Pulled Pork Sandwiches

July 12, 2012

I’ve made the few Pulled Pork recipe (see here and here). But with the recent heat wave, I wanted a recipe that I could cook outside on the grill. Unfortunately, the final 2 hours required me to cook the pork inside, which meant my kitchen heated up to about 80-degrees. However, the heat in the kitchen was worth the pain, because the pulled pork turned out fantastic. You should start the spice rub the night before, and it will take you the entire day to make. This recipe is 15-years-old, so I adopted some techniques from newer recipes to help even out the cooking (see comments below). The sauce was rich but not too overpowering, and not too vinegary like the Lexington pulled pork. Overall, 4-1/2-star. The best pulled pork I’ve had.

Delicious, but takes the whole day to make.


  1. The recipe as originally written takes 10 hours. I cut a few hours off my slicing the roast horizontally to create two smaller roasts. In my opinion, this was two benefits. First, the interior of the meat will come up to temperature much quicker, resulting in more evenly cooked meat. Second, the spice rub has twice as much surface area to work it’s magic. Chris Kimball sometimes uses this horizontal slicing technique in his more modern recipes, and I think it worked out perfectly all around.
  2. Another recent development in slow-roasting is to place a few unlit charcoal briquettes technique underneath the lit charcoal. This extends the life of the fire so that the temperature stay above 300-degrees for at least two hours. For the third hour, I still had to add more briquettes.
  3. I put the dry rub on the roast at 10AM

Rating: 4-1/2 star.
Cost: $16.
How much work? Medium.
How big of a mess?  Medium.
Start time 12 Noon. Dinner time 6:30 PM.

Here is the original Cook’s Illustrated link to for this recipe. The recipe for the sauce is here. The descriptions of how I prepared the recipe today is as follows:

Pulled Pork Recipe:

1 tablespoon ground black pepper
1-1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon dried oregano
4 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons table salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon ground white pepper
1 bone-in Boston butt pork roast, 6 to 8 pounds

  1. Combine all spices in a small bowl and stir to combine.
  2. Slice roast horizontally into two thinner roasts. Evenly spread the spice rub into the roast. Use two layers of plastic wrap to tightly wrap, put on a plate and refrigerate overnight (or for at least 3 hours).
  3. Remove roast from refrigerator 1 hour before cooking. Soak four 3″ wood chunks in tap water, using a plate to ensure that the wood stays below the surface of the water.
  4. About 15 minutes before cooking, light a chimney starter half-filled with briquettes
  5. When the charcoal is ready, spread 10 unlit briquettes on one side of the grill. Even spread the lit charcoal ontop of the unlit coals, leaving half the grill completely empty. Put the soaked wood chunks ontop of charcoal, and replace the cooking grate. Open the bottom vents completely and the top vents half-way.
  6. Put the roast in a disposable aluminum pan, and put it on the cool side of the grill. Cover so that the vents are over the meat, which will draw the smoke to better flavor the meat.
  7. After two hours, add 8 to 10 additional briquettes so that you can maintain a cooking temperature of 275-degrees. Cook for a total of 3 hours on the grill.
  8. About 15 minutes before the meat is ready to come off the grill, set a rack to the middle of your oven. Preheat to 325-degrees.
  9. Cover the pan tightly with heavy-duty aluminum foil and bake for 2 more hours; until the meat is “fork-tender”.
  10. Put the entire pan in a brown paper bag and fold it shut. Let the roast rest for an hour inside the bag.
  11. Empty the meat onto a cutting board and separate into large sections along the lines of the fat. Scrape away any excess fat. Use your fingers (or forks) to thinly shred and put meat into a large bowl. Add 1 cup of BBQ sauce and stire to combine. Serve of buns or bread as sandwiches.

Western South Carolina-Style Barbecue Sauce Recipe:

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 medium onion
2 medium cloves garlic
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon table salt
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup ketchup

  1. Mince the onion and peel the garlic.
  2. Put a 2-qt saucepan over a medium burner and pre-heat oil  until shimmering. Add the onion and saute for 5 minutes. Press garlic directly into the pan and cook for 1 minute.
  3. Add all the remaining ingredients (except for the ketchup). Stir to combine, bring up to a boil.
  4. Reduce burner to low and add ketchup. Cook for 15 more minutes until the sauce has thickened.

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