This is an American classic that should be experienced properly. The very best way to make this is to smoke it long and slow on a natural charcoal grill. But if you must, the oven or a slow cooker will suffice. Especially in the winter. Frostbite will definitely decrease your enjoyment of this tasty treat. For me this dish is for the heart of summer time.
I started with about with about 8 lbs of pork shoulder and cut it into 4 pieces. More surface area equals more of the “bark”. Bark is that smoky, dark crust on the outside of the meat when it’s completely smoked/cooked. Mmmmm…. Directions are as follows:
- 8 lbs of pork shoulder, cut into 4 pieces – or whatever fits in the pan that will go on your grill
- Spice rub, salt and pepper, and brown sugar
- Apple juice
- Wood chips for smoking – I used apple wood, soak them in water for about a half hour before use
Rub the meat liberally with the spice rub, salt and pepper and brown sugar. Don’t worry about amounts. Just coat the meat and rub it in! A cup or so of apple juice in the bottom of the pan and you’re ready. Set your grill to about 225F, place the pork in a pan that will fit your grill, and maintain that temperature for about 8 hours or until the meat is fork tender. Allow meat to cool a bit and shred with two forks – hence the name pulled pork. Separate the fat from the liquid and pour the liquid back into the pulled pork.
Now for the sauce. The Carolina style means vinegar plus other flavors. It’s supposed to be thin and really compliments the flavor of the pork. Don’t skip this part if you’ve never had it. It’s a different experience from the sweet, sticky, Kansas City style sauce. The world needs both! And for sure there are about a thousand or more recipes for BBQ sauce – just like spice rubs – you should try them all and become a connoisseur. Ha.
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 2 Tbsp yellow mustard
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
Simmer for 5 minutes and you’re done. Again, this is a very thin sauce so use sparingly at first. I put it in a ketchup type bottle.
Top it with cole slaw and serve it with some sweet tea and all will be well with the world. Truthfully…I don’t drink my tea “sweet” but it seems like the right thing to do.
Now breathe in the steamy summer air and the aroma of BBQ and slow down. It’s for your own good. And mine too.