North Carolina Style Pulled Pork

     This past weekend was another busy weekend for us. My wife says that next to St.Patty’s Day weekend, its her favorite weekend in Dallas….Texas/OU weekend (or what we like to call Texas/O Who? Weekend). And how do we celebrate it? With plenty of people, plenty of football, lots of adult beverages and football all day long, so like most weekends, only bigger.

     Wracking our brains to come up with a menu, we decided on doing some pulled pork. It’s a pretty easy cook, cheap and fills the bellies of the hungry football watching hordes nicely. So a quick run up to Sam’s on Thursday night and we procure the necessary porky products.

Pork Butts

     Friday, I worked a half day, so after work, Around 11, I opened the package of pork butts, rinsed them off and then tried something new for me…we injected them. I started off with Chris Lilley’s injection (which can be found all over the web, so I won’t bother posting the recipe here) but cut the salt down, added 1/2 cup of Dack Janiels and a tbsp of Stubb’s BBQ rub. Then, I slathered them with some yellow mustard and applied  a combination of Dizzy Pig’s Dizzy Dust and a homemade rub that I had concocted awhile back. Then, the butts were wrapped up and put back in the fridge to rest until later that night.

Rubbed and Ready

      After grilling up some burgers for dinner Friday night and having a few adult beverages, it was time for the butts to go on the Egg where they absorb that smokey goodness over night. They went on the Egg around 9:30, and the Egg was set at 250F with plenty of mesquite chunks to add their flavor.

Pork Butts ready to go on
     So why am I putting the pork on at 9:30? Pork butts (and shoulders) are much like brisket (although more forgiving of temperature swings.) They can take anywhere from an hour to 2 hours a pound to cook. So you have to give yourself plenty of leeway in order to make sure that you are done on time. The good thing is that like a brisket, it can be pulled when its done, wrapped in foil and then placed in a cooler filled with towels, where it can be held for up to four hours or when needed. And trust me, it will be just as steaming hot four hours later as when you pulled it off the smoker.
Butts on the Egg
     Now, what should we do to occupy ourselves until bedtime? How about Giant Jenga?
Giant Jenga

      Be careful, though. You don’t want it to fall on you.

They all fall down

      Olie was not amused by the late night and the Jenga falling down. He kept a close on eye on it and made sure to stay plenty far back so as not to get hit by falling blocks.


      The Egg did its thing all night long, and even though I was hoping and planning on the butts being ready by 10:30am at the latest, they just would not co-operate. Funny thing about bbq, sometimes its just ready when its ready.  I believe we pulled these around 12:30 once they reached 195, so they went for just around 15hrs!

Ready to be taken off
     After a 30 minute rest in the cooler, they were pulled and served up on hamburger buns, with the North Carolina Style BBQ sauce you can find on my Sauce page of this blog, along with some coleslaw. The masses were hungry and I barely had time to get this picture off, so once again there will be no plated up pics. I’ll try harder next time to fend them off for a few more minutes.
This is just one of the butts pulled and ready to eat.

     The pork turned out pretty darn good, if I do say so myself. It was moist and juicy, and the heat and twang of the sauce paired up nicely with the flavor of the pork. I can’t say that the injection really added any flavor to the butts, but I think the added moisture kept them from drying out. I may or may not skip that step next time. People ate until they were full, and plenty of people got up later during the Baylor Iowa game and went back for seconds and thirds.     

     We under estimated the amount of people coming over and over estimated the amount of meat to cook. But it’s always better to have too much, than not enough. Pulled pork does freeze nicely with a FoodSaver, so we’re set for leftovers for a while. Expect to see some pulled pork nachos and tacos and pizza and maybe some quesadillas popping up from time to time as we try to finish this off. 


10 thoughts on “North Carolina Style Pulled Pork

  1. Very nice. I’m surprised it took about 4hrs longer than you expected, wow. I’m gonna have to try some Dack Janiels some time. Haha.


  2. I’ve heard of whole pigs taking that long, but not a couple of butts. Did the temperature dip during the night or something? I’m going to have to check your sauce to see WHICH North Carolina sauce you make; east or west. Living in the state, we make a pretty good battle over which is the real deal. 🙂

    1. Nope, temperature held steady throughout the night. Rule of thumb for bone in butts is about 1-2 hours a pound. These weighed in at about 7lbs apiece, so yeah they took a little longer than normal. Let me know if you think it was more east or west. The recipe I got was from Steve Raichlen’s BBQ USA, so I’m not sure how accurate it was.

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