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!
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!
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.
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!
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.
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!