Barbecue Smoked Pulled Pork recipe - Carolina Style
An authentic barbecue smoked pulled pork recipe is always cooked low & slow, usually between 200F and 250F.
This recipe for pulled pork is also slow cooked but has a few twists that make it absolutely the best you'll find for pulled pork sandwiches.
This North Carolina pulled pork recipe includes a vinegar based sauce, also called a Mop, to baste the bbq pork while it cooks.
After it's cooked and shredded you'll use a special pulled pork barbecue sauce which keeps the meat nice and juicy.
To give it extra flavor we include our Kansas City barbecue sauce recipe in the ingredients.
The second twist is borrowed from some of the popular pulled pork crockpot recipes.
After the pulled pork has been shredded, add it to the crockpot, pour in the sauce and either refrigerate until it's needed or serve it right away.
Using this concept from those crockpot recipes let's you make this pulled pork a day ahead and then keeps it the meat warm and juicy for as long as you're serving it.
Serves: 12 - 24
Prep Time: 10 minutes
In-direct Heat: 225F - 250F
For best results "marinate" in the rub up to 24 hours.
Begin rubbing the All American BBQ Dry Rub recipe over the entire surface of the roast.
Place the dry rubbed pork roast on a large pan or sheet and cover completely with plastic wrap.
Place in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours to allow the rub to season the meat.
You will apply this Mop after first putting the pork roast on the grill and once every hour during the cooking session.
Preheat the grill to a steady temperature of 225F.
Setup the grill for Indirect cooking.
Soak 2 cups of hickory wood chips in a 50/50 water/apple juice mix if using that or have on hand 1/2 cup hickory smoking pellets.
If using a gas grill to make this pulled pork recipe then prepare the smoking box or make the smoking pouches described on this smoker grill page.
Also, if using a propane gas grill for this make sure you've enough gas to last the cooking duration - could be over 8 hours!
Variation: If you can find them I recommend using the Jack Daniels smoking pellets.
Add 1/2 cup hickory smoking wood or a handful of smoking pellets to the fire.
Place an disposable aluminum pan filled with water under the grill.
Place the pulled pork roast fat side up on the grill over the pan of water.
If using a gas grill preheat the grill to high and add the smoker box or smoking pouches. When they begin to smoke, reduce the heat to 225F and place the pork fat side up on the grill over the pan of water.
Ensure you have the probe of a remote temperature monitor inserted to the middle of the pork roast but not touching the bone.
Set the alarm temperature on the monitor to 185F.
Once an hour open the grill and baste the roast with the mop.
If using a charcoal grill you may need to add additional charcoal every hour depending on your grill.
Add additional smoking wood or pellets each hour. Eventually the roast will develop a thick crust or bark and the smoking woods or pellets will have little effect.
Transfer it to a large pan and cover with foil to rest at least 15 minutes.
If this pulled pork recipe is done properly it should look like this
It's natural to see a pink tinge to parts of the meat near the crust - this is called the smoke ring and it's the sign that the smoke you used during cooking penetrated the meat.
You'll be discarding the fat but make sure you pick through it well as there's always juicy chunks of meat attached.
For shredding the pork some of the options are:
I typically use my fingers but be very careful as the meat is hot. You may want to use some sort of rubber glove.
Always pull the pork when it's hot as it shreds more easily.
Shred the meat either into a large aluminum pan or into a crock pot.
I recommend the crock pot with a removable pot as you can store it in the refrigerator and then heat it back up prior to serving (the next day for instance).
Pour this barbecue sauce over the shredded meat.
Distribute the sauce throughout the meat evenly using a large spoon.
If using a crock pot for serving set it to medium and cover.
Serve the meat on fresh buns.
Traditionally a North Carolina pulled pork recipe also include a topping of cole slaw on the shredded meat.
You can also serve the meat on a plate without a bun - try a side of baked beans and grilled corn on the cob!
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