The key to this recipe is not only the grilling method for the pork, but also a good barbecue sauce to mix in with your meat. I love Memphis style barbecue sauce, and anytime I use it with this recipe, it is a big hit. I will usually cook about 15 pounds for a party of around 50 adults. This makes more than enough with some left over. I also use around 1/2 gallon of sauce for this much meat. If you want to order a good sauce, Big Bubba’s Bad BBQ makes the best Memphis style sauce if have tasted. You can order their sauce online at http://www.bigbubbasbadbbq.com/store-sauces.php . Now on to the recipe.
Pork Shoulder Blade Roast (Boston Butt) 5-8 Pounds
Memphis Style Barbecue Sauce (Large Bottle)
Apple Cider (4 Cups)
Preparing the meat:
Start with a Pork Shoulder Blade Roast, also known as a Boston butt in some parts of the country. If you have a Sam’s Club in your area, they usually carry cuts up to 8 pounds. Dry the roast with a paper towel to get all the moisture off. Next, Pat the entire roast with a good pork rub. You can make your own rub, or use a store bought rub such as McCormick’s Grill Mates Pork Rub. I use this rub on my pork, it gives a good flavor and is not too spicy. Though some of us like spicy foods, me included, remember if you are cooking for a big group, not everyone likes spicy food. This is all you have to do to prepare this meat. If you want to do a marinade, try marinading the meat for a few hours in apple cider.
Cooking The Meat:
This size of meat should always be cooked using Indirect Grilling or Rotisserie Grilling. It will take around 1 hour of cooking per pound of meat. If you want to speed up the cooking, get 2 smaller roasts rather than 1 large one. You want to place a drip pan under the grate were the meat will be to catch the drippings. Get the the coals nice and hot and spread them out around the drip pan. Place the roast on the grate fat side up. The roast should be above the drip pan with indirect heat around it. You will not turn the meat at all during this cooking. Every hour pour a cup of apple cider over the meat to baste it and keep it juicy. Also add coals to your fire to keep it hot, about 15 to 20 per side. You want to maintain a good medium heat, around 300-350. Keeping the grill lid closed, and the vent open. This will give it a nice slow cook.
Use a good meat thermometer to test when your meat is done. Cook the roast to 195 degrees. Measure the temperature in the thickest part of the meat. At this temperature it will be easy to pull the pork. If you take the meat off any sooner than this, it will be done, but very difficult to pull.
Once it has reached temperature place the roast in a large pan and lightly cover it with tin foil. You will need to let the meat set covered for at least a half an hour. This will let the meat settle and cool off. Pulling meat at 195 degrees can burn your fingers. Next I like to start by getting another dish to put the pulled pork into. Break the roast into large pieces first, to help them cool off. Now, start pulling the meat into long strips and place it into the bowl. It is alright to leave some of the skin in the dish, but make sure to discard any of the burnt outer layer. Also, discard any of the fat that is remaining. There should not be that much fat if you cooked the meat to 195, most of it will have cooked off into the meat adding to its flavor. Some people chop the meat rather than pulling it, but I pull the whole thing by hand.
Mixing in The Sauce:
After you have your bowl of meat, start to pour in your barbecue sauce and mix it in with your hands. The amount you use is up to you. I like my pulled pork soaked in sauce. I usually cook the pork a day ahead of time, if I am going to serve it at a party. I will mix in just enough sauce to give it flavor. I then cover and refrigerate the meat. The next day I put it in a crock pot and add lots more sauce. This keeps it warm and juicy during the party. To top it off I always serve my pulled pork topped with cold slaw and extra sauce pilled right on top.
Serve your pulled pork with dinner roll type buns. They are smaller, and allow for more sandwiches. They also leave more room on peoples plates for all the other great things you have made. Don’t worry, any one that is really hungry can take 2 or 3.