I had a play with my pulled pork butt recipe and came up with this
If cooking this for a group, you are going to need to start this pulled pork early!
I learned that the hard way back in the 80s when I prepared pulled pork butt for the first time.
It took much longer to cook than I had hoped but when we all finally got to eat, it was spot on.
This is the same pulled pork butt recipe I’ve been making ever since but with a few changes to the spicing. The Indian inspired BBQ sauce is now a firm favourite around my house.
Know what your committing too!
The day I cooked my first Boston pork butt was the day I truly fell in love with barbecue. It was the late 80s and I was quite a barbecue novice at the time.
Using a few tips from a chef friend, it was cooked to perfection but it took a long time. You need to know this before taking it on.
It’s well worth the work though and the work isn’t work at all really. Just watch that cooking temperature and open a few beers.
Make cooking pulled pork butt even less of a fuss…
When I’m spending the day outdoors, I cook this on my Kamado Joe and cook it low and slow for about 7 – 8 hours.
If you get tired of cooking outside or the weather changes, you wrap the pork butt up tightly in foil after 4 – 5 hours and continue cooking in your temperature controlled oven.
After four hours, the pork has soaked up sufficient smoke for amazing flavour.
After that, the pork has soaked in sufficient smoke for an amazing flavour.
You can wrap it up in foil and continue cooking in the oven.
When I’m cooking a boston pork butt but have a busy day, I turn on my Traeger.
That’s what I did today as I had a lot of running around to do so I wasn’t going to be home to watch the temperature.
Traeger barbecues are so easy to use. You can just set the temperature and forget it.
Pellet barbecues like the Traeger also give an excellent smoky flavour.
I’m more of a hand’s on cook so enjoy cooking on the Kamado Joe but when needs must, I love using the Traeger too.
Many people say that cooking on the Traeger is too easy. Perhaps their right but they offer optimum flavour and that’s the most important thing.
My all-purpose spice rub recipe…
This delicious spice rub is great for slow cooked meat joints like pork butt, whole chickens and beef brisket.
It’s also good on smaller cuts cooked over fire. Give it a go. You will have lots leftover but it keeps for at least three months as long as you aren’t using old spices.
You could of course scale it down if you like.
4 tbsp paprika
4 tbsp salt
4 tbsp light brown sugar or grated jaggery
4 tbsp granulated garlic
3 tbsp granulated onion
2 tbsp Kashmiri chilli powder
2 tsp black pepper
1 ½ tsp ground cumin
1 ½ tsp ground coriander
Pour all of the ingredients into a glass jar and mix well to combine. Store in a dry, cool location until ready to use.
Step by step photos…
Skin side down vs skin side down. Which is best?
There is a lot of debate about whether pork butt should be cooked skin side up or down in the barbecue community.
Some BBQ enthusiasts insist that it should be cooked skin side up.
Their argument is that if you cook it skin side (fat side) up, the fat will melt into the meat making the pork butt juicier.
The alternative is to cook it skin side down which protects the meat from the heat.
I have tried both methods and really haven’t noticed a huge difference either way. There is plenty of fat in this pork butt to keep it nice and juicy.
The Thermapen meat thermometer is the best out there! I use mine both indoors and out.
You can pick up a Thermapen here. I highly recommend and use all of the Thermapen products.
Let the meat sit after cooking
After you remove the pork from the barbecue, be sure to let it stand, wrapped in the foil for about one to two hours before pulling.
Checking for doneness…
This is barbecue so your pork butt will be ready when it’s ready.
You want the meat to be super tender for pulling. The best way to check this is to press the meat with your finger while it’s cooking in the foil. If it doesn’t spring back at you, your pork is fall apart tender.
You should literally be able to pull the bone from the centre without any trouble.
While you’re here, you might like to check out some of my other barbecue recipes…
- 1 x 3kg (6.61lb) bone in pork butt (shoulder)
- 6 tbsp all-purpose rub
- 125ml (1/2 cup) cider vinegar
- 500ml (2 cups) Indian Inspired BBQ Sauce (page 00) plus more if you want
- Build a large fire with long burning briquettes on a kettle style barbecue. Once the coals have ashed over and are really hot, shift them all over to one side of the barbecue and place a drip pan, half full with water on the side with no coals.
- If using a ceramic style barbecue with heat deflectors, there is no need to do this. Even if you don’t have heat deflectors for your ceramic BBQ, you would only need the drip pan if you want to keep the barbecue clean from dripping fat.
- Close the lid and ensure the top and bottom vents are fully open. After about 30 minutes, check the heat and adjust it by closing and opening the vents. You are aiming for a steady 107c/225f cooking temperature so open the vents more if not hot enough and close partially if too hot.
- Be sure to check the temperature every 45 minutes and add a few more lit briquettes to the burning charcoal if the barbecue is not maintaining that heat.
- Once you’ve got the heat right, rub the meat all over with 4 tbsp of the all-purpose rub. This can be done a day in advance if more convenient.
- Place the prepared pork butt, skin side down on the grill on the cool side of the barbecue and close the lid.
- Mix the vinegar with the remaining all-purpose rub and spray the meat from time to time when its looking thirsty.
- After about 4 hours of cooking at 107c/225f, the pork will have taken in a good amount of tasty smoke flavour and will be a beautiful deep brown colour.
- Transfer it to a clean surface and wrap tightly in a few layers of foil and then place it back on the grill to continue cooking for another 3 to 5 hours.
- To check for doneness, push the meat with your finger. If it doesn’t spring back at you, it’s falling apart and ready for pulling.
- Allow to rest for 1 – 2 hours in the foil wrap. Then pull it into shreds and stir in the barbecue sauce. Serve on its own with more barbecue sauce as a dip or pile it high on a bun with the garnishes of your choice.
I hope you enjoy this barbecued pulled pork recipe. If you do try it, please leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you.