A Smokin’ Good Recipe for Pulled Pork

Matt's Kit., BGE, cropped

If you have a Big Green Egg and you’ve never tried pulled pork, you are missing out on one of the biggest treats you can get from the Egg.  This recipe is an adaptation of a few other common recipes by one of Werever’s own staff. Not that any of the other methods are difficult, but this one yields perfect pulled pork with very little skill! It takes some time, but it isn’t difficult.

Ingredients and Tools

Big Green Egg

The Big Green Egg Conveggtor (formerly called the plate setter)

A drip pan

A meat thermometer (the kind you leave-in and can read without opening your Egg is ideal)

1 to 3 Boston Butts (approximately 5 pounds each)

Your favorite rub

Apple Juice

Heavy Duty Aluminum Foil

Saran Wrap

Yellow mustard

A bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce

Smoking chips (either apple wood or cherry wood)

A cooler with a towel inside

Silicone gloves and two big forks

Step-by-step instructions:

The night before:

1. Smear yellow mustard all over the butt and sprinkle a heavy layer of your favorite rub. Trust me, it will NOT taste like mustard-pork when you are done.  The idea here is to help the rub stick to the pork and create a nice flavor-filled crust.  Something magic happens to the yellow mustard as it cooks… the mustard taste disappears.  Since mustard doesn’t contain sugar, the crust will not carmelize or burn.

2. Cover the butt(s) in Saran Wrap, refrigerate, and allow to sit overnight

3. Wash your hands because they’re probably covered in mustard. Then, go grab a drink and start bragging to your family and friends about how hard you’ve worked and how awesome dinner will be tomorrow.

4.  Soak a few cups of wood chips in water overnight.  A Rubbermaid container works nicely.

A side note on smoke: try apple wood or cherry wood.  Skip the mesquite or hickory unless you’re positive you like an intensely smoked flavor.  But trust me, your guests will thank you for picking a mild wood like cherry or apple when they’re not burping up a forest fire all night after eating dinner with you. And again, you can brag some more because you’ll sound sophisticated and refined when you tell everyone you’ve selected some cherry wood for a sublime smoky flavor.

BGE, smoking

Early the day of cooking:

1.  Set your alarm and get up early. And don’t worry, the earlier you start the more sympathy points you’ll get later in the day. Plan on about a 12-hour cook time.

2. Set up your Big Green Egg for 225 degrees on indirect cooking with the Conveggtor.  This is the magic temperature for slow-and-low cooking.  You’ll want to put quite a bit of charcoal in the Egg so you can cook all day without reloading.  Be sure to scatter some of your soaked wood chips from the night before among the coal. You don’t have to go crazy with the wood chips if you’re unsure how much to use. The lump charcoal alone will impart a great smoky flavor even without any added wood.

3. Set the drip pan on the Conveggtor with the legs up and then place your grid on the plate setter.  You might not catch everything with the drip pan, but don’t worry, it won’t mess up your cook.

4. Place the butt(s) on the cooking grid completely uncovered and set up your thermometer so you can monitor the temperature.

5. Cook at 225 degrees until the meat reads 160 degrees.  This will take around 8 hours, perhaps slightly less depending on the size of your butt. That’s the pork butt, not you.

Time for a product endorsement: The Big Green Egg BBQ Guru is absolutely awesome for longer cooks like pulled pork. It controls the temperature of the Egg by reading a thermometer that you clip to the inside of your Egg’s dome thermometer and then controlling a fan that feeds air to the bottom of your Egg. A simple controller allows you to set the desired temperature and also monitor a different temperature probe that stays in your meat.

6. When the meat hits 160 degrees, double-wrap the meat in a big envelope made from aluminum foil.  Add 1/3 of a cup of apple juice to the packet and return the butt to the Egg.

7. At this point it is safe to increase the Egg’s temperature to 275 degrees.  Cook until the meat’s temperature reads 195 degrees.

8. Remove the meat from the Egg, still wrapped in foil, and place it inside the cooler on a towel.  Let the meat rest for 30-60 minutes, or until your guests are ready to riot if you don’t feed them soon.

9. After the meat has rested, unwrap it and put it on a cutting board.  Be careful when you open the packets. There will be quite a bit of hot liquid in the bottom.

10. Pull off large chunks of the meat, separating the pieces of fat from the meat. There will be surprisingly little fat left. You’ll be glad you bought a pair of silicone BBQ gloves for this step.  Using the forks, start shredding the meat in a large bowl.  Add BBQ sauce as desired. Some people think it is a crime to add BBQ sauce to the meat. So if you have friends like this, don’t let them see you do this.  A little sauce adds some nice flavor and sweetness.

11.   Serve the meat plain, or put it on your favorite roll for an excellent pulled-pork sandwich. Enjoy!

Note: You can do this in advance and refrigerate the meat.  It can be reheated later without losing flavor or tenderness.