I may have been born in New York City but I’m a country boy at heart. It was nearing the time to “Feed The Beast” so I prepped my smoker to make my “FTB Pulled Pork”. Prep time is about ten minutes and smoke time is about nine hours. So what’s a country boy supposed to do that entire time? Simple! Pull up a chair, put on some tunes and enjoy an ice cold cooler filled with PBR. As you explore the recipe below, I’ll be singing “My days are all filled with an easy country charm. Thank God I’m a country boy.”
Before getting started, you need to decide on a rub. You can use a store bought rub or create your own. They are relatively simple to make. If you read my blog “The Beast’s Baby Backs” I used one of my types of rub, The one below is different. This rub gives a nice sweet heat. Like my baby back rub, I make a jar in the beginning of the season so I have it readily available.
For pulled pork I use a bone-in Boston butt. It is extremely important to score the fat cap. I perform a crisscross pattern. This will let the dry rub penetrate into the pork. Do not cut off the fat cap. As the fat renders, it will add an incredible amount of flavor. You can remove any that is remaining when the pork is done. I wouldn’t, but you can. When applying the rub, you want to cover the pork completely and be generous with it.
It’s time to get your smoker going. For pulled pork I use two thirds apple wood and one third hickory. I enjoy the contrasting flavors for this type of meat. Pork butt releases a lot of grease, so make sure your drip pan has ample water throughout the cook. You don’t want to have a grease fire. Smoked pork butt good! Grease fire bad!
When your smoker reaches 250 degrees, it’s time to put your pork butt in. I prefer putting it on the second rack in my smoker. Each smoker cooks differently. Through trial and error, I found this works best for mine. You want to maintain your smoker at a constant 250 degrees during the entire smoking process.
Each hour on the hour, open the smoker, spin it and spritz the pork butt. I fill a spray bottle with a mixture of half apple juice and half apple cider vinegar. Starting about three hours in, you want to start probing it with a meat thermometer in a few spots. A digital one works best. Around five hours into the cook time the pork butt should be around 160 to 165 degrees. Once it reaches that temperature and has nice color, it’s time to wrap the pork.
Many people wrap the meat they smoke with aluminum foil. There was a time that I did as well. I’ve since switched to red butcher paper and I will never turn back. The Butcher paper absorbs grease and does not create a situation where you can accidentally steam the piece of meat that you are smoking.
Take the pork butt out and lay it down on a large enough piece of the butcher paper so you can properly wrap it. Then spread out another piece of the paper and wrap it again. You want to start at one end, rolling it over and folding in the sides as you go. Once it’s wrapped, put the meat back into the smoker.
After approximately two hours probe the pork through the paper to get an updated temperature. Then continue probing every hour on the hour. Once you get a reading of 195 degrees, you can take it out. Keeping it wrapped, place it in a large rectangular baking dish. Leave it to rest for about an hour. This will lock all the juices into the pork.
After an hour, unwrap the pork butt. At this point, you can remove the remaining fat cap. Even though I cannot conceive why you would want to do so. It contains so much flavor. Grab the exposed section of the bone and gently pull. The bone should slide out clean. Now it’s time to start shredding the pork. Wearing a pair of gloves, take both hands and start pulling the pork apart. Now you have a wonderful and delicious dish of pulled pork.
What you do with it at this point is completely up to you. Some ideas is making pulled pork sandwiches (I know obvious), sliders, pulled pork tacos, chili, pulled pork hash, put some on top of a hamburger, eat it with a fork, etc. Get creative and go hog wild!
Dry Rub Ingredients – for one bone-in Boston butt.
- 1/2 Cup Kosher salt
- 3/4 Cup packed brown sugar
- 3 Tbs. Coarse black pepper
- 4 Tbs. Onion powder
- 2 Tbs. Garlic powder
- 1/2 Tsp. Paprika
- 1 Tsp. Celery powder
- 1/2 Tsp. Cayenne pepper
- 1/2 Tsp. Chipotle powder
Mix all together and liberally cover the entire pork butt.