Pork Butt - Pulled Pork
Pulled Pork is most certainly a crowd favourite and one of the easiest long cooks to master.
For this cook we are using a 8 lbs bone in Pork Butt. Also known as a Boston Butt. You may have to call your local butcher for this cut. Local grocery stores seem to have limited availability.
For this cook we are using our Traeger Timberline 1300
We'll include some links below for various products for this cook.
8 lbs Bone In Pork Butt | 10 Hour Cook | Maple Pellets
Trim the pork butt the night before so you have time in the morning to prepare your smoker and to season the pork butt.
When trimming a pork butt there's really not a lot to do with this cut. Remove any small hanging pieces and pay attention to the fat cap. Most come pretty good and trimmed to about 1/4" so look for that and trim accordingly.
Place the pork butt in a foil pan and inject in a checker board patter on both side and by the bone to ensure proper coverage. It's a big cut so you can use about 3-4 cups of injection.
Place in the refrigerator overnight.
MORNING OF THE COOK
You'll want to give yourself about a hour prior to getting the pork butt on your smoker so depending on your smoker you'll want to allow time to get your smoker up to temp. Some take longer than other. Set to 250 degrees.
Remove the pork butt from the refrigerator and pat dry. At this point we are going to use a binder to make sure the rubs makes good contact and stays on the butt.
Slather lightly the entire pork butt with your choice of binder. Some use yellow mustard. For this cook we're using Lane's BBQ One Legged Buffalo Sauce.
Next we are applying the rubs. We're using two rubs for this cook. Meat Church Honey Hog and Honey Hog Hot. Season the entire pork but with Honey Hog and let sit for 15 minutes then again with Honey Hog Hot. Be generous. A pork butt is a large cut and can take a fair bit of seasoning. Make sure the get all sides and let sit for about an hour to get to room temperature.
Now it's time to get your pork butt on. Fill a water pan with a mixture of water and apple juice. You can add what you like to the mixture like sliced apples, onions and garlic. Be creative. It's going to be a long cook so make sure to keep an eye on your water pan.
Insert a meat probe into the centre of the pork butt. It's important to use a meat probe as you're going to want to wrap at around 155 - 160 degrees. This will take about 5-6 hours depending on size.
On this cook we're using a Traeger Timberline 1300 pellet grill and placing the pork butt on the middle rack. Pellet grills generate heat from the bottom so we don't want to be too close to the heat source.
After about 3 hours check how things are going. You should start to see a nice bark building and it's time to spritz. Apple Cider Vinegar mixed with water 50/50 is a good spritz. I would not use Apple Juice as a spritz. The high sugar content is not great for long cooks.
After 5 or 6 hours you should be at 155-160 degrees and it's time to wrap. The key is to wrap at that temperature to retain the moisture you're going to create in the final stage of the cook.
At this point you should see the fat cap starting to split. This is a good indication that it's time to get this off and wrap
Here we're going to wrap in foil. You want to retain all the moisture so foil is best.
When wrapping you should double wrap. Even triple wrap to make sure non of the juices escape on to your grill. Place the pork butt on the foil and here you can add some butter, apple juice and more of your rub if you wish. Wrap tightly.
After you've wrapped your pork butt, get it back on and insert the meat probe and watch for internal temps. It's a good idea to set a probe alarm to 195 degrees so you get an alert to notify you it's getting close. You'll want to take it all the way to 203 degrees. When you're close it's a good idea to temp your pork butt. At this point we're looking for feel. Almost like there is very little to no resistance when inserting the probe. At this point tis time to pull and let rest.
Like all long cooks the rest is critical. You don't want to unwrap this right away as it has to sit to distribute the juices back into the pork butt. You will need at least an hour for resting. If you're going to leave it out, cover with a towel for an hour. If you have sides to make or have company coming you can leave the pork butt in a cooler for 3-4 hours.
THE MOMENT OF TRUTH
Now's the time to see what all your hard work has produced. I can guarantee it's going to be good.
Unwrap the pork butt and make sure to save all the juices inside the foil. Place the pork butt on a cutting board and pull the bone. If that bone comes out easy and clean it's perfect.
Place the pork butt in a pan with 2-3 inch sides. Start pulling the butt with tongs and use the juices in the foil to mix back into the pork butt as you pull it. Here you can add your favourite BBQ Sauce to the pork butt as well. A great sauce to use is a mixture of Lane's BBQ Kinda Sweet and Lanes BBQ Its Vinegar mixed 50/50.
Now you gotta eat...Grab a fresh bun and fill it with your pulled pork, add coleslaw and give it a nice coating of the sauce you made.