Whether you are in New England, Hawaii, Texas or Alaska everyone has their version of smoked pork shoulder/butt AKA pulled pork recipe. The mention invokes thoughts of the tender pork with that smoke flavor permeating through. Sauces can vary rather wildly by region. From sweet to spice or the vinegar sauces of the Carolina's, everyone has their version. This is our place to gather all those excellent pulled pork recipes, with their sauces and condiments.
The basics that seem to run through most of the pulled pork recipe regions are as follows:
1. The pork will be cooked "low and slow" to an internal temperature of 190 degrees.
2. Most will use some sort of dry rub on the outside of the shoulder/butt.
3. Many will use a mop during the long smoking process.
4. Sauces are actually optional, a beautifully smoked pork should be able to stand on it's own.
I developed this pulled pork recipe on the amazing California central coast and Paso Robles Wine Country. Around here, Oak is the wood of choice for the smoker and with the incredible Paso Robles Zinfandels making a OVZ sauce seemed a natural. By the way, OVZ stands for Old Vine Zinfandel.
Rub your pork shoulder/butt with your favorite rub. Try our RRR Rib and Chicken Rub it works great on this recipe. Allow to stand for a few hours or overnight in the refrigerator.
If you are using a boned pork butt, I like to tie it up into the more or less original shape using butcher twine. This evens out the cooking time.
Soak your wood chips if necessary
Heat your smoker to 225 degrees and smoke your pork until it reaches the target heat of 190 degrees. I set up a drip pan with water under the butts to catch drips and bring some humidity to the smoking process. This also will avoid flare up fires as the pork will drip quite a bit of fat during the cooking process. Especially if you are using live coals or wood, this is mandatory. Depending on the size, bone in or bone out, etc smoking may take six to eight hours.
When the pork is done remove from the smoker and allow to rest for thirty minutes. Depending not the application the pork can be shredded, chunked or sliced. It should be very tender and fall apart pretty easily. Yum, I am getting hungry writing this.
½ 750 ml. bottle Zinfandel try to find one that's not too expensive OVZ if you can!
4 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon orange marmalade
1 tablespoon coarse Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 ½ teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon ancho chile powder
½ teaspoon pasilla chile powder
½ teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon black pepper
Combine all in a non-reactive pan and simmer for 15 minutes on low heat. Allow to rest for a couple of hours and the flavors to combine.