It’s hard to beat a good pulled pork sandwich but you don’t always have 8-10 hours to cook it low and slow. This recipe will turn out some fantastic pulled pork in a fraction of the time. All you will need is a good quality pork butt, a few basic seasonings, a healthy dose of “Swine Life Mississippi Grind“, and reliable smoker.
To start we have to prep the pork butts. Start by taking them out of the package and rinsing them off with cold water. Once they have been rinsed, you can pat them dry and get them placed on a cutting board or your prep area. There is not much trimming that needs to be done since these butts are going to be pulled. I do like to square the butts up and remove any small pieces that may be hanging off.
The next step is something that I feel like adds a little extra flavor and a special treat for the lucky person that pulls the butts when they are ready to serve. I score the fat about 1/2″ deep all the way across both directions. This gives you a little more surface area to apply the rub plus it creates perfect little burnt ends that are unbelievable! Once you get the butts scored its time to get some flavor on them.
With a larger cut of meat like a pork butt you always want to make sure you get plenty of flavor on the outside. This recipe starts with a simple “Texas Style” pre rub. This flavor is always a hit and compliments “Swine Life Mississippi Grind” very well.
“Texas Style” Pre-Rub
1 cup Sea Salt
1 cup Course Black Pepper
1/4 cup Crushed Red Pepper
Once you get the pre-rub mixed up well you can then apply a heavy coat to all sides of the butt. Make sure you get down in the cuts where you scored the fat.
Now that you have a good base layer of salt and pepper it’s time to bring in the flavor of your favorite BBQ rub. Of course we will be using our “Swine Life Mississippi Grind” but any rub that you prefer will work just as well. You want to make sure to get a good heavy coat. Be careful with rubs that have a lot of sugar as it is easy to burn the sugars at the temps in which we will be cooking.
While the rub is starting to do its magic it’s a great time to get the pit fired up and up to temp. I will be cooking on a Gateway Drum Smoker with Royal Oak Chef Select Charcoal. You can’t beat the flavor you get by cooking directly over the coals and these drums love to cook at 300 plus degrees. With any pit, give yourself plenty of time to get it up to temp and stabilized. We want to hold temps in the 325 to 350 range during the whole cook.
Once you get the pit up to temp you are ready to add your wood. I am using a few chunks of cherry and a few pieces of onion that I have cut up. I love the smell of onions on the fire and you can’t help but think it makes the finished product better. Now it’s time to get to cooking!
Depending on the style of cooker you are using, you will need to decide if you want to start the butts fat side up or down. I will be putting them fat side down since the coals are directly below the butts. I want to get a good bark on the scored fat to get those perfect little pork burnt ends. If your heat comes from the top of the pit, you will be fine with running them fat side up.
Now its time to hold a steady temp between 325 and 350. Don’t worry about basting or spraying with this recipe. We are going for the best bark you can get in just a short amount of time. At the 1 hour mark, I am going to give them a flip just to keep the color even. This is totally up to you and how your cooker is running.
At the 2 hour mark it’s time to wrap. I like to wrap in a pan if the space is available to do so. At this point in the cook you should have plenty of color and a good bark. I am going to baste the butts with some Killer Hogs Vinegar Sauce. Since we are cooking at a higher temp you want to make sure to keep an eye on the internal temps. I will be using the ThermoWorks DOT. You should be in the 140-150 range at this point. Wrap them up tight and get them back on as soon as you can.
Once you get them back on the pit all you have to do is hold temp and wait. After the butts are wrapped, the cooking process is going to speed up. You should hit 195-200 after about 2 hours being wrapped. Once you hit that temp, it’s time to get them off the pit and let them rest. Cooking at a higher temp is going to cause the butts to carry over more so it is critical to get them off the pit in time. I let them sit out on the counter for about 30 minutes to help slow them down before I place them in a dry cooler to rest for a few hours.
After a few hours in the cooler its time to bust the babies open and get a bite! I always like breaking the butts down before its time to eat so you aren’t rushed and Cousin Eddie isn’t standing over you eating everything you are pulling. Once you get them pulled and in a pan, take some of the au jus from the pan and pour into the pulled pork. Add a little of you favorite BBQ rub and you will have the whole party fighting over the last bite!
Don’t forget to try those little heavenly morsels of perfectly cooked pork burnt ends!