Normally when you think of pulled pork you think of a typical sweet with some heat, North Carolina style pulled pork. Today I’m trying something a little different, and going with a central Texas, pepper based rub for my pulled pork.

Smoked low and slow to make some amazing pulled pork sandwiches, taquitos, or anything you can dream up!

Pulled Porked cooked low and slow over apple and hickory pellets. Coated with a pepper based central Texas style rub that makes for a one of a kind pulled pork that everyone will love!

After doing some research on how to smoke my pork butt, I read through Aaron Franklin’s Meat Smoking Manifesto – which I highly recommend picking up if you’re into making your own barbecue – and saw that he does his pulled pork a little different.

Using central Texas style rub which starts with  1 part salt, 1 part pepper, I decided to take some inspiration from the man who has barbecue nailed down and take my own take on it!

Pulled Porked cooked low and slow over apple and hickory pellets. Coated with a pepper based central Texas style rub that makes for a one of a kind pulled pork that everyone will love!

I woke up at around 5am and started preparing my Pork shoulder (which I’ll go into more detail in another post). You’ll want to start early as possible, it’s better to have your pork butt done earlier than late. You can always keep it wrapped in foil and placed in a cooler, and it will hold its temperature for a few hours.

Pulled Porked cooked low and slow over apple and hickory pellets. Coated with a pepper based central Texas style rub that makes for a one of a kind pulled pork that everyone will love!

So who here is on the wrap in foil team? I’ve seen a lot of conversation on both sides of the table. Some say wrapping will give you mushy bark, others will say not wrapping, makes it too crunchy and smoky. I’ve so far have stuck with wrapping, and find that once my pork rest for about 30-45 minutes, the bark comes out great!

Pulled Porked cooked low and slow over apple and hickory pellets. Coated with a pepper based central Texas style rub that makes for a one of a kind pulled pork that everyone will love!

Low and slow for pulled pork

I cooked my pork butt at around 235(ish) for about 4-5 hours on my Traeger P34, spritzing every hour after the 2 hour mark. Once the internal temparature was at around 155-160, you’ll want to tightly wrap in foil so that it doesn’t take on anymore smoke.

At this point, you can even raise your temperature a little higher to expedite the process. I continued cooking at 275 and had everything done at the 8-9 hour mark for a 7 pound pork butt.

Pulled Porked cooked low and slow over apple and hickory pellets. Coated with a pepper based central Texas style rub that makes for a one of a kind pulled pork that everyone will love!

Ultimately you’re cooking your pork but for as long as it needs for it to be done. You’ll looking for an internal temperately ranging anywhere from 195-210. You want the blade bone to easily pull out from the pork butt, which I’ve found so far 203-205 is the sweet spot!

If you’re going with my texas style rub, you’ll have a nice dark bark, similar to a brisket, with a good pepper flavor, with a hint of sweetness and all sorts of juice from the pork. Stay tuned for some more low and slow barbecue recipes this summer!

Texas Style Pulled Pork

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 9 hours
Servings: 10 people
Print Recipe

Ingredients

TEXAS STYLE PORK RUB

  • 1/2 cup kosher salt USE KOSHER, NOT TABLE SALT
  • 1/2 cup ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup paprika
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp granulated garlic
  • 2 tbsp granulated onion
  • 2 tbsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp celery salt

PULLED PORK

  • 8-10 lb pork shoulder
  • 2 tbsp yellow mustard
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar/apple juice in a spritzer bottle

Instructions

  • Prepare your pork butt. trimming any excess fat leaving about 1/4 inch of fat on the fat cap side. Trim off any unwanted glands or cartridge as well. Pat dry with a paper towel, then spread a light coat of mustard.
  • With your rub ingredients combined, liberally coat your pork butt. You shouldn't see anything but your rub on the pork.
  • Preheat your smoker to 235. Place your pork butt, fat side up on the grates. Close the smoker and don't peek for about 2 hours. Spritz every hour after the 2 hour mark.
  • At around the 4-5 hour mark start probing for temperature. When you get to about 160, it's time to wrap. Taking a couple 18x30 sheets of aluminum foil. Remove your pork butt from the grates with a towel and place on the foil fat side down; spritz one more time. Wrap as tightly as possible so that you don't lose any of that bark. Double wrap so that the foil doesn't tear on the grates.
  • At this point your pork butt has taken all the smoke its going to get. You can either leave the temperature at 235, or increase to around 275 to speed up the process. Place the pork butt fat side down onto the grate and close. Probe for tenderness and temperature at the 7 or 8 hour mark until the internal temperature is around 200-205. If you can easily pull the blade from the meat, you're ready to take off the grill.
  • Keep wrapped and let rest off the grill for about 30-45 minutes. Pull away and enjoy!

Notes

Wood tip: I use a 30/70 blend of apple to hickory pellets in my pellet grill.
If your pulled pork is done earlier than you desire, keep wrapped in foil, and place in a cooler, packed with paper. This will hold the temperature for at least 2-3 hours!

Smoked Pulled Porked cooked low and slow over apple and hickory pellets. Coated with a pepper based central Texas style rub that makes for a one of a kind pulled pork that everyone will love!

 

 

 

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