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Smoked Carolina Pulled Pork
Making this recipe started out as a challenge to me and became a lesson in growth. BBQ for me has always been about touch and feel, and I have found myself fine tuning my intuition over the last 2 decades I have spent cooking with the various grills in my life. Really it goes beyond just BBQ, I cook this way almost all the time. Using my senses more than even a clock. That’s all fine and dandy, but it really doesn’t present well when you are trying to create a recipe.
So I decided to up my BBQ game and I invested in a remote bbq thermometer that allows me to monitor the temperature of the grill and what ever I am cooking. This is really important when you are cooking something for a really long period of time.
In this case, our pork cooked for almost 11 hours, and honestly I probably would have pulled it earlier because my “feel” got inpatient, or more likely, the grill ran too hot.
For this recipe you do need some specific equipment and we use our delicious Carolina BBQ On My Mind.
- A smoker-I use an offset barrel smoker
- lump charcoal
- hardwood for cooking-Examples: cherry, oak, apple, hickory, maple
- a probe thermometer
- a pastry brush or grill mop
- a foil pan and foil
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 8-12 hours
- Total Time: 12.5 hours
- Yield: 10-15 hearty sandwiches 1x
- Category: Pulled Pork
- Cuisine: BBQ
- 6–9 pounds, pork butt
- 1 cup yellow mustard
- 2–3 ounces Carolina BBQ On My Mind spice rub
- 1 cup cider vinegar
- bbq sauce (optional for serving)
- 24-48 hours before cooking, coat the pork in yellow mustard and rub with the spice mix, completely covering it. Wrap in plastic or put it in a closed container and refrigerate until you’re ready to cook.
- Take the pork butt out off the fridge and get your smoker ready for cooking. You don’t need to build a huge fire as we are going to try and keep the grill running between 225 F and 275 F for this.
- I also set up my probes to monitor the grill. Probe 1 closest to the fire and probe 2 on the other side of the smoker from the fire. The idea behind this is to put the meat in between the 2 probes and get an idea of what the cooking area temperature is. The probe closest to the fire will run a little hotter, the 2nd probe a little cooler and the we will sit in the Goldilocks zone in between.
- Put your pork rub on the smoker and get ready to be patient.
- The other thing we will do now is make our mop sauce. This is a really simple mix of spice rub and vinegar. I use about 1 heaping tablespoon of spice rub to 1 cup of cider vinegar. You will need to stir it each time you apply the mop and I generally apply the mop about once every 90 minutes.
- Monitor your smoker and try to maintain that 225 F to 275 F range throughout cooking.
- Add charcoal and wood as needed. I tend to use the wood sparingly and rely more on charcoal. I all add charcoal twice and then add a log, so 2 to 1 charcoal to wood ratio
- When you are ready to do your first or second mop, insert a probe thermometer to start monitoring the temperature. If you are not using a remote probe you probably want to start checking temperature after about 5 hours. To apply the mop, simply stir the mixture and then brush or mop all over the pork.
- Continue to monitor the temperature until it reaches 200 F, the time it takes will vary depending on the size of the butt and the temperature of your grill.
- You can also wrap the pork in foil or place it in a foil pan and cover tightly with foil and this will help keep the pork moist and speed of the cooking time. It’s up to you.
- When the pork reaches 200 F remove from smoker and cover with foil. Let it rest for 30 mins.
- Now shred the pork and remove the bone, which should just slide right out.
- Serve how ever you like. My preferred method is on a sandwich with BBQ sauce and coleslaw.