Pulled Pork Shoulder

This grilled main dish with its peppery, vinegary sauce take its cues from the barbecues of North and South Carolina.

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  • Makes: 12 servings
  • Serving Size: 4 1/4 ounce
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Grill: 4 hrs
  • Stand: 15 mins
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Pulled Pork Shoulder
Ingredients
6
hickory wood chunks or 3 cups hickory wood chips
1/3
cup Davis Dry Rub (see below)
1
5 pound boneless pork shoulder roast (sold in some regions as Boston butt)
1
Vinegar Barbecue Sauce
12
soft white hamburger buns
 
Bottled hot pepper sauce (optional)
 
Kohlrabi Coleslaw (see Recipe Center)
Directions
    Smoker Instructions:
  1. At least 1 hour before smoke-cooking, soak wood chunks or chips in enough water to cover. Drain before using.
  2. Sprinkle Davis Dry Rub evenly over meat; rub in with your fingers. In a smoker arrange preheated coals, drained wood chunks, and water pan according to manufacturers directions. Pour water into pan. Place roast on the grill rack over water pan. Cover; smoke for 4 to 5 hours or until roast is very tender. Add additional coals and water as needed to maintain temperature and moisture. (Do not add more wood after the first 2 hours of smoking. Too much smoke makes roast bitter.)
  3. Remove roast from smoker. Cover roast with foil; let stand for 15 minutes. Using two forks, gently pull the roast into long thin strands. Mix about 1-1/2 cups Vinegar Barbecue Sauce with the pork to slightly moisten the meat.
  4. To serve, pile pork onto buns. Sprinkle with hot pepper sauce. Serve with remaining Vinegar Barbecue sauce and Kohlrabi Coleslaw. Makes 12 (4-1/4-ounce) to 18 servings.
From the Test Kitchen
25 SERVINGS:

Prepare two 5- to 5-1/2-pound boneless pork shoulder roasts. Smoke two roasts at a time on a smoker or grill. Prepare Vinegar Barbecue Sauce for 25. Pull pork as in Step 3. To serve, combine each pulled roast with 1-1/2 cups sauce in a 4-quart Dutch oven. Replenish pork as needed, do not allow meat to sit out for more than 2 hours.

50 SERVINGS:

Prepare four 5- to 5-1/2-pound boneless pork shoulder roasts. Smoke two roasts at a time on a smoker or grill. Prepare Vinegar Barbecue Sauce for 50. Pull pork as in Step 3. To serve, combine each pulled roast with 1-1/2 cups sauce in a 4-quart Dutch oven. Replenish pork as needed, do not allow meat to sit out more than two hours.

GAS GRILL INSTRUCTIONS:

start with a full tank of propane. Adjust heat for indirect cooking over medium-low heat. Add soaked wood chunks according to manufacturers directions. Or wrap in foil and add to grill. Place pork shoulder on a rack in a roasting pan; set pan on grill rack over the unlit burner. Add 1/2 inch of water to pan. Cover and smoke 4 hours or until very tender, adding water to pan if necessary. Do not add more wood after the first 2 hours of smoking. Serve as directed above.

CHARCOAL GRILL INSTRUCTIONS:

Prepare grill for indirect grilling. Arrange medium-hot coals around a foil pan. Fill drip pan with 1-inch of hot water. Test for medium heat above the drip pan. Add presoaked chunks or chips to coals. Place roast on grill rack and cover. Smoke as directed above, making sure to check food, temperature, and water once every hour. Do not add more wood after the first 2 hours of smoking. Serve as directed above.

Test Kitchen Tip:

To make ahead, prepare as above through Step 3. Cover and refrigerate up to 3 days. Reheat in a Dutch oven over medium heat, stirring occasionally.

Davis Dry Rub
Ingredients
1/2
cup paprika
1/3
cup black pepper
1/4
cup salt
1/4
cup chili powder
1/4
cup ground cumin
1/4
cup packed brown sugar
3
tablespoons granulated sugar
2
tablespoons cayenne pepper
Directions
  1. In a small bowl stir together paprika, black pepper, salt, chili powder, cumin, brown sugar, sugar, and cayenne pepper. Transfer to a small airtight container or bag. Store at room temperature up to 6 months.
Nutrition Facts (Pulled Pork Shoulder)
    Per serving:
  • 439 kcal cal.,
  • 15 g fat
  • (5 g sat. fat,
  • 2 g polyunsaturated fat,
  • 6 g monounsatured fat),
  • 125 mg chol.,
  • 1012 mg sodium,
  • 34 g carb.,
  • 2 g fiber,
  • 10 g sugar,
  • 42 g pro.
  • Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet
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