Tacos, and burritos to barbeque platters, and sandwiches. Pulled pork is a fantastic, and versatile protein. It follows a long, and delicious tradition of taking a less-expensive, tough cut of meat, and cooking into submission. These recipes always produce the most incredible results, and I’m going to share mine with you.
There’s (basically) only 3 things you need to make amazing pulled pork; Pork, a great rub, and a heat source. The real hardcraft lies within what combination of the almost limitless options of these things you chose to go with. There’s really one one option, in my opinion, for the pork: The shoulder , or Pork butt. Rubs are so subjective, and everyone with barbeque experience has one that they swear by, I keep mine fairly simple, and make sure that everything in it is there to highlight the delicious, natural flavor of this amazing cut of pork. For heat you can either smoke this recipe, or if that’s not in the cards for you, you can make it in a crockpot.
Now we sell a variety of EXCELLENT rubs by Nutmeg Spice Co. They’ll save you the trouble of making a rub from scratch, and still make sure your results are perfect.
For those of you feeling a little more adventurous here’s the rub I use:
- 1/4 Cup Salt
- 1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
- 1/4 Cup Smoked Paprika
- 1 tbsp Garlic Powder
- 1 tbsp Onion Powder
- 1 tbsp Black Pepper
- 1 tbsp Turmeric
- 1 tsp Cinnamon
This is a straight-forward rub that can be used on Pork, Brisket, and even Chicken. Simply cover the meat, thoroughly in the rub, and then let it sit out for 30-45 minutes, at room temperature, before placing in the smoker.
When it comes to the cooking, there’s a lot of debate, but this is what works every single time; I recommend an electric smoker for getting started, old school offset smokers are amazing, although finicky, and there’s a definite learning curve, but if you have it, and the experience, go for it! What we’re going for here is 225*F for 2 hours, plus 1 hour per pound. If you’re doing two pieces, split the difference. Example: 1 10lb pork but will be smoked for about 12 hours. 2 10lb pork butts are smoked for about 17 hours. For the last 4 hours of smoking, take the pork (carefully) out of the smoker, wrap it completely in aluminium foil, and put back in to finish. Make sure at the end the pork registers an internal temperature of 205*F. Let the pork rest, in the aluminum foil for at least 30 minutes, and then take it out, and it’s ready to shred, and eat!
If you don;t have a smoker available, you can certainly make great pulled pork in a crockpot, or slow-cooker. Just cut the pork shoulder into 1.5” cubes, rub thoroughly, (bonus points for just a drop of liquid smoke) and place in the slow cooker on high for 2 hours, then turn it down to low for 10 hours. Once the time is up, and the pork registers an internal temperature of at least 205*F, transfer it to a heat-proof container and break it up.
This is a go-to crowd pleaser in my house, and I’m sure it will be in yours as well.
“Keep your knives sharp, and be patient.”