it’s rested put on a pair of jewellers gloves and slide your rubber gloves over top to protect your hands from the heat and pull that pork butt apart. The bone will slide out clean as a whistle and that pork will shred in your hands with ease. You don’t wanna crush the pork, you wanna tear it apart and leave the fiber‘s whole.
Now fluff it with your fingers and put it onto a platter. Keep it warm until you’re ready to serve. Or if you’re planning on keeping it for a later date, put it in sealable bags and squeeze the air out of it or vacuum seal it and freeze it immediately.
To reheat leftover pulled pork I suggest getting a sous vide or you can heat it up over simmering hot water in a pot, which is the best way to heat up leftover barbeque.
Now go grab a pork butt and feed everybody you know the best damn pulled pork you’ve ever had in your life….. Darkside out.