Who brought the butt to the party? Pork butt that is! Pork butt is actually actually the shoulder of the pig. Little fun fact right there, eh? I know that as a child I always was wondering why we were eating a butt. It is the gift that keeps on giving, though. Pulled Pork is one of those dishes that seems bottomless. There’s always going to be leftovers, no way around it.
Pulled pork is one of those things that, when done right, is to die for. Have you ever Google searched pulled pork? Everyone has their own trick, their own way, and their own reasoning why their pulled pork is the best. It is a topic that every cook, pit master, or tailgater has an opinion on. Some go low and slow, some go hot and fast. Some like to use rubs and sauces, others just rubs. I like to let the meat speak for itself.
I remember the first time I made pulled pork, my dad asked me where the sauce was – I somewhat expected that. A lot of restaurants in Nebraska use different kinds of sauce with their pulled pork. There’s nothing wrong with that, to each their own. Nothing is more tempting than a juicy piece of pork that melts in your mouth.
In the world of smoking meat, a electric smoker is also called a “cheater” smoker. Which it is, but if you’re not in a competition, who cares? I love the bark that comes from wood and charcoal fires, but I also love not having to sit outside, babysitting the smoker. By “babysitting” the smoker, I mean staring at the thermometer, and keeping kids away from the hot box. I have found that when I host a gathering of individuals my Masterbuilt Electric Smoker is the way to go. This way I can entertain, make sides, or chase Atticus around. I like to use hickory, oak, or pecan wood when smoking pork. I use a bowl of apple juice or cider vinegar for added moisture as well (water works too).
You know those old Nuwave oven infomercials? Set it, and Forget it! Same basic principle, but adding wood chips. I like the low and slow method, cooking by butts at 225° until they reach an internal temperature of 203°. Pork is cooked at 145°, why over cook it? Cooking Pork butts to a range of 195° to 208° breaks down the tendons and starts to melt the fat like butter. At 225° an 8 pound butt takes 10 to 12 hours to cook. The equation is 1.5 hours per pound, plus cooking temperature, and the environment – because it also affects the cook time.
See how the fat split? That’s a sign of the butts being done. When I use my charcoal smoker I wrap the butts in foil around the halfway mark. This helps to reduce the chance of over smoking your butts. This also helps to avoid the stall in temperature that can occur. When it comes to prep, I like to coat mine with one of my rubs. This is my go-to, I try a lot of spice blends. Sadly I forget to write them down. Once the butts reach the desired temperature, pull it out and let it rest for an hour. This is to let the juices soak back up into the meat, and make your kitchen smell amazing!
After that, pull the pork and serve!
- My Rub (or your favorite barbecue season)
- Pork Butt. (10 pound butt feeds 15 adults and children)
- Apply rub.
- Preheat smoker to 225° with wood chips or chunks, depending on design of the smoker.
- Wrap the meat in foil at the halfway point if using charcoal or wood burning.
- Once internal temperature lands between 195° to 208° remove from smoker.
- Cover and rest for one hour
- Pull apart, and serve – I usually rest them in the same pan I pull them). This helps to retain all the juices, and less clean up.
Please feel free to leave your favorite way to eat pulled pork, or how you create yours.