This is one of the best meals you can make for a large crowd at a backyard event. It is very easy although when done right it tends too take some time. It can be prepared in advance and even frozen until needed (although there is nothing like having it fresh off the grill). Although this is a "recipe" it is actually more of a "cooking method". This particular cooking method is very forgiving allowing for longer cook times without sacrificing taste and quality. You can use just about any dry rub you wish before hand, and any BBQ sauce you wish at the end.
You want to start off with a good Pork Butt (not the picnic cut). And contrary to its name it is actually from the shoulder of the pig. Although it needs to have good marbling (the veins of fat that run through most meats) it should not have any large pockets of fat. The only exception to this is if it has a nice 1/4 " "fat cap" on one side. During slow cooking, the fat is what keeps the meat moist and flavorful.
Several hours prior to cooking you should LIBERALLY coat your Butt (not yours...the pig) with your chosen dry rub. For this recipe I useADKINS western style seasoning, cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight. At this point I generally use plastic wrap. When using aluminum foil be sure to "tent" the meat and avoid contact with the foil since the salt in the rub will eat right through the foil.
Since I generally serve my BBQ in the mid to late afternoon, I will start cooking the meat the night before.
Now is the time to tent your meat with the aluminum foil. Place your Butt (no not that one) into a preheated 225 degree oven the night before (approx. 9-11pm) and allow it to slow cook overnight.
The following morning (approx. 9-10am) start your smoker using your choice of woods (I prefer hickory or pecan) and place a drip pan under your cooking surface. Pour a can of beer into your pan. This will help maintain the needed moisture in the cooking chamber. Placing your meat on the grating, maintain an approximate temperature of 200-225 degrees and smoke approximately 5-6 hours. During the smoking process you need to "mop" your meat approximately every half hour. This will help keep it from drying out and also add enhanced flavoring (see my recipe for a very good basic beer mop).
Remove your Butt from the smoker and allow to rest and cool for at least 30 minutes. When it is cool enough to handle, using either two forks or (best yet) your fingers, begin "Pulling" the meat apart into small bite size pieces, separating any fat that may remain. You may very well see tinges of pink in the meat. That does not mean it's not done, it is simply the smoke that has penetrated the meat.
If the meat is to be served immediately, thoroughly mix in your favorite BBQ sauce (usually takes about 1 full bottle for an average size Butt), place on the bun of choice and serve.
- If serving a large group the meat can be placed into a slow-cooker and heated on low. If it shows signs of drying out simply add more BBQ sauce.
- Several areas of the south serve their sandwiches with coleslaw on top of the meat...yes to some this sounds strange, however try it, I think you'll like it.
- Other things to have on hand: sliced onion, jalapenos, extra BBQ sauce and plenty of napkins.
- 9-12lb. Pork Butt
- Package of Dry Rub (such as Adkins Western Seasoning)
- Smoking wood - Hickory, Pecan etc
- 1-2 bottles BBQ sauce - (such as Jack Daniels Hickory Brown Sugar) you will initially use close to a full bottle. You will probably want a little more on hand in a bowl on the side for those that prefer alot of sauce.
- Bowl of warm "mop sauce"