Pulled Pork BBQ

Courtesy of Ed Hoffmann

For each pork shoulder: 5 to 8 lb. or so.

Night before – rub prepared rub generously into the shoulder – all over – cover and refrigerate. Soak wood chips for smoke.

Next morning – early – take pork out of refrigerator. Go outside and build two 20 briquette fires in your Weber – one on each side tucked against the wall of the kettle. Put a sturdy grease catcher down the middle of the fire grate.

When briquettes are ashed over, place a generous amount of wood chunks on them. Put on the upper grill and place pork in the center – fat side up AND, don’t use a fork on it, you’ll lose precious moisture! Set bottom vents about 3/4 open. Put on lid and set top vents about halfway open. (You can do 2 shoulders on a 22in. Weber)

After around 1-1/2 hours or so add several briquettes to each fire and more wood for smoke.

Do it again.

Do it again – and maybe again!

It will take 6 to 8 hours SLOW cooking to get the internal temperature up to 190 to 200 degrees. Don’t try to hurry the process and DON’T OPEN THE LID MORE THAN ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY! If the meat seems to be cooking a little too fast close down the bottom vents a bit and cut back on the briquettes a bit. DON’T TRY TO TURN OR MOVE THE MEAT – it doesn’t need it. Leave it alone!

When the meat gets up to temperature, you should have a beautiful mahogany crust on it (from smoke and caramelized sugars). Remove it and allow it to cool to a temperature where you can pull it apart by hand. You’ll be able to strip out most of the connective and fatty tissue as you break the muscle groups out. As you shred, BE SURE TO INCLUDE AS MUCH OF THE DARK CRUST AS YOU CAN, even if you have to strip it off the fatty surfaces. You may need to chop up some of the longer meat strands.

Try to serve as soon as possible but if not, keep well covered and warm.

If serving on buns, top with sauce of choice and a dollop of spicy slaw. If plating you’ll want to keep meat in larger chunks and cut to serving size.