Pulled pork is my go-to for big parties. Nearly impossible to mess up if you’re a novice, it’s a guaranteed crowd pleaser provided you start it early enough. Tip of the hat to Naked Whiz’ Pulled Pork recipe (safe for work) and Dizzy Pig Barbecue Company, one of our favorite places to get BBQ rubs.
Amazing Pulled Pork on the Big Green EggCourse: How To, Pork, RecipesCuisine: BBQ, Barbecue, AmericanDifficulty: Easy
Pulled pork is my go-to for big parties. Nearly impossible to mess up if you’re a novice, it’s a guaranteed crowd pleaser provided you start it early enough.
Two (2) six-pound pork shoulders (bone-in)
Your favorite rub (we like Dizzy Pig Dizzy Dust)
Apple Cider Vinegar
- Equipment & Fuel
Big Green Egg, Traeger or similar Kamado cooker
Lump Charcoal or Hickory Pellets
Hickory and/or Cherry wood chips or chunks
Aluminum roasting pan
Optional: Meat Injector (we use Chop’s Power Meat Injector)
Remote Meat Thermometer
- The meat
- Get yourself a good Pork Shoulder or “Boston Butt”. I use 6lb or more so there’s plenty for leftovers. There’s a big debate over whether to buy bone-in or boneless. Boneless is they remove the bone at the butcher. Some say the value of the bone-in is to conduct heat through the meat and protects the “Money Muscle”, a ribbon of meat that is prized among BBQ competition Judges. Others say you end up paying for useless bone. Plan for about 2 hours per pound. Then add one hour to get the fire up and going, and two hours buffer for when guests will arrive so you don’t have the dreaded, “Sorry everyone, it’s still cooking” conversation.
- The fire
- For the cook, you need to set your fire to slow and low about 240°F. If you have a Big Green Egg, follow the directions here on how to set your fire. Just be sure to fully stoke the firebox. Here you can see you’ll burn about 3/4 of a full bag of Lump Charcoal. Put a few chunks of Hickory and I like a lump of Cherry wood as well. If your fire goes out in the middle of the night, don’t panic. Set your oven to 240°F and transfer. Relight the Egg and repeat. If you are using a Weber Kettle, look up the snake method for loading briquettes. Traeger you just set it and forget it, but by far the taste on the Big Green Egg is my favorite.
- Set up your Egg with the convEGGtor (or Plate setter for the OGs) inverted with the legs pointing up. Then place the aluminum pan filled with about a half inch of warm water in it. Rest the grate on top of the convEGGtor legs, and the meat rack with your butts on top of that. Make sure your butts have space on all sides for smoke and heat to get to them.
- The cook
- For the flavor profile, it’s all in the Rub. I love Dizzy Pig’s Dizzy Dust. Wash and pat dry the butts. Then slather yellow mustard all over to give the rub something to adhere to. Put a lot of rub on a cookie sheet and roll the Pork all over on the cookie sheet, like a pig in mud. Trust me, it will develop better bark as a result. Transfer to a roast rack sitting over a second cookie sheet. Then pour the rub from the first sheet over the Butt. Repeat. Don’t waste any rub, it costs almost as much as printer ink.
- Optional: Inject your pork butt with a marinade that will help to keep the meat moist through the cook. I use equal parts Apple Cider Vinegar and Apple Cider, and generous amount of Rub mix.
- Put a remote thermometer in the center middle of your pork, taking care not to let the probe touch the bone. Let it run until the internal temperature is about 200°F. You’ll notice for a long time the temperature doesn’t change – this is normal and called the “stall” – when the meat and collagen break down. Check for tenderness with your temp probe, the whole thing should be very loose, and the probe moves easily. Another way to check is grab the bone with a high temp glove, it should start to slide out.
- Once the pork is ready, move the rack inside and allow to cool just long enough to wrap them in foil, and then a towel and place them in a cooler. Trust us, WAIT AN HOUR at least. Otherwise, you’re going to release excess moisture. The pork butts can safely hold in an igloo for up to 3 hours.
- The Pull
- Now you’re ready to shred the pork. Carefully remove the pork butts and put them in a clean aluminum foil pan or similar. I love to remove the bone first, and then use a pair of The Original Bear Claws to shred the meat. It’s a great crowd pleaser as well for those who have never seen em.
- Taste and season as you prefer. Sometimes I’ll add some more rub. Serve with your favorite condiments and/or sides.
- The leftovers
- Refrigerated: The beauty of this recipe is any leftovers can be easily shared like new for a few days after. Tip: A pro once told me if you end up with dried out pulled pork, put a little Original Coca-Cola mixed into the pulled pork. It will rehydrate without messing up the flavor profile.
- Frozen: Another great hack is to take leftover portions and put them in a vac-seal bag, flatten and freeze. We used to do this on our boat – just pop them into very hot/boiling water for about 20 minutes and you have great tasting pulled pork tacos, sandwiches or just the stuff in between.