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North Carolina Pulled Pork Recipe

Easy and Delicious NC Pork

After trying various recipes for pulled pork, we found this simple recipe which is só easy and só good that we really must share it with you! In this North Carolina pulled pork recipe we found that special combination of simplicity and absolutely great taste.

This NC pulled pork - or chopped pork - is served on a fresh bun together with the hot and spicy Traditional North Carolina BBQ Sauce and a tangy and crisp North Carolina Coleslaw.

Photo of North Carolina Pulled Pork Sandwich with Traditional North Carolina BBQ Sauce and North Carolina Coleslaw by Hot Smoke BBQ. North Carolina Pulled Pork Sandwich with Traditional North Carolina BBQ Sauce and North Carolina Coleslaw.


Hot Smoke BBQ Charcoal Briquettes


The chopped pork recipe on this page was inspired by:

holy smoke

The Big Book of North Carolina Barbecue

By John Shelton Reed, Dale Volberg Reed and William McKinney

Without a doubt, this is one of the better barbecue books around. More than just a cook book, it's also a history book and a travel book. The lore, the food, the people - very inspiring.

"Holy Smoke" gives us a deep view into the fine barbecue traditions of North Carolina, exploring both the Piedmont and the Eastern cultures.

Written with humor, the book is filled with facts, interviews, historical anecdotes, inspiring illustrations, pit construction ideas, original barbecue recipes, and great side dishes.

As you can see on this page, we found the dead simple recipes from this book to be irresistable...


NC Pulled Pork Ingredients

Traditionally, in North Carolina a whole hog is slow roasted to make Pulled Pork. We don't run a restaurant and right now we don't cook for the whole town, so we are taking it easy and got ourselves a nice Boston Butt.

For this North Carolina pulled pork recipe we used the following ingredients:


1
2 tablespoons
2 cups
fresh
bowl
Boston Butt of about 6 - 7 pounds
Salt (prefereably non iodine)
Traditional North Carolina BBQ Sauce
Buns
North Carolina Coleslaw


Photo of raw Boston Butt being prepared for North Carolina Pulled Pork - by Hot Smoke BBQ. 7 pounds Boston Butt, ready to go on the grill...

North Carolina BBQ Wisdom

"If - instead of smoking a whole hog - you smoke a Boston Butt to make pulled pork, that does not necessarily mean that you are against whole hog.

It merely shows you are just a beginner..."  

Oink! Oink! ;o)


Pulled Pork Preparation

Preparations for this North Carolina Pulled Pork Recipe are easy:

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The night before, rub 2 tablespoons of salt into the Boston Butt and store in the fridge;

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The night before, make 2 cups of Traditional North Carolina BBQ Sauce and store in the fridge;

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You may consider to make the dressing for the North Carolina Coleslaw also the night before, so giving the aromas some extra time to blend well. Having said that, we'd recommend to chop or sliver the cabbage just a few hours before you plan to serve your coleslaw, in order to conserve maximum crispness.

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The next day, after about 12 to 16 hours curing, rinse off the excess salt under cold running water, and blot dry using paper towels; Put it back in the fridge until about half an hour before you start smoking;

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About half an hour before putting the meat on the grill, take it out of the fridge and allow to adjust to room temperature;

-

The next day, while your Boston Butt is smoking, prepare the North Carolina Coleslaw.


Preparation of the Barbecue

On any ordinary kettle grill with adjustable ventilation you can easily slow roast a Boston Butt to perfection by a process of hot smoking and indirect grilling. The trick is not to overload on the coal and to master the ventilation system of your grill.

Juancho's Split Grill To obtain sustained lower heat and improved temperature control inside the barbecue, and to increase the grate area and thus to be able to accommodate more meat or larger cuts of meat, I set up my relatively small Weber Grill for indirect grilling on one side as per the method that I call Juancho's Split Grill.

-

We spread six 2"-3" lumps of oak smokewood over the bottom of the coal pocket of Juancho's Split Grill, and filled one half of the coal pocket with about 15 cold charcoal briquettes;

We often use oak to smoke our meat, we like it a lot, but in fact you can use any kind of smokewood you like.

-

The other half of the coal pocket was filled with about 12 burning charcoal briquettes which we had lit in the charcoal starter chimney;

The idea is for the burning coals to ignite the underlying oak smokewood lumps, and for the fire to gradually spread over the other side of the coal pocket.

-

The drip pan underneath the meat was filled with a quart of water. This avoids burning of the fat dripping from the meat, and also helps to keep a more even and moderate temperature within the smoking kettle;

-

Above the fire we placed a steel bowl filled with water. The steam from the boiling water will moisten the smoke and help minimize the drying effect on the meat during smoking;



Smoking a Boston Butt

After preheating the barbecue for about twenty minutes with all top and bottom ventilation holes fully open, we closed the lower ventilation holes and then opened them to about 1/16 inch. Just enough to keep the fire going.

About ten minutes after we choked the bottom vent, the temperature inside the top of the kettle had settled at a steady 320°F (160°C). You could try to lower the temperature to the region of 250°F by closing the bottom vent, but actually 320°F in the top of your bbq is a fine temperature for hot smoking, so we decided to agree with our barbecue.

After all, if 320°F is what your barbecue wants, that's what your barbecue wants...

Photo of raw Boston Butt on the grill - by Hot Smoke BBQ. 1:00 pm: 7 pounds Boston Butt, just put on the grill.

Photo of hot smoking of a Boston Butt on a kettle grill - by Hot Smoke BBQ. 3:33 pm: Boston Butt, smoking on the grill.

Photo of hot smoking of a Boston Butt on a kettle grill - by Hot Smoke BBQ. 3:35 pm: After about 2.5 hours of hot smoking the temperature in the top of the kettle barbecue had gradually gone from 320°F down to 310°F, and it was about time to turn the Boston Butt. Turning is done quite easily with a pair of barbecue tongs and a spatula. Gently grab and slightly lift the meat with the tongs and use the spatula to keep the meat in place during turning.

We also refilled the evaporator bowl with hot water.

While the lid was off during turning of the meat, the charcoal briquettes and oak smokewood lumps had flared up a little, giving the temperature inside the kettle a headstart after closing the lid. We had not touched the vents, and after closing the lid we saw the temperature settling back to 320°F withing a few minutes.


Refuelling and Mopping

After about five hours of slow roasting the temperature in the top of our kettle barbecue had gradually dropped from 320°F down to 280°F. Time to add some fuel!

We spread about ten cold charcoal briquettes and five lumps of smokewood on top of the smouldering coal in the coal pocket. We also refilled the evaporator bowl with hot water.

Photo of hot smoking of a Boston Butt on a kettle grill - by Hot Smoke BBQ. 6:00 pm: The Boston Butt has been smoking for five hours now. We turned her around and brushed on a liberal dose of the Traditional North Carolina barbecue sauce.

After closing the lid, the temperature inside the kettle grill evened out at 250F, and in about an hour gradually rose to 270F.


Smoking to Perfection

After about six hours of slow roasting the temperature inside the Boston Butt had gone up to 154F. The target for regular pork is 170F. For pulled pork the target is 180F, for ease of pulling.

We turned the meat around and mopped it with a few tablespoons of the Traditional North Carolina BBQ sauce.

Photo of hot smoking of a Boston Butt on a kettle grill - by Hot Smoke BBQ. 9:10 pm: The temperature inside our Boston Butt has risen to 173F. Taking into account a temperature increase of about 10F after taking the meat off the grill (the "afterburner"), it is time to take her off.

We put the Boston Butt on a cutting board, covered her loosely with aluminium foil, and let her rest for 45 minutes.


Pulling Pork

Pulling pork works quite well in a large shallow bowl using a large fork in each hand.

Photo of North Carolina Pulled Pork hot smoked in a kettle grill - by Hot Smoke BBQ. The secret of pulled pork is that devine combination of juicy and tender inside meat and the bite of those tangy dark chunks of bark! We love it!

You can add some of the Traditional North Carolina BBQ sauce to the pork right after pulling, but since the sauce is quite spicy it is adviseable to leave the fine-tuning to your guests.


The PitBoss Suggests:

Photo of North Carolina Pulled Pork served on a Bun with Coleslaw - by Hot Smoke BBQ. We suggest to serve North Carolina Pulled Pork on a fresh bun or sandwich with Traditional North Carolina barbecue sauce and North Carolina Coleslaw.

Traditional North Carolina Barbecue Sauce

Photo of Traditional North Carolina BBQ Sauce by Blue Smoke BBQ. This traditional Eastern North Carolina BBQ sauce is intended to be served with chopped or pulled pork. While amazingly simple, this hot and sour mix has the potential to raise the dead...

North Carolina Coleslaw (Seven-Day Slaw)

Photo of North Carolina Coleslaw by Blue Smoke BBQ. This easy North Carolina Coleslaw recipe combines amazingly well with pulled or chopped pork. And - in the absence of mayonaise or eggs - this slaw is safer for outdoor parties.


Photo of hot smoking of a Boston Butt on a kettle grill - by Hot Smoke BBQ. Don't be afraid that a 7 pounds Boston Butt might be too much meat for the number of friends that you have invited to your barbecue. Pulled pork leftovers keep very well in the fridge and will still be very tasty and smoky after a couple of days.

For heating of leftovers we can recommend a microwave oven.

Favourite Drinks


Cold beer !!!   ;o)

White wine

Red wine

Soda pop or Ice tea







At Hot Smoke BBQ we love Chile Peppers!




Keep Smokin' !