Cook pulled pork, make an excellent sandwich
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Cooking Pork for
Pulled Pork Sandwiches
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pulled pork sandwich

Pork / Cook Pulled Pork - The Crown Jewel of Sandwiches

There are two schools of thought when it comes to pulled pork although they probably both require sweet tea. One school makes a vinegar based sauce, East Carolinas. The other makes a tomato base sauce, West Carolinas. Both are excellent.

Bryan's Pulled Pork Video, click here: Includes recipes for both types of sauce at the end.

Traditional pulled pork, comes from devoting hours to make a perfectly cooked, preferably smoked pork butt. Other names for this cut of pork are Boston shoulder roast, Boston roast, Boston butt, Shoulder butt and Shoulder blade roast. These are all considered pork butt.

It is common for a pork butt to be slow smoked for 12 hours or more. This creates pork that falls off the bone and is perfect for a pulled pork sandwich.

Best Tools, Best Results

Buy a dual digital thermometer. We use a Maverick ET-73. There are newer versions but the one we have still works fine. This will take all the guess work out of making perfect BBQ.

Use quality lump charcoal. Briquettes sometimes use fillers in them and impart an inferior flavor. You will have to keep an eye on the temperature as lump or chunk charcoals will burn unevenly but the flavor is superior and worth the extra effort.

Preparing pork butt for cooking

A large pork butt (8 lbs) is prepared a couple ways and in combination. You can trim the fat or leave it, both are good. Take the time to rinse off the butt and dry it before continuing.

In recent years injecting marinades has become more familiar to the general public. We prefer injecting pork butt as well as applying a dry rub before cooking. A simple injected marinade for pulled pork is as follows;

Pork Marinade for injecting into pork butt

  • 1 1/2 cups apple juice or cider
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Knox's Chipotle BBQ dry rub

Mix all the ingredients together and stir before loading your injector. Inject a fair amount of marinade every couple of inches all over the pork butt.

We also prefer using a dry rub seasoning blend, for obvious reasons. Knox's Chipotle BBQ dry rub seasoning is an excellent pulled pork seasoning. When using a dry rub seasoning it is common to rub the pork butt with mustard. You can use any type of mustard you want from simple yellow mustard to a fancy stone ground mustard, what ever you like. We find that using mustards with whole mustard seed does not work as well and may fall off.

Cooking Pork Butt for pulled pork

Pork butt for a pulled pork sandwich is generally cooked on a grill with indirect heat using chunks of hickory for a rich smoky flavor. If you have a smoker with a side smoker box you are probably already familiar. If not, you can pour hot coals from a chimney starter over soaked hickory chunks to achieve a thick smoke.

Cook the injected and rubbed pork butt between 220 - 250°F. Your goal is to achieve an internal temperature of about 180°-190°F over a 10 to 15 hour period. Rule of thumb would be 1 1/2 to 2 hours per pound. Some would say you need an internal temperature of 200 but we have excellent results from 180 to 190 degrees with a good 30 minutes or more of resting afterwards.

Place the Pork Butt fat side up on the grate. It is very important that you do not open the cooker. With a good remote thermometer you will be able to check the temperature without opening the cooker.

When the internal temperature is met. Take the pork butt off and wrap it in foil and place in a small cooler and loosely packed with balled up newspaper. This will allow the butt to slow rest and is very important to the process. Slow resting allows the juices to redistribute and become very tender. Allow to rest for about an hour.

When you have perfectly cooked pork you are halfway to having excellent pulled pork. Take the cooked pork and with a fork pull it apart by pulling the fork along the grain of the meat. You can also use your hands to break apart the meat as it will be very tender. You will find a list of breads and toppings for your sandwich. Experiment, enjoy and eat well.

Pulled Pork Sandwiches

One of the most coveted of sandwiches is the pulled pork sandwich. We like to toss pulled pork in a vinegar based BBQ sauce and top of the sandwich with a tomato based BBQ sauce. You are now ready to build the ultimate sandwich.

The bread: toasted. Below is a list of tasty breads to place your sandwich.

  • Hamburger Buns
  • French Bread
  • Sandwich Rolls
  • Onion Roll
  • Kaiser Roll

Once you have piled on the pulled pork smothered it with sauce you can add your toppings. This is only limited by your imagination. Some of our favorite toppings are listed below.

  • Cole Slaw
  • Hot Pepper Relish
  • Corn Relish
  • Pickles
  • Shredded Lettuce
  • Cheese
  • Hot Peppers
  • Pickled Hot Peppers
  • More Barbecue Sauce

Serve warm with a giant slice of pickle and don't forget the sweet tea, please.

If you have a pulled pork sauce recipe you would like to share, please send it to info@knoxspice.com


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