Pulled Pork

This is the easiest way I know of to make delicious pulled pork barbecue. I used to have access to a charcoal smoker and then I would smoke them for a few hours and then finish them in a crockpot. For these I found a recipe that I adapted that would be delicious smoked but is delicious even without the hassle of smoking.

I know you’ve seen bottles of butt rub and yes, some guy must’ve come up with that name! I start with 1 (or 10 in one case) bone-in Boston butt. Now where did they get those names? Not sure. When we were in Boston in the fall, I don’t recall seeing any porkers around. And then why the butt? It’s a shoulder portion.

This rub is easy to make and really adds a lot of flavor! The key ingredient that you shouldn’t substitute is the smoked paprika. Unless you have hickory smoked salt and regular paprika and combine those to replace it. We grew up eating tomato sandwiches with a little McNess hickory smoked salt sprinkled on them. That’s still my favorite way of eating tomatoes.

Pulled Pork 1

The rub ingredients are:

1 T. kosher salt
2 tsp. fresh cracked black pepper or coarsely ground black pepper
2 tsp. onion powder
1 T. smoked paprika

Pulled Pork 2

Rub this into the roast. Let set for at least 10 minutes. If you’re going to grill the roast then drizzle a little oil over it and rub in. If you’re going to pan fry it, then put a bit of oil into a frying pan. You need to seer each side of the roast to seal in the juices. I tried the grilled one time and didn’t think it really made much difference in the taste so unless you’re doing more than 2 it’s easier just to seer it in a pan for 3-4 minutes on all sides.

Pulled Pork 4

Pulled Pork 5

In your crockpot or roasting pan, pour 2 cups beef broth, 1 cup barbecue sauce and 1 large garlic clove (minced). The roast will be slow baked at 300 for 6-7 hours so either the oven, a crockpot or electric roaster work well. Two roasts will pretty much fill up a roaster. Resist the urge to lift the lid once it’s cooking. After about 3 hours, flip the roast. When the meat is pulling away from bone it’s finished. It should fall apart when you try to lift it out. If you don’t cook it long enough, it’s hard to shred it and the fat hangs onto the meat.

Pulled Pork 3

If it’s falling apart, put it into a pan and let it cool for a few minutes. Then take two forks and work at shredding it. This makes it fairly easy to weed out the fat. I just really do not biting down into fat! Yick!

Pulled Pork 6

Let the juice that the roast was cooking in cool and then pour at least 3 cups into a bowl. Let the fat come to the top so you can skim it off. Or if you have one of those cool measuring cups made for pouring off the bottom of the cup. Or if you have a baster you could suck the juice off the bottom of the pan. Either way you do it, pour the juice over shredded meat and serve. Or it can be heated and served later. Plus I think it’s better later because it sits in the rich juice for a while. I made 10 roasts a month or so ago for friends of ours take to their family reunion. Then last week I made it for a supper for our company. One 8-9 lb. roast will serve 14. It goes great with baked beans, mac & cheese, coleslaw & cornbread.

If you prefer beef over pork, use a boneless chuck roast and use the same rub and bake for 4-5 hours.

Pulled Beef 1

Pulled Beef 2

I like to make my own sauces too. Here are two of the three recipes that I used. The third one is top secret. So secret I don’t even know it. So I come up with a new one each time. 🙂 It’s a fairly traditional sweet & spicy dark sauce.

Different regions of the US make their sauces different. I decided to try making a Carolina-style which is mustard based. I still am not a big fan but so far others have really liked it. I’m just not a huge mustard fan.

The others:

Carolina-Style BBQ Sauce

½ c. yellow mustard
½ c. spicy brown mustard
1/3 c. light brown sugar
3/4 c. cider vinegar
¼ c. water
2 T. chili powder
1 tsp. black powder
1 tsp. white pepper
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
½ tsp. soy sauce
2 T. butter
1 T. liquid smoke

Mix all ingredients except soy sauce, butter and smoke. Simmer 30 minutes. Stir in remaining ingredients and simmer for 10 more minutes. Makes about 2 ¼ cups.



Honey BBQ Sauce

1 c. honey
¼ c. molasses
1 c. tomato sauce
½ tsp. paprika
1/8 tsp. ground ginger
1 T. seasoned salt
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp. black pepper
¼ tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. oregano
1 clove garlic, minced
2 T. Worcestershire sauce
2 T. prepared mustard
3/4 c. brown sugar

Simmer all ingredients for about 30 minutes. Makes nearly 3 cups.

I have quite a bit of this sauce in fridge right now so I want to try baking wings or drumettes in it.


Happy Cooking!

5 thoughts on “Pulled Pork

  1. Thank you for sharing the recipe for the mustard-based sauce!  Here in our part of South Carolina, we often have the choice of ‘red’ or ‘yellow’ sauce.  Our local fire dept makes the best ‘yellow’ sauce, but I don’t have their recipe.  I’m looking forward to trying the one you posted.

    I enjoy seeing the pics you share with us.  You are a gifted photographer.

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